This past weekend I had probably one of the most special weekends of my life. Aside from my own [future] wedding, I have to say that this weekend and wedding will be among the top of my life. Everything was perfect.
The bachelorette party on Thursday night was full of fun and laughs, an Italian dinner and a sleepover- yes a sleepover, like we were all teenage girls again.
Friday we made breakfast as if we were all sisters just doing it because it felt normal [2 of the bridesmaids were sisters and about to gain a 3rd]. That afternoon we had a fun little tea. Yes a tea, each with our own tea pot, two tiered snack platters, and a precious little tea cups. After the tea, we ran errands for so many different things to make sure the lovely bride had everything she needed. I then returned to her house to pack her honeymoon suitcase.
Saturday was day 3 of crazy. After lack of sleep and packing my own belongings for the wedding, I dropped by the bride’s house to get her dress, her luggage, and some last minute decor for the wedding venue. From there I drove the hour to Terrain at Styers- easily one of the most beautiful venues I have ever been to yet, a venue that can so easily get lost by its surroundings. We had the rehearsal, where we felt like we all nearly froze in the 60 degree weather plus wind, followed by checking into our hotel rooms, and the rehearsal dinner at Pizza by Elizabeths. It was a busy, exhausting, yet exciting day. There was such anticipation for Sunday…
Sunday came along and I have to say, I’ve never been more excited. I have been involved with so many weddings, not including the few dozen I’ve attended in the past few years, and I don’t ever remember waking up with such joy for a bride and groom. Jordan and Stasia are two of my close friends and I could not even express the joy I felt for them. Throughout the morning the girls and guys didn’t see each other. We all got ready. With excitement, we- the bridesmaids- were able to pray with Stasia once she was in her dress and ready for the day. I knew that this wedding was different than the others. I knew that in that moment as I prayed for her, and for Jordan, that this wedding was so much more than anyone realized.
You see as we went throughout the weekend, rehearsal, and eventually the ceremony and reception, there was one thing that stuck out more than any wedding. The love of Jesus Christ was so evident. What made it so powerful was that most of Stasia’s family were not Christians and for them to understand the covenant marriage her and Jordan were entering, they needed to know what made it a covenant- pure and holy. They needed to know why Jordan and Stasia waited for marriage, why they spoke about Jesus so much, and why they will raise their family, Lord willing, to be one founded on the Word and truth and love of Christ. From my perspective, this wedding was unlike any other because it was an opportunity for the bride and groom, and bridal party, to express the deep of Jesus to her family, and any others that did not know the LORD.
As we waited in the Mushroom House [yes that is what Terrain called the cute little rustic room we waited in], we all were already somewhat emotional, just overflowing with love for Jordan and Stasia, but also many of us realizing the potential this wedding could do for her family to know the LORD. Soon enough we were escorted to our places to begin the ceremony. It was beautiful. The big wooden doors opened and the first of the bridesmaids walked out. I followed shortly behind. For those moments as I walked down the wooden ramp, on the cobblestone wooden ground, and down the isle, I almost started crying. For some reason it made me long for the moment when I would be the bride, yet at the same time, being so excited to walk toward that altar to await with the bridal party for Stasia. Such beauty in that moment. When Stasia appeared from the waiting area, it was so incredible… she walked down that isle confident, sure, and ready to embark on the journey before her.
As the wedding ceremony progressed, one thing was for sure- Jordan and Stasia wanted everyone to know their stories, who Jesus is, and why their marriage would be meaningless without Him. They each have lost a parent. Jordan lost his dad when he was young. Stasia lost her mother shortly after I met her just a few years ago. I remember the heartache and anger she had. I’m sure Jordan went through the mourning stage as well. But I also remember Stasia just one year later committing herself to Jesus- not in a religious, crazy, don’t go to Hell kind of way- but one of humility, brokenness, and readiness to see what God could do in her life. She hasn’t been the same since. There was such healing, such love, such freedom in receiving an unending, unconditional, beautiful, perfect love that can only come from Him. Jordan went through the same thing, almost exactly, just a few years before Stasia. As they said in the ceremony, it was God bringing them to love with Him first, then to each other. He is their solid ground. Only with Him can they love each other with true love that reflects His heart for them. During the reading of their testimonies, during their vows, and during the commissioning of their marriage, there was not one dry eye in the whole ceremony. I have never cried in a wedding, yet this one I could barely control myself. Such beauty was embodied in their ceremony, one that reflected the heart of God, one that showed deep, enduring Love, and one that is a covenant before Him. The most beautiful wedding I have ever experienced or been privileged to be a part.
I am so honored to have been a part of this wedding. The stress of helping Stasia plan stuff. The stress of planning the showers. The stress of making sure my outfit was right. The gas money to PA for the wedding. The money spent on the bachelorette dinner and presents. The lack of sleep sometimes. The getting ready in a hotel room with half a dozen other people [sometimes more]. The shivering in the cold during the rehearsal. The dancing til my feet hurt. Everything was worth it because it meant that the day was perfect for Jordan and Stasia- everything that they had ever dreamt. I am beyond grateful for the friendship I have in Stasia. I am beyond grateful for the beauty I saw reflected in every aspect of their wedding. I am beyond grateful for the new friends I made with those in the bridal party. And I am more than ever excited for when the day is mine and my Beloved’s.
For me, these many weddings I have attended or been a part of the past 3-4 years have been worth it [20+ in all] . To see many of them like Jordan and Stasia enter into Christ-centered, holy marriage makes it worth. What I saw yesterday was rare. It was beautiful. It makes it worth the wait.