The Wedding : Part 1
I’ll just put it out there but.. October has been quite the month! So much of a month I had to create two blogs. Don’t worry I will add lots of pictures to keep your attention, but I first have to talk about the wedding I had the privilege of taking part in.
I have literally been to about 5 different cities unintentionally , been in a wedding, saw one of my favorite artists in concert, celebrated a fellow intern’s birthday, and been on a retreat with my internship program. My head is spinning.
I have to start this blog with the wedding. It certainly impacted me in a way I did not know it would.
First off, if any of you all are familiar with flying in an airplane there is a such a thing called connecting flights. This is when you are trying to get to ONE certain destination but the airline schedules you to land and take-off somewhere else before you can get to your desired location. Now a lot of people are bitter about that because as Americans, we like to get to things and/or get things ASAP! No delay. However there is a beauty in taking in the moment in an example such as this. I am not speaking for the people that are traveling three-fourths out of the whole year (those people have things to do for real) , but perhaps the ones that fly for just those special occasions. I got the privilege to see 4 cities when I only needed 1. San Francisco, San Diego, Denver , and the real MVP…Nashville.
I do not want to babble to much about this topic, but the basic thing to say is appreciate the little things. We have come a long way with airplanes being a way of transportation. Everything is worth taking a moment to just soak in the experience.
All this is to say I traveled to get to a wedding in Nashville. I got to be a big part of the Michael Pretorius and Amanda Jack ceremony. It was an experience like no other.
The first day I got to meet a handful of the immediate family of the groom. Some in which I had already known. It was a great taste of what was to come. Little did the groom know, there was a surprise groomsmen party being planned behind the scenes. I was in charge of getting him to the location while everybody else was trying to get there before us. The flaw was that I trusted the groom to GPS the correct location I gave him, which he did, BUT he decided to go to his favorite spot…the WRONG location. It was awkward trying to be secretive to clueless hostesses. Basically that gave away the surprise, and I scolded him. It turned out to be a great time of bonding and biscuit eating. For those who do not know, they got some GOOD biscuits.
The next day was getting to meet groom’s extended family and the bride’s immediate family. That was a treat because I felt like V.I.P. as I got to experience the show as well as the behind-the-scenes experience. Seeing the process of the venue becoming a fairy-tale wedding was a detailed yet thrilling process. The theme of the wedding was “NEVERLAND” and the location of the venue was in a wooded area. It was literally perfection because the glass of the building revealed the woods and sunlight, transforming it to that make-believe world.
Later that day was the groom’s family brunch. That was a good time for many reasons. Meeting and interacting with the family of the man you are representing is important obviously. I had some great conversation and learned more about what it means to be a Pretorius. They also has this little luncheon themed. The minds behind it were brilliant.
In between that, I got to spend a little bit of time with the bride’s family. I personally had just gotten to know the bride in the past year. So the opportunity to spend some time with her family was a treat. The southern hospitality was real as well as the humor. Their mixed breed dog was beautiful and they had the best snacks. I got a sneak peek of the rings as well. I was in a good place.
The day did not end there however because we still had a rehearsal dinner!! Yep, it was time to see the wedding in action. We went to a southern inspired cooking place called “Courtney’s” We immediately started with the conversation of the layout of the wedding and soon after we were practicing it. The funny thing about it is was we reserved half the restaurant for us but had to spill into the main part to practice our entrance. I am sure we interrupted the dinner of a couple people but it had to be too good for anyone to stop and complain haha! I guess it was just dinner theater for them.
The moment when all the wedding detail was put on pause was a dedication video to Michael, the groom. The groomsmen talked about what Michael meant to them individually one by one. When each person finished they passed a gift box off screen and the next groomsman “caught it”. It was clever. Little did I know it would also be quite impacting. There was not a dry eye in the room. I mean it got intense, but it brought down the stress of having a perfect wedding and allowed more love to pour in. Simply unforgettable.
Some may or not be familiar with Michael’s backstory, but along with being a full time gym coach, college student, and a part-time worship leader, he had been diagnosed with a form of cancer that took the life of his father. All this was happening his senior year of college. That video brought back that realization of what a miracle had taken place and how this wedding represented a mural of beautiful moments with the community of love represented there. I did not expect that at all but it was simply something unforgettable.
THEN it was the WEDDING DAY…
OK. so I know this is a little long of a post but this day was MAGICAL!! Waking up and realizing that one of your role models was getting married and you had the honor of standing by his side is quite the ton of bricks.
We started out day with a quick trip to Einstein’s Bagels because they were fancy and it was the groom’s choice. It was actually decent but the portion was small. The bagel sandwich was lacking depth and I was hungry. Not soon after they brought sandwiches, salads, and snacks for the wedding party so I lived. ha!
When we arrived at the venue it was a sunny day. One of those ideal days for a wedding. We were trying our best to collect what we needed from the car while the bride was trying her best to hide before we entered the building. After a phone call warning we scurried inside and began to start rehearsing. That’s when it hit that it was all now real and actually happening in a matter of hours.
The anticipation was thick. Every hour brought the realization that lives were about to change. Also rehearsals are great for anything because knowing what you are doing is smart. After we rehearsed with the groom and bride there was time in between before the pictures. Boys will be boys so everything went down from eating food , to grape throwing distance competitions, spinning each-other in chairs, sports, and when the time came, fashion and grooming techniques for picture taking.
The pictures were brilliant. Considering we were wearing earth tones and green we definitely looked like we were meant to be in that forest. Here are some sneak peaks…
In just a blink, a breathe, and a sneeze later it was time for the moment we had all been waiting for THE NEVERLAND WEDDING. To ease the nerves, I took a selfie with the line of waiting groomsmen and bridesmaids. We were all excited. It was kind of funny how the bride was at the top of the staircase where we were lined up and the groom was literally at the bottom facing away. How interrogating.
As we made our way in pair by pair. Considering my partner and I were starting the chain reaction I got nervous. Have you ever felt the pressure of being the first person to do anything while everyone is watching? Yep that was us.
Once we got through the wedding party it we went right into the ceremony. I am hoping you all are familiar with the process of a wedding so I am going to spare you the usual information, and just talk from my perspective.
Being right behind the groom gave me such an incredible perspective I could not get any other way. I had no idea that I would end up actually learning more then feeling. Let me explain. My experiences with weddings are limited. I have had the privilege of going to a good portion of them but to be involved with one and actually comprehend what is happening is eye-opening.
I always find it more meaningful when the vows are written by the bride and groom. You can see their connection and it reaches out to all the witnesses. To say it did not connect everyone in the room would not be telling the truth, because once the groom started getting emotional, it was pretty much the queue for everyone else to start feeling it too. To be honest I did not cry. Not because I could not feel or because I was trying to be tough but because I never experienced this kind of love up close before and I was engulfed in all of it. The ceremony went by so quickly before I knew it, it was time to go dance down the aisle. Yep…dance. I believe that if you make an entrance you also make an exit.
The rest of the celebration was a thrill.
- Not to brag but sitting at the head table for the reception had me feeling famous. Everybody coming up and taking pictures made the moments so much more glamorous. You also got a peak into the individual lives of the bride and groom as friends and extended family congratulated the new couple.
- The kid magician left me speechless. One his fashion was on point (so he was already winning in my book). This kid did some undefinable tricks. I was the first person to identify him so I got the honor of being the first tricked. One was literally making an x on the back of his hand and making it appear on the inside of my palm. HE GOT ME.
- The speeches. As the best man I had the honor of saying a personal speech about the groom and what a challenge that was. Overall I was feeling unworthy of that title in general so to give a speech of impact was a bit terrifying. Somehow , someway I got through it. I even got a some chuckles and a few moments of silence. I did the best I could and surprisingly I did not need to read it. It came from my heart. What a moment.
- The dancing. You know I was all about that. There were so many hilarious and bonding moments. The were kids flipping around ( that’s what happens when you are a gymnastic coach) , people trying to couple dance, ballet , a kick-line, and all the other party moves you could think of. It should have never stopped.
- The End.Before we realized it, time was running out. It was time to send the bride and groom into the night to start their lives together. We all lined up with our miniature clappers and glow-sticks outside the driveway, then cheered as they swooped by into the classic car that took them away.
- It was hard to accept that it all was over. Well so I thought. One of my favorite moments has to be trying to take post family pictures AFTER all the wedding has come to a close. Everybody was tired and desperate to get into comfortable clothes. It was quite the reality show trying to round up family to take group photos. I was an honorary member so I had the privilege of taking most of them and being in some as well.
Now it was actually time to part ways and as we gathered all our belongings and tried to figure out who was going in whose car I felt like another chapter of a book concluded. What a book it was too in such a snippet of time. This whole time span of a friendship taught me so much on how trying to create something work for your benefit does not work out as well as when God is involved. I mean this is PROOF that I had no control over how this story was written, but I am overflowing from it. Just know that investing yourself in good people is better then sacrificing for those who just waste your energy.
Live your life to the fullest, do it with others who want to do the same, and let the good Lord lead.