My husband, Dave, accompanied me today to a wedding in N. Raleigh--a section of Raleigh we had never been before. It was such beautiful countryside and hard to believe it was so close to the city. The wedding was at the bride's aunt's horse farm and the landscape was breathtaking. The farmhouse and stables were up on a little knoll over looking the fields with horses, some goats and a few geese who came by. I could hear and see some peacocks nearby too. The weather was on the warm side but the breeze made it very comfortable.
What a treat to be a part of this special day for our bride and groom, Jo Ann and Mike, whom I met face to face for the first time today. We had made all arrangements for their small family wedding by email and snail mail. I could tell they were excited and a bit nervous too! Their family was gathered around to witness their union. Mike told me that all his living relatives were present and it was like a family reunion for this happy occasion. When I walked out the door to take my place on the steps I looked around and who did I see but a doctor that I had worked with for many years at Disability Determination Services! What a pleasant surprise. He had no idea that I was a minister--it just never came up at work before I retired in 2006. It was so good to see him and visit with him after the ceremony.
There were about 25 guests and I invited them to gather close by so they could hear all the words of the ceremony. After all the guests assembled in front of the steps, Jo Ann was escorted in by her grandson, Cole. Then she joined Mike and the ceremony began. Mike's sons, Sam and Michael, stood close by their father and Jo Ann's daughters, Katie and Jessica, stood close by their mother. I thanked them for being there and told them how happy their parents were to have them present. At some point during the ceremony Jo Ann's little granddaughter, Annemarie--about 2 years old--wandered up to them and just had a good look and remained silent! She was so cute. The ceremony was brief but touching and many of the guests commented on how personal it was and how much they liked it. It really fit Jo Ann and Mike who wanted a "short, sweet ceremony" but with meaning. And so it was.
What a pleasure to participate in the marriage of such a wonderful couple who seem so well matched for each other. I had their brothers sign as witnesses and the legal part was all handled. Dave and I prepared to leave but were not allowed to until we loaded up plates with the delicious buffet food and covered them with foil to take with us--a real Southern tradition! We did not hang around for the cutting of the cake but I know it was really good because Jo Ann's Aunt Elmo baked it for them. See how pretty it was! Oh, I couldn't leave without giving some loving to their dog, Heidi. I am a dog lover and especially sweet on schnauzers. This one is named Heidi, just like my schnoodle (schnauzer/poodle combo), Heidi. What a sweetie she is.
We left the guests and the couple having a fine time celebrating this beautiful and momentous day. Congratulations, Jo Ann and Mike!