We’re on our way to California next week for the wedding of Bud’s daughter, Lesley Artyn, to Glen Nolan. It is sure to be a beautiful celebration in Placerville, California, at the David Girard Vineyard.
Talking to Lesley about the wedding and hearing about her plans for the day has made me think about my own wedding. I pulled out the pictures this weekend and remembered the joy that the day brought me – seventeen years ago. I hope Lesley will enjoy her day as much as I did mine. She was there, with precious Lindsey, her daughter. Lindsey was our flower girl and was as beautiful then as she is today – a college girl!
Bud’s college roommate, who is an English professor and is known for his memorization of poetry, read a special poem for us as we made a toast. It was beautiful and I have it framed to remember Jimmy and that day.
Men marry what they need. I marry you,
morning by morning, day by day, night by night,
and every marriage makes this marriage new.
In the broken name of heaven, in the light
that shatters granite, by the spitting shore,
in air that leaps and wobbles like a kite,
I marry you from time and a great door
is shut and stays shut against wind, sea, stone,
sunburst, and heavenfall. And home once more
inside our walls of skin and struts of bone,
man-woman, woman-man, and each the other,
I marry you by all dark and all dawn
and learn to let time spend. Why should I bother
the flies about me? Let them buzz and do.
Men marry their queen, their daughter, or their mother
by names they prove, but that thin buzz whines through:
when reason falls to reasons, cause is true.
Men marry what they need. I marry you.
John Ciardi (1916-1986)
from I Marry You (1958)
There was nothing more special than having our family and friends together with us to celebrate. Often when it’s not a first marriage, people discount the importance of the ceremony for some reason. It was my first marriage, but not Bud’s. I think back on those friends of his who came from Wisconsin and Minnesota, and I wish they knew how important their being there was to Bud. He loved sharing that day with them, and I love them for it.
My girlfriends didn’t have as far to travel, but their being there was important to me, just the same. I loved them all then, and I love them today! You never forget people who go the extra mile to be there for you. That’s why I’m so thankful that we can be there for Lesley and that Bud’s sister Rebecca and her daughter Rebecca Durden are going with us. It’s not Lesley’s first marriage, but it’s as important to her as any other day in her life has been. She and Glen are a match made in heaven, literally!
There is nothing like a wedding to bring everyone together. Looking through my wedding pictures brought back so many memories. Bud’s sweet mother was alive then, and I thank God that she was able to see him as happy as he was that day. Since then, we’ve lost his aunt, uncle and my grandmother. That’s sad to me. We miss those people so much and know that they would love to be at the wedding of Lesley and Glen too.
I’m a hopeless romantic. I love the fact that Bud will be there to walk Lesley down the aisle. It’s just a formality, right? All you really need is a Justice of the Peace and a witness or two to say you’re married. No, you’ll never convince me of that. A wedding is a time for family and friends to share in your happiness. It’s a time for celebrating what God has brought together. It’s a time for showing the world what you two have found. It’s a dream come true. The beauty of a wedding is that it provides you memories for years to come. Memories of everyone together, memories of the beautiful flowers and dress, memories of how happy you were that day. Memories that your marriage is a blessing from God.
I think I had the most beautiful wedding in the world. Flowers by Jimmy Honea, ceremony performed by Will Campbell, music by my cousin Steve Stringer and his wife, great bar by my uncle John Case. The home of my aunt, Sue, was the perfect location. My dress was the one my friend Rebecca Collins wore in her wedding – a Ron LoVece original. Are those just accouterments – unnecessary trappings? Never.
Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him. — Mark 12:17
The marriage license and witnesses are a fulfillment to Caesar. The love that is shared between two people at a wedding with their family and friends is a ‘thank you’ to God for true love found.