By Linda Wood Rondeau
Remember when weddings were predictable? A bride in white, in a church, with the father walking the bride down the aisle.
It was a summer of three weddings each as different from the others as night and day. Yet, each memorable for its own merits.
The first was in July. We’d had a cold spell the week before, and I’m sure the bride welcomed the cooler temps since her gown was a gray-white princess style—puffy and layers of lace set off with sequins and pearls. A talented young lady, she performed her own vocals and the couple exchanged pre-written vows. A modest reception was held at a local restaurant and had a D.J. who served as master of ceremonies. I am usually emotionally contained during these events but a trickle of tears flowed when the bride and her father danced to “Butterfly Kisses”.
The second wedding, former clients during my social work career, was memorable for different reasons. Most of the men donned their best jeans and vests. I felt out of place with my simple knee-length skirt and blouse. The family pet arrived for the procession complete with veil and hat and was led by the maid of honor. The pastor had to stop the ceremony several times as family members came up front to take pictures and asked him to “hold it a minute.” Of course the lack of decorum was understood if one knew the family tree. The young bride’s heritage did not include many weddings for the custom was to live together until the relationship tired and move on. The ceremony was eventually concluded and the bridal party and guests headed out for the reception that would be held at the local bar.
The third nuptial was probably my personal favorite. The couple opted for a traditional wedding that was both elegant yet simple, taking place in a newly remodeled church, an aura of sacredness aided by the pristine walls and ornate fixtures. Scripture reading and a Communion service, also gave a sense that this was indeed a sacred event. The hymns of choice told of God’s presence at the union of these hearts, the reception that followed continuing in respect for the occasion.
Although different, I enjoyed being at all these weddings, made precious because of intent—a couple standing before God to proclaim they loved each other enough to make a commitment to one another.
Today, weddings can be anything from a simple chapel ceremony or standing before a Justice of the Peace, or an elaborate event that costs more than the father’s yearly salary. The value of the occasion need not rest on the price-tag, but rather the intent of two hearts.
Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel The Other Side of Darkness/Harbourlight, LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes stories of God’s mercies. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
Linda’s best-selling Adirondack Romance, It Really IS a Wonderful Life, is published by Lighthouse of the Carolinas and is available wherever books are sold.
These books are also available in ebook format along with her other ebooks by Helping Hands Press: I Prayed for Patience/God Gave Me Children and Days of Vines and Roses. Songs in the Valley is scheduled for release this fall by Helping Hands Press.
Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Facebook, Twitter, PInterest, and Goodreads.