Luke as well as Abby shone of which week. They created community as they brought their families together, pulled a handful of their friends into the event, added generous piles of not bad food as well as music, as well as reveled from the natural beauty of a completely new England beach. The context was wind, sun, waves, lights, stories, grills, toasts, songs. The event was a traditional recital of vows from the eyes of God as well as humanity, pledging to forsake all others as well as cling until death pried them apart. The joy spilled liberally to all of us.
Each couple’s wedding can be unique, as well as of which one reflected Abby as well as Luke’s desire for a longer deeper intimate time that has a handful of people. Abby’s parents will also gift us that has a larger reception in November, after Abby’s grueling fellowship in trauma care can be completed, which will be more like a normal wedding reception. nevertheless for the marriage itself, Luke as well as Abby wanted a meaningful setting as well as a little group of people. They are both embroiled in probably the most demanding year of their work-lives (let us pray the item gets better!) as well as only managed a long weekend to spend on the event (honeymoon will have to wait). Given those limits, they asked their parents as well as siblings as well as a little representative number of high school, college, as well as med school friends to come. as well as the only two surviving grandparents! Since Abby’s family incorporates a vacation home in Nantucket, an island off the coast of Massachusettes, as well as she’s spent some of her summer there every year of her life, they decided to make the party there. Nantucket has been a whaling as well as fishing base since before recorded history, as well as became a refuge for indigenous Americans when European settlers dislodged them by the rest of the coast. Soon English whaling ships were coming there too, as well as dumping their ballast of rocks to make cobblestone streets, building their weather-worthy homes of cedar shingles of which turn grey in the past of wind as well as rain as well as sun. There were little farms, as well as a not bad harbor, a few roads, gulls as well as seals as well as sharks, dunes as well as moors as well as pines. from the last century the island as become a resort destination nevertheless maintained its natural spaces, uniform cottages, as well as coastal flavor.
I can’t possibly give a full as well as adequate account, the time was so rich. Abby’s mom put us in contact with her neighbor, as well as we were able to rent the house next door for the week. The sheer logistics of managing two families, 26 people (two of whom were over 80), arrivals as well as departures by ferry as well as airplane, two extra locations (an air bnb for the friends as well as a beach-side house that has a deck for the parties), rentals of tables as well as plates as well as cutlery, decorations, music, grills, food . . . all with one pick-up rented by Luke plus the Harries’ vehicles, was daunting. The audacity to make the item all fairly DIY as well as outdoors given the blustery winds as well as frequent cool foggy clouds in June did give everyone some pause. nevertheless the item all came together in a memorable as well as beautiful way.
- Radiance. The bride, in our humble opinion, simply sparkled, as well as confirmed minute by minute how not bad God has been to our family to cross her path with Luke’s. She can be cheerful, competent, brave, firm in her foundations, sticks to her beliefs, looks out for others, as well as turned an event in which the bride can be traditionally a bit passive into one where she went out of her way to engage as well as serve. She baked her own wedding cake! A six-layer carrot-cake marvel. She sang a solo! She danced her heart out, laughed, as well as walked determined to enjoy the weekend in spite of gloomy weather forecasts. Oh, she also looked stunning. I think seeing her there by the ocean gave us a fuller picture of her beauty, in her natural habitat.
- Conviviality. The groom set the tone, as well as the entire group followed. Luke, as we who have loved him his whole life know, can be a force of nature. He incorporates a wonderful ability to pull a group together, to get a dozen people into a cold ocean to ride waves, to develop the idea of his church being chairs from the sand on the beach as well as make the item happen, to envision seared tuna as well as perfectly grilled steaks as well as citrusy drinks as well as jovial music, as well as the item wa-la, there the item can be. He was up early as well as late, picking up the rentals, meeting people at the airport, shuttling food as well as drinks, telling stories, listening to friends. Did I mention the colored disco strobe lights of which transformed the kitchen into a dance party? He’s a person who thinks outside the box as well as pulls us all to a better level, whose zest as well as faith as well as kindness as well as sharpness make things fun.
- Feasting. Can I mention the food again? We had two dinners at our rented house, the Harries had us over too, then there was the rehearsal dinner, the wedding day brunch, as well as the wedding dinner. One night Caleb as well as Jack rolled out probably 50 or more fresh flour tortillas. Another Julia as well as Jack did dozens of date-goat’s cheese-bacon appetizers. Friends as well as dads were often at the grill, friends as well as moms were doing salads as well as sides. There were bottles of wine as well as a champagne toast. Some items were brought in catered as well as others made by scratch, nevertheless each event included savory flavors in a setting of cheer as well as conversation. Luke requested Caleb to read from the ceremony one of our favorite passages by one of our favorite books, the Supper of the Lamb, a culinary as well as spiritual reflection on the Kingdom of God. of which was appropriate to the wedding as well as also to the entire long weekend of fellowship.
- Wind as well as Waves as well as Sun as well as Stars. June 15 fell on the full moon, as well as nearly the summer solstice. as well as in spite of a rain-cloud prediction, the rehearsal-dinner day as well as the wedding-day turned out to be sunny. There were bike rides as well as runs, dips from the ocean, surfing, paddle ball, even a little soccer. of which wedding weekend reflected Luke as well as Abby’s love for the outdoors, for activity, for natural beauty, for the environment. as well as as a special gift: just as we set up the chairs as well as the beautiful wooden arch of which Dr. Harries, Abby’s dad, had made for the ceremony down on the beach, a seal pup came up from the waves as well as waited for his mom. We were a bit nervous about him being distressed or abandoned right from the middle of the wedding ceremony, nevertheless by the end there was a burst of squeals as well as his mom came back as well as swam off with him. Pretty cool. How many weddings have you been to attended by a junior seal??
- Siblings. I can’t say enough about how awesome the siblings were. Abby’s two brothers did a lot of set up as well as take down. as well as they made such moving speeches about her. They were ages 11 as well as 16 when she was born, so they have always been part-brother part-parent in their protective relationship with her. Luke’s siblings (as well as I may be a bit biased here) threw themselves 100% into of which week. Long difficult travel, late nights as well as early mornings, cooking, cleaning, errands, hammering nails, building structures, setting up chairs, washing dishes as well as more dishes, whatever needed to be done. Caleb wrote as well as performed a spoken-word poem-rap of which did not leave a dry eye. Jack as well as Julia gave deeply personal as well as genuine tributes. A wedding can be a focus on the bride as well as groom for sure, in of which case the only-girl by-a-long-gap youngest as well as the super-confident-by-a-short-gap take-charge-oldest. the item might be easy for siblings to roll their eyes as well as withdraw, nevertheless these all 5 entered in with all their hearts. as well as Abby’s two sisters-in-law too!
- Friends. As mentioned above, Luke as well as Abby know how to choose them. The handful of which represented at of which event (the original plan was immediate family only, as well as the hardest part for Luke as well as Abby was probably limiting themselves to 3-4 friend invites each when they have so many others they might have loved to celebrate with . . .) were not just fun as well as articulate as well as interesting, they were talented cooks as well as eager workers. of which was an all-pitch-in event, as well as they did. They made our parental enjoyment even greater with their enthusiasm as well as help. as well as when we were talking after, several mentioned of which the invitation to participate was actually a highlight as well as not a burden.
- The over-80 crowd. My mom as well as Scott’s mom were champs. They hung in with the literal as well as figurative whirlwinds of activity. They walked on the beach as well as even climbed a ladder, as well as my mom briefly joined the dancing. They were determined to participate, as well as they did. Ruth had been gone by her home since before Jack’s graduation, so the item was quite a long stretch for her of travel as well as time with us. My mom had her to Charlotte for a few days so they could fly together. They both did so well, as well as everyone loved having their generation participate.
- The details. from the end, a lot of a wedding boils down to details. as well as Abby’s parents excelled from the details. Her dad Tom made a fun sign with the origins as well as mileage of each traveler, put up strings of lights, built the wedding arch. Her mom Rhonda created beautiful tables, lights, fabrics, photo displays. Even matching t-shirts for everyone! She ordered L as well as A m&m’s, had sweet personalized details at every turn. I scoured our boxes of stored stuff to find childhood photos as well as Scott made fun slideshows, one for Luke as well as one for Abby to kick off the memories at the rehearsal dinner. He also worked very hard with Luke as well as Abby to write a traditional ceremony as well as a short nevertheless glorious sermon. We created a liturgy for the rehearsal gathering too. The flowers contained herbs as a nod to Abby’s love of gardening.
In short, we had a blast.