Monday, December 28, 2009

A Very Merry Wedding

In the middle of moving, we all went to the wedding of some dear friends, Tom and Alaina, in Friday Harbor. Nick was an usher, Bethelle was the flower girl, and Rigby the ring bearer.

Isn't Rigby cute with all those men?
Bethelle looked forward to this day for a long time. She knew she would really get to be a princess. She had tried on her beautiful dress and practiced walking. Slow and sprinkle, slow and sprinkle, slow and sprinkle...
The wedding was the Saturday before Thanksgiving. On Friday, we drove up to Anacourtes to catch a ferry to the San Juan Islands. On the ferry, a fun strings-and-harmonica band was playing folk music and the kids ran and danced. The views as we navigated thru the islands were phenominal. The islands jut out of the water like forested volcanos.
Once there, we went straight to the wedding rehearsal. We knew Bethelle would be great at her part, but Rigby was a wild card, so we trained him to walk down the aisle with Twizzlers and Starburst waiting for him at the end.
Of course, Bethelle had to get the candy too. We had some pretty sugar-jittery kids by the end of practice.
After the rehearsal was the rehearsal dinner. What fun. We sat with another little family in a beautiful restaurant called Vinny's. The kids were troopers, but we did end up leaving a little early. They are not used to adult schedules. Before we left, the bride and groom handed out presents and the kids got theirs first. Bethelle ran up to the bride and whispered in her ear, "You look just like Cinderella, and that's my favorite princess!" Alaina almost teared up telling the assembly about it as she gave Bethelle her gift: a tiara, rhinestone bracelet, and a My Little Pony coloring book. Then Rigby got a race car, and Nick received a black, engraved baseball bat.
After a good night's sleep, it was all we could do to keep up with the wedding schedule. Nick had a special breakfast and usher duties to attend to and I had to get the kids ready. Isn't Bethelle's hair beautiful? I had eagerly anticipated doing that! Also, I made Rigby's vest and tie to match. Don't tell the bride, but I didn't finish it until the night before we left. I take that back; I sewed on the buttons the morning of the wedding itself.
Right at what would otherwise be nap time for Rigby, we all went to the church for pictures. Considering the lack of sleep, I would say that Rigby did fairly well. He had never missed a nap before, so I was nervous for his role he had to play. The wedding was to start at 4pm, and I wasn't sure what state he would be in.

When it came their turn to walk down the aisle, they both did so great! They walked slowly and went straight to the rest of the bridal party. Bethelle sprinkled her flower petals, and Rigby picked them back up to put in her basket! So cute.
The ceremony was beautiful, and I could really feel the spirit of the music and the words spoken. Afterwards, there were more pictures. The bridal party was all seated on pews in the church and Rigby just leaned onto the nearest bridesmaid and fell asleep.

Then we went to the dinner and reception. The bride's father, a pastor, gave a welcome speech and prayer. In the speech, he quoted Bethelle's earlier "Cinderella" comment, and said that she really was a princess today, but that someday the fairy tale would fade, and she would be Alaina again, but that what remains true is Christ. It was a beautiful speech, and again, Bethelle felt special.

As we were eating, Bethelle commented that all the princesses (bridal party) were at the front of the room except her! She needed to join them! After eating, she went straight to the bride and didn't leave her for the next hour. When the couple got up to wander through the room to greet all of their guests, Bethelle was right there with them, thanking everyone for coming to her special day.

And then the dancing. Oh, the dancing. I took Rigby and Curie back to the hotel to go to bed, but Nick and Bethelle stayed. Bethelle danced. To every song. Until midnight. She was the talk of the party. It was truly the best day of her life. The entire wedding might as well have been hers, as far as she knew.

Bethelle has two dreams: to fly with angels and to go to Disneyland. That night when I tucked her in, she was laying in bed with an unstoppable smile on her face. I said to her, "That was as fun as going to Disneyland, wasn't it, Bethelle?"

"No," she said. "It was better."


Garth said...

You have such sweet, beautiful children and we get to claim them also. We are so blessed!
Love, Mom and Dad J., Gramma and Poppy J. (How do you spell Pop-ee?)

Rachel said...

The children look BEAUTIFUL! It has been way too long since we have gotten together! Love you!