This past weekend J and I were so thankful to celebrate the wedding of our close friend, Dan, and his beautiful, now wife, Rachel. We had met Rachel over google chat a little over a month before their wedding and it took about .01 seconds for us to say, “she’s wonderful and she’s perfect for Dan.” Now, having been able to spend several days with her in person, we just adore her. Watching the two of them together is so sweet. They just fit. God’s design is perfect.
One of the sweetest memories we walked away with from that weekend was the evening of the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner. Never have I been to a rehearsal dinner that was so rich with love, laughter, joy, and gratitude. It was truly a beautiful evening. After dinner Dan’s dad opened it up for friends and family to have the opportunity to share about Dan and Rachel. Person after person stood up and shared what Dan and Rachel meant to them, as individuals and as a couple. People shared how Dan and Rachel had impacted their lives, what their friendship meant to them, the examples they had been to them over the years, and how Christ was so glorified in their hearts, their relationships, and their lives. There was much laughter and buckets full of tears.
After everyone else shared Dan and Rachel took turns sharing their own hearts, pouring out words of gratitude and humility at how blessed and loved they felt and how overwhelmed they were by God’s gifting them their family, their friends, and one another. And with every word they spoke their genuine, humble, and grateful hearts were seen. They gave gifts to their wedding party and shared sweet, hilarious, and encouraging words and stories about each one of them. Again laughter exploded and tears flowed.
After that Dan’s dad asked Dan and Rachel to come sit in two chairs next to one another and their moms came and sat beside them. Then almost everyone else in the room came and gathered around them, placing their hand them and they spent a time in prayer, praising God for this couple, entrusting their marriage to Him, and asking Him to grow them, strengthen them, and bless them in the days to come.
Being the photographers means that J and I get a little bit of an inside scoop of the goings on of the wedding day, which truly is a privilege. It also means that you get a special type of perspective as you seek to capture the moments of their wedding day, and in this case, the rehearsal dinner as well. And when you get to observe a time like this beautiful prayer time it just makes you grateful.
To stand back a little ways and watch this precious couple be prayed over, be celebrated, and be cherished caused my heart to be so grateful for the gospel. Grateful that we can have the bonds we do — because of Christ. Grateful that we can lift our gratitude, requests, and hopes to God — because of Christ. Grateful that we have the privilege and calling to reflect God’s relationship with the church in our marriages — because of Christ. Grateful for the joy we can experience in this life because of the hope we have for eternal life — because of Christ. In every part of their weekend Dan and Rachel praised Jesus and gave all glory to God. This couple is genuine, loving, kind, hilarious, stinkin’ adorable, joyful, and a constant testimony of the love of the Lord who made them and brought them together.
Dan and Rachel, we praise Jesus for you both and count it such a joyful privilege to have shared in your weekend. You both blessed our hearts in a meaningful way and we are so thrilled that you are now husband and wife! We love you guys!