The ceremony took place under a canopy of trees and lights off of a beautiful pasture. The bride, escorted by her mom and dad, walked barefoot down a burlap aisle, through a set of open wooden doors and was married in front of a set of closed wooden doors. The chandelier that hung over the “altar” looked like it was suspended in the air, who knew where the electricity came from! The casual, but elegant feel was appropriate for the couple about to be wed. The amount of love that you could feel and see between the future Mr and Mrs was palpable, and the love in the air was equally as strong.
During the course of the evening I had the opportunity to have different conversations with the couple and people close to them. It was obvious that they brought out the best of eachother. She talked about her anxiety to perform their first, wonderfully fun and beautiful, dance and how he pushed her to trust him. She shared at that point that she was so happy he did! He talked about how excited he was to begin a life with her and create what he saw in her family. His former fire captain shared with me what an incredibly giving and loving young man he is and how she has seen him grow. Her friends from work described what an amazing colleague and friend she is and how sorry they are that she will be leaving them for another opportunity.
Watching her care for her nephews and her grandparents during the evening was equally as beautiful. Watching him do the same showed me they are similar in their hearts. The love between them and that emanated from them was truly beautiful, reminding me again that love is everywhere, as I felt their love even for me.
During the evening, I had the incredible pleasure of watching a number of couples in love. From the bride’s grandparents married over 65 years to her parents married 34 years, to her sister married 2 years, to cousins young and in love and not married yet! Love was bountiful .
This was a weekend of family and fun. I traveled by myself to the wedding as my brother and sister-in-law cancelled due to their own family issues. At one point I wondered how I would feel there, me and all the couples. Couples married a long time, sisters very close, me the outsider. I’m a cousin and close to all, but still at times an outsider. Then I got there. I was far from an outsider. I was treated by all as if I belonged. I was treated by all as a member of this close family.
The weekend showed me the power of love. The father of the bride and I were talking at one point. Here we are in Alabama and I asked him if he ever thought his daughters would end up here. You never really think about where your kids will end up, you just hope they are happy. He said when he thinks about all the circumstances that put his oldest daughter in Alabama, it ultimately led to her finding her happiness, building a life with an incredible man. It also led to his other daughter finding her happiness and now embarking on her life with an incredible man. So, even if he didn’t think Alabama was ever in the cards, now his thrilled with the lives they have built in the state and couldn’t be happier that they are as happy as they are.
Again, the power of love. The power of a father seeing his daughters building a future with men he respects. He sees his legacy of love being passed on.
As the evening winded down, we all changed and sat around a beautiful bonfire. Again I took in the love around me. Everyone allowed to be themselves. Everyone laughing together, multiple generations sitting around a fire telling stories.
And at no time did I feel like an outsider. At no time did I feel anything but loved.
The Power of Love. It is everywhere, we just need to remain open to it all and take it all in. Be loving and be loved.