Today, July 5, 2008, I attended a long-time friend's wedding. His name is Todd. Todd and I go way back. Well not way, way back, but back to the days when I was single. There was this big group of single people in my church at the time, and we all used to hang out, study the bible together, etc. We even started a twenty-something group that I was a part of although I was thirty-something. It was quite humorous at the time that I was the oldest twenty-something! Anyway, Todd and I were even room-mates for about 4 or 5 months! NOT that kind of room-mates either; purely platonic. Todd and I have seen each other through some good times and some hard times. Today was a great time! I'm so happy to see him finally settling down with a great girl! Dawn is so nice and beautiful and I think they will be great together. I just pray that they both really get back to church and put God in the center of their marriage.
The wedding was beautiful. It was at our church, Gaylord Community. The stage was beautifully lit with candles against a black backdrop. Debbie Ackerman played piano while the guests were being seated. After the mother of the bride was seated, the first of the bridal party entered the church from the outside through the main entrance; the daughter's of the bride and groom, Shanna and Alexis. Shanna is Dawn's daughter and Alexis is Todd's. They wore pink, satin, strapless gowns, with silver bands in their hair. They looked like princesses, both of them. Next were Scott and Lora Aldrich, husband and wife, and good friends of mine as well. Lora is actually my beautician! I was a brides maid in her wedding almost 5 years ago, and Todd was the groomsman I walked with. The brides maid dresses were a dark silver, halter style gown and the groom's men tuxes were black with silver vests and ties, very classy! The maid of honor was the bride's long time friend and the best man was Ken Schneider, long time friend of Todd's. The bride was stunning as she entered the sunlit, double doors with her mom. (I believe her parents have long been divorced.) Dawn wore a strapless, white gown with a princess neckline, with a pearlesque bodice. Her veil was woven into her hair, trailing down her back as she walked the long isle toward her husband-to-be.
Todd was waiting patiently, but I could tell he was holding back the tears as he looked at his beautiful bride approaching him. The ceremony was short, sweet and to the point. Alexis read a very special note to her dad and her new family; Lora sang "God Blessed the Broken Road" by Rascall Flatts. My favorite, favorite part, though, was when they lit the unity candle. All four of them, Todd, Dawn, Lexi and Shanna all lit it as a family. It was great!
The rest of the ceremony was beautiful as well and ended with a very sweet kiss. Todd, Dawn and the whole bridal party walked out the double doors and were gone in a flash. They jumped in the limo and headed for the drive around town. They chose to have their receiving line at the reception.
Kara, Alyssa and I headed for the reception hall, but first stopping at McDonald's for a Frappacino! I was so thirsty and knew we had time to kill. We arrived at the reception hall around 5:00 and the bridal party didn't arrive until almost 6:30! As they exited the limo, the guests, who had lined up outside, showered them with bubbles. The bridal party then lined up and received the hugs and congratulations from their guests.
As soon as Todd and Dawn were finished greeting their guests, they headed right for the dance floor for their first dance as husband and wife. Then it was dinner time. The buffet consisted of a salad bar, mashed potatoes and gravy, boiled, seasoned potatoes, green beans, alfredo noodles, two kinds of meat balls and ham. It was the best wedding buffet I've ever had.
After dinner was the bridal party dance, then the groom danced with his mom and then the chicken dance! After the chicken dance, the DJ called for all married couples on the dance floor. Jeff and I got up and headed for the dance floor. We stood out there for quite a while as we waited for the other married couples to make their way to the dance floor. The DJ narrowed down the couples from newly married (Todd and Dawn exited the dance floor first) to the longest married couple. Jeff and I, having been married just under 3 years now, left early the floor early too. The longest married couples, one 47 years and Todd's parent's-43 years, stayed out on the dance floor and gave Todd and Dawn advice for staying married so long.
It was a really neat wedding and I'm happy to see my long-time friend with a great woman!
Here are some photos:
Lora and Scott Aldrich, making their entrance
Todd, waiting for his bride
Alexis, reading her special note to her family
Mr. and Mrs. Todd Hager
Kara and Alyssa at the reception
Me and Alyssa
Alyssa-looks like she's blowing the bubbles, but actually they were blown towards her and this is her reaction-so cute!
Their first dance as husband and wife