Following that our beautiful Gypsy Princess and favorite guitarist began playing and singing "God Blessed the Broken Road". It was the song to which I'd make my grand entry. As I rounded the corner to walk down the aisle, life suddenly existed from inside a bubble. I saw only my groom, and I floated to his side.
Our pastor, Rev. Jim Mannon, did a beautiful job translating all of our thoughts on love and marriage into the ceremony.
Tommy's vows to me were the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken. As he told of his love for me, tears freely flowed from his eyes. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. He blew me away so much that I'd completely forgotten the words I'd prepared to say to him. I was completely flustered to the point that I had to wing it, but I did share my written words later and hopefully made up for my first ever "loss for words" moment.
To divide between the next part of the service, we played the song, "Together" by Steven Curtis Chapman. When I first heard this song a few weeks ago, I shared with Tommy, "Steven Curtis Chapman has written a song just for our renewal service." The words convey the past sixteen years of our marriage. Here's the chorus:
"And if it wasn't for God’s mercy and His grace
There’s no way we would be standing in this place
But because He has been faithful
Every step along the way
Here we are together."
Pastor Jim, along with our children and youth pastors spoke eloquently during the family rose ceremony that incorporated different characteristics by each individual that create our family and make it whole. The end result - a beautiful and memorable bouquet - that is now situated on the living room mantle.
We were again pronounced husband and wife and allowed to kiss. Tommy was happy when the photographer hollered to do it again and said, "I don't mind."
The reception was equally as special. Our cake was the most beautiful wedding cake I have ever seen. It was a three tiered, hexagon, pink, champagne flavored cake with streaming live roses. It exceeded my expectations... as did the groom's cake. Tommy had a red-velvet, bleeding armadillo groom's cake straight from Steel Magnolias. Cakes Etc. in Brookhaven did a fabulous job turning my dreams into reality. I can't say enough good things about them. I was equally impressed by the roses that The Toad House put together for me. They worked with me extensively to ensure the exact colors that I wanted. I now have them in a vase on a table next to me. They are still beautiful and the scent transports me back to our special day.
We cannot thank our friends enough for helping us pull off this day. Mrs. Barbara who loaned us use of her beautiful home and provided my something borrowed something blue, Sidney who was by my side all day for whatever was needed, Kathy who drove in to do our pictures, Carrene and Tammy who served cake, Stasia for coming in and singing, Bro. Marvin and Ms. Susan who invest into our children's lives during guitar lessons weekly, Donna - one of my oldest and dearest friends, our wonderful staff of pastors from Brookhaven First Assembly and the members of our church family who travelled to be there. You guys were truly the icing on the cake and I can't thank you enough. (Oh, and I can't forget Ms. Barbara's beautiful friend, Vivian, who helped with all of the extra details through the day!) I have to add - as my mom, Dacey, Stasia, and I were getting ready, I mentioned to them that the hardest part for me would be when they'd all gone to their designated spots and I was left alone. Ms. Barbara and Vivian answered my prayers and stayed by my side right up until the moment I walked down the aisle. I will never, ever forget that!!
And of course, what would a party be without dancing? Tommy and I danced to "Rose of My Heart" by Johnny Cash. Tommy and Dacey then danced to "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman, and Jaden, Isaac, Connor, and I danced to "Blessed" by Martina McBride. The most fun was provided courtesy of our children when they danced to "What Does the Fox Say?". It was choreographed by our daughter, Dacey, and gave us all a wonderful, unforgettable moment.
Another highlight of the day was sharing it with our Scarlet. She was the belle of the ball and had as good of a time as any of the rest of us.
The day ended with the kids blowing bubbles at us and my favorite super heroes busting out. It was the perfect day and the most wonderful one of my life.