Voices

Anatomy of a wedding

Matters may not have gone as planned, but all was well at the end of the day

Issue: "Effective Compassion," June 16, 2012

As my wedding was out of town and therefore not well attended, many back home have asked how it went. I would like to tell you.

First I should say the 11-hour drive to Michigan was made pleasant with girl friends and sister in tow. All went uneventfully until mid-Ohio, when a close relative phoned and asked if I had a prenup. When I said that of course I did not, she said she was driving up with one and that we were to sign it.

A glitch regarding car insurance cost us a day that David and I had slotted for baking a wedding cake together. We managed, however, to reach the Oakland County courthouse in Pontiac to sign the wedding license, and were nearly killed by a driver barreling through the crosswalk where a UPS truck parked in a blind spot.

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After the rehearsal dinner (though we never did rehearse) I picked a fight with my fiancé, which was all the more embarrassing when an hour later he presented me with the second in a series of gaily packaged wedding gifts to rival Jacob's caravan of offerings to Esau. Then I baked pies till 2 a.m. and he stayed up all night prepping other foods for the morrow's wedding banquet.

The morrow rose drizzly, but Barbara prayed that if the marriage was God's will the sun would come out, and it did. The son came out too, my elder boy, in a suit and a smile, saying, "Mom, this is your day." I have never seen him more beautiful.

While ladies in waiting pampered me like a queen bee, David was having a different kind of day. The electronic magnet that closes the door to his van (which contains a hydraulic wheelchair lift) inexplicably malfunctioned. He wasted a precious 20 minutes on it before deciding to knock out the bolt and duct tape it. The lids to the food transport trays went missing and there went another nonexpendable 15 minutes of searching.

Also, a freak city-wide power outage resulted in a traffic jam that tripled expected driving time. Once he got back to the kitchen, this meant David could not start the rice. (You will notice the wedding cake idea got pitched overboard somewhere along the line, as well as the pre-paid balloons that never got picked up.) Nevertheless, the salmon and roasted chickens were fetched. That's when the van broke down completely.

The way it happened: The rack and pinion steering inexplicably failed. David somehow ditched the van behind a building (forgetting the marriage license in it), and started down the road on foot, trying unsuccessfully to phone son Aaron. (This brings us to 11:30, one and a half hours before the scheduled wedding. Heidi told me later that she was impressed when David phoned her from Lapeer Road and was not angry.) Aaron retrieved the charcoal from the van and rolled up his sleeves to cook, which was not in the plan, but he pulled it off with panache, his siblings gallantly fighting gusts to tape tablecloths to picnic tables.

Other minor setbacks-the Korean beef ending up in the wrong trunk, and a situation with a cooler that my son Jae got involved in-are not worth mentioning. Wedding guests whom David and I meant to serve became our servants, and all hands were on deck as what men proposed God differently disposed.

My bridal bouquet got lost in the shuffle, so I started on my son's arm without it, when off in the distance to my right I saw Kristen gamboling toward me over the lawn with something white, deftly passing it off midway to the grove of trees where David and Pastor Wes with Bible waited, and 40 long-suffering stalwarts in folding chairs sat heroic in the blustery cold.

When the dust cleared I was married to a godly man, and Satan could do nothing about it. He will be back, of course, "for we are not ignorant of his designs" (2 Corinthians 2:11). Two separate people for God was annoying to him, but two together is a threat. "And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him-a threefold cord is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Email aseupeterson@worldmag.com

Andrée Seu Peterson
Andrée Seu Peterson

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again. Follow Andrée on Twitter @Andreespeterson.

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