Weddings bring out the best in people, the best in families.
Just a day after Christmas, such a festive time of year, we headed to the mansions of Newport, Rhode Island for the wedding of the first “kid” of our Dinner Club group, a destination wedding where every single beautiful detail was planned by the bride beginning many months ahead.
The bride graciously and lovingly included us Dinner Club parents in all the planning and celebration, and each time we spoke to her, over approximately eighteen months since her engagement, she gave us the exact count of days left until the big day.
Her enthusiasm was catching...and quite beautiful.
She is marrying a wonderful man, a man who has been deeply loved by his own family. It's obvious through his smile; his confidence in himself; his calm, kind spirit. It's interesting to me that sometimes you can look at a person today and know their history just from their demeanor, their actions, their paths they've chosen, their way of being in the world and with others.
By inviting guests to weddings, the couple is offering us the opportunity, time and space to peek back into our own pasts.
It reminds us of our own weddings, our children’s weddings, our own journeys over the last five years or ten or fifty as we sit quietly in pews or in folding chairs on a beach at a resort destination and remember.
It gives us guests the opportunity and the nudge to glimpse backward.
Weddings offer guests feelings of joy, hope, enthusiasm, love, community, and tradition.
At formal weddings, we revel in dressing up and dancing in a room that sparkles with lights and candles.
We smile and laugh and cry. We reacquaint with friends or relatives we've not seen in years, and we talk about good times past. We catch up with one another.
Weddings remind us that life is good, that we are blessed to have such family and friends.
We are hopeful the new couple has a lifetime filled with happiness and togetherness.
As older folks, we know there will be trials, as there are in all lives, all marriages, so we wish them the strength to hang in, forge forever forward together with grace and civility, and be ever-compassionate and caring toward each other.
Lengthy journeys are made one step, one day, at a time.
To start the journey under the auspices of all that is good, a wedding among friends, is a solid base from which to build a loving future together.