Aristotle said it. "Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies."
I am sure he was talking about my beautiful daughter Kiersten and her new handsome husband Luke. They were married this weekend and it was a true fairy tale, complete with a princess…and a cowboy.
If you have been following the Euresti storybook, you know this was our second magical weekend of the year. Kiersten's twin sister Kelsie married John Mark in March. Luke actually proposed to Kiersten at the close of Kelsie and John Mark's wedding reception.
Our girls are identical twins, but since they were old enough to protest being dressed alike; they have done everything they could to be their own person. True to form, Kelsie had a destination wedding; Kiersten had hers here at home. After more than a year of venues, invitations, cakes, flowers, menus and candles; Tara is practically a certified wedding planner. However, she is retired. No more.
The weekend began with a successful rehearsal at the pulchritudinous First United Methodist Church that stands watch over downtown Lubbock. Dr. Craig Curry's relaxed style put everyone at ease and we all walked out of the stunning sanctuary thinking we had nailed our particular role. We then made our way to the rehearsal dinner; complete with steak, an original song from Luke's sister Julie and lots of bonding. That has been a pleasure as we have gotten to know Lanny and Mandie. They have done a wonderful job raising their son. We believe we are returning the favor with our daughter. As parents, we share the same wishes for our children.
A wedding reception does not just happen. It requires a lot of work, but all the family and friends who showed up bright and early the next morning made that work seem like play. There was much laughter and no stress. Okay, maybe a little. In a matter of hours the giant, empty room was transformed into a picture-perfect amalgam of elegant tables, flowers and floating candles. Kiersten approved.
The afternoon was filled with last-minute errands, a groomsmen's lunch and just getting ready. That process included a touching moment for both Kiersten and Luke. Before their day, they had each written a letter to the other. Kelsie delivered Kiersten's to Luke and Luke's to Kiersten while they were putting on the clothes that would be memorialized in pictures forever. They then went to the sanctuary separately to read their letter. Each was accompanied only by Kelsie and the photographers. My understanding is that the words of love and adoration led to tears…even from Kelsie. English poet John Donne said, "More than kisses, letters mingle souls."
As per instructions, I was at the church an hour before the appointed wedding time. About 30 minutes later, wedding coordinator Brenda came to get me to go to the room where I was to wait for Kiersten. Fifteen minutes later, she appeared at the doorway. Now, I had gone through Kelsie's wedding just seven months earlier. So, I thought it would be easier to keep the emotions under control this time. It was not. Kiersten and I looked at each other and started crying. She looked so beautiful! I couldn't even talk for a few minutes. In a sign of the times, we took a selfie and posted it. As you can see, we looked deceivingly composed.
Meanwhile inside, there were also some teary eyes when my Jacob McCay escorted Tara to light the unity candle. Jacob is my godson and he was my best man when he was 10. His reaction when he heard that Tara had chosen him to escort her was heartwarming. He was honored, as were we.
When the doors opened and the notes of the "Bridal Chorus" began playing, all eyes were on Kiersten. She was beaming as she basked in the spotlight that would lead her to the love of her life. If anybody had seen me, they would have seen that I was also beaming…with pride!
The rest of the day and night was what dreams are made of. There was food, drink, toasts and laughter. Oh, there was laughter. Hundreds were there to help the couple celebrate their wedding and be part of the memories that will be part of their album…the one they can touch and the one they can only remember.
Luke and Kiersten met because they share a love of horses. Those horses will be nearby as they begin their lives together on a ranch. Winston Churchill said, "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle." The is certainly true for the day their love story began. From the beginning, Tara and I have been amazed at how well they "get" each other. You could say they are soulmates. Aristotle knew what he was talking about.
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