About two weeks ago, I was contacted by a bride who was looking for an officiant for the first weekend in July. I talked to her on the phone for a bit and she explained that her fiancee was graduating from Great Lakes Navy Boot Camp on July 2nd. She would be in town for his graduation and would be doing some apartment hunting for a few days.
The couple, Holly and Henry, were hoping to get married that weekend, since she would be in town. It would only be the two of them - no guests. They were looking for an intimate ceremony to begin their life together.
We talked for a bit and I liked Holly immediately - I knew I wanted to marry this couple!
Holly mentioned that they had a few obstacles. They didn't have a specific date because they had to work around Henry's schedule. She knew that he would have watch duty after his graduation, but didn't know when. They actual date would have to be set on relatively short notice. Their other obstacle was that they didn't have a venue yet. Not being from the area, Holly was at a bit of a loss in terms of scouting out locations, but was considering a park for an outside ceremony.
Well, after we talked, I got to thinking. Every year we host a breakfast in our yard for friends and then we all walk down our block to watch the 4th of July parade. Wouldn't a wedding ceremony (especially for a serviceman!) be a great addition to our 4th of July celebration? We could have the ceremony out on the deck, right before our brunch. Then we could all head over to the parade.
I tracked down my husband, to share my brainstorm. He was supportive of my idea and started getting excited about the planning. Yes, he really is wonderful. I am one lucky gal.
I called Holly back to tell her my idea, a little worried that she might think I was some weirdo. But, she was enthusiastic and the wheels were set in motion.
So, on the 4th, we festooned our deck in red, white, and blue decorations. My good friend even brought over several bouquets of white flowers from her yard to adorn the tables. It looked pretty good!
Henry & Holly came over and, after we chatted a bit, we began their ceremony outside. They had opted to write their own vows, which were so lovely. The way they looked into one another's eyes during the ceremony really touched my heart.
When they exchanged rings and had the "official" kiss, we congratulated them with bubbles -and their favorite Coldplay song.
We all gobbled up the breakfast - veggie and sausage egg bakes, fruit salad & other goodies. And, since you can't have a wedding without wedding cake (well, you can - but you really shouldn't), we had banana cake with strawberries. (Okay, I really can't take much credit. My son picked it out.) I didn't bake it, but I put the flowers on it. Sorry, Martha Stewart - don't be too jealous!
What a great 4th of July! This was really a wonderful experience for me. I was fortunate to meet such a sweet couple and share in their special day.
They are so obviously devoted to one another and I know they'll have a happy life together.
Congratulations Holly & Henry! I wish you all the very best!