It is always a privilege for me to be asked to officiate at either a wedding or a funeral. For the record, across the years I’ve probably officiated at twice as many funerals as I have weddings. Truthfully, the percentage might even be higher than that. While both are important memorable events, there is a very different atmosphere associated with a wedding.
I had been pastor at Henly for a couple of years before I had the privilege of officiating at my first wedding. That wedding took place thirty-six years ago. It is difficult to believe that it has been that many years. Who would have guessed that time could go by that quickly?
The first couple whose wedding I officiated at Henly was living in San Marcos at the time they got married. They subsequently built a home on family land near the home where the bride grew up in Henly. That process took place two or three years later. It may have been even longer than that. Of course there was enough distance between the two locations that it didn’t appear like an enmeshed family. Trust me, when you’ve got lots of land, no one has to live on top of anyone else.
I can’t remember if I painted the entire interior of their new home. I remember that I did the wallpapering and painted at least their daughter’s bedroom. The wallpapering was fun. Actually, so was the painting. However, the paint color the couple chose throughout their home was pretty neutral.
During the early eighties, jewel tones were in and they opted to go mostly neutral. Did I mention I don’t do neutral colors well? I guess you could say at the time I was a colorful kind of guy. For that matter, I still am. Paint can make an appreciable difference in the way a place looks and I don’t intuitively gravitate toward white walls.
The one exception to neutral that the couple made in their home was the color they selected for their daughter’s bedroom. I tried to talk them out of the color, but they weren’t easily dissuaded. Think back to the early eighties and you might even figure out the color they chose. I worked with a friend who decorated his entire home around the color. Of course, the walls in his house were white, but his furniture was primarily the color that my friends in Henly opted to paint their daughter’s room.
It was the color mauve. If you’re not familiar with “mauve”, think purple and throw a heavy layer on pink in the color. Shake it up and you get mauve. I might be able to support painting a room a deep purple, but I’d never opt for mauve.
There was an interior decorator in Midland whose signature series in decorating a home was to always paint the master bedroom a dark deep purple. The finishing touch he added was to carpet the room with carpeting that appeared to look like a leopard skin. Dramatic is the only way you could describe it. It was attention getting. Would I want it? Not on your life.
Years later, there was a feature on HGTV of a couple remodeling a home in Hawaii. They brought in an interior decorator from Midland to do an extreme make-over. The General and I both laughed when we saw the master bedroom. It was the purple or periwinkle signature series from Midland.
At any rate, despite my subtle intent to talk them out of the mauve color they selected, I did it their way and it was worse than bad. When I say the room had the capacity to glow in the dark, I’m not under-stating the outcome. It was awful.
It was probably the only time in my history that I’ve ever recommended repainting a freshly painted room. I even said, “I’d gladly paint it white.” That was a stretch for me. The couple agreed with the need. The mauve didn’t turn out quite like they expected. Did I mention it took two coats of white paint to cover up the mauve?
Last night’s wedding was a first for me. It was the only truly authentic second-generation wedding I’ve ever performed. The little girl who almost had an awful mauve colored bedroom got married last night. I had the honor of officiating at her wedding. I generally begin a wedding ceremony with the statement: “Love fills the moment and the moment begins a lifetime.” Somehow those words seemed doubly true last night. It was a second generation wedding.
The wedding couldn’t have gone more perfectly even though much of it was not rehearsed or planned. It was an outdoor wedding. While nothing is more picturesque than an outdoor wedding, there is also a lot left to chance. When it comes to weather, “chance” had a lot to do with mother nature.
For one thing, rain was in the forecast. Consequently, the couple had a backup “plan B” in mind. Fortunately, “plan B” wasn’t needed. The rain didn’t come. However, there was a surprise or two.
It was a Kodak moment. The groom was saying his vows. The sincerity of his words and the heartfelt emotions surrounding them was momentarily interrupted when the wind blew the bride’s wedding veil off her head. The look of shock on her face was priceless. Of course, I’m the only one who had a clear view of her face. Actually, in short order, the wind blew the wedding veil off her head twice.
I interjected the thought that it was a good life lesson. In the process of marriage, things don’t always work out exactly the way you plan. In fact I suggested that although it probably wouldn’t be next week or next month or maybe even next year, sooner or later they’d each discover that the person they married wasn’t perfect. They’d find a flaw or an unsuspected wrinkle in their spouse’s personality or behavior and then they’d face the tough part.
I reminded them that within the Bible, nothing has more importance than love. In fact, we are told in Scripture: “God is Love.” When the unexpected arises or an imperfection is discovered, always remember that love is enough to negotiate the discovery. “It is love, which brings you here today, the union of two hearts and two spirits. As your lives continue to interweave as one pattern, remember that it was love that brought you here today, it is love that will make this a glorious union, and it is love that will cause this union to endure”.
All My Best!