Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Wedding Day!

The Wedding Day!

 As I told you in my last blog the events of the day were amazingly fun-it was the perfect day! While enjoying the comfort of the beautiful suite, Lindsey was surrounded by her dearest girlfriends laughing, dancing, talking, and eating while hair was being curled and sculpted into delicate up-do's and make up was being applied to every bridesmaid. Surely it was a little like this when Esther (in the Bible) was having her beauty treatments. And certainly I can repeat her words found in Esther 4:14..."For such a time is this." There is no question this day was blessed with the presence of God.

At 5:00 sharp everyone was dressed (except for Lindsey) and ready to drive to the church. As we left the suite Madison was applying my mom’s make up, the flower girls and Jr. Bridesmaid were having their hair styled and my sweet aunts were smiling from ear to ear as they watched us scurry out the door.

On the drive over I looked at Bruce and the moment was surreal. We were on our way to OUR daughters wedding! I told him he looked so handsome in his black tux. He smiled and said, "And you Mrs. Peele, Mother of the Bride, look so beautiful in that gorgeous dress. We should do this again...say in 4 months." We laughed. Our smiles lingered as we sat silently for the short drive to the church. Then Bruce said, "This is it. Our Lindsey is getting married." We looked at each other both with tears welling up in our eyes as 26 years of memories flashed through our minds.

As we arrived to the sanctuary, Jimmy my fabulous floral designer, met me at the doors of the church. "You've got to come see this!” he announced. I followed him quickly through the sanctuary doors and he said, "Look at this! The wedding before us left these flowers here and said we are welcome to use them." Not only were they hydrangeas, they were white and matched the arrangements he had made for the front of the church! We couldn't help but laugh out loud. You see, Lindsey wanted flowers on the ends of every other pew however, because we were already over budget something had to be cut. The joke between Jimmy and I had been that she was getting everything she wanted accept for flowers down the aisle. So...the Lord blessed us and she got them after all! It was as though the Lord said, "Lindsey honey, I want you to have everything you want on your special day." No question the Lord had favor on Lindsey. What a sweet thought.

Lindsey, anxious to put on her fabulous wedding gown, was more than ready for me to join her in the Bridal Parlor. After making sure everything was going according to plan in the sanctuary, I rushed over. When I entered the room the wedding dress was free standing in the middle of the room; held up by yards of fluff, there was a perfect hole in the center. Lindsey stepped in; we pulled the dress up, zipped it and buttoned the forty buttons placed delicately down the back. BEAUTIFUL!!! The most beautiful bride I've ever seen. Of course I am The Mother of the Bride.

Jimmy presented the bouquets to every girl and then to Lindsey with a bouquet that was, as she said, more beautiful than she imagined! Then Bruce came in and saw Lindsey for the first time in her dress. That was a sweet moment. Lindsey, dad, Holly and I circled up and dad said a prayer. Funny how in all the chaos when you stop and pray there is calm, a peace and an assurance that God is with us.

Then in a flash, JP Beato, the photographer had the girls in front of the church where he took what seemed like a thousand pictures. of the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, the parents, the flower girls, and of the Bride. The sun was going down quickly so Lindsey rushed back to the Bridal Parlor while the bridesmaids took pictures with Bryan.

Lindsey's Aunt Melissa, Aunt Teresa and cousins, Cody, Cortney and Ashley lit all the candles that finished setting the stage. It was just as we had envisioned.  All the planning, all the dreaming, all the checking off that to-do-list and it was time for our guest to arrive. In the foyer the harpist played while our guest signed the book and waited to be seated. Then finally it was time to make our way to the sanctuary which had been filled with friends and family awaiting this divine moment.

The grooms parents, Nancy and Jhan Oler went down the aisle first and then Bruce and I. When we got to the last pew the four of us walked up the steep steps together and lit the appropriate unity candle. Then the four of us circled up and each said a short prayer for the Bride and Groom. It was a precious moment and we are so thankful that we all love Jesus.

At 7:30 sharp the wedding bells rang. Juli Henderson our precious friend sang The Lord's Prayer and then the bridal party entered. The organ music was very traditional. After the bridal party was in place, the music stopped and there was a tiny bell ringing. The flower girls entered the room; one ringing a silver wedding bell the other holding a sign Here Comes The Bride. Once they were in place the center doors opened, the organ began to play and as the guest stood, I couldn't help but peek into the aisle to see her. There she was (I'm wiping tears as I relive this moment), my little girl, all grown up, my Lindsey Lou, a beautiful woman who has kept herself pure, who has waited and trusted the Lord-and is in this very moment in the  midst of answered prayers. And I had a front row seat! As she walked beside me I felt the warm embrace of the Lord's presence and Lindsey was indeed the radiant bride she always hoped to be. The smile on my face was stuck and the joy in my heart was literally overflowing.

When the Pastor asked, "Who gives this bride?", Bruce, The Father of the Bride and my sweet husband of thirty years; the one who trusted us with wedding plans (and the money), the one who works so hard to provide for our family, the one who has been the godly loving father I always hoped our girls would have- said "her mother and I." In that moment, I felt so proud, so blessed, so fairy tale Happily Ever after. It was truly magical.

Bryan's Uncle Mark led the first part of the service and then John Card, Singles Pastor at Second Baptist Woodway, delivered a short message and the vows. Lindsey and Bryan kneeled for a prayer, and then moved over to the unity candles while Chris and Juli Henderson sang, "When God Made You" by Natalie Grant.

Then for the first time Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Oler were presented! The two flower girls went out first, ringing the bell and holding a sign that now said, "Just Married!" The guest applauded and the bridal party followed.

When Bruce and I walked out I couldn't help but raise my hand in thanks and praise to our Heavenly Father. It was a worshipful moment and a glorious ceremony. We are so thankful and so very happy!

The blessings that come from obedience is priceless, so worth it!

Next- the celebration!

Much Joy and Thanksgiving,
The Mother of the Bride

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bridal Luncheon Blessings

If you have wondered why I have not written since the wedding, I've been just a tad bit distracted. I will say we are all still floating on Cloud 9 and Lindsey and Bryan have returned from their honeymoon. And- these plates...they keep spinning only by the grace of God.

 Let me back up and tell you a few highlights starting with the fabulous Bridal Luncheon. Hosted by a dear friend of ours in honor of Lindsey and her seven Bridesmaids, we enjoyed an unforgettable blessing. The luncheon was at Ouisie's Table, a boutique style restaurant on San Felipe, in the Galleria area of Houston. Lindsey's Bridesmaids, house party and a few ladies who mean the world to Lindsey and I, sat around a large square table adorned with beautiful fresh flowers in the center. Not only did joy fill our hearts but the room and the ambiance of the cottage style patio was simply perfect for such a celebration.

Before the lunch MeMaw, Lindsey's grandmother, said a precious prayer giving thanks for all the Lord has done in Lindseys life over the past 26 years. She then asked the Lord's favor on Lindsey and as she steps into the role of wife and as she and Bryan keep Christ the center of thier marriage and of thier home.

Guest had a choice of Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast, Greek Salad and Salmon or Chicken Salad Sandwich Ouisie's style. The meal was finished off with a dessert sampler which included Black Magic Cake, Lemon Ice Box Pie & Tres Leches. Delish! The clear glasses around the table seem to complete the decor with it's mint leaves dipped into the pink raspberry tea. Wow! What a treat! What a perfect way to kick off the wedding weekend- and so girlie!

After the luncheon, most of the Bridesmaids went to Josie's Nails (our favorite nail place) for mani-pedi's before getting dressed for the rehearsal and then the rehearsal dinner.

My friend Alisa and I went to Houston Bridal to pick up the pressed wedding dress and then finally checked into the suite at the Omni Houston. Much to my surprise, (another God thing) since we booked over the agreed amount of rooms, we were given the Presidential Suite and....OMG!!!!! It was beautiful and perfect for the girls to get hair and make-up done and get dressed in on the wedding day.

Bruce had actually checked in before me and brought snacks and drinks for all the girls to enjoy while they were getting pampered the next day. Bruce and I decided to sit down with each other and enjoy the calmness of the hour; we knew if we didn't ,we wouldn't have another opportunity for at least 48 hours. It was a special time. Lindsey and Holly got to the hotel about 4:30 and it was time to get dressed for the rehearsal.

 The wedding ceremony was at our church, which is also the church where Lindsey and Bryan met-Second Baptist, Woodway. The Sanctuary is beautiful and very traditional as far as Baptist churches. The steeple seems to pierce the blue sky its so tall, the columns on the front, the white double doors, the long single aisle and the organ pipes across the back wall of the sanctuary-beautiful!

We had a few things to take to the church that evening to decorate the foyer; wrought iron lantern stands (designed and made by Bruce of course), several additional lanterns, candles, and for those of you who know me -a few accessories to add a unique touch as our guest entered the church. As we drove up to the church most of the wedding party were already standing on the steps of the church waiting to go in. Poor Bruce hates to be late AND he got so nervous! Poor thing got out of his car but his thumb decided to stay. Ouch! So sad! Yes, he slammed his thumb in the car door and it locked! Poor Father of the Bride. It hurt so bad but he held back the agony and went on. Bless his heart.

Rehearsal was fun. It was surreal seeing what we had planned for months becoming a reality. After going over details and placement of Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, flower girls, etc... several times, everyone headed over to Willie G's where the Oler's (grooms parents) hosted a wonderful rehearsal dinner. Seriously...I don't know how it can get any better. The food was so good and there was so much of it! There were maybe 70 people, wedding party, Juli and Chris who sang at the wedding, the flower girls, Jr. bridesmaid and their parents, friends of the Oler's, the house party girls and the ushers, some family members who were helping with the weddings, my mom, Bernard and sister- it was a joyful celebration! The video of Lindsey and Bryan growing up was a real treat to watch and of course brought tears to my eyes. In those moments I realized just how fast life goes by. For every memory, we are thankful to God. The words that were spoken that night were priceless! I was so proud of Holly; she gave a great toast and blessing to the Bride and Groom that she had been so nervous about for weeks. Blake the best man and brother of the groom did a great job too! One of the groomsmen stood up to give a blessing and his words were precious and so God honoring. To tell you the truth, it felt like a fairy tale-but it was real and a sweet spot for sure!

The fellowship and food were great. After a late night, I was actually able to sleep. Saturday morning the groom, groomsmen, ushers and the dads left early to play golf. Lindsey, Holly and I were the only ones in the suite and we had room service bring us breakfast. Okay...now the nerves are setting in. We couldn't eat and let's just say it was a good thing the suite had three bathrooms!!! Those two hours-just me and my girls went by so fast. Before we knew it the Bridesmaids were beginning to show up and we knew soon we'd be Going to the chapel and Lindsey and Bryan were gonna get married! We played that song several times during the day. So Fun!!!

Our hair stylist JoEllen, from Stonegate Salons did an amazing job creating the perfect hair for Lindsey and her Bridesmaids. Then to top it all off, Madison Lee, our precious friend who has incredible make-up techniques from years of pageants and more recently classes taken from the Pretty Face-completed the look with the perfect touch. These girls are all gorgeous inside and out but the make-up Madison applied just enhanced their beauty. We are so grateful for both these ladies who spent the whole day with us.

Okay...I'll stop for now. Next....the Wedding!!!!
Friend me on face book if you want to see some pictures. Of course it will be months before we get the pictures from the photographer (JP Beato), but friends are posting snapshots.

The reason I mention the names of the places we ate, stayed and who did our hair and make-up...I highly recommend all of them if you live in the Houston area. Great food, service, great people and now a lasting memory for our family.

To think...I'm planning another wedding and writing a teen Bible study with a manuscript due December 30th! I told you...the Lord is my strength and my plate spinner.

Until next time,

The Mother of the Bride(s)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A sweet surprise!

Sunday evening, 6 days before the Wedding Day we experienced an unexpected precious moment; a cherry on top blessing from our Heavenly Father.

While helping Lindsey put her Bridesmaid gifts together we were chatting about the week ahead. As you would expect all the big things are taken care of however, this is the week for those last minute details.   Hearing our conversation, Caleb (Holly's fiancee), asked if there was anything he could do to  help. "Actually there is." I said. "While we're waiting on the chili to get ready, you can help me put ribbon on these cards." Much to my surprise within minutes everyone was around the kitchen table tying tiny brown ribbon on the Keep in Touch cards. Bruce and Bryan cut the ribbon, Caleb and Holly tied it on the cards, and I trimmed up the edges while Lindsey finished her gift bags. We were talking, laughing, going over the details of the week when Bruce (Father of the Bride) said "Lindsey honey. I have a gift for you." As she pulled tissue paper out of the tiny black bag, she found a tiny black box. To her surprise they were tiny diamond earrings for her to wear on her wedding day. After hugs and sweet words were exchanged, dad motioned for us to circle up. "Let's pray for God's strength and peace as we begin the busy week ahead and for Lindsey and Bryan", he said.

Can you believe the task I had been putting off would be just the task the Lord used to bless me to tears? The family circle of prayer was priceless! In those moments everything was put in the right perspective. God created marriage and He loves to bless His children! As my tears fell to the floor, I praised the Lord for all He had done. Our girls have both been blessed with wonderful godly men and we are gaining two wonderful sons! The greatest blessing...we all love Jesus!!!!!!!

Those who walk with the Lord, who trust Him and surrender their lives to Him-see Him at work in their lives. While our arms were around each other it was as though God's arms were around us. I have to wonder, can God continue to out do Himself in the blessing department? Yes He can and yes He will!

The verse below is my prayer for Lindsey and Bryan. As they begin a family of their own, as they become an extension of ours, and most importantly an extension of the family of God- may the Lord bless them abundantly.

...so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3: 17-19

Tears of Joy,
The Mother of the Bride