Sunday, September 4, 2011

Marriage: On holding the bouquet

In my mind being a member of a bridal party means more than just holding a bouquet full of vibrant and sweet-smelling flowers while wearing a pretty dress; it also means helping create memories for the bride and groom as well as witnessing the vows made and helping the couple hold fast to those promises during their every-day life together.

But I must admit -- when my sister asked me to be her matron of honor in her wedding, I was totally psyched about two totally wedding-related things: planning and executing the bachlorette party and writing the toast/after-dinner speech.

These words for my little sister and new brother in law literally fell from my fingers and onto the page as one of my most effortless writings ever, so I'm documenting them here as a virtual memory from their beautiful day {with a sneak peak of some pictures}.


Mike, I have to let you in on a little something.

This isn’t the first time I’ve helped my little sister get all dolled up for her wedding.


We’ve done this before.

When Jill was about four years old, she married the little red-headed neighbor boy we all adored at least four times during the course of one lazy, small-town summer.

Lucky me, today, makes the for the fifth time I’ve helped my baby sister slip into a beautiful white, flowy dress, had the pleasure of brushing the ringlets of curl surrounding her sun-kissed face away from her blue eyes.

We’ve come a long way from your backyard weddings, haven’t we Jill?

Rain rain

We’ve walked together through quite a few different seasons of life in so many different strides – as baby sister with an older doting sister, as older bossy babysitting sister and younger always and forever talking and talking and talking younger sister, as teenagers years apart in phases of life and finally, as adults – roommates who then grew into sister friends – my favorite by far.

While life has taken you far from your farm-town roots and you’ve grown and stretched into a lovely woman, you’re still so much the same as when we were growing up.

You’re strikingly beautiful from the inside out.

You’re personable and friendly – and you still talk and talk and talk …. And talk.

Song saturates your life like music weaves into the lines of a musical.

You’re loyalty and dedication to family has remained steadfast, acting as anchors of love to those you hold most dear.

And your silliness permeates even the longest of days, often bringing lightness to heavy situations.

I know you well, sister. And I know you’ll take bring these qualities into your marriage, lacing the ribbons of your personality into the threads of your unity with Mike.

The countdown

You’ll softly beckon his attention with your beauty – the kind that makes itself known through the curves of your body and the sparkling of your blue eyes as well as the type that flows from the innermost parts of your heart.

You’ll fill the silence of your home with conversation, and most likely, you’ll remember to lend a listening ear at least sometimes.

You’ll sing into your memories songs that will and take you both back to all the firsts and middles and ends and each moment in between, giving melody and harmony and lyric to the movie of your entwined life.

You’ll bind your loyalties to the family you’re making while blending together different lives and people you both hold dear.

And you’ll induce smiles– the sprawling kind during the toughest of days, when Mike is weary and needs to breathe out the heaviness of a hard day with laughter.

I know this in the depths of my core after living with you in the same house as kids and as adults. I’ll always hold close the time we spent as adults living under the same roof – happily soaking in the nostalgia of our living room dance parties to Ice Ice Baby with the boys and our early morning coffee dates in my living room.

So here we are, standing at the edge of your new life on your wedding day, celebrating your union with the man of your dreams we’ve all come to adore.

In my mind, it’s so far and yet so close to the backyard weddings of our childhood.

Shoes bride

But this one is different by far: this time you really become one flesh, one heart with the man whose heart you’ve captured.

It’s our last wedding day hurrah for you, sister.

But please know that as you wind your heart strings together and become one, I – and each of the people who’ve loved you along the way – will support your new unity and lovingly lend you both plenty of ribbons of support to tie into your new life together as husband and wife.

Congratulations, Mike and Jill. I love you.