I’ve been writing this week about the sweet wedding day for Wes & Kendal, but I want to rewind for a bit and talk about the rehearsal and dinner on Friday evening. It was also full of emotion as our intimate group shared a lot of laughs and love together.
The wedding party and family started at the wedding venue where our wedding director (a.k.a. ROCK STAR) Andrea Loy carried us through the motions of the ceremony, putting everyone in their places, dealing with excitement and nerves and emotions and even standing in as pastor ( since Rev. Paul Waters lives in Wilmington, NC and could only be on hand for the actual ceremony).
Believe me… Andrea had quite the task working with our crew. First of all, she had bridesmaids doing what appeared to be a pee-pee dance the entire rehearsal. Why? Because we realized on Friday that the area all around the stage was infested with red ants…red BITING ants. There were so many, it looked like the ground was moving! You can imagine that it was quite the feat to stand still at all, much less concentrate on what was going on with the rehearsal. But, as we can testify that the Lord always provides exactly what we need, it so happened that one of the bridesmaids, Sarah Davis, is the daughter of Brick Davis…EXTERMINATOR. By Saturday, the ants were GONE. Thank the Lord for Brick and his ant spray! No pee-pee dances during the ceremony!
As if the red ants weren’t enough of a distraction from the rehearsal, Andrea also had these guys to deal with….
I’m not sure how many times I had to “strongly encourage” Caleb not to pick up one more rock, but let’s just say I was ready to body slam him. This was Caleb & Eli’s first time ever being in a wedding and their lack of “wedding etiquette” was quite apparent. Thankfully Andrea took the time to teach them both how not to drag ladies down the aisle to their seats, why they shouldn’t be fighting for guests, why the question “are you with the bride or groom” was important to ask guests, etc. I’m sure she needed some strong meds at the end of that night.
I had to laugh at Eli (as usual) when we were riding to the church before the rehearsal, he asked if he had to walk with anyone. “Yes, Eli, you’ll escort one of the bridesmaids out at the end of the ceremony.” Eli – “What?? Why can’t her boyfriend walk her out? And what if her boyfriend is big? He might punch me in the face!” That kid was as serious as a heart attack. And once Sarah’s boyfriend found out about Eli’s fears, he played Eli like a trumpet. It was hilarious.
After the fun rehearsal, we headed back to the Riggins’ house for the rehearsal dinner. This is the event I had cleaned for! Inside and out! We had filet mignon and grilled chicken along with twice baked potatoes, garden salad, and BBQ bread. Per the bride and groom’s request, we also had the small bottled Cokes on ice. Nothing better…except that we followed it all up with a choice of red velvet cake or pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream – compliments of Janice Allman…duh. Yep, we were all as full as ticks at the end of the evening.
And that’s when we all sat back and took turns offering our “love” for the bride and groom. Steve, the best man (yes, in every way) began the tears flowing as he explained that this is our second wedding with Wes. The first was April 14, 1995 when Steve asked a little toe-headed 5-year old boy to accept him into his life forever, promising to love and care for him always. And boy has he. As Wes would share later, Steve changed the course of his life by teaching him all he needed to know about sports, life, and especially about the Lord and being a good husband.
It’s funny; Steve said that when folks ask him how long he’s been married, Steve says, “17 years. And we have 3 sons, Wes is 22…” *scratching record” It’s great to see their faces when the math doesn’t quite add up. Lol!
Caleb & Eli even shared how much they love and appreciate their older brother and I shared – with scrunched up, ugly, cry-face – how blessed I am to be Wesley’s mother and what a joy that night was; seeing many prayers come to fruition as I had prayed for Wes’s wife for 22 years and here she was. ❤
I could never articulate all of the precious sentiments that were shared that night, but one thing truly struck me. Wes was reminding everyone that he had met Kendal three weeks before he deployed to Iraq. For the next six months, they could only depend on Skype and email to stay in touch. Wes said he could feel their connection slipping with his absence and asked me if I would reach out to Kendal for him. I remember well my many Starbuck’s dates with Kendal as we got to know each other, making her feel like a real part of our family. As Wes was sharing this memory, I spoke up and said, “So basically I dated Kendal for Wes until he could get back.” Haha! 🙂 Suffice it to say, my dating tactics worked because Wes picked up right where he left off when he returned and the rest, as they say, is history.
Wes & Kendal = perfect match. After dating for nearly three years, I’m pretty sure Kendal knows what she’s getting into. And, may I say, she fits into the Riggins life like a glove.