Weddings. We all have some expectation when we attend one. Usually, our expectations are met. My nephew, Bryan Kingrey, married the girl of his dreams on Saturday evening in Columbia South Carolina. The simple elegance of this wedding exceeded my expectations beyond imagination. It was in an old stable that had been converted into a small hunt club and was very rustic. When we went inside we were greeted by friends of the brides’ mother passing hors d’oeuvres on trays and a bar on either side offering beer and wine. We strolled into the living room area and warmed up by the fire. There were personalized stockings for Bryan and Anna and hung on the mantle. I remember thinking that I had not been to a wedding where I ate and drank before the ceremony. I saw my sister-in-law and she said it was about to start. I ask her where we were sitting and she informed me that we were all standing. Again, I was surprised. We all stood in groups in the ten or so horse stalls strung with hundreds of little white lights. We were welcomed by Anna’s father. Anna walked down the aisle to the lovely sound of a lone violinist playing, “Oh Holy Night.” The readings were all from the beautiful Christmas Story from the book of Luke. We prayed the Lord’s Prayer together aloud and after the exchange of vows and rings, Bryan proclaimed proudly during his response, “Absolutely, I will.” Everyone smiled out loud. We concluded with singing ‘Joy to the World’ together as they receded. I was tearfully overwhelmed by every part of it…Oh Holy Night, the verses of The Christmas story…which are my favorite Bible passages, sparkling lights, the simplicity of the Manger-like setting and young, true love. And the wooden sign, hung high and below a cross behind the make-shift alter read: Wise men still seek Him. Undoubtedly, the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever been to.
Bryan and Anna danced their first dance to this beautiful song.