NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Monday, June 10th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. June is the most popular month for weddings. Some couples spend months, even years, planning the day.
But commentator Kim Henderson is back now to tell us about one wedding that only took a few weeks of planning.
KIM HENDERSON, COMMENTATOR: On the day the invitation came in the mail, I immediately texted the sender.
We’ll be there. A five-week engagement? You guys are crazy.
My friend, quick to the draw, shot off her response.
Mothers of brides don’t have time for long texts.
Later, I learned of their planning mantra by phone. “They want a simple wedding. We’re going to keep it simple. Very simple.”
I thought to myself, yeah, right. So how are you going to do that?
Well, my friend showed me how on the day of the wedding, starting in the church vestibule. There, she’d decorated with magnolia leaves, gathered from someone’s yard. Further inside, a spread of plain white candles romanced center stage. The look even continued on my friend’s face. It was clearly evident when she entered the packed sanctuary wearing something you can’t buy or fake—a no-stress smile.
The simple spilled over into regular old Sunday suits on the guys up front. The groom was securely flanked on one side by his father, who was the officiating minister, and on the other side, a set of brothers—his and hers.
About that time, two—and only two—bridesmaids descended, causing some bow-tied boys sitting in front of us to turn around for a better view. Their watching turned to gaping when the bride entered the scene and started making her way toward her man.
Soon a simple lacey train—no beading, sequins or applique—trailed beside us. It was part of modest dress that held no designer label within its seams. It was, instead, the work of her mother’s hands.
(Note to self: You have a remarkable friend.)
Meanwhile, the lights dimmed, putting the spotlight where it should be—on the vow-making. The bride’s dad, who’s also a preacher, started with something he calls wedding pictures. He explained the Biblical symbolism behind a groom coming for his clothed-in-white bride.
Then, making a conclusion about marriage done right, he referred to happily-ever-afters. “This is no fairy tale,” came the proclamation. “This is the gospel.”
That father was followed by the other who spoke solid words of laying down your life and cherishing what’s important, instead of chasing after perfect houses and perfect jobs. The minister put it plainly to his son and new daughter-in-law: “If you truly love each other, you will cherish each other.”
And in the candle glow, soft and dreamy, another young couple covenanted before a crowd to do what they are to do until death does them part.
I must admit that my eyes couldn’t help but grow misty at the sight of them, a pair so set on simple, now taking on one of the most complicated quests of their lives.
After that, we walked over to the fellowship hall and ate cake made by a friend of the bride’s family. Then we watched the giddy newlyweds depart for parts unknown—but just until they went back to work Monday morning.
In the end, my friend and her family could say that they did stay true to their mantra. And they did it in a time when online nuptial source The Knot says such affairs cost an average of $33,931.
Simple indeed. Simply beautiful.
For WORLD Radio, I’m Kim Henderson.