On a warm Sunday morning in July of 2015, a whirlwind started.
Backtrack some more. To Mother’s Day 2014. That was when Andrew introduced us to his “+ 1” and Aiden officially became his girlfriend. Now back, again, to that July Sunday—when Andrew’s “girlfriend” became his fiancée. When “One Plus One” became an engaged Couple.
A flurry of planning, events and preparations followed – flowers, shopping for gowns, looking for venues, flowers, invitations, shopping for suits, flowers, Washington DC bachelor/bachelorette weekend, flowers and flowers.
August 14, 2016 – Wedding Day.
It could have been a set for a Disney princess-movie wedding scene. Flowers by Sally, inspired by the bride’s imagination, created a magical, fairytale garden. The groom stood straight and tall beside his best man and Pastor Uncle Louie. The bride’s-maids’ gowns glittered in the light in contrast to the crisp groom’s-men’s suits. The Bible and ring bearers and flower girls, all under the age of two (rather fitting for a pediatrician groom) were carried/escorted by their parents.
Enter the bride. She floated down the aisle, lovely in her princess-gown, on the arm of her father. The Prince approached to claim his Princess.
After their pledge of love and commitment to each other, before Yahweh and family and friends, Andrew and Aiden became One.
The beauty of the wedding involved many people. The tireless floral team led by Sally, Jayna and her assistant coordinators, Ray and John Mark for the video and slideshow presentations – all their efforts were for one goal. To make Aiden and Andrew’s dream wedding become reality. And they succeeded. The bride and groom showed their appreciation in a major way by throwing a magnificent party. Those of us who weren’t part of the behind-the-scenes production were privileged to take part in the festivities.
Amidst of the ceremony and celebration, a theme for the wedding and marriage began to develop. It was beautifully illustrated in John Mark’s toast to his brother.
“Centi’anni!” 100 years!
John Mark spoke on how the families of the bride and groom were founded over the past one hundred years by four couples. The grandparents who had hopes and dreams for their children and grandchildren set the stage for the joining of the two families. And even though they were not able to witness the blessed event – because of distance or separation from this earthly life—their legacy of faith and love would continue through the marriage of Andrew and Aiden.
It was clear that the foresight of two grandmothers played a major role in bringing the newlyweds together. According to Adane, Nanay Linda did her matchmaking through covert activities. And, as Julie shared, Mama Fe did hers through prayer and gently advising. They chose well for their grandchildren.
One hundred years. The foundation was laid. A good and strong foundation because of Uncle Along and Auntie Bay and Mom and Dad. They passed their faith and love to David and Ruthie who built on that solid foundation. And now they have passed their legacy to Andrew so that he can build his own story with Aiden.
“Unless Yahweh builds the house the builders labor in vain….” Psalm 127: 1 (NIV).
Ruthie and David: it is evident to all that your house was built by Yahweh, and He dwells among you and your family. Your children are definitely a heritage from Yahweh. And because of your faithfulness, Yahweh has blessed you with another addition to your “quiver.” (Psalm 127:5)
Andrew: You have truly honored your heritage – in your obedience to Yahweh and in your devotion to Him and to your family. In turn, Yahweh has blessed you with a beautiful bride who will love and honor you, will love and accept your family, and most of all will walk with you as you serve Yahweh.
Aiden: Thank you for loving our Andrew and making him the happiest of men. Because of the faith of your parents and grandparents, you have been blessed with a good, Yahweh-fearing husband who will, love, honor and protect you. Our entire family welcomes you and your family with open arms.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares Yahweh, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
To Andrew and Aiden: Live long and prosper.
And live “happily ever after” in the grace of Yahweh through our Savior Yeshua Messiah.