Those aren’t generally related conditions, I realize, but in my case they’re very much connected! Here’s the deal: my dear friend Renee asked me to be the pseuso-photographer for the initial stages of the day on which her daughter Tabitha became Tabitha Fultz. The “real” photographer came a bit later, as he was being paid by the hour! It was an honor I took very seriously, ie. with great trepidation and nervousness, as Clark and I are just now beginning to develop a deeper understanding of each other! Clark is my new Rebel for those of you still not in the loop. The “honor” resulted in roughly 300 pictures taken over the course of 5 hours, all of which I’d LOVE to share with you! But in a burst of uncharacteristic generosity, I asked the bride, minutes before her grand debut, if she’d rather I not publish too many of her wedding photos before she and Ryan have the chance to publish their own, and she thought that would be a great idea. Which leaves me with a condition that has my creative intestines in a knot and my fingers hovering alarmingly close to the “select all” feature of my 300 pictures! BUT I’ll be good despite of the cramping in my creative juices…oy, the pain! “That which does not kill you makes you stronger…” Yadda, yadda, yadda. That may work for others, but I can assure you that it’s killing me, yet there’s nothing “stronger” going on anywhere–certainly not in those place that most severely need the strengthening. ie. my abs and glutes!
So here’s all I can do. I will submit to you just one pic of the bride and her maids (with matron Michelle Tebbe thrown in as a bonus) and one picture of Ryan and his mates. And that, my friends, will have to be all for now! I know a bunch of you are desperate for all the pictures you can get, so please just keep your eyes and Tab’s and Ryan’s various blogs and they’ll have pictures up QUICKLY, I’m sure!
I was so proud of Renee. She carried herself with the elegance, pride, deep joy and courage of a mother seeing her baby-daughter married. To me, she radiated as much as the bride did! I’m convinced that Tab’s readiness to marry Ryan at such a young age is a direct consequence of the fierce commitment to love and the profound well of relational wisdom she witnessed in Renee. There wasn’t a moment in the festivities when I wondered, as I often do, if this would all be laughable in time. No–Tab and Ryan know exactly what they’re doing, and it’s with clear eyes and steadfast hearts that they prepare for their future together. Steve and Renee, I can’t tell you how precious it is that you have gifted your daughter not only with the example of your own extraordinary marriage, but also with the self-confidence and God-awareness that allowed her to take this enormous step with assurance and clairvoyance. You are rare and wise, indeed, and I know that this marriage was bathed in prayer from the moment Tab was born until the minutes preceding the processional down the aisle to meet her husband-to-be. What a GIFT you have given her through your parenting…
There was so much serenity, joy and intelligence in the ceremony and the reception afterwards, exemplified most concretely by the beautiful toasts of the best men (there were two) and matron of honor. And BFA was in every aspect of the wedding, as the bride and groom met and dated there. Even the recessional had overtones of a BFA grad, as every pairing left the stage with a whimsical, fun and unique flair all their own. Josh even got into the spirit of it as he swung his mom into his arms to “escort” her down the aisle! (Sorry for the blurry pic…he took me by surprise!)
There’s something unique about a BFA wedding–and it’s not just the international dating that usually accompanies the courting! It’s the kind of event that draws former students and staff across the world to a small town like Florence, Kentucky, and a great part of the joy of the union is the joy of the RE-union when dozens fly, drive and hitch-hike to be together for the joining-of-lives. Below is a picture of the entire BFA contingency present for the nuptuals. Can you believe how many came?! (Even Coach Foster was there–I love that man!)
And below is a picture of just the alumni, from former flute teachers (Laura formerly-Thomas) to classmates and sports teammates. The bride and groom sure are loved!
It was brief…very brief…but the fun was intense enough that it will continue to spread through the synapses of our minds and the cells of our hearts. These, my friends, are special people! And the sampling below is only a small reflection of the wealth represented among the wedding guests.
So it’s with smiling innards that I head home to mom’s Canada this morning, grateful once again for love. And not just for the romantic variety of love that brings gems like Tab and Ryan together, but for the type of love that lives in enduring friendships and proves itself in miles traveled.