I promised I’d write an entry with more details about the wedding, and here it is. As I said before, lots of my extended family came in from out of town. We had three grandparents, two uncles, two aunts, two cousins, and a bunch of other family and friends. It was great to spend time with so many wonderful people that we don’t get to see very often.

After the jump you’ll find the rest of the story and the longest post I’ve ever written!

Matt (the groom, and my new brother!) arrived Wednesday night. Becca was supposed to pick Matt up at the airport, but unbeknownst to her, my parents orchestrated a crazy deal where our family and a bunch of their Sunday school class friends and some of Becca’s friends all got to the airport about 90 minutes before Matt’s flight arrived. We waited as close to the gate as we could. When Becca got to the airport (much closer to the actual arrival time of Matt’s flight, of course), we saw her walking down the hall toward us and we all sang “Going to the Chapel” and waved signs and banners that my mom and dad had made. Then we all waited with Becca for Matt to arrive, at which point we did the singing and obnoxious sign waving all over again. Crazy, but fun.

Most of the extended family arrived Thursday afternoon and that evening everyone got together at my parents’ house and we all had a tasty dinner that Joy prepared. It was the first time almost everyone from out of town got to see Charis, so that was a lot of fun.

Friday morning Joy and Becca had their nails done and I stayed at home with Charis and had lots of family visitors over to our house to see her. We took a lot of pictures and video of Charis with her great-grandparents and great-aunts and great-uncles, which was really neat.

Friday evening was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, of course. My family has this thing where my mom makes a slideshow set to music for the rehearsal dinner. The slideshow has a bunch of pictures of the bride and groom when they were little kids and then it tells the story of their relationship and how they met. Becca being the last child and the only girl, the slideshow was about twice as long as the ones my mom did for my brother and for me. :-)

Saturday was the big day. I had the blessing of driving Joy, Becca, and Erin (a bridesmaid) to get their hair done. It was very special to be able to see Becca on the morning of her wedding. I know I’ll remember that for a long time. I fiddled around Best Buy and Circuit City for a bit while the ladies had their hair done and then I picked them up and drove them over to the church. Then I went back home to drop Charis off with Joy’s mom, who was kind enough to watch her for the rest of the day while Joy and I got ready for the wedding. On the way back home, the “check engine” light came on in my car, so I had to move all my stuff over to Joy’s car and drive her car back to the church to get ready with the guys.

So, back at the church after the car switch craziness, I had lunch with the groom and the rest of the groomsmen and then we all got dressed. The groomsmen played a little frisbee (in our tuxedos) while Matt had his pictures taken, then we all joined him for group pictures.

At that point, Matt had one last errand to run to get something for Becca, but he really wanted their going away car (a rented convertible) to be washed since it was kind of dirty. So, being responsible groomsmen, Tyson, my brother and I took the convertible to get it washed while Matt ran his errand with Ben. My brother (also named Matt, which is why I keep referring to him as “my brother” to avoid confusion with Matt-the-groom) had a coupon for the carwash place down by the mall, so we hopped on the interstate and headed down that direction. Once we got to the carwash place, I noticed a message on my cell phone. Uh-oh. Right then it dawned on me that after they take pictures of the groom they take pictures of the bride. Do you see where this is going? After they take pictures of the bride, they take pictures of her with her family. The only problem was that her two brothers were miles away getting a car washed. Just about then the car came out of the carwash and was ready for drying. There were a few cars ahead of us in the drying line, so we asked for towels and dried it off ourselves (again, in our tuxedos) and then took off for the church. My brother is not as, um, obsessed with following the speed limit as I am, so we got back to the church very quickly. How quickly you might ask? Well, the rental car had a little electronic display for the average fuel economy. When we left for the carwash, the average was 34.9 miles per gallon. When we got back to the church the average was 22.3 miles per gallon. And that’s over a distance of less than ten miles. You could say we were moving rather quickly.

Back at the church we made it just in time for pictures with Becca, and she didn’t even know we were almost missing. Well, she’ll know when she reads this, but she didn’t know at the time. Sorry about that, Becca! I still have no idea how Matt and I both spaced that one out, but at least your car was clean!

After pictures with Becca it was getting close to time for the wedding, so all of the groomsmen started seating people. We had a little trouble getting everyone seated in a timely manner because lots of people were chatting outside the doors to the sanctuary, but it all worked out in the end. After everyone was seated, the guys were all waiting at the side door until it was time to walk in. Then Ruthie started singing the special music that was the last thing before the wedding started. I remembered that Ruthie had mentioned during the rehearsal that the song was approximately 4 minutes long. I mentioned that to the rest of the guys, and then we all made a mad dash for the bathroom and returned just in time to walk in on queue. Perfect.

The wedding ceremony itself was wonderful. My sister looked absolutely beautiful walking down the aisle with my dad, and you could tell that Matt was simply enthralled. It was really neat to see. Other than my wife being the party primarily responsible for crying during the wedding, everything went very well. :-)

The reception was a lot of fun. Food, dancing, and fellowship with great friends and family. What more could you ask for? My most vivid memory from the reception, though, was realizing my sister looked at least 5 years older than she had that very morning. Before the wedding she was still my little sister, but now she suddenly displayed the grace and beauty of a grown woman. I saw in her something I’d never seen before, and it was an astounding, precious thing.

Joy and I made it home from the reception pretty late, but we still made it up for the early service at church on Sunday morning. After the service we went to a family brunch at the house of some of my parents’ friends. The brunch was great and it was a blessing to get to spend more time with family and friends. After the brunch my brother had arranged a boating extravaganza for the afternoon. He had two yachts from his company and we took a cruise on the Tennessee river and then shared dinner together at the boat house at the marina. After dinner Charis was pretty wiped out after four days of craziness, so Joy and I said goodbye to everyone and headed home.

Now Becca and Matt are down in Florida, getting settled in their new home. We miss them, but we know that God is with them, and he’ll watch over them in our absence. Becca, I’m proud of you and honored to have you as my sister. Matt, I’m thrilled to have you as a brother. I couldn’t ask for anyone better to be my sister’s husband. Congratulations and blessings to you both!

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