After 3 years, 1 month and 14 days of dating (half of which was long distance) the day finally came that I would become my best friend’s wife and change my last name!
An 11AM wedding on December 20th 2014! And an outdoor wedding at that! But, it was Central California so all was well!
The morning DRAGGED by!
My bridesmaids brought me some breakfast and Chrystal did my hair. Finally, my Aunt, who had made my dress, came up to help me do all those buttons up and my grandmother’s string of pearls was clasped around my neck.
Out we went for some pictures. Jeremiah and I would not see each other before the ceremony but we could get some of them done early! It was an overcast, yet pleasant morning that made for perfect lighting!
I still vividly remember my Grandpa coming up and giving me a big hug with a cup of coffee in his hand. Grandpa always had a cup of coffee if there was coffee to be had! Thankfully he had a steady hand!
Eleven O’Clock finally rolled around, guests were seated down the field on old wooden pews that once filled the little camp chapel, Uncle Craig played hymns on his guitar, I held my Pa’s arm and my bride’s maids were lined up in front of us waiting for their cue. From where I stood I could make out Jeremiah and his grooms men making their way across the field to their place.
This spot was where I always pictured my wedding taking place. My home. Below the hill with a cross standing at its peak. Surrounded by people I love. Today it was a reality.
My maid of honor reached the front, picked up her violin and began to play.
Papa and I reached the aisle and stopped there.
My Father-in-law stood with Jeremiah at the front and explained how a wedding depicted Christ and His love for the Church and how one day God the Father will tell His Son to go claim His bride and we will forever be with the Lord!
Turning to Jeremiah, he said, “Son, go get your bride!”
Jeremiah ran down the isle and there my Papa gave me to him.
Together we walked to the front where my new dad prayed for us and together all joined to sing the Doxology
Praise God from whom all blessing flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above all heavenly hosts
Praise Father Son and Holy Ghost
Papa them came to give us a wedding charge.
Jeremiah and I turned to talk to our guests about how we invited them to witness our vows and we want them to take the responsibility to hold us accountable to our promises.
We made our vows to each other, until death do us part.
I was slightly excited and when we exchanged our rings and I whispered to Jeremiah to make sure I was putting it on the correct hand. Of course we were miked so everyone heard and chuckled.
Before God and our witnesses we were pronounced man and wife.
Jeremiah kissed me for the very first time.
We thought it was time to make our grand exit but my Papa had other plans and pulled out a large family Bible and had our attendance sign as witnesses of our vows.
Jeremiah then picked me up and carried me down the isle! He had never scooped me up before so I clang on to him for dear life. He assured me that he was strong enough to easily carry me and that I could loosen up!
Finally, I was Mrs. Shively!
I am so thankful for the man God gave me and for how well he loves me as Jesus loves the Church!
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!