28 April 2011

51 Weeks [in which there is kissing]

Now we have come to the end: reader, I married him.

(I'm sorry, I just had to say it. If anyone should be allowed to use that line in her wedding day story, it's an English teacher who majors on British Victorian literature.)

On the morning of our wedding, I got up fairly early, as our plan was to take pictures at 10:00 and so leave time for lunch and relaxation before the wedding at 2:00. My youngest brother Mark woke up around the same time. We spent some quiet minutes together, making breakfast and talking. It was odd, eating fried eggs and toast in the big echoing dining room, knowing that I would never do this quite the same way again.

Then the morning's business got underway, namely beautification. My aunt worked wonders with a curling iron and hairspray, while a friend from church applied makeup.

This was my reaction when I saw my hair. (I didn't know it could get that fluffy.)

Of course, I wasn't the only person getting ready. Here are my maid of honor (my best friend since babyhood) and my younger sister, who was a bridesmaid.

Once I was all dolled up, I drove with our photographers Adalie and Shannon to Pheasant Run Bed and Breakfast, where the reception would be later that day. I didn't feel nervous at all, partially because the day had already been planned out so well, and partially because I knew that Jared was waiting for me at the bed and breakfast, and what could possibly make me nervous about that? I was going to see my man!

When we arrived, I asked the girls to wait outside for fifteen minutes; Jared and I had decided to have our first kiss that morning, without the entire world (well, 120 wedding guests) awkwardly watching. It was a very smart decision. And that's all I'll say about that.

Then the photographers came in and . . .

. . . there was rather a lot of this. I don't think we were very well-behaved photography subjects. (Sorry ladies.) All we wanted to do was smooch, though in our defense, we'd been waiting a while for it.

At least they didn't have to remind us to smile.

Our wedding party rocked. Six siblings and two best friends. We had a hard time getting any decent formal portraits, but we did take a lot of laughter shots, which I actually prefer. They capture the joy of the morning more accurately than posed smiles.

Remember in an earlier post, I commented on the difference between our families? The two pictures below illustrate my point perfectly.

Yes. Well. Despite the hullabaloo above, we all managed to take some decent pictures and scoot off to our hiding places before the ceremony began. We ate lunch (gosh it was good). Nerves finally begin to strike towards the end of lunchtime as I realized that on the other side of the door, all our guests had arrived and the prelude was winding down. Almost time.

Our moms and all of my bridesmaids spent several minutes praying for me. Then we went to line up outside of the sanctuary.
As I took my dad's arm, I started to shake. It was a bit surreal, and on the verge of terrifying, that I was actually going to walk down the aisle in front of everybody, stand at the front of the church, and enter the most important covenant I'd ever make on earth. Even though I was more excited for this than anything in my life, there was that inevitable moment when I thought, Good Lord, what am I doing?!

I felt dizzy. I felt, for the first and last time, unsure.

Then we started walking and the fright dropped away. Nothing but happiness remained. . .

Because this guy was waiting for me at the end of the aisle.

Everything went according to plan. To this day I cannot think of a single thing I would have changed about our wedding ceremony. It was beautiful, filled with Scripture and music. I was miraculously able to pay attention the whole time and can still remember what our pastor said in his short sermon. We wrote our own vows because we wanted to make sure that certain things were incorporated, but we also used a lot of the traditional language, particularly for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health, as long as we both shall live. I have always loved that passage, and really, you can't improve on it.

At the end, we walked out to Marvin Gaye's Ain't No Mountain High Enough-- it was a fun way to kick off the rest of the evening.

So. Party time.


When planning our wedding, the very first thing we decided was to serve a chocolate cake with raspberries. Obviously, we have our priorities.

(The second thing decided: "No garter toss.") 


Music played by talented friends, poetry and prayer, swing dancing, beautiful flowers, abundant laughter, finally becoming Jared's wife. (Not to mention the stuffed mushrooms.) Truly the most perfect day of my life.

But in the end we had to say goodbye. To Charleston and beyond!

Thanks for sticking around for this extremely long story! It took a lot more time to tell than I anticipated. :) But it was incredibly fun for me to remember these things and put them into writing, so I'm glad that you all enjoyed it.

The End.


  1. Thanks. You've blessed a lot of people by sharing your story. It was wonderful to share in it in some small way.

  2. Beautiful pictures, bride, and wedding!

    Also, good job on saving the kisses so long. We started earlier and it was so much trouble keeping them in check. I'm totally recommending to my kids (and everyone else) your method, or at least delaying as long as they can. =)

  3. Matthew Taylor30 April, 2011 02:12

    Kissing? Seriously?

  4. Yes, Matthew, pretty seriously. ;)

  5. Loved the story. So fun.

  6. A YLCF.org reader sent me over to your blog, and I loved reading your story! Would you mind if we link to your story at www.ylcf.org/courtship-stories? If you'd rather not, you can just drop us a line via our contact form. Thank you for considering us!

  7. I just wanted to say that I loved reading your story. You have a way of putting words down on paper (blog paper that is). I'm really happy for you guys. :)

    Funny how each story differs from the other. Mine was completely different than I had imagined but I wouldn't trade it for any other.

  8. Douglas J. Bender06 January, 2012 22:59


    I found your story from www.ylcf.org/courtship-stories . There was a list of five "Latest Courtship Stories" near the top of that site, on the left, and I debated briefly about which one to click on (I only figured that I would read one, at least initially). Yours was listed at the top, but I generally try to not choose the first thing presented (it's just a thang). However, I sought God's "hint" as I looked at the five options, and I felt drawn to yours. I convinced myself it was because of your name, "Rebekah" (with connotations of God's hand in the joining of Rebekah and Isaac). And so yours it was.

    That was a VERY enjoyable story (I read all of your entries). Nicely written, and very interesting. You could make a movie (TV, or theatrical) about it, I imagine. (If you do, may I request that you not have Jennifer Aniston or Sarah Jessica Parker play you? They are both overexposed, in my opinion.) You could title the movie, "51 Weeks" (you're welcome for the insightful suggestion for the title :P ).

    Anyway, I hope things are going well for you and Jared. God bless you both.

    Douglas J. Bender
    (Elkhart, IN)

  9. I think I can guarantee that neither Ms Aniston nor Ms Parker will *ever* be playing me in a movie. :P

  10. i hopped on over to your blog from your comment on Kristen Leigh's blog (www.imkristensphotoblog)... i just had to read your love story! loooved it! i'm about to start recounting my own epic tale... hehe which should be quite fascinating. :) thanks for sharing your story!