The Reverend

15 Aug

See that smiling man waiting at the end of the aisle?

Dad at the end of the aisle

That’s the man who will officiate my wedding ceremony — though officiate seems like an inadequate word. Not “marry us,” either, since Sweets and I will be marrying each other. That smiling man, though, will be smiling at me and Sweets when we stand in front of our family and friends and join our lives. He will lead us as we make our vows, and he is someone who has led me through all of my life — he’s my Dad.

That’s right, Sweets and I have asked Reverend Dad to marry us (for lack of a better word)!

I freely admit that I struggled for a long time with this decision. All of my life my father has been marrying people — he’s a minister, after all, and he’s presided over many family weddings, and family friends and church members, friends of my siblings, and countless other couples beginning their married lives. But somehow I never got around to thinking about what my wedding would be — what it would be like if my father were to be the minister at my wedding. I always imagined he’d be my “Dad” at my wedding, and I didn’t get any further.

And so when Sweets and I decided to get married, I realized suddenly that someone would need to marry us, but I didn’t know if it would be Dad. I asked around the family, wondering what my sister and my brother thought — if they’d ever imagined Dad would do their weddings one day, or if they thought he really wanted to marry us.  I asked Sweets if he had feelings about who should marry us. He said he knew it meant more to me than him, and he’d be fine with whatever choice I made. And eventually, Dad said to me that he’d be fine with whatever I wanted — that it was my wedding and he’d be there for me in whatever way I wanted.

And then when Sweets and I decided on a venue (more on that when we’ve signed a contract!), I really started to imagine what my wedding ceremony would be like. And I realized that I couldn’t imagine anyone but Dad standing in front of Sweets and me, leading us in making our vows.

When I finally asked him earlier this week, he pounced in with a “YES! I would love to!” before I could even finish the request. And I think he understood what had kept me from asking him sooner. “Sarah,” he said, “I don’t think we’ll be missing out on the Father-Daughter thing in any way on your wedding day. You don’t need me to walk you down the aisle.  And I don’t believe in all that ‘the father giving the daughter away’ stuff — you and George are giving yourselves to each other.”

So, I’ll walk toward Sweets and my Dad, maybe with my strong and beautiful mother walking at my side. I know it will be very special and emotional and meaningful for all of us.

Ali and Mitch and Reverend Dad, July 23, 2010

And congrats and happy wishes to Ali and Mitch, the latest couple to marry each other in front of my Dad.

Photos by Stacia Photos


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