Last Saturday we travelled to Bellevue, Iowa for my cousin Breanna's wedding at St. John's Lutheran Church. After a long ride and an adventure in Dubuque, we followed our directions into town until we saw a beautiful steeple. Our search over, we parked, surprised at how many cars were there already and worried we were late. We thought the wedding was scheduled for 2 p.m., but at only 1:30 we were nearly the last ones hurrying into the church!
The sanctuary (pictured above) was beautiful; it's lovely white arches looked like a splendid setting for the wedding. As we took our seats I smiled at another red-headed lady seated; we didn't expect to recognize many of our relatives since we don't see this part of our family often, but at least our rutilistic genes are strong!
What really surprised us though as we looked around the room (and I shot a few photos) was that we didn't recognize anyone at all, not even the beaming groom (whom I had seen photos of but never met in person). Another puzzle to us were all the statutes along the wall, which didn't seem quite in the Lutheran tradition.
Curiosity and alarm got the best of us, and just as the groomsmen and bridesmaids were about to march in I asked a photographer beside me, "Is this Breanna's wedding?" He gave me a confused look. "Is this the Lutheran church?" Papa asked. "No!" he replied. It was Amanda and Clint's wedding! We jumped out of our seats and scurried out a side door! We were wedding crashers!
We hurried to find St. John's (above). It had an even more impressive spire, and the interior of the church was decorated with beautiful stained glass windows. Inside the church I recognized the right groom (Travis) whom I had seen in photos, the bride's brother and parents (Uncle Jack and Aunt Diane), and Aunt Linda the family genealogist who adds spice to everyone's lives.
The parents of the groom, a glowing Aunt Diane, the bridesmaids, and the groomsmen marched in, followed by Uncle Jack with my cousin Breanna who was smiling radiantly. Portions of the Bible were read, the wedding vows were said, and then the pastor took a rope and had them literally tie the knot around their outstretched wrists. The pastor then demonstrated how the rope can come untied, and each time it does they would need to tie it again. Travis decided to solve the problem once and for all by tying a double-knot.
A soloist sang a beautiful rendition of "May the Lord Bless You and Keep You," and soon everyone left the sanctuary. We were handed bubble-blowers and prepared an ambush of bubbles to meet the bride and groom on their departure.
Four planes flew over the church in formation several times, which was very special since Travis is a pilot and Breanna is studying for her pilot's license. Congratulations Breanna and Travis! We pray the Lord will bless you with every happiness in Him. Saturday, July 26th, was a day of weddings I will never forget!