This past weekend, my extraordinary, kind, intelligent, bright, warm, adventurous, curious, sweet, godly, loving, fun daughter Rachel Marianne christa taylor photo
Rachel is one of those people that does not follow the status quo in doing things how everyone else does them just because that is what everyone else has done. Take the music she wanted during her marriage ceremony. A couple of musicians had recommended certain “wedding songs” to her, but Rachel said to me, “what makes it a wedding song? One person used it? . . . that is just not for me. Too sappy.”
She instead found a song called “All I want is you,” which is actually from the movie Juno, and has an upbeat tune and words about love and it is a happy song not some sappy love song that will make everyone cry, she said to me. And, Courtney sang it just right.
Rachel was crystal clear on other things important to her for her wedding ceremony, such as having all of her brothers a part of her special day. Rachel’s 20 year old brother Ryan was one of the groom’s men and the twins were junior groomsmen and Augustin was the cute ring bearer.
And, Rachel did other things differently as well, like wanting both her dad and me to walk her down the aisle, rather than just her dad.
I love that about my daughter. Rachel is not afraid to think outside the box and to do things in a way that others have not before. She thinks things through, she asks questions, and she does not just do things because they have always been done that way.
I have always encouraged that questioning while raising my children, that wondering, that asking. And, now to see her exemplify this in her marriage ceremony planning is fun.
Oh, two days later, the whole day now is a blur. I kept telling myself to just enjoy this day. We hired the most amazing, talented, creative, positive people for the day (like Christa Taylor photographer and Garrett the videographer and Courtney Spears singer and Lisa Reiff pianist), and I wanted to just focus on my daughter getting married. It was her special day.
And special it was. First off — PRAISE to God for the weather. Seriously. It had been raining for days, weeks actually, and just the day before, it was non-stop raining and the morning of Rachel’s wedding day, I texted her at the Lakeshore where she and her bridesmaids were, and I asked how she is doing and she seemed a bit down.
She texted back, “It’s raining” and I said, “We will continue to pray. Just four hours, dear Lord. We would like four hours of a break in the weather.”
And He honored it! Clear skies were breaking through the clouds on the lake.
I thanked the Lord over and over and told people how the Lord honored our prayers to make this day for my only daughter so special. It was such a perfect day in so many ways.
From having our make up and hair done professionally at the Lakeshore Hotel to being able to observe from a distance the “first look of the bride and groom” near Oswego Lake, to the family photos outside the Academy Chapel, to the preparation time in a special area inside the chapel where we gathered with some who were involved with the wedding and a few close friends and family before the big moment.
It was Rachel and her fiancé Stefan’s special day.
When 5 p.m. finally arrived on Saturday March 31, 2012, the day we had been planning since last summer, I just prayed to the Lord, help me to savor every moment with my daughter, to take it all in. And, while walking down the aisle with my daughter on my right, I focused on Rachel and watched her watching others.
And I glanced at some of our friends and family gathered in the pews of this vaulted ceiling chapel where natural light streamed in as they watched Rachel — she was so breathtakingly beautiful, so stunning in that vintage dress and pearls and diamonds. And, as we continued to walk down the
aisle, I recognized that several of these folks here for Rachel were in tears as they saw observed Rachel in her white dress and veil walk down the aisle past them. Something about his moment was just so beautiful. Almost beyond words.
My daughter’s wedding day – she was breathtakingly beautiful and perfectly and uniquely Rachel.