i don’t think i’ve cried this much on a wedding day since the flower girl in my own wedding 15 years ago went and got married herself. it’s not that i have that same two-decades-long relationship with them (although they both share the gift of cultivating instant friendships), but the lord’s grace as it was poured out to all of their families and friends during their ceremony was truly one of the most beautiful things i’ve ever witnessed. i could share all of the bits and pieces that are nestled down into my heart, but i think one particular part of their ceremony bears repeating in full. the following is from the ceremony notes of the one who married them (who, adding to the unique blessing of this day, is also hayden’s father)…
I asked the two of you to write out prayers to God for one another. Genuine prayers reveal the depth of our hearts more than any other way of communication.
Hayden, hear Madison’s heart opening to the Father for you: Lord, thank you for your love and mercy and for giving me Hayden.
Thank you for his many talents and abilities and for the way that he has loved me thus far. You have blessed us immensely more than we could ever imagine or deserve.
I pray that you will continue to be with Hayden in everything that he does. Lord, give him strength and courage to do the right thing and to be the man that you have called him to be.
Madison, hear Hayden’s heart as I read his prayer for you: God, thank you for Jesus. You sent your son to Earth, to die on a cross – showing the greatest and highest level of love given. Because of that sacrifice of love, Madison and I can love each other in a way that pleases and glorifies our Creator.
(Madison) Give him patience and love to lead our family in a way that is servant-hearted just like your son. Help him to faithfully seek after you more and more every day.
I pray that your joy and peace will cover our family always.
(Hayden) In Madison’s life, I pray she strives mostly to be an imitator of your Son, Jesus. Make Madison strong and let her be courageous.
Give Madison lots of laughter and happiness in her life.
When I let her down, give her the strength to turn to Jesus and to know He will never let her down. Please clothe her with a spirit of forgiveness—she will most definitely need it.
Grow her spiritually and continually mold her heart throughout our lives together so she may always think of her relationship with you first. May the love she has – your love – impact the children she teaches every day so many would come to know you.
God, please keep Madison faithful and strong in your Word, and by doing so, give her the supernatural ability to speak wisdom, truth and life into our family.
As it is now, I pray that her heart will always be drawn toward love. Thank you for such a beautiful gift.
amen and amen. my friends, i praise god for the precious ministry your short marriage already is to those who are witness to it. i pray many years of sweet joy for you.
with tremendous thanks…
ceremony: samford university’s reid chapel | reception: the florentine | hair and makeup: molly stilley (morgan ashley salon) | bride’s gown: allure | bridesmaids’ dresses: le salon couture boutique | men’s tuxedos: jos. a. bank | floral design: kathryn anne weddings | caterer: corretti catering | cake artist: olexa’s | entertainment: act of congress | transportation: coats classic cars | photographer: allison lewis photography