the good wine and the best of people

“The Cousins” at the rehearsal dinner

And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.”

July 6, 2013. I don’t even know where to begin. Today is the official wedding celebration day for Andrew and Alicia, and the level of joy around here is pretty-much off the charts.

The rehearsal dinner last night set the stage. Over 80 family and friends gathered at a casual location so we could feast together and spend the evening simply enjoying one-another’s company.

The event was designed to offer an authentic “Southern Feast” from our side of the family; it was not only a major achievement but a success of biblical proportions.

Andrew and Alicia - the shoe game
Andrew and Alicia – the shoe game

EXTRAORDINARY FEAST: But the rehearsal feast would have been completely impossible absent the community of love that surrounded us in such a special way.

First, Rebekah’s cousin Zandra took control of the menu (I’ll share those details later) and worked both the kitchen and the venue as “master-chef” for the preparation. Then, some of our amazing friends from Brandon worked beyond hard to pull it all off. Lynn and Ben Pabst; Sandy and Donna Reynolds; Carrie and David Childs; Gil and Marianne Evans: Bob and Anne Fuller. Then, at the end of the evening, they all pitched in to clean up, plus Zandra’s husband, Ed; plus cousins Reed, Micah and Faith.

And this wasn’t just “helping,” this was actually stepping up and making the event happen. Rebekah and I were completely blown away by the level of commitment and the hard work, and by the practical application of self-giving love that we are constantly witness to.

Here’s some of the “Gourmet Southern” menu, and you have to understand that Zandra makes just about everything from scratch. Move over, Paula Dean, this woman can flat out cook:

  • Summer salad, Potato salad, pasta salad
  • “Hoppin’ Joe (rice and beans)
  • cheese grits made with heavy cream
  • fried chicken
  • squash casserole
  • pork loin
  • collard greens
  • angel biscuits
  • corn bread
  • fried okra
  • sausage balls
  • five kinds of pies
  • ice cream
  • summer beverages
Good people; good times
Good people; good times

GOOD PEOPLE: What made the party such a phenomenal success, though, was the amazing collection of people who were there. Friends and family from literally all over the United States plus several European countries. All we did was to facilitate getting folk together for the evening and providing some food; the sheer delight of being together happened naturally.

So, once again, my faith in humanity and my confidence in our future together was bolstered via experience. As Rebekah and I left the venue with the last of the details wrapped up, we looked at each other with satisfaction, and we agreed that Andrew and Alicia’s wedding rehearsal dinner was very, very good.

In celebration, and anticipation of joys to come – DEREK

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