Even in the midst of clashing American and Scottish cultures, the spirit did a mighty work in and through this couple and their families and friends. I have never felt so honored (I must say "Maid of Honor" was quite fitting) to stand by another person's side and support them through a life-changing event. Highlights:
-Wearing a bridesmaid dress while being 7 months pregnant. Not only did I look like a blueberry because of my belly and the dress color, but the hair lady gave me quite the hairdo that seemed to add to the big ball effect I already had going on...
-My little Claire walking down the aisle as the flower girl (pictures to come)...she kept her head down, but dropped all the petals and once she made it to keith threw the basket down and jumped into his arms and hid her soft and shy little face. If that wasn't enough to bring tears to my eye, she was followed by the gorgeous bride and her loving father who was often a father to me in years growing up...
-The groomsmen and ushers wearing kilts and all the other Scottish garb. They were apparently "free-balling" it so I have to give them extra credit for that. Fortunately, kilts were longer than I imagined them to be:)
-Dancing the Scottish waltz with Neil, Peter's best friend and best man from Scotland. I generally despise dancing, but had to fulfill my bridal party duty by dancing a Scottish waltz in front of all the reception guests for about 10 mins. Don't get me wrong- I hated every minute of it- but Neil got me through it and its not every day I get to dance with a friendly Scottish man who was actually my height:)
-Riding in the limo with Peter's sister, Grace (who has the cutest Scottish face and accent) and the rest of the bridal party. I've actually never been in a limo and the best part was that when we hopped back in after taking pictures in our summery bridesmaid dresses in the 10 degree Wisconsin weather- the limo driver had it all warmed up for us!
-Watching Claire dance the night away with Creighton, Lori's 6 year old nephew, who was also wearing a kilt and a yellow plastic knife as the dagger in his sock.
-Learning more Scottish dances at the reception- one was in a group of 8 and had you spinning about 40 times in a row with no break. A little much on my pregnant belly.
And, in case your interested, here was my Maid of Honor speech. I cried through the whole thing and apparently had many others in tears. This was just after the Best Man's speech- wish is Scottish tradition is anything but sentimental- so it was all the more embarrassing when I couldn't control my emotions. But who could with a friend like Loriann?
Here it is:
"I feel so honored to have been a close friend of yours all these years, Lori and to have witnessed the various ways God has worked in your life and your response to Him with faithfulness. To have received your attention, your care, your encouragement, and your loyalty has blessed me in deep ways.
Lori, you have so often seen me when no one else noticed, listened to me when no one else cared to be there, and believed in the goodness in me even when I could not see it. You have given me the ability to be the same to others, to deeply appreciate the most awkward and difficult people with the heart of Christ that you share and live.
And today, I am honored to be a part of your commitment and celebration to Peter, who I believe will be a true companion to you as you continue to journey through life.
It has really been a long time, Lori, since we were giddy sixteen year olds writing letters to our future husbands one late night at the Hofmeister kitchen table. Despite your passion for marriage and excitement to be united with another in the Lord's eyes, you have had to struggle through much disappointment and doubt. Yet, you remained patient, obedient, and trusting to God's good plan for your life.
And, in the most unexpected of places, he brought Peter to you- a man who is a better match for you than I could have dreamed up. It is such a joy to see you someone who shares your faith, your values, your light-heartedness, and your deeper Kingdom calling. I feel peace and happiness around the two of you, a gift that will be given to many our encounter throughout the years.
And Peter, as you well know, this beautiful woman beside you is a treasure- a priceless one! She is friendly, encouraging, creative, curious, pure-hearted, peace-making, genuinely loving, and has a courage that amazes me. I'm not sure there is a greater wife out there- I know there is no greater friend.
So with a toast, your family and friends rejoice with you in your love and loyalty to one another and we commit to you our care and support as you begin a new adventure together."