Monday, June 30, 2014

A West Point Wedding

+JMJ+

A couple of months ago I wrote about my cousin's lovely (surprise!) bridal shower and how excited it made me for her upcoming nuptials. Well, she and her wonderful man tied the knot on June 21st and I could not be happier for them!

Our weekend began once Michael got off work a bit early that Friday afternoon and we headed north to New York. Thankfully, living near Philadelphia has placed us much closer to all things East Coast-related and we were able to make the drive in less than 4 hours. Driving provides so much more flexibility than flying - especially when you have a 10-month-old infant in tow!

That night we enjoyed some amazing food and reconnected with lots of family at the rehearsal dinner. As the only baby in attendance, Gabriel received a great deal of attention from family and strangers alike. Not to mention, the venue (Eisenhower ["Ike"] Hall) provided the most breathtaking views of the Hudson River, paired with a mountainous backdrop accented by the blue hues of the water and sky.


Once Gabriel had reached his social limit and slightly surpassed his normal bedtime, we headed back to the hotel. After we made sure he was sleeping soundly, we snuck out of our room - party animals that we are - to while away the hours catching up with my mom, one of my uncles, and my younger sister.

Considering we stayed up way too late talking with family, Gabriel seemed to awake far too early on Saturday morning. However, Michael and I were able to nap during his morning nap which helped us all feel better rested for the main event - the WEDDING in Cadet Chapel!

My cousin, Emily, truly made a beautiful, joyful, radiant bride. My heart was filled with joy as we watched my uncle escort his only child down the prominent aisle - tears forming in each of their eyes. The rest of the ceremony flowed smoothly as we heard a couple of readings and Emily and Jason professed their vows, exchanged rings, and kissed for the first time as man and wife. :)


Have you even been to a military wedding? My first was in high school when my eldest cousin on my dad's side (Air Force) got married to her husband (also Air Force - currently FBI) at Langley. It had been a long time and I was happy to have an excuse to witness another military wedding due to the groom's recent graduation from West Point (many congrats to the 2nd Lieutenant!). In addition to all the normal things I love about weddings, it never gets old to see young men dressed in military attire escort the ladies down the aisle of a chapel steeped in our nation's history. Nor do I ever tire of seeing the bride and groom exit through a tunnel of sabres!

During the break before the cocktail hour began, we decided to enjoy the gorgeous weather and spend some time outdoors on campus with all of my immediate family (plus another aunt and uncle). This way my nieces could run around in the grass for a bit as they belted out all the Frozen songs.

Did I mention that ALL of my immediate family (minus my dad) was present at this wedding?? My mom, both sisters, my brother-in-law, nieces, and the vast majority of extended family on my mom's side were all in attendance...which made for a rather long overdue reunion and fun-filled reception.


The morning after the wedding Gabriel and his cousins
accidentally matched! Those are blue and white stripes
on all 3 of them. :)

What else can I say about the wedding day? It was everything everyone hopes a wedding day to be. It was filled with love, laughter, delicious food, music, dancing, and breathtaking views from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the West Point Club (which looks out on the water and the mountains across the river). Most of all (and most importantly), two people made sacred vows to one another and it was a joyous celebration for a joyous occasion that radiated love everywhere you looked. Not only was I grateful for such quality time with loved ones as we celebrated Emily and Jason, stayed up chatting each night, and got breakfast with my older sister and her amazing family, but we were blessed to witness the start of Emily and Jason's marriage journey.


Congratulations, cousin! Marriage is certainly not the beginning or the end of your love story - but it's about to get really good! You will be in our prayers and I can't wait to hear about your trip to St. Lucia!

"The ultimate purpose of marriage is not to make us happy, but to glorify God."
-Nancy Leigh DeMoss

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