When Spencer asked us if he could marry Melissa, of course, we said yes. A year and 1/2 ago, when he asked us if he could date her, my heart began to wonder if he would be our sixth child. Last summer and into the fall, as I watched Melissa's countenance and saw her heart out on her sleeve, my wondering ceased.
So let's get right to the logistics. After we
Spencer smiled graciously and listened. He's like that.
I started to mention the beach in Muskegon, it's one of Melissa's favorite places, when Mark kicked me under the figurative "let the boy talk table" and did the universal sign for shut the front door.
You could tell he'd been mulling this over for awhile (Spencer, not Mark). And so it went something like this:
The whole family decided to come to the farm for a little bit of "family time" with a Max & Lilly birthday party, as the decoy.
Spencer would beg off with an overwhelmed-at-work excuse, which was totally not a lie. Then the planning began.
I can't even imagine the scurrying that took place on Spencer's side of the family, but know this, the mother and sister of the groom, may have missed their calling. They are party planners extraordinaire, and had only Melissa and Spencer in their thoughts as they pulled curtains from their house, glued buttons on mason jars while in their pajamas, practically furnished the birthday party brunch, packed the car to the gills including the unused awning, and brought crates full of generosity.
The family of the groom arrived and proceeded on their walk about of the farm where Melissa played as a young girl. They embraced the wedding tool shed and saw the places they'd only heard about in stories, from their long time family friends; Melissa's Uncle Ron and Aunt Ardy.
The defining moment came while in the barn bay underneath a row of scruffy old wooden ladders. Even though a look-a-like picture is posted on Melissa's pinterest board as a wedding idea, this would be the spot where her Spencer would propose.
And so with joy and awesome weather, the transformation began. Load out, load in. Hang and drape. Sweep and sway. Sisters and kittens. Lofty and lovely. And with only minutes to spare, as the wind picked and the cold front marched in, the texts came from the brother of the bride ... "We have the package"... "We've stopped for a baby break"... "On the road again"... "30 minutes away"... "10" ... "5" ....
Light the candles, places everyone.
We made Jen the spokesperson for getting Melissa to the barn, "Hey, Melissa, come see what we mocked up for the wedding, down in the barn."
Melissa, "You guys know there's a winter tornado brewing out there, right?"
Me, "Yeah, here's a scarf and some mittens, you gotta see this." (I didn't want her to be cold, Spencer had 30-45 minutes of material)
We braced the wind and escorted her across the empty driveway, opened the barn door, shoved her in, closed the barn door, and peaked through the cracks (only for a minute, c'mon.)
The sign for all of us to head down to the proposal site and melt Melissa into a puddle of tears, for the 2nd time that night, would be when Spencer opened the barn door.
Without spoiling their version, I can't really tell the whole story without a bit of conversation from those 45 minutes while 15 pairs of eyes watched and waited from the two houses.
Melissa, as she turned around to see where Jen and I had gone and noticed Spencer in the corner, "What are you doing here?"
Spencer, while embracing her and waiting for her avalanche of reality to hit, "What do you think I'm doing here?"
They talked, they prayed, they cried, and they had their own little dance party. Melissa was overwhelmed with it all. Then
Even though she said it felt like she was in a movie, she embraced the moment(s), wrote all 45 of them on her heart and said yes.
As 3 cats and a kitten skitted about and pawed at the decorations while we borrowed their living room, the overjoyed bride-and-groom-to-be, 3 grandparents, 4 parents, 7 siblings, 1 aunt, and 2 babies, joined hands and asked God to bless the marriage and the blending of families. Then we partied in the big house with Pizza King, continuing the celebrattion with a toast to the happy couple. Eat, drink, and be married.
Signed, sealed, delivered ...