I am looking at a wedding invitation on my desk and my thoughts drift toward weddings and ultimately toward wedding cake. What is it about wedding cake that I love? It is by far the best cake in the whole universe. (Except when my friend Marilyn made a red velvet cake for my dad’s 80th birthday, now that was a cake!) I can honestly say I can’t remember ever tasting bad wedding cake.
I love going to weddings. There is something so wonderful about weddings–the joy, the friends and family gathered, the food, and did I mention the cake. When I started singing, I sang for several weddings. Most of them were for friends and folks who had been in my husband Ron’s youth group throughout the years. There is something very wonderful about singing at a wedding—especially the ceremony of someone you love. When you sing, you are incredibly close to the action and it is holy ground. There is something so sacred and so special about seeing someone look into the eyes of the one they love with all of their heart and saying… with God’s help, we are one–we leave this place united to face everything together and we will hold on to each other.
Well it is that time of year again–spring is in the air and invitations are in the mailbox. Singing at weddings also makes me crazy. (Unless of course you’re reading this and I sang for yours, it was the exception). Most folks are nervous, wanting everything to go hopelessly perfect. That creates stress. And of course things seldom go perfectly, because someone is late, etc. Weddings, like marriages and the rest of this life, are simply not perfect.
I have sung in two weddings when I was several months pregnant. Try to find clothing to help you blend in when you are very pregnant, ugh; but I smiled and sang anyway and was thrilled to be included. Of course videotaped those ceremonies.
My favorite experience was the one where the grandparents had been forgotten at the hotel. The mother of the bride asked me if I could stretch my song. There was no way to stretch that song, so I smiled and said, “Ummm no, but thanks; let’s just have an instrumental moment.” So the organist went around one more time.
Another favorite memory is my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s wedding. It was held on the steps of a beautiful house on Calumet Horse farm in Lexington, KY. A video camera was set up and I sang a song, while in the background my energetic eighteen-month-old son Max is running laps around the small ceremony. Somehow we had the moment! It is a great video to watch now. I could tell more stories about other weddings, but I am getting to the stories where I begin embarrassing myself.
Back to cake, I remember wanting my own wedding cake to look perfect. I had the ladies of an art class at my church, touch up a small statuette of a bride and groom that my parents had used on their wedding cake. The couple on the statue looked a bit tired, but I loved it. I remember when the baker brought the cake. I had this vision of a lace arch over the bride and groom standing proudly on the very top of the cake. I turned to the baker as she placed the cake on the table in the fellowship hall and asked her about the arch. She said she had forgotten about my arch and so the couple stood proudly, but unadorned by the beautiful arch from my perfect vision.
Sometimes we have to choose between letting go of a vision or letting go of the moment. If you cling to the vision, you miss the moment. The only way to embrace the moment is to release the vision, in order to see what is perfect about what is right in front of you. The real perfection that day was in our love for each other. That love has carried us this far. We don’t do it perfectly everyday, but I’d choose us again. I am so thankful that Ron is in my life and that I get to be Max and Zach’s mom.
Back to the wedding invitation on my desk. I am planning on attending, not just for the cake (although what more of a reason do you need), but to experience the love again–the love that is perfect–the love among friends and family and the love that I feel from Christ at weddings. Jesus was a wedding go-er. It seems he too loved to attend, and to celebrate. He even eased some stress by saving the party when they ran out of wine at Cana. We’re not told, but who knows, maybe he enjoyed some wedding cake, too.
I hope you find yourself among a party this spring, having wedding cake. Please remember how special you are, whether married, single, with family or alone–celebrating the best part of relationship–the love we have to share…and by all means, enjoy the cake!