The best part about a wedding is the unique opportunity it provides to take pictures. How many other times do the people you love and care about the most all gather in one place dressed in their best clothes? Well, outside of the occasional funeral...it's always at a wedding. Besides, ever notice how nobody ever takes pictures at a funeral?
So, this one is especially wonderful for me. From left to right there's Jon, my wonderful son-in-law who so far through year one of his marriage hasn't done anything stupid. Then there's Kaitlin, my beautiful and enormously talented daughter who gave the most touching, beautifully delivered toast imaginable. Then comes Rick and Linda Stroup, father and mother of the bride and dear friends for over 20 years. They are those rare friends who over time transcend the friend designation and somehow become family. The bride, Jessica, like a daughter to me since she was three years old, beautiful, sweet and possessed of a devotion and loyalty to my son and daughter stronger than most natural siblings. Andy, the groom,...the new guy. He seems fine, of course, all new brooms sweep clean so... But, seriously, he clearly adores Jess and I couldn't be happier for both of them. My wife was simply radiant at this affair. I look at her sometimes and wonder how it possible that I could have gotten so lucky. During the salsa dancing lessons after the ceremony, she lit up the dance floor...when I wasn't stepping on her feet. Then Patrick, who these days seems the happiest I have ever seen him, thanks in no small part to the girl to his left, Sarah. The two of them drove 8 hours from Nashville, made it to Durham just in time for the wedding, then had to leave the hotel at 5 am the next morning to make it back to Nashville in time for a 1 o'clock Nashville Symphony Chorus rehearsal. That's some of that devotion and loyalty I was talking about earlier between these three.
So, everything was beautiful, and went off without a hitch. I got to spend a weekend with family and the dearest of friends. Worth every penny.