There are certain events that are so monumental, you know when you walk into it at the beginning you will be changed by the end.
Friday evening was one of those moments for me.
As a business owner, I can’t help but feel like everyone who works with me is part of my family. I share the ups and downs of my co-workers on a daily basis…the stress of illness, the joy of an engagement, the excitement of being able to enjoy a vacation, the challenges of parenthood, the gift of a family reunion, the difficulty of injury, the relief of ordering pizza and onion rings for lunch.
Over a year ago, my kitchen manager, Erica, got engaged. I’ll never forget when she called to tell me the news. It was the moment she had been waiting for, and within a day, the wedding planning began.
At some point along the way, the issue of who was going to marry her and her fiancé came up in a casual conversation. Erica and I were in my office, probably in the middle of placing our weekly orders for supplies. She told me that they wanted someone who knew them to officiate the wedding, and she told me their ‘short list’. I remember looking at her and saying ‘well, if you find yourself in a pinch and you need someone, I’m more than happy to do it.’ In classic Erica style, my offer turned into an official decision the very next day.
As I stood under the arbor, waiting for Erica and Collin to walk down the aisle toward me, I felt the weight of my role. I was not just orchestrating the ceremony; I was spiritually walking next to them as they experienced the sacred transition from engaged to married.
Collin, you are a builder. Your job is to look at something from the outside, to make sure the foundation is strong, and with your tools, to create a structure that is sturdy and safe, beautiful and resilient.
I felt the responsibility of setting the tone of their marriage.
Erica, you are a pastry chef. Your job is to look at something from the inside, to make sure the flavors blend perfectly, and to create systems that produce results you can rely on, over and over again.
I experienced the magnitude of this moment with every word I read.
Both of you are hard-working builders and creators. This is the foundation of your relationship. It’s truly the perfect recipe for a beautiful, fulfilling marriage.
I wanted to let them know they already possess the tools they need to build a solid marriage.
It starts with love. It grows through communication. And, it blossoms with wholehearted sharing…of your dreams, your losses, your energy, your future.
I wanted them to truly understand the support system surrounding them as they walk hand in hand toward their future.
You are blessed with an incredible community of friends and family. Take a moment and look at the people standing next to you, and at your friends and family here right now witnessing this day. We are all here for you, just as you two are there for each other.
I couldn’t help but talk about how lucky they are to have such loving, supportive families.
Family is everything to these two, and the importance of family came up in every conversation we had when the three of us got together to discuss this ceremony. To the Aucoin Family and the Linstrom Family, know that you help reinforce the foundation of Erica and Collin’s relationship. You are the lights that will help them find their way if life starts feeling dark.
I looked at Erica and Collin and couldn’t help but get a glimpse of what it will be like to be the parent watching as one of my children gets married. It felt surreal.
I saw Erica through the eyes of her mother. I watched as Collin’s mother gazed at him with pride and love. I felt the indescribable emotion of walking your child down an aisle and watching them walk back, arm in arm with their beloved, joyfully and purposely walking toward their future.
It was a gift for me to be able to participate in this intimate experience – to feel their trust in me, to have words of wisdom to share, to literally stand with them and guide them to this next stage of their lives as a married couple.
To Mr & Mrs. Aucoin…mazel tov!
With love –