"Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

When we explained all we were doing to try to “pull off” our daughter’s wedding, a good friend of mine deemed it a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) wedding.  I actually latched onto that moniker and even found myself taking a little pride in the name.  After all, unlike most people we knew we hand’t…

  • Hired a wedding coordinator
  • Signed up a caterer
  • Engaged an event planner
  • Figured out food service
  • Found someone to prepare a wedding cake/desserts
  • Retained a professional photographer
  • Hired a florist
  • Booked a band or DJ

An orphan spirit, a desire to not burden anyone else with our concerns, a relatively small wedding budget, and likely whispers from our enemy, all conspired to have us believe we could pull off the entire wedding on our own and still deliver the once-in-a-lifetime experience my daughter desired.  It would have been an epic fail.

Thankfully, we are surrounded by a community of friends who love us and desire to be part of our lives.  We were not created to walk alone or to try to shoulder our burdens without others.  They earnestly sought us out and partnered with us in our needs.  One by one, each was addressed:

  • Wedding Planner – A few weeks before the event, we realized we needed help to coordinate the event and that our friend Amy was uniquely gifted and interested to help.  Our close friend Courtney also consistently stepped in at crucial junctures to make sure things happened according to plan.
  • Caterer – We had planned to prepare most of the food, but the main course for the dinner (brisket) was expertly prepared by my good friend Jim and it frankly stole the show.
  • Event Planner – A team that included my daughters, wife, Pinterest, and several key friends, mapped out the entire event;  they made signs, tablecloths, etal., and helped produce a visually stunning event.
  • Food Service – In addition to the two helpers Amy brought (her son and a friend), my good friend Scott and his wife decided to generously not only attend, but bring aprons and put them on to essentially handle the entire dinner service for the 220 guest that came to the wedding.
  • Wedding Cake – Our daughter wanted a collection of favorite desserts and no real wedding cake, but precious friends (Mel & Lonnie) added to the dessert selection with their incredible gifting.
  • Photographer – Turns out that a very close friend from our years in Chicago was now a SCAD educated and celebrated wedding photographer who flew in from Chicago for the wedding.
  • Florist – My wife and daughter ordered from a wholesaler and mapped out  everything for the entire venue, but in the crucial final hours, a precious friend from high school, Kara, used her incredible horticultural gifts to produce bouquets and garland that wouldn’t have gotten made (Certainly not as beautifully as what she made).
  • Music – Our daughters crafted playlists of all their favorite songs by the people they love who sing them and Billy/Will made sure it sounded beautiful and was ready at the appointed times.

More than anything else, the extensive community God provided to love and support our family, defined the evening.  The spirit of the night was wholly loving, supportive, and unmistakable to all who attended.  We were not created to be on our own, but to be interdependent with one another.  Through a community and collective effort:

They were extraordinarily celebrated

He was powerfully glorified

DIY in this circumstance (and maybe in every other) was a complete lie.  We couldn’t have done it on our own.  We were not created for life apart from others.  We have a culture and an enemy that is pervasively and aggressively driving us to isolation..  It is not the intention of our Father or the recipe for His grandest glorification.

For all of those who helped us prepare, helped execute the evening, and offered their unbelievable sacrificial hearts until the bitter end of the evening (Brian, Billy, Will, Mel, Chrissy, Sarah, Amy, and others), we humbly and graciously thank you.  We’ve never felt more loved and supported.

The evening was for her, but it was really all about Him.  What our good friend Billy beautifully proclaimed as he married them, the night powerfully confirmed.  The Father’s deep love for us and His overwhelming glory were on display.

Are you trying to do life on your own?

In what areas of your life and leadership do you need help?

In what ways are you shrouding the ultimate glorification of our God in your insistence of doing life on your own?