Weddings are a special time, bringing families together to celebrate a new family union.

I've photo/ video 1,500 weddings, of a few I wrote a narrative descriptions as below.

Click to galleries of Ted's wedding, reception, events photos

Ted's poem of a typical wedding.

Your Wedding Day is Near

Wishing, hoping, dreaming,
   your wedding day is near.
Let Elden Photo catch it,
   these images are dear.

Your gown & groom will gather,
your family & your friends.
A day you'll long remember,
   you'll hope it never ends.

Elden's Photos capture detail & animation,
   photos & video delight imagination.

Elden's precious photos
   for time untold endure.
Preserve your wedding day
   like none you've had before.

This will read easier if you make this window narrow.

Emilie Doty & Charles Marion Love

Wedding Ceremony celebrating their love

at First Presbyterian Church

12 October 2001

reflections by ted elden

And so to the Wedding Celebration. A quiet hush falls over us in the Lords throne room, the ceremony parallels heaven on earth.

We, like lost sheep, gathered in the flock, swarm to the fold, the stately, prominent. 1" Presbyterian Church - regal, ornate, pillared, stone edifice. The crepuscular evening aglow at eventide. I'd passed this way the night before, and noted Emilie laughing, hand in hand, stroking her beloved fiancÚ as they exited their rehearsal. Steve & Diane followed close behind, like guardian angels. The aura then and this evening, mild weather, clear skies, the grounds around the church adorned by God, festooned in the harvest colors of autumn.

Entering the Church, one is humbled, by the omniscience of the Glory of God and the stately building, it's grand space, to look upward to the gilded, paneled, domed ceiling, recently restored to its magnificence and elegance as when first built. From the dome down, the walls are a rich tapestry of texture, form, material and delight. Our side walls are transparent with a trilogy of immense and articulate stain glass windows. To our east, eve light glows thru the window.

At the entrance, look down the aisle into the sanctuary. It's framed by roses & ribbons attached to the pews forming an open tunnel along the aisle, 4 along the left, 4 along the right. The rose stations frame the aisle, the corridor, the last passage of the precious young bride, to ignite her in love, joy, peace.

Roses arrangements form a triplicate ahead on the balcony & on the altar. From the high balcony, 3 rose arrangements adorn the rail, each with a dozen or more blooms, each linked with a garland to its adjacent arrangement. At the altar, 3 more large globes of roses, with 32 roses each, radiate their color and delight. The air is sweet from their ambience & freshness.

Behind us, along the side wall, await nearly a dozen men in waiting. Alert, nervous anxious, tense, a quorum of groomsmen pace and wait eagerly for the ceremony to begin. Each is bejeweled with a white rose on his lapel, imprimatur.

Soon a bagpipe, from origin unknown, tones it's plaintive whine and moves into the sanctuary, closing in on our presence.

We, silent and still, as sheep at the altar, subdued, succumb to the Holy Spirit, whose presence is felt in the hush of the crowd. Each of us turns to watch each new motion & sound. There's not a creek from the worn wooden pews.

From aft, high aloft in the rear choir loft, a solo tenor, bellows magnificently, his deep, sonorous, melodious voice reverberating in this heavy, stately, stone edifice. Classic music, dress, formal pageantry in each element & tradition. This formality sings of the Heart of Diane (bride's mother) and the Majesty of Steve (father), a West Point Graduate.

The melodious, rich sound of the organ resonates & echoes thru the stone chamber - ah, ever masonry is king, as Steve should know.  He owns a masonry block manufacturing company.

Charles Love, IV, the groom enters, wearing proudly the kilt and plaid of his heritage, his groomsmen wearing their plaid as a cross shoulder scarf. We turn to the aisle bordered & aligned with roses & ribbons.

At last, the music and mood changes. One by one, the bridesmaids come, gliding quietly down the aisle. Shoulderless dresses, they enter, stately their poses, gentle their gate, as quietly they glide the path to the altar. Hushed & beautiful as seraphim's, their glowing beauty, each bubbling with delight, their faces bright & a twinkle. Each in turn, on position, turns and readies herself for the Bride's entrance.

Each carries, like eggs in a basket, their plume of roses with the tenderness and attention as if it were her babe in arms. Now at the altar, roses I count, 10 lovely maids, all in a row, each with a plume, their dozen roses. Oh how sweet, the scent of roses fills the air in the sanctuary.

The flower girl and ring bear enter and take their positions.

I noted the wedding coordinator, just barely visible at entrance on my arrival. Yes, I can see the choreography of her experience and guidance, her loving hand on each step and position of each member of the wedding party throughout the ceremony.

At last, the music foretells the bride's entrance. We all rise, triumphant, to watch dear Ms. Emilie float down the aisle on her father's arm.

Could an angel be more beautiful, could a bride's joy be more full ? I think not. And Steve, the proud Father, guides his heavenly vision to the altar.

Between those about me stretching their necks to absorb everything, I see fleeting glimpses of mother Diane in the front pew. Somehow, even she seems transformed from years before. Her long, flowing hair seems softer, more full, more luminous. How have these all, my close friends, so avoided the ravages of time ? That, the ceremony, & love itself is all to me,

the grand mystery.

Beside Emilie stands her two sisters, honor maid & maiden.

Melissa & Stephanie, daughters a dream, they stand alert, absorbed in the scene, just less than angels, so they seem, fragile, beautiful, just sans wings.

Emilie, precious of the heart, of mother whose tears depart, let Christ rule in their heart.

As the ceremony proceeds, we enjoy the bold, firm authority of Reverend Douglas Heidt, whose sermons have shaken the sinner and renewed the Christian for eons in our quiet Kanawha Valley. We've enjoyed his words and wisdom for decades. His resolve, his authority hunders from this magnificent First Presbyterian Church. The tradition of this church, the esteemed building, its dignified refinement is itself spell binding. The altar, now, is a multitude of 10 bridesmaids, their 120 + roses, the symmetrical 10 groomsmen, the children and the sacred and honored wedding couple, whom we honor and cherish in this celebration, and yet, and yet... Reverend Heidt leads us into His Word and into the presence of God almighty.

"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders toils in vain."  he intones, ... my spine stiffens in stern, serious fear of our Lord. Psalm 127:1, niv

"For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress, Instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; ..." he quotes selection from Isaiah 55:12-13

.chosen by Emilie & Charles

I Corinthians 13 reminds us of many things, but for me especially, " I am but a noisy gong.. If (I) do not have love, (l) gain nothing."

A brief, but bittersweet homily follows, the family and parents are asked to join in their commitment to nurture and encourage the marriage, at last they are presented to us, and we each tingle at their altar kiss.

Twice at least were a dozen  dozen of roses in the sanctuary carried on to the reception...

On arrival, in the fallen light, the entrance - welcomes us with four tiki torches

ablaze around the colonnade, and four more just to the right, ablaze, aburn,

a flickering light in the night.

The centerpiece at the entrance is a tall, articulate, white wedding cake, enchantment for all eyes. Around its table setting are a dozen floating candles.

Moving in thru the rush of the crowd, the who's who of Charleston and beyond, each animated, and enchanted in this evening, and each other. Oh, how the Doty's have catered to us. How magnificently they have glorified their daughter and family and generously delight & entertain us special few, their beloved friends. I pass shrimp boats, chefs cutting & serving roast beef, tables and tables of hor d'ouvres & entrees, a flowing bar, and finally press thru more people then I've e're seen there gathered to find the young and restless shaking up the dance floor before a passionate and animated band ! The videographer is omnipresence, tasting the smiles, conversation, and expressions of all throughout the room.

At the reception, again, roses encompass the rooms, on table arrangements, their perfume alive in the air, their radiance aglow on the tables.

There may be as many roses here as were in the church. Have I walked amid the shower -

the sacrifice of 2,000 flowers.

(In old testament, in animal sacrifices, the priest, and on one occasion, the Lord, walked between the two halves of the sacrificed ox.)

Were not these roses cut from a bush for

Emilie & Charles.

Were we not all party to their sacrifice amid them all ?

Like heaven on earth, we're all delicately suspended, in the radiance of their joy, celebration, renewed in our commitment to family and loved ones.

I blush past Mrs. Emilie Love, in the radiant glow of her joy, excitement, open exhilaration, greeting each in her own personal way.  My, have the years raced past, I remember her long ago, near a child on the lap of her parent. Where oh where do these precious years go, as the children shoot up, grow up past us ?

Thank you Emilie & Charles, Diane & Steve

for sharing with us.

We pray for and encourage them each, and their longevity, as you, Diane and Steve, have celebrated an exemplary marriage I your long enduring partnership.

 

May Yahuah's/ God's peace

reign in your heart.

May the Word of Yahushau/ Christ

dwell in us richly.    

    by ted elden.


Click to galleries of Ted's wedding, reception, events photos

Ted Elden.

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