Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

10.14.2014

Joel and Mikaela Begin Their Happily Ever After

My eyes opened in the weak light of a five AM dawn and adrenaline coursed through my body. This was no ordinary wake up. This was the wake-up Joel and I had been counting since May. 90 days and a wake up...73 days and a wake up...46 days and a wake up...29 days and a wake up...11 days and a wake up...2 days and a wake up...a wake up...August 30th was upon me, and my heart throbbed with the excitement of marrying my Joel.



Two of my dearest friends--Lauren and Sarah--were beside me, enjoying one last night sleeping on the floor together as we had scores of times throughout our childhood, teens, and adult years. Together we got up and began our Saturday.



The morning passed quickly in a beautifully girly tangle of bobby pins, hairspray, tea, hairspray, laughter, hairspray, and chatter. My nervous energy began to ebb, thanks to the dear women around me, and by the time we left for the church, ducking under umbrellas in the driving rain, I felt peaceful and calm--yet still incurably excited.



At the church, we dressed under the watchful eyes of my three sweet flower girls and the attentive lens of my photographer. Tears sprang out without warning, especially when my bridesmaids laid hands on me and prayed for me. I posed for pictures, hugged friends, and sat down to write a card to Joel with a heart full to the brim. What was this moment only thirty minutes away now? How could it be that in a few short hours, my name would be changed, my home would be changed, and my life would be changed? The greatest mystery of all, however, was that upon being faced with change of such import, I found myself not scared, or nervous, or worried, or uncertain. I am in love with this man, absolutely. I adore him and ardently admire him.



So as I wrote a love note to my dear man, I felt nothing but excitement, anticipation, confidence, serenity, and purpose. As I held his hand and prayed with him before the ceremony (without actually seeing each other!), I felt elation and deep, abiding love for this good man. 




As I walked into the hallway with my bridesmaids and flower girls, as I received my bouquet, as we sang "Favorite Things" and other songs to keep ourselves from crying, I felt awe and wonder. 







As Papa took my arm and looked at me and cried, I felt wistful and breathless. As he and I stood behind closed double doors, knowing our turn was next, I felt alert, expectant, sanguine, and joyous. 



Those doors opened and I saw the sanctuary filled with hundreds of friends and family--dear, familiar faces in every pew!--and then I saw him. My groom, my handsome Joel, my soon-to-be husband. I felt buoyant and enraptured.





The ceremony was a sacred hour, and it seemed as though in the blink of an eye, the year and a half of waiting was over, and the man before me was my husband, and I was his wife. Oh the joy!



Great was the merriment and celebration at the reception. Friends worked hard to serve the food while other friends and family shared words of wisdom and advice. The Best Man (Joel's brother, Adam) shared beautiful words of blessing to us that brought tears to our eyes, and the Maid of Honor (Lauren) told a story that made me sob and ache for the delight of being her sister and twin. Joel and I basked in the glow of being married, fed each other cake (nicely), and five hours after the ceremony began, we dashed through a mass of bubbles and glitter and escaped in a stunning old car.


























And then? Well, we're living happily ever after. God is good!



Joel and Mikaela's Story

~ Read our Love Story

~ Our reunion in the midst of out-of-our-control circumstances and a 3,000 mile separation: Raindrops on Roses

~ The struggles of unemployment and of waiting and trusting in God: Jesus Wept {With Me}
 
~ Joel's Graduation from Law School

~ Together for the New Year after 4 months apart: Keeping Christmas

~ Together in March and 11 months into our engagement: On the Other Side of the Continent

~ God provides a job for Joel! Waiting in God's Best
 
~ Life gets busy: {Right Now I Am}


~ A summary of August and the wedding: For Everything...Thank You

~ Lauren's Maid of Honor speech: A Story for You

~ The Week of the Wedding: Preparing for the Long Walk

For more pictures of the wedding, another perspective on the day, and to check out an amazing photographer, click here (i.e. the blog of Christa Taylor, our wonderful photographer). All pictures taken by her!

16 comments:

  1. Yay, Mikaela!! So much fun to see all those pictures! So happy for you and Joel! :)

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    1. Thank you for being a part of our day by being our amazing cellist and in so many other ways. Enjoy the rest of your time overseas!

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  2. I LOVE your dress and bridesmaids' dresses!! What excellent taste, they all so elegant. Congratulations on your wedding/marriage, may God bless you as you continue to serve Him in this new phase of life :)

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    1. Thanks Esther! It wasn't easy finding modest and cute dresses (and apparently peach is the world's hardest color to find). : ) But God worked it all out and I was delighted with the end results.

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  3. I've so enjoyed following your blog over the past year, and even more so as you enter this new season of your life, Mikaela. You are a wonderful testimony to young ladies like myself! Thank you for sharing your amazingly special day with us all. God's richest blessings on your marriage!
    -Tabea

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    1. Tabea--wow, thanks so much for your comment! I'm honored to have you reading.

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  4. Your wedding day sounded wonderful! I'm so happy to see pictures. What a beautiful wedding! I love all the dresses...so pretty!

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    1. Welcome Susan! You brought a smile to my face this morning. : )

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  5. Something that Mikaela left out of her description of her wedding day is that she was, without question, the most beautiful bride in the whole history of weddings. And that is a completely unbiased, objective assessment, more than adequately confirmed by the photos published above. I love you my dear Bee!!

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    1. My dear Joel, you are entirely biased and completely nonobjective, and I love you for it. : )

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  6. You were/are an absolutely beautiful bride, Mikaela. And your wedding was one of the most beautiful I attended this year. (I've been to 14 in this year 2014...crazy, right?) I'm so glad Christa did your photos! Isn't she amazing? She captured your special day perfectly.

    Let me know when you're on the west coast again. Let's have a coffee date like we used to? Except you're a married woman now and all that;)
    Congratulations again on yours and Joel's union! I am so honored to have witnessed your wedding.

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    1. Raquel--thank you! 14 weddings is crazy indeed! I think I've been invited to somewhere around 9, and I thought THAT was a lot! Christa was absolutely amazing--I would recommend her a hundred times over. Married women can definitely still have coffee dates...I'll let you know when I'm over there! We must definitely keep in touch. Hugs to you my friend!

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  7. I've been waiting to come by here to read all of your wedding bits! Don't ask me why...I just have!

    I loved looking through the pictures and seeing all the JOY of the day! Reading about the memories that you made was a lot of fun too. Everything was BEAUTIFUL! :)

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    1. Oh thank you Victoria! I wish you could have been there!

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  8. Really amazing dress and bridesmaid are also looking amazing. Congrats on your wedding dear. Can you suggest me a nice but cheap dress for my wedding at banquet halls in Chicago? Your wedding was really amazing and your guests have enjoyed it completely

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