Friday, July 20, 2007

wedded in Christ

(Retired Major) Robert Hnat met me at the back door as Carmen, Cassey (my lovely friend/mother-to-be of a BOY), my mother, and I emerged from the back room where we had been praying together. It was 1645 (military time for 4:45 pm). Hand in hand my mother, father, and I walked to the front of the church while others were still standing about, some finding a place to sit while others chatted with friends.

It was all beginning just as we desired: a family gathered together to celebrate what God had done. I was not the center of attention, nor was Mike, nor was the Tasmanian harpist, nor were the decorations. Christ would be the focus.

I turned behind me to see who had come. The room was speckled with the ethnic attire of brothers and sisters in Christ that now call Hannover, Germany, their home but whose families are oceans away. I couldn't see the Martin family from Frankfurt yet. I winked at little Janice, who was already taking her responsibility at the end of the ceremony very seriously. A few little girls stood next to Christina Sonnemann listening to her singing and play the harp. I glanced at Mike, Dave, and Joel on the other side of the church, only to find them taking pictures with their cameras! ROFL! (Whatever it takes to not get stressed.)

Promptly at 1700, my father stood and the whirl of ceremonial events commenced that would make me and Mike one under Christ.

(Click here to view the program.*)

Carmen, Cassey, Christine, Mike, Dave, and Joel

At 1745, my father announced Mr. and Mrs. Michael Jolly to the public and little girls along aisle stood on their seats showering us with flower petals.

Following the ceremony there was a flurry of photographs being taken by guests. During a group photo, I overheard my mother ask my father between her smiling teeth, "Who's the fellow in the beard snapping all those photos?"

I looked out at the enthusiastic amateur wedding photographers to find the bearded man.

No clue.

I thought nothing of it. There were so many people I didn't know that what did one more matter? ... but it was odd that my parents didn't know him.

Later, as I munched on a Wanton and watched the Philippinas dance to the tune of their ethnic music, a beautiful red-headed woman approached. I saw the question in my mother's eyes: "Who are you?"

I knew who she was. During the out-of-town-guests group picture, she and the bearded man joined the group standing behind me and Mike. I turned to get a closer look at the mystery couple, smiling a welcome. The woman whispered, "I'm Meredith."

My eyes widened in delight ... Meredith!

For all of you bloggers who have not yet met me and Mike and wanted desperately to come to the wedding, Meredith was there representing you. (Meredith and her husband Detlev wrote a review of the wedding here.) Carmen and Mark also represented bloggers present (perhaps they can offer their own point of view in the comment section).

My dear friend and "little sister" (who some may remember from my family's 2006 Christmas Youtube video), Sonja Schneider did a wonderful job as our wedding coordinator. Months before the wedding, Sonja would frequently pester me with questions about how plans were going. "What plans?" So to keep her sane and Mike and I relaxed, I asked my dear sweet friend if she would do us the honor of coordinating our wedding. She was professional and energetic and truly had the vision of Christ as center of the ceremony. In fact, she surprised me and Mike with singing "How Beautiful".

* vows were adapted from Adrian and Andree Warnock's wedding vows.


Jonny said...

I can see Carmen really put some effort in that catch.

Meredith said...

Christine! It was so good to finally meet you too! Your wedding was lovely and just like you said, Christ was the focus, not any single person. It was such a celebration! I have been to a lot of weddings, and some of the more crazed ones in the US are orchestrated with rather unChristlike intentions.... yours was a REFRESHING Christian ceremony.

Detlev overheard some people asking who he was and I guess they were afraid to ask directly because he is rather large and bearded and dark, but really he is just a teddy bear. This is a man who catches insects in the house and releases them outside instead of killing them!

Thank you so much for the invitation to the wedding! We were delighted to represent for the blog friends!

mike said...

Sweetheart you should have uploaded the picture of me with my eyes open looking at the camera during the prayer...

Bec said...


Firstly congratulations! And secondly, thanks for sharing your wedding vows (I'm on the prowl for ideas and I really like them!)

Good job on marrying a Aussie boy :P

Carmen said...

and why wouldn't i want to put effort into the catch? i'm proud.
Honestly, that was the most beautiful, simple wedding i've ever attended. After knowing christine for a few years, the wedding was exactly what i thought she's always wanted. It was a perfect picture of God simply bringing a man and woman together in the presence of their brothers and sisters in Christ. The service began with God as the focus, celebrated his plan in Mike and Christine's life, and ended in the joy of fellowship. I have to say the dinner/games afterward were as much a part of the occasion as the ceremony itself. So christine and mike, may the rest of your lives be just like your wedding...a picture of God and his will being done on the earth.
praying for you guys!

Truth and Zeal said...

Congratulations on your wedding. I noticed you used the hymns by Keith Getty. Very excellent selection of music.