The little white church

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Kym Seabolt's church

There is a website that tells me, to the day, how much time is left until our baby’s wedding. Of course, I say “our baby” as though she is two, instead of 22. Nonetheless, as most parents can attest via classic, tear-jerking children’s literature, “as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” 

In wedding preparation, GirlWonder and I have traversed the land for the “perfect” vintage centerpiece arrangements. Thrifted, of course. They are perfect. Everything is perfect if you ask me. We are in the midst of bridal shower planning, have guests coming to stay at our home and are still not entirely sure if the bridesmaid dresses (second time around) will arrive in time. 

On that note, the wedding dress finally arrived last week. It was ordered six months earlier but supply chain issues, of course. At one point all we knew was it was somewhere in Houston. My best friend and I were ready for a road trip, but the delivery came through. 

Well

Through it all Girlwonder, the anti-Bridezilla, smiled and said “it will all be well.” She’s focused on law school more than wedding finery most days. She planned on summer break and Christmas break and relies on the help of a most capable matron of honor and bevy of bridesmaids. 

I’m not going to pretend as if I wasn’t worried. I was very worried. I know the one thing my beautiful daughter had chosen so carefully was ‘the dress.” Still, I was impressed at how calm she remained even as I was mentally running through my head who we might know that was roughly her size and might still have their own wedding dress ready to lend. 

It’s been that kind of year you know. Items are missing. Orders are delayed. Appointments are hard to come by. Venues are either closed (pandemic loss) or booked (pandemic rebound). Still, as time progressed and were prayed over, most things fell (somewhat) into place. 

Process

Choosing the reception venue was a process. It took some time for me to explain to the young couple that having their wedding ceremony conducted in one location, and the reception in another is a perfectly acceptable way to host a wedding. The rise of “all in one” venues had led to them actually only experiencing weddings where everything happened in one place. Those are absolutely breathtaking by the way. I can certainly understand the appeal. 

Getting married in barns that generally look nothing like barns and are absolutely stunning is also very popular. I have been absolutely wide-eyed at some of the gorgeous barns there are for hosting weddings. 

Nonetheless, I think as someone who actually grew up with a barn — albeit a big, dusty one with lots of nooks and crannies and a fair share of raccoons — GirlWonder just couldn’t quite get on board with the idea. Adore it for other people though. 

“The kids” (yes I know they are adults and about to be married, but indulge me) chose a very nice wedding reception hall that is distinctly “old school,” as the kids say these days. Ample parking, big room, indoor plumbing, dance floor and all. Everything old is new again, indeed. 

Church

The bigger challenge initially appeared to be the ceremony venue. People tried. Their hearts are so willing and giving. Metro parks, pavilions, city parks, open land, tiny rustic chapels tucked into the woods, and our own front yard were all suggested — and rejected. 

Our front yard came closest to making the cut until we realized that parking was not ample for that many visitors, and pulling guests’ cars out of the front field if it rained didn’t sound like very much fun. Through it all as suggestions whirled on planning day, GirlWonder said simply that she knew where she wanted to be married — “our” church. Oh. Of course. How did I not think of that? 

There we were suggesting places to be married here, there and everywhere. The whole time, there was a little white church with a sense of community waiting to be asked. Some places are just touchstones for the important points in life. For GirlWonder, it is this little white church at the end of our street. By no means do we have perfect attendance; we do have our favorite pew though. 

That simple church has seen us through Sunday services to Baccalaureates, choir, Eagle Scout ceremonies and so much more. I feel silly that we ever considered anyplace else. 

Then again we didn’t, not really. So many fine sites were rejected outright even as they are clearly perfect — for someone else. Thus, the church our children grew up in will be the site of our baby’s wedding in a short time, proving that time marches on, but strong roots remain. 

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Kymberly Foster Seabolt lives in rural Appalachia with the always popular Mr. Wonderful, two small dogs, one large cat, two wandering goats, and a growing extended family.

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