My Little Girl is Getting Married

My little girl is getting married. This Friday a lifetime of love and nurture will come to fruition in an institution as old as the world itself. A day that I never imagined would come is just about here.

Wedding Father Daughter

The house is quiet except for the drone of a Monday Night Football blowout. The bride-to-be has gone to bed, as has her mother. They are both over-tired from the hustle, bustle, and stress of wedding preparations. It’s the calm before the storm. Tomorrow relatives and friends begin to arrive for an event that will take place, God-willing, only once in our daughter’s lifetime.

The Florida summer has eased a bit into what we might call “fall” in these parts. Prayers are ascending that the rain will hold off to give way to a beautiful outdoor wedding reception. The caterer has been booked, and is set to go. The wedding dress has been bought, fitted, and altered. A limousine has been reserved. The photographer and videographer have their marching orders and will provide the evidence that a great time was had by all.

The mother-of-the-bride has bought her dress. In fact, she bought two “just in case.”

The groom has been working two jobs to save up for the honeymoon, as well as the coming first months of marriage. He’s the kind of person any father would want his daughter to marry. He treats her well, understands her, gives her what she needs, and knows how to deal with her occasional “issues.” He’s a great guy. Now he’s off of work until after the honeymoon. He deserves it.

The bride’s brother will be providing part of the entertainment for the reception. That’s what you do if you have a band of Nashville musicians and you love your sister like he does. His perfectionism will no doubt add some stress to the week, but we all love him for it, because we know that the end product will be something people will remember for years to come.

His girlfriend has been showered with so much talent by her Maker, that she is doing more than anyone might ever expect. She designed the “save the dates” and invitations. She conceived of the decorations and put them together. She will be doing the flowers. She might even be heard singing in the wedding service.

Invitations went out long ago. The results are in, and we now have a pretty good idea of those who will be joining us for the wedding and reception. We’ll really miss the people who are unable to attend. We’ll think of them as we raise our glasses. At the same time, we will so much appreciate those who are there to support, encourage, and celebrate.

I bought a new suit, shirt, and tie. I am in the midst of writing a homily that I will share with my friend, and fellow pastor, who has known our daughter since she was two years old. We will stand before the couple and remind them of the most important thing in any marriage: the love and forgiveness of Jesus, given and shared. And I will try not to cry.

It seems like just yesterday that she was two. I remember the stages of crawling, walking, defiantly refusing to take her medicine, learning to read, giggling with friends, auditioning for plays and getting the parts, braces, high school football games and friends…

And the day we dropped her off at college nine hours away from home. It just so happened to be the place she would mature in her faith, live on her own, learn how to be an adult, and find her future husband.

Now she’s getting married this Friday.

Today we ran some errands together. We stopped for lunch. At the table next to us there was another father there with his daughter who must have been about five years old. I almost encouraged him to enjoy the time with his little girl, but he seemed to be doing so just fine. I’m certain, before he knows it, that little girl will be getting married.

We enjoyed our time together, as well, she and I. It was probably that last time we had alone before she is a married woman. We shared our love of food. Then we got a new windshield wiper for her car. Seemingly mundane stuff, but eternally special in the grand scheme of things.

Because she will always be my little girl.

What memories do you have of a special time or event in your life?

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16 thoughts on “My Little Girl is Getting Married

  1. Great article! I don’t want my little girl to ever grow up. I read the article thinking to myself that I too will be where you are and I feel that I will be happy as well as sad that my little girl grew up too fast and now she’ll be on her own starting her new life. So I’m going to do whatever I can to enjoy every moment I have with her so I can also look back at all those wonderful memories we were able to share. Thanks for sharing yours!

    Good luck with everything on Friday! May the wedding go smoothly! I’m happy for you and your family. Good luck to the new Bride and Groom on Friday!

    • Thank you, Mike. You are obviously a very loving and caring father as is evidenced in the fact that you WANT to savor every moment.

  2. Pastor , Your words are beautiful and so loving. What a tribute to your daughter. You and Tammy have been loving and kind parents. God has been blessing you all the years you raised Ashlyn to the beautiful young woman she is today. The Holy Spirit planted the seed of faith at her baptism and you have nurtured it and now you see the results of a strong Christian home. May God continue showering His love and blessings on your family and on ” your little girl” and her husband. Love and Prayers, Virginia and Homer

  3. and I’m crying. Thank you for the beautiful words. I wish I could spend more time with my dad, but it makes my heart warm to see such beautiful and special relationships grow and change. Have an awesome week!

  4. So eloquently written and stated, as always. Congratulations to all of you. I have wonderful memories of my son getting married. It is both a difficult and joyous day to see your son/daughter become a husband/wife. It is what God intended, for us to raise these wonderful gifts of children to grow and live their glorious lives. Enjoy every moment!

  5. Tom
    What a well written, beautifully sentimental post! I got teary-eyed, too! We wish we would be at the wedding. I know it will be a wonderful day full of love and magic and many blessings. We’ll be with you in thoughts and will raise a bourbon and coke to toast you all!!

    • Thank you, Patty. We are most certainly going to miss the two of you! We’ll accept your toast all the way from here.

  6. A bitter-sweet time (mostly sweet). Some dads think of this as giving their Stradivarius to a gorilla. Rather, now your family is expanding! How nice. God bless you all on your big day.

  7. Oh wow, as a mother to two young daughters (and stepmom to a 26-year-old daughter) this brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful relationship you must have with your daughter! Congratulations to you and your family on the coming blessing of her marriage and the new son you’ll be welcoming into your life.

    • Thank you, Rosann. Your tears tell me that you have very special relationships, as well. Blessings to all of you as you walk the journey of life.