It was a rainy summer day,–a day when the clouds teased us with intermittent storms. We all held our breaths until the ceremony at the Merrimon-Wynne House, wishing that the skies would wait 30 minutes before releasing more of their precipitation.

There were good vibes in both preparation rooms. The girls danced to high school jams, and the boys watched sports on TV (Golf? Football? I can’t remember). Laine and Mark passed each other love notes to make the minutes pass quicker.

Laine walked down the stairs and took a deep breath. Mark held us hands out, watching them shake a little with anticipation and nervous energy.

The air lightened after they saw each other. The stress and nerves were calmed. There was a peace that they gave each other by being in one another’s presence.

The rain looked like it was going to hold, and everyone helped to wipe down chairs before guest arrival. Laine waited at the top of the stairs, holding her late father’s Navy hat. He wouldn’t be able to walk her down the aisle, but his memory would sit in her hands.

After the yawning ring bearer made his appearance (along with the flower girl posse), Laine approached the aisle, and a hush came over the crowd. Their family wiped away tears as Laine ceremoniously handed her dad’s hat over to Mark.

Their vows were heartfelt and honest. Neither of them sugarcoated what marriage would be. They had experienced tragedy and difficult moments in their dating years, and they knew they could get through anything life would bring.

Even with a smaller guest list, the dance floor was never empty. The bridesmaids danced the night away until sparklers were lit and the newlyweds departed.

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