Monday, March 30, 2009

Jeni and Rod

...turn two families into one

While I enjoy meeting and getting to know each couple I work with, there are some that I know I'll connect with even before we meet face to face. In preparation for getting together with Jeni and Rod several months ago, Rod sent me an email to confirm our lunch meeting; in the email he told me he was attaching a picture so I could recognize him. When I opened the picture attachment, it was a photograph of Brad Pitt. I knew that with a sense of humor like that, we would get along great, and time proved my hunch correct.

Both Jeni and Rod have children from previous marriages and they wanted the three kids involved in the ceremony. Rod's 11 year old son was one of the groomsmen, while the bride's 15 year old daughter was a bridesmaid and her 17 year old son escorted his mom down the aisle and then took his place with the groomsmen. One of the more intense and tender moments of the evening occurred when Josh gave his mother's hand to Rod.

Approximately 150 family and friends looked on as we celebrated the marriage at the Adolphus Hotel. Don't you love this picture of one of the grandmothers? My apologies to Rod and Jeni that I don't know which grandmother it is. The two flower girls, Abby and Grace, also made a hit, tossing flowers not only on the way in, but on the way out as well.

As I have mentioned on more than one occasion The Adolphus Hotel is a wonderful venue for a wedding. Amy Brown and her staff do amazing work with all the details of ceremony, reception, food, etc. As usual, the evening begins with a greeting from Phillip Johnson (at the front door--see my blog entry for Dec 26, 2008), to long time service staffer Augustine (he's been there over 25 years). Each time I'm there I see so many familiar faces wearing their Adolphus name tags--this is a true comfort for me as I know that we are are all in good hands.

Oh, one more thing...if you have any doubts about the great sense of humor that Jeni and Rod possess, take a look at the groom's cake. The old ball & chain. Gotta love it! He accused Jeni of having poor eyesight and questionable taste in men. I think they both have impeccable taste in every way.

My thanks to Hedy Berg for the outstanding photography and the entire Adolphus staff for another great wedding experience.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Right At Home

...where the heart is

A song lyric written by a friend of mine in Nashville some years ago says, "a heart can never be right any other place, until it's right at home". This lyric came to mind in mid February as I officiated the ceremony of Lindsay and Nathan in their new home in Terrell.

Few things are more sweet, tender or intimate as a home ceremony and this one was no exception. About ten close family members looked on as we celebrated the marriage in front of the fireplace, followed by a champagne toast in the kitchen. You just don't get much more "homey" than that.

Together for over nine years, Nathan and Lindsay chose the Sunday evening after Valentine's Day to be married. Their ceremony included the reading of a poem entitled "These Hands", which was immediately after the ring exchange. The poem begins "these are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love, that hold yours on your wedding day". Watching their faces as I read those words left no doubt in my mind--this couple belongs together.

Thanks, Lindsay and Nathan, for letting me be part of your day.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Saw the Sign

...Happy Anniversary Ian and Alyssa

When Ian and Alyssa were first beginning to date, they were cruising around checking out their new town (Columbia, SC) and came across their two last names on a street sign--the intersection of Byrd and Margrave. A replica of that sign served as the backdrop for Ian's proposal to her some months later. I'm glad she said yes.

March 23 is seven years since they tied the knot and lots of things have happened in those seven years, some good, some not so good. They moved to Albuquerque, NM, bought a house, gained friends, and gave birth to Liam who is one of the more amazing and interesting four year olds on the planet. They've also lost two babies, one stillborn and the other to an early miscarriage.

Light and dark. Yin and Yang. Good and bad. We all endure the good times and bad in our marriages, and Ian and Lyss have had plenty of both. They've survived, with some bruises but they've survived and I admire them so much for that. The measure of a Christian is what spills over when they're bumped. My son and daughter-in-law have been bumped plenty, but it's God's love that spills over and shows through.

To see more about Ian, Alyssa, and Liam, follow the link to the right to get to the blog for Liam and the Family Byrd.

Happy Anniversary Ian and Lyss. I love you.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wildwood Inn in Denton, Tx

...just right site for Sara and Jeremy

Amidst towering native trees and behind a masonry and iron fence sits the Wildwood Inn in Denton. It's just east of I-35 on Lillian Miller Parkway, surrounded by beautiful residential neighborhoods and is so inconspicuous it's quite easy to drive right by the entrance to the winding drive. Once you're on that driveway, however, you can see imposing structure. The interior design and decorations are first class. Owners Keith and Sarah Walter have done a superb job of creating an atmosphere perfect for intimate weddings, receptions, weekend getaways, etc. For more information about Wildwood Inn, click
HERE Be sure to look at the patio/garden/pool area--plenty big enough for outdoor events.

Recently I was priviledged to officiate a ceremony for Sara and Jeremy. Even though they had known each other since 2nd grade, they were not the proverbial childhood sweethearts. About four years ago their longtime friendship turned to romance and they were engaged on November 8, 2008.

The ceremony took place in the Wildwood Inn's great room in front of the fireplace. It was a chilly day, so the fire was softly burning, making a beautiful background for the ceremony. Sara and Jeremy's three year old daughter, Kaylen, was the flower girl. A reception followed, showcasing one of Wildwood Inn's strong points--the food. All meals are prepared onsite courtesy of their four-star restaurant and is a highlight of any event held there. Another strong point is the impeccable service from the staff--in particular, I appreciate Kendra (wedding coordinator) who has been my contact on my last few visits there.

Thanks go out to Wayne Hardin for sending me the pictures.


btw, I found out recently that the owners have purchased the Northeast Wedding Chapel in Hurst and are busy making some changes in preparation for hosting weddings and receptions. More info on that venue by clicking

Monday, March 9, 2009

An Early Mother's Day memory of my Mom

While I try not to post sad things on this blog, this is an anniversary that I need to comment on. On Monday, March 9, 1998 I got a call that my mother had been admitted to a hospital for treatment of pneumonia. Sometime that afternoon she went into cardiac arrest and by the time she was revived it was too late to reverse the damage. She died peacefully in a coma on Wednesday, March 11 around 5:30pm.

Not a day goes by that I don't think of her and how much she would be enjoying her great-grandchildren. Age 70 is just way to soon to die. My mom, or J.J. as everyone knew her, was always the life and spark of any family gathering and she doted on her grandbabies

So why am I telling you this? To make this point: we don't know what tomorrow will hold, so if there's anything that you need to say or do, get it said and done now. You never know when it might be your last opportunity. As much as my mother and I spoke in person or by phone, it bothers me that I can't remember our last conversation.

I do remember this--at the funeral it took my sisters and me quite a while to realize why mom didn't look right. Finally came to us: we had never seen her with her mouth closed, as she was always smiling or laughing.

Thanks for letting me share this difficult memory. By the way, the picture of her is a little worn, as it's the one I carry in my wallet.