One of my favorite weekends this entire summer was also an incredibly special one. It’s the weekend I officiated my brother Josh’s wedding to Kate, the girl who has become a sister to me.
But I’m getting ahead of myself!
I flew out to Seattle a few days before, landing to beautiful skies and the city lights twinkling below.
The next few days were a whirlwind of preparations, but we did manage to sneak in a few fresh seafood meals, right on the water.
Then before we knew it, the wedding weekend was upon us!
We rehearsed the big moments in the ceremony, while I kept the details a surprise for the bride and groom.
And then we ate even more seafood!
The rehearsal dinner was at Ivar’s Salmon House, an authentic Northwest restaurant right on Elliott Bay with views of the Seattle space needle across the water.
It was fun meeting Kate’s friends, and seeing Josh’s friends again, many who I’ve known since we were all small.
After a lively evening of chatter, laughter, and the clanking of glasses, my parents ended the night with a thoughtful speech in celebration of Josh and Kate.
And then we all headed back to the hotel, remarking on how beautiful Seattle is after sunset.
The next morning was a perfect day for a wedding! I arrived at Genesis Farm and Gardens, with my ceremony speech ready to go, my stomach full of butterflies.
Kate was sweet enough to invite me to get ready with her and the bridesmaids, and I had so much fun with them that I completely forgot my nerves, and instead began to focus on how much fun the day was. And Kate’s calm demeanor certainly helped too – if the bride could be relaxed on her wedding day, then surely the officiant could be too!
Kate put on her dress, we gave her hugs, and then it was time for the wedding to begin.
I stood under the arbor with my brother, sharing a moment with him that acknowledged our shared history, and the importance of this day that, as children, had always seemed far away.
And then I watched him watch Kate walk down the aisle, the biggest smile I’ve ever seen lighting up his face.
It was time for the ceremony to begin. I took a deep breath, and began.
I shared Josh and Kate’s love story, and the moments in their relationship, both big and small, which were special to them. I identified their hopes for the future, and the character traits they admired most in each other. And I talked about marriage in general, and how it is a continuous decision, born out of love, to choose the other person, day in and day out, for the rest of their lives.
Then I prompted Josh and Kate as they said their vows to each other, and exchanged rings, crossing the threshold into marriage in front of their closest family and friends.
And it was, by far, one of the greatest honors of my life.
Afterwards they sealed their vows with a kiss, as white doves flew behind them.
And then it was official: they were Mr. and Mrs.!
Relieved that my officiating duties were behind me (as amazing as the experience was, it was also nerve wracking making sure I lived up to their expectations!) all that was left to do was relax and enjoy the party.
Greg and I took a spin around the gardens (literally).
And then we spent the rest of the evening hanging out with family and toasting to Josh and Kate!
It was such a picture-perfect day, and I’m so grateful Rebecca at Rebecca Anne Photography was there to capture every moment.
The next morning, we rolled out of bed and joined the happy couple at a post-wedding picnic in the park.
It was another beautiful day, and we were able to share stories from the night before and congratulate Josh and Kate all over again, now that everything had sunk in.
Then (with two new hats!) they said their goodbyes and headed off to their honeymoon!
Congratulations, Josh and Kate!
Kate, I couldn’t have asked for a better sister (in-law).
And Josh, being your sister and friend continues to be one of my greatest blessings in life.
I love you both,
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