Yesterday was my niece Brooke’s wedding, and it was a delightful couple of days ofÂ celebration. Flashback: On my first visit to Oxford to see the Merkles, I asked Brooke to come along with me since Doug would be at a pastors’ conference. One night (Brooke and I shared a room in the Merkle cottage) when neither of us could sleep for being on Moscow time, I asked Brooke what she was doing (it must have been 2 a.m.). She said she was planning her life. She was thinking about offering to help the Merkles with the homeschooling while in Oxford (she was a senior at NSA at the time). Very momentous moment, if you see my point.
Sometime the next day, Bekah said to me, “I’m thinking of asking Brooke to come help us homeschool the kids next year.” I encouraged her to follow up her idea, and the inevitable happened. Brooke moved to Oxford, and the next two school years she labored with the children in their makeshift schoolroom (i.e. the kitchen). And if I could add, though it is not pertinent to the romance, I took note of the fact that when we visited, she pressed on with spelling and reading and what not while we made coffee and toast all around her.
Toward the end of year one she met Daniel, an Oxford medical student with an eye toward the ministry, and that guaranteed that she would want to return for year two (lucky for the Merkles) to keep on helping with the homeschooling, biking into town, helping out at the church, and babysitting my very lovable grandchildren while Ben and Bekah went on wild excursions, mostly to pick up Ebay purchases.
Yesterday the courtship culminated in a lovely wedding. Brooke was gorgeous, Daniel was very appropriate in a morning suit, my three Merkle granddaughters sprinkled flower petals, Judah did the duty of bearing the rings,Â Knox ushered, and Doug tied the knot, all in grand style. It was a memorable blending of British and American wedding traditions. I particularly enjoyed the lovely toast Daniel gave to the bride, a custom that I have seen only occasionally in America.
I confess that I have no pictures of the actual ceremony. But if you’d like to take a peek at some professional pics, you can find them here. I have to say that the last pic, the one of father and daughter, is quite priceless. Gordon is Doug’s youngest brother, and I see volumes in that look. I hope you will admire the bride and groom in all their splendor!
Here’s a pic of the rehearsal dinner set up, before the guests, and before my camera ran out of batteries.
We had the pleasure of hosting the rehearsal dinner in our yard, and if you look closely, you’ll see the Daniel & Brooke banner that Bekah made for the festivity. Rachel took care of the flowers, so if you check the link above, you’ll see the beautiful bouquet that Brooke carried. Many of the flowers came from our favorite local flower spot, the cutting garden, site of that adorable video for Amoretti. Not only did Rachel and her husband Luke cook all the food for the rehearsal dinner, Rachel did all the flowers for the bouquets as well. She had her staff of professionals on hand, friends and (mostly) former boarders, Casey, Gentry, Bonnie, and Bethany. They helped serve the food and make the corsages! So all in all, it was a family and friendly event, start to finish!