The photos contained in this Blog article are courtesy of James Correa, the bride's uncle.
Wedding day has finally arrived.
At 1310, folks are still being seated and extra chairs are set up in the back and sides of the sanctuary. Over 400 people come to see Caleb Beasley marry his dream girl, Abby Grady.
The processional starts and the brides' maids float down the aisle to Nella Fantasia played by Staci Hess on piano and Rick Hess on the cello.
And the moment we've all been waiting for...the bride's entrance. She looks like a princess...so lovely.
Pastor Larry Nelson presides over the ceremony and gives a vivid picture of the transfer of authority that is taking place at this very moment. Abby is taken out from under the authority of her father and placed under the authority of Caleb William Beasley for better or worse, as long as they both shall live...She is no longer a daughter, but a wife in just a few short minutes.
Songs are sung, the pastor shares from his heart about this couple he will momentarily join in marriage, then the moment of the vows...a solemn moment. The couple uses a microphone so everyone present is witness of the vows they freely make to each other.
Caleb repeats the vows he designed for his bride...
“I, Caleb, by the grace of God, take thee, Abby, to be my lawful and wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better...for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to protect and provide, to cherish and to love you as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, forsaking all others and cleaving only to you, ‘til death do us part.”
Abby, radiant, repeats the words of her vows to Caleb...
“I, Abby, by the grace of God, take thee Caleb, to be my lawful and wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better...for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and submit, as the church is subject unto Christ; to obey and reverence, forsaking all others and cleaving only to you, ’til death do us part.”
The pastor hands the microphone to Abby. Caleb looks confused fearing he must have forgotten something and steps back asking quietly what he should do. Pastor reassures him that he needs to stand right where he is. The music begins and swells as Abby sings "You Raise Me Up" to her new husband. Never smiling, Caleb looks meltingly at his lovely bride. She sings to only him... "When I am down and oh, my soul so weary. When shadows fall and my heart burdens me. Then I am still and wait here in the silence until you come and sit awhile with me. You raise me up so I can stand on mountains. You raise me up to walk on stormy seas. I am strong when I lean on your shoulder. You raise me up to more than I can be..."
When the song has ended, the pastor and Caleb look to Josh Beasley, the best man and orneriest of the lot of groomsmen for the rings. Josh finds Caleb's ring and hands it to him. After a moment, a look of concern flashes across Josh's face. He checks his other pocket and soon begins a full fledged search in every pocket of coat and pants for the other ring. Caleb and Pastor look panicked...until they see Josh look over to Dan standing innocently next to him. Dan wonders what the concern is all about and seeing they are missing a ring begins to check his pockets. Finding nothing, he looks to his soon to be brother "outlaw" Aaron Grady for reassurance. Aaron, looking less than innocent makes a show of checking his pockets and finding a small white gold circlet, shines it nicely on his coat and passes it to Dan, who also shines it nicely on his coat, passing it to Josh, who gives it one more shine on his lapel and hands the ring to the very releaved groom. Now the wedding can continue.
Caleb takes the ring and places it at the tip of Abby's finger. Repeating the words he means with all his heart he says "With this ring I thee wed promising all of my love and faithfulness forevermore."
Abby takes Caleb's band and places it at the tip of his finger. Looking him directly in the eye, she speaks from her heart to his, "Caleb, I offer this ring to you as a symbol of my love and of the vows I have just spoken."
The parents of the bride and groom do their part in lighting the candles for the unity candle ceremony with some difficulty. Each parent is to light their family candle representing the families Caleb and Abby come from. Mr. Beasley comes to Mr. Grady's rescue with a light from the Beasley family candle to get the Grady family candle going. Symbolically, Caleb and Abby take their light from their family candles and light the center candle representing their two lives becoming one. Mr. and Mrs. Beasley sing an appropriate song called "Love and Faithfulness." All eyes stay riveted on the bride and groom as he gently holds her close to him and prays his first prayer with his new wife. They whisper sweet words and then turn to face one another. Caleb tells his new wife, "I love you" as his mother sings the words in the background. Every heart that witnesses the moment melts.
The fathers offer their blessings to the couple and Grandpa Bill Beasley prays mightily for God to be glorified in their union. The presence of God is very near.
Abby and Caleb take the microphone and stepping forward sing "Rejoicing in His Love" together. Their voices ring out beautifully as they sing the words that describe their journey to this moment in their lives.
Pastor Larry commends the couple for their faithfulness to God in keeping themselves pure...waiting for this moment to share their first kiss as husband and wife.
Josh looks pleased as his elder brother adds a little more passion to their first kiss.
Pastor Larry introduces the new couple...Mr. and Mrs. Caleb Beasley.
As the couple makes their way down the aisle, the organ swells out the strains of the Hallelujah Chorus as the whole congregation joins in singing. We can't help but sing...our hearts are so full. Congratulations, Caleb and Abby