There are situations where the time one is given to arrive at a place is a time when people start gathering, and there are situations where the time given is the time when the event actually starts. Today I drove into an entirely unfamiliar city to me to go to the wedding of a friendly acquaintance in a neighboring congregation, and although I thankfully did not get lost, I ended up arriving just before the event started. In retrospect, this may not have been a bad thing. I was barely seated before I had to crane my neck to see the procession of bridesmaids and groomsmen, and one groomswoman, which was pretty interesting to see. There was, of course, an adorable flower girl , and the ceremony went off very efficiently, even if at one point the minister named the wrong brother in the ceremony and had to be corrected by some of the noisier members of the audience. The groom was dashing, the bride was radiant and gorgeous, and all of us were happy to share in their joy, even if I was one of the more formally dressed people there not a part of the wedding party, largely because I tend to believe that it is best to dress up for an event like this out of respect for those involved.
At any rate, arriving just before the event started earned me a seat near the front where I could stay out of trouble, and also a thanks for coming from the groom and his brother. From what I could see, the wedding reminded me of at least a couple of those I have helped out with over the course of my life, where it is clear that the bride and groom are looking to avoid matching their college debt in wedding expenses and where a lot of family and friends help out, but where there are some really excellent touches. This wedding had some fantastic cheesecake, which I greatly enjoyed eating, and also had some very humorous wine covers that were also enjoyable to see and that will hopefully be the subject of humor for both the new husband and wife for many years to come. I brought my wedding card, so that I would not arrive to the wedding empty-handed, and hopefully this card will be more appreciated than the last two I have sent out within the past month .
During the dining and dancing portion of events, I sought to remain near appropriate company, parking myself near some parents and general adults I new from my time here in Oregon, some of whom go to my local congregation. For understandable reasons, I sought to have friendly witnesses that I was not attending this wedding as a way of making things difficult for any young people, despite the fact that they did not see any problem in circling or bumping into me literally, or generally hovering nearby, and the general issue of age came up in the conversations I had in various ways, and not always about me. A mother and daughter sought prayers for their job searches, given that both of them lost their jobs recently. Another woman talked about how her father had discouraged marriage in his splinter group because he thought the world would end, and so she missed the chance to have children with her husband because the timing was missed. And of course, there were conversations about older people who spent far too much time around kids, and the trouble it could cause. Since the people at the dance were almost all either married or far too young for me to dance with without causing trouble for myself, when the parents and adults I knew started to leave, I figured it would be wise to haste from the wedding in a like fashion as I had hasted to the wedding. Nevertheless, here’s hoping the bride and groom enjoy a wonderful honeymoon, and a happy marriage. It is a wonderful thing to see hope and optimism triumph in a world as cynical as ours, and even better to see that hope rewarded.
 Who I met a few months ago: