A Tale of Two Weddings

I think it’s pretty easy to get sort of jaded by the sheer number of weddings we go to at this point in our lives.

I mean, I have been a bridesmaid seven times now.  I’ve been the personal attendant a handful of times, and the mistress of ceremonies once.  I’ve been a matron of honor and a flower girl.

Most of my friends are now all married.

Lots of my family members are married.

Before my own wedding, going to other people’s weddings was a time to take notes.  I was too busy focusing on flowers and colors and bridemaid dresses and favors to really get into what weddings actually mean.

But in the past three months, two of my cousins got married.  And both weddings caused me to pause and think.

In July, my cousin, Jeff married Cris.  Jeff is older than most grooms.  Cris already has teenagers from a previous marriage.  This wedding touched my heart for a number of reasons.

Jeff used to babysit me.  I can still remember him coming over to our house as a teenager.  He was so cool with his pretty girlfriends and his rock music.

And then he just kept on not getting married.  We all love Jeff very much and wanted to see him happy.  I kept insisting that if not getting married was making him happy, then so be it.

But then there was Cris.  She came into his life, they live together, and they are married now.

Jeff is a husband and a stepdad.  And it is awesome.

So we got excited about it!  The wedding was beautiful, but the reception?  Was a celebration!

My family really knows how to come together and celebrate!  We do NOT hold back!

And this past weekend, we had another cousin get married.

My cousin Kelli is just a youngster.  She and Joe have the same story many of us have.  Meet, fall in love, have a romantic proposal, a year-or so-long engagement, and a gorgeous traditional wedding.

During the ceremony, I glanced down at both of my brothers.  They are both very much in love.  One happily married and the other happily almost married with a little boy.  Between my little cousin who I used to babysit getting married, and both of my brothers all happy in love, my heart was about bursting.

We again were celebrating.  This young couple at the very start of their life together.  It was beautiful and fun.

I absolutely love my family more than I even know how to say.  I love that we all support and love each other this much.  My cousins are like my siblings.  My siblings are like…well…even closer siblings.  We all grew up together, have countless stories and memories together, and are now becoming adults together.

When more love comes into the family through marriage and children?  We are always there for each other.

And this hit me like a ton of bricks right out on the dance floor Saturday night.

I love LOVE.

I. Me.  The super jaded girl has turned all mooshy.  I used to be sure love was just “settling down with someone for the rest of your life.”

But looking at both of these couples?  I realize how great it is to have someone by your side.  Not just through the fun celebrations (like the wedding), but through the hard stuff.

I watched Kelli and Joe goof around and enjoy their night.  Cort and I remembered fondly about our night.

And in my head I thought, “what I didn’t know then…”

But I didn’t finish the thought.

Because it wouldn’t have mattered.  I needed Cort.  And I still do.

And I am so happy that Jeff and Cris, and Kelli and Joe have each other to lean on to keep from falling…

both from laughter and from weakness and from tears and from exhaustion.

It’s good to need someone.

And it’s good to be needed.

And loved.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. You are so pretty 🙂

    Your words are beautiful.

    Your heart is pure.

  2. I understand what you mean when you said, “I. Me. The super jaded girl has turned all mooshy. I used to be sure love was just “settling down with someone for the rest of your life.””

    I used to be that girl too. When I got married, we did it because it was the next step. We knew what we wanted and we wanted it with each other. Then, when we had to really learn how to be a couple and share and eventually raise a child, it really hit home for me how much love and commitment that takes, and that I don’t want to even think about doing any of those things with someone else.

    I was recently asked what my wedding song was. I don’t remember. It was something that we picked last minute because the only song we had as a couple wasn’t wedding appropriate. If I were to get married now, the guests might be sick at the sappy songs I’d play. 🙂

    • Oh I HEAR you! I remember our wedding song, but only because it was the ONLY song we both loved that wasn’t rap or rock n roll! Ha! Yes, a wedding now would be MUCH more emotional knowing what that marriage is made of!

  3. This was such a heartfelt post Momma. Loved it and the pictures are great.
    PS. Red wedding. Daring yet it looks so classy! Love it!

    • thanks, lady. I am all kinds of gushy about love lately! And yes! Red wedding! This is the second red bridesmaid dress wedding I have been to! So pretty!

  4. Jeff Nagelkirk says

    Awe that was so sweet thank you Katie

  5. I have a huge love/hate with weddings. I hate having them on the calendar and taking up my Saturday. But….once I get there, particularly to the reception (and open bar), I’m all good.

    • tell me about it. I crab about going until the bride walks down the aisle. Then…depending who it is? I get swoony for the rest of the night. And an open bar? Makes me more swoony…and more dancey.