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World Travels and Contextualization

Reflections on Mac and Julie's Wedding Weekend

My little brother is married!  What a special, memorable weekend it was, celebrating with friends and family the wonderful union between Mac and Julie!  Matt and I arrived Thursday morning and were greeted at the airport by Mac, my parents, Oscar and his wife, Candis, their little boy, Asher, and Robert.  Oscar and Robert have been dear friends of the Wheatley family since elementary school.  Oscar is pretty much my second little brother and was one of Mac's best men, along with my dad.  Robert was also a groomsmen who has a photography business in El Paso and captured some great shots of the weekend; I can't wait to see them!  We ate lunch at a renowned chain in the Carolina parts and had some famous chicken and biscuits:  Bojangles'.  Julie stopped by to say, 'hi', before running some more errands with my mom. 

Picture 002Picture 003Mac & Julie at Bojangles'
(Picture 1:  Candis, Asher, Oscar, Meg's mom; Picture 2:  Meg's dad, Matt, Robert; Picture 3:  Julie & Mac--all at Bojangles')

Mackie let me tag along as one of the boys, after much coercing, to the whitewater rafting adventure at The US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, the largest man-made whitewater recirculating river in the world.  For about an hour and a half, we rafted class 1-4 rapids and loved every minute of it!  After some dramatic rescue attempts that kept several of us from falling out of the raft, our guide was the only one that was thrown out.  It was a blast!  Thursday evening was a special dinner for the DeLaddy and Wheatley families at the DeLaddy's home, feasting on some delicious hamburgers and an ice cream pie coated with hot fudge sauce and what was the Wheatleys' first tasting of wet nuts, a delightful treat consisting of nuts that were boiled in karo syrup, brown sugar, butter and vanilla!

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(Picture 1:  Mac with Joe & Garo, his new brothers-in-law; Picture 2:  Julie with her sisters, Kim & Betsy;
Picture 5: Julie and her parents, Carol & Gene--all at the DeLaddy's home)

Friday, the boys golfed.  You will never find Matt boasting in his golfing abilities, especially after he hit the side of a house, witnessed by the owner I might add, as well as the windshield of a golf cart.  His skills, or lack thereof, are now notorious at the Highland Creek Golf Club of Charlotte.  My mom and I headed to the bridemaids' luncheon, along with my grandmother, Gaga.  She was an honored guest this weekend as the only grandparent who was able to attend; it was a remarkable gift to have her with us. 

The rest of Friday pertained to getting ready for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  While there were a number of laughable, albeit very stressful, snafus for the dinner, I'd rather focus on the positive.  I am truly thankful for two family friends from El Paso, Christine Francis and Ron Stading, who came to the wedding and who were a tremendous help to our family in preparing for the dinner!  We could not have done it without them.  And Billy T (a close college friend of my dad's and Mac's godfather), my aunt Shell and her fiance, Edgar, were also invaluable as they too, helped with my grandmother, ran errands, and set up Mac and Julie's hotel room with candles, strawberries, and champagne (this is a  wonderful Wheatley/Francis tradition.)  The rehearsal dinner was so special as friends and family watched the video that my parents and Matt put together for Mac and Julie.  We hope to somehow post it on the blog for those interested to watch.  There was also a time of sharing, which yours truly, made a mess of herself crying through what she had prepared to say.  But once all my mushy, but genuine and heartfelt, words were shared, I was ready to party!  My mom did a fantastic job decorating for the dinner!  She lugged all the flowers from San Antonio to Charlotte on her own!  The atmosphere was very warm and inviting, just like my parents' home.  As a party favor, each person received a letter saying that a donation had been made on their behalf to the American Cancer Society, in honor of Mac's grandmothers and a dear friend who was unable to attend the wedding, who had battled or are battling cancer; it was a very touching and lasting gift! 

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(Picture 1:  Julie, Mac, & my dad during the sharing; Picture 2:  Aunt Shell and Edgar; Picture 3:  Gaga, my mom & Billy T)

Now, to the wedding day!!  Mac received his first manicure and pedicure (oh, I bet you'd pay a million bucks to see that picture!), and joined the other fellas for a hot shave.  My mom and I snuck away for a few moments to get a manicure ourselves and take a break from the action.  The 5 p .m. wedding approached quickly!  It was so fun to watch Julie get ready; she seemed so calm and collected.

We took some pictures before the wedding, but Mac and Julie waited to see each other until Julie walked down that aisle.  My heart was pounding as I waited to walk down as her bridesmaid, anticipating the moment when they would see each other.  There were two aisles in the church to walk down, so the bridesmaids alternated which one they walked down.  And they had a mix of groomsmen and bridesmaids on each side of them.  I nearly burst into tears feeling so loved by Mackie when the church's wedding coordinator told me at the rehearsal that Mac wanted me close to him and so I was placed on Mac's side right after my dad and Oscar.  So when I walked down that aisle, I was walking toward the 3 most precious men in my life:  Matt, my dad, and Mackie.  It was awesome!  Julie and her dad walked into the sanctuary to the song "Lord, Let Your Light", and it was so powerful! Mac teared up with joy as he saw his bride for the first time.  One of the highlights of the service was when the couple served communion to the attendees.  It was a very worshipful, meaningful service.  Mac and Julie's longing was for the Lord to be worshiped and glorified during the service, and He was; He was the honored guest.  As they were introduced as "Mac and Julie Wheatley",  little 20 month old Asher proudly displayed a sign that said, "Just Married" in front of Mac and Julie as they recessed.  He's married!!

The reception was held at Founder's Hall, where a lovely seated dinner took place.  Matt's parents and sister, Melissa, drove down from Charlottesville for the wedding, so we were able to spend some time with them, too.  We reconnected with Mac's Aggie buddies as well.  The couple danced to "Rocket Man" by Elton John, the reason behind the selection still to be determined, but in a way, it was unsurprising given that it's Mac and Julie!   After a couple of hours of mingling and celebrating, my dad gave a wonderful toast to the couple.  The band finally played a song I could dance to with Mackie, only to be cut in by my grandmother!  It's only ok because it was my grandmother!  So our precious 87 year old grandmother was able to get in a dance with her Macdermus.  As a surprise to Mac and Julie, my parents arranged for a horse drawn carriage to escort them to their hotel.  So they left running through sparklers toward the carriage, beautifully decorated with flowers and a "Just Married" sign on the back.  It was a celebratory day, a day that the Lord made, and a day He was honored.  Mac and Julie are now on their honeymoon in the Virgin Islands, and I can't wait to talk to them when they return!  We're exhausted and trying to recuperate, but wow, what a special weekend filled with treasured memories of friends and family! 
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(Picture 1:  Billy T, Ron, Gaga, & Christine)

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(Picture 2:  Candis, Oscar, Asher, the B&G, Robert)


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