St. Mary's Catholic Church in Annapolis, Maryland has to be the most breathtaking church I have ever laid eyes on. I can honestly see why Brian proposed to Pam here.
When my family and I arrived and entered the church, I was ready for one thousand people to be in attendance, but I was wrong. Brian and Pam chose this to be an intimate gathering of family and close friends. Don't get me wrong, there were still a few hundred people. But those in attendance weren't just ordinary people to fill seats. Somehow, each person touched Pam and Brian in the closet of ways and were lucky enough to be a part of something very special. And very special it was.
From the opening prayer to the final blessing, this was one remarkable wedding. The glow on both of their faces as we watched their uniting in marriage was a blessing from above. As Pam's sister stated later, "I don't believe in fairy tales, but this is hard not to." It really was that special. And although the wedding was very formal, the reception was the exact opposite. All the nerves were gone and the laughter and dancing began. They really went all out to make sure everyone was taken care of. From meal preparation to the overall feel, it just felt perfect.
Our little Emily ended up getting sick (something that has happened when she is overwhelmed) and I thought we would have to abruptly leave and head back home. We chose to stay because she cried and said she couldn't leave, she had to meet Pam and Brian. After a nap at our table, she woke back to be in better spirits, so we headed over to the dance floor to watch everyone. It was then that the ever amazing Heather came and stole Em's away from me. She took her on the dance floor and loosened Emily up and really made us feel that much more welcome.
While this was happening, it gave me some time to speak with Brian's mom at length. I find it funny that she said the same thing my wife said before even going down..."I don't know what it is but he really likes you, there's a bond." I was telling her how honored I was when asked to attend his wedding. She told me that Brian has a core group of friends and I am there. As I sit here and type this, nobody...not even my wife, knows what that means to me. Words like "honored", "touched", "humbled", don't come close. Brian and his family mean the world to me. His father, Garth, was very gracious and knew me as "Ray from JFK." His mom coming right over and hugging me. You can really tell why Brian is the way he is just by meeting his parents.
We watched as the glowing bride and groom celebrated a wonderful day that was years in the making. We had the chance to meet Pam and Brian's friends and parents. I met Brian's former Coach and we talked for some time on how to perfect the run. It really was the best wedding I have ever attended. And my Em's....well she had the chance to meet the beautiful "Princess." That was worth the trip alone. Her little face was aglow as Pam knelt down to her level and spoke to her as if they had known one another for years. Pam's sister was right when saying, "Pam loves kids, and kids love Pam."
It was an exciting day for all. Memories were made that will last a lifetime. New friends were made. And yes, Brian and I agreed to get that 100 mile race in. The best thing of all? My birthday is today (17th) so attending the Boyle/Stach wedding was the best present ever.
At the start of this story I said this wedding should have never happened. But God was here to show us that fairy tales come true if you believe hard enough in them. Congratulations Brian and Pam!! You two deserve the best of the best.