The best man raised his glass of champagne and the excited chatter around the hall died down as they awaited his speech. “Derek has always had compassion and dedication to those around him. There are few people I have had the pleasure of knowing that care about the people around him as much as Derek. Brie only highlights the best parts of Derek’s personality.“ Chad went on, “and like a nice wine, or great scotch, their relationship wll only get better as their relationship and marriage continues.” This speech truly struck a chord with me because it was what I had seen as well. I knew Derek from when we were both active duty. Each day in the office, you could see Derek leading and supporting those around him, eager to encourage, make you laugh.. whatever he could do to help, you could count on him. One day there was an extra spark to him; he had met Brie. He excitedly told me his plans to meet Brie in Savannah. It was that day and every day since, that my friend was happier than I’ve ever seen him and I could think of no one more deserving of true love. This world is better because these two have found each other. They are the most supportive and loving couple. It felt surreal to be standing there in St. Peters Roman Catholic Church watching Brie walk down the aisle towards Derek (Derek could hardly hold back the tears) then hearing their Pastor reiterate these same sentiments that were apparently on all our hearts: that Derek and Brie together made the world a better place with their love for one another and those around them. The Pastor then slipped them tiny bottles of tequila for the reception and the bride, groom, family, and guests erupted in laughter.
That Sunday I was sitting in my church seat back in California and our pastor began speaking about the gifts of the spirit, specifically hospitality. I immediately thought of Brie’s family and hometown of Lewiston New York where the wedding took place. From the very first moment of the rehearsal, I felt welcomed by Brie and Derek, their families, and friends. Even the locals who I had breakfast with the morning of the wedding wanted to hear all about the upcoming wedding and sent me off with well wishes for myself and bride & groom. This charming town and the people in it were full to brim of the gift of hospitality.
It’s my hope that these photos convey even a little bit of all the love, laughter, and joyful tears that made up the moments of Derek and Brie’s beautiful wedding day.