This is a love story. All weddings are. However, this story not only encompasses the love of a man and a woman, it reaches out to include the love for the lost and hopeless. It is an incredible story and I was privileged to play a small role in it.
Jana and Rob are amazing people individually. As a couple, they are a powerful force, but not in the sense we normally talk about power couples. They don't have a lot of money. They don't drive luxury cars. They don't throw elaborate parties. And they don't have political clout. What they do have is great, great love. It spills all over everyone in their wake. I have been a recipient of this love personally and professionally and am humbled by it.
Both Jana and Rob had been married previously and felt they were destined to spend the rest of their lives alone. But God and love have a way of breaking through the most broken of hearts.
I, for one, am glad.
Because of their gratitude for finding one another, Jana and Rob decided to use their wedding as an opportunity to reach out to the lost and broken. They also share a passion for social justice. So they requested all wedding gifts be given in the form of aid to an amazing organization that helps women whom society would consider lost causes find healing and equip them to begin new lives. (http://www.thistlefarms.org) They also committed to spending their honeymoon working on whatever projects Thistle Farms needed done.
When I read of their plan, I was very moved and decided to help in any way I could. I met with Jana and Rob and laid out a plan to take some of the stresses of the day off their shoulders and work to make their wedding day vision into a beautiful reality.
The wedding was to be held at the farm of a friend in front of a pond.
They wanted a very natural, organic feel. They wanted to keep the budget small so that as much money as possible could be funneled to Thistle Farms. If you have followed me at all, you know I LOVE to forage for natural product whenever possible. This was a design right up my alley.
Rob fashioned a beautiful arbor, made shepherd's hooks to hang flowers from and we used hay bales for seating.
The flowers I used were chamomile, lots of thistle (of course), buttercups, roses and other wildflowers. The most elaborate design was for Rob's daughter's who served as flower girls. I loved making their flower crowns.
Jana wanted a simple crown, so I made one of chamomile, thistle and cornflowers. She looked beautiful and wore it everywhere - even on their honeymoon - until it died. Precious.
Getting to know Jana and Rob through this process was a joy. They are wonderful, loving and committed people. Their story inspires me and gives me hope.
Such great love.