The deed is done!

After all the planning and getting ready, Mark and Niki are now Mr. and Mrs.!

The wedding was a great day of celebration and sharing with family and friends. More than simply the uniting of two individuals, it was the uniting of two families–and the creation of a new one.

Mark’s son was very involved in the wedding in a number of significant ways. He and the daughter of a good friend of theirs were the junior attendants / candle lighters… When Mark and Niki made their vows to each other, Niki also made a vow to David–to accept and love him as her own for as long as they both lived…and then gave him a medallion as a token of that vow. And when it was time for lighting the unity candle, all three of them had candles to use to light it. (And then David escorted Niki back to the altar.)

Lots of friends present–from a variety of backgrounds…family, church, work, Renaissance Festival…

It was what a wedding should be.

And then…they received a totally unexpected–but delightful–wedding gift. Niki’s cousin┬ámade arrangements for them to take a carriage ride on the Plaza (becoming quite a tradition) and then they went to one of their favorite restaurants to eat…still in their wedding clothes. Of course there were lots of congratulations and best wishes. There was an older couple at the table behind them, and they stopped to with them many happy years as they left. When Mark went to pay the bill, the waitress told him that the older couple had taken care of everything–including the tip! It was a significant gift…and they are now looking forward to having the opportunity of paying it forward in a few years.

So…a new family…a new start…and happy (but tired!) parents.