Everyone at the wedding this weekend was happy. Granted, most weddings are happy affairs but this one seemed especially happy. Many reasons for this, but two in particular. First, all the people on the groom's side of the church (where I was seated) thought the groom to be one of the most special people around and had heard the same level of specialness attributed to the bride. And visa versa, the bride's side of the room was crazy about her and also knew enough about the groom to be crazy about him as well. Therefore, there was a high level of expectation and good will in the church. Second, their meeting and courtship was along the lines of a fairy tale and fairy tales don't often happen to men and women in their mid-40s. I hope the bride and the groom will not mind me broad-brushing their story for your reading pleasure.
Neither had been married before. Both were from the United States. The groom had lived and worked in Germany as a pastor for many years. The bride was living and working in Africa as a missionary nurse, as she had for many years. The groom was back in the U.S. waiting for his next pastoral opportunity. The bride was headed to the groom's city for a meeting. Through some connection, the groom offered to be the chauffer for the bride (but obviously they were not bride and groom at the time; they were not even acquaintances) while she was here. Love struck during the chauffering and being chauffered. Long-distance romance followed peppered by e-mails and some transAtlantic visits. A new European opportunity arose for the groom last Spring. He flew over there to firm up the job offer, then took a train to Paris and a plane to Africa where he proposed to his soon-to-be bride. As of this weekend, they are now married and both will be residing in a European country neither of them have ever lived in before.
Is that a cool story or what? I hope you find it as cheery as I do.