I have struggled to find how to adequately put into words Teri Lee and Dwight's story and their wedding day. To know these two people is to love them, and when you meet their six kids....it's pure joy to be around them! Their story is a uniquely beautiful one, and I knew that no matter how hard I tried, I would fail miserably in writing their story. So, I turned to someone who I knew would put the perfect words on paper- Teri Lee! Anyone who knows Teri Lee, or follows her on social media, knows she has a way with words. Even her quick little shout out/blurbs on family members' birthdays usually leave me in tears. And her posts about her children make me resolve to be a better mom (more than once I have thought "how would Teri Lee handle this (kid) situation?!"). Teri Lee loves fiercely and her tireless devotion to everyone she holds dear is nothing short of inspiring. As a mom of six now, I know she gets a lot of the "wow, you have your hands full!" comments, but honestly, I can't think of any other human that is more capable!
The words below are what Teri Lee shared on her wedding day, surrounded by her new husband, six kids, family members, and a room full of people cheering them on and celebrating their story. I hope her words bless you like they have me. Oh, and enjoy the pictures from their perfect day!
(full list of vendors below pictures)
I am so glad we are all here today. I’m grateful to have a big party and mark today with lots of planning and beauty. I’m so glad we decided to ask all the favors and volunteers and stop everything for one day to remember and celebrate what God is doing and has done. I’m grateful for our children to have a day of joy to mark and remember this first day of being one big family. I am thankful for Dwight and I to have this treasure of a day to share forever.
Today reminds me of what God commanded of His people with all the feasts and Ebenezers and rites of old. I am so fast to zip casually by the big, miraculous works of God. I don’t want to fly by this beautiful gift He is giving us without a pause to celebrate His creativity and care. I want to mark today to worship Him for the good work He has done and also to set up a monument of reminder for our family that we would never forget His good care for us. We have seen too much good to doubt His heart toward us.
It is delightful to me that we could celebrate this day in the spring. The season always comes faithfully again to remind the trees of green and the flowers of warmth mirroring the Lord’s pattern of always creating superfluously beautiful things in His own unexpected way. The spring always reminds me of Him and the way He brings life. Everything He has created, in some way says His name, reminds me of His character and tells me the truth of the work He is ultimately doing. The seeds in the flowers all around us with their tiny bit of life quivering inside it, waiting for the moisture in the dirt to soften the seed coat and the bright light of the sun to pull the bud to the surface of the dirt also echo the death of the plant that dropped it and the way God is always creating in His sovereign goodness.
And what He had done for us, doesn’t it also just look like Him? Though we are just a tiny image in the spectrum of His work, it feels like His light refracting through our lives creates a rainbow promise for me of ultimate redemption. Marriage in itself isn’t salvation, but that He would bring life and hope and joy to our families is a glimpse, a shadow of His full work that is so different and far better than we would ever imagine for ourselves. And it is a work of His hands that is bringing us a deep, lasting joy.
Ultimately, we know that joy is that deep, steady satisfaction only found in communion with Jesus. It is also an almost wild delight in the work of His hands. Joy is steady hope in long, deep valleys as much as it is the silly laughter of friends in new seasons. We have felt the deep current of contented joy and are finding it is giving spark to this happiness to ignite into a robust celebration in our souls.
Paul says that the way marriage reflects Jesus and His bride, the church, is a mystery that is too difficult to explain. I think the same is true of another relationship within His kingdom. Within the body of Christ, grief borne on the shoulders of many is inexplicably lighter. Simultaneously, joy shared within the same group, swells and grows. Thank you for bearing witness to our lives, to both the joy and the sorrow. We can never explain what it means that you both lightened the load of sorrow and multiplied our joy.
So we say: praise God for the work of His hands and for the spectrum of His joy in our lives. And thank you, for seeing us and knowing us and igniting our joy into a true and deep celebration. We love you so very much.
-Teri Lee Sands
April 28, 2018
A special thanks to all of the vendors who were a part of Teri Lee and Dwight's special day!
Florist- Carolina Wildflowers
Wedding Coordinator- Coordinate Your Date
Caterer- Allie Pust
Cake- Beth Champman
Portrait Venue- Taylor's Mill
Wedding and Reception Venue- North Hills Church
And an extra special shout out to John Bolton Photography (aka my dad) for being an invaluable photography partner for the day!
These kiddos sure did love the big cameras! lol