The twin themes of the wedding at church were music and photography. Stacey has tremendous eyesight, which is obviously a plus for someone passionate about photography, but she also has tremendous vision in the second meaning of that word (not just faculty of sight, but the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination and wisdom.)

Right from the start, Stacey had very clear vision about what she wanted her wedding to be like. She wanted a service that honoured God and a reception that had the ‘wow’ factor. She was adamant that she wanted her wedding at her own church and that the reception should be in the community room, but she also wanted that room to be ‘stunning.’ In her words, she wanted people to walk into the room and say ‘I never thought this room could look like this.’ I wish I could count the number of times I actually heard people say that on Friday.

For vision to succeed, however, other people and hard work are usually needed. Visionaries are not always practical people and team effort is required to make visions into reality. The wedding on Friday proved that in abundance.

The first thing Stacey wanted was to create a photographic backdrop to the room which would enhance the photos. Covering the stage partition was no mean feat; it’s a vast area. We had to consult other people with sewing skills and practical ideas to work out how to actually do this. A good friend of mine, Ruth Pettitt, agreed to work on this idea, sewing material together tirelessly on the hen do and then working with a friend (thanks, Emma!)  until after 11 p.m. on Thursday night to put 300 fairy lights through this material to create the shimmery effect Stacey wanted. Leron (best man) and Stephen (groom) then had to climb scaffolding to staple this creation to the wooden frame around the stage:

IMG_2222The moment that we actually switched the lights on and the whole thing sparkled will remain in my memory for a long time.

IMG_2231The next idea Stacey had was a ‘ceiling full of pompoms’ to create a visual statement of colour (her colour scheme was pink, white and silver). Whilst cost soon put a dampener on this idea (and visionaries must always wrestle with the cold facts of life), we worked on making pompoms and attaching these to create colour and drama. Logistics required engineering skill and precision: attaching pompoms to hoops, ribbons to hoops and then hoops to rafters:

IMG_2178IMG_2199 IMG_2202The overall effect, however, was indeed stunning.

The vision continued: transforming blue chairs and tables into a fully coordinated colour scheme through table and chair covers; using flowers to create beauty all around; having a cake that combined both themes with such attention to detail it was breath-taking; a seating plan that had music as its background and so on. The overall effect was lovely.

The spiritual lessons from this are there for all to see. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish’ (Prov 29:18); we all need vision and revelation to aspire to something greater and better than we already have. But visionaries need practical people too; we all need each other if we are to see vision become reality. The sheer number of people involved in the wedding was considerable, all bringing their own particular skills to the table (Julie Stead’s napkin-folding abilities, Ruth Coombs’ flower arranging skills, the confectionery skills of Lisa Beddoe of Crossgates Cakes, not to mention the army of church volunteers who folded, carried, baked, made sandwiches, climbed scaff9lding, weeded, washed up, tided away and served with good humour and generosity). We are a body and work best when all the parts of that body work together. May God not only give us vision, but the skill, determination, patience and perseverance to see vision become reality.