Saturday, August 16, 2014

Daniel and Maruška: Wedding in Slovakia

We traveled across the country of Slovakia, to the eastern side, for a most precious wedding.

Our dear friend, and JV teammate, Maruška Kožlejová, married Daniel Sconc today!

I know it's blurry but it so captured Maruška's joy!

We met at the reception location before the wedding in Kuková, getting our first glimpse of the happy bride and groom as they arrived.

Even though it looks like there is sunshine, their arrival was actually accompanied by a bit of rain.

But you know what happens when it rains? You just might be graced by such a magnificent sight as this.

I have never seen a more vibrant rainbow, and so close to the horizon! SO magnificent!

I truly saw it as God's blessing on this dear couple as they headed to the church to be married.

Not knowing where the church was, we drove around the village of Kuková in search of it for a few minutes. I kept thinking, "I hope we're note late!" Especially since Dave was giving the sermon during the ceremony.

But you know what? We arrived JUST in time.

Time to see Daniel and Maruška walk together to the church for their wedding!

Again a little blurry, but you can't help but see the joy!

With everyone else seated inside already, their parents and wedding party waited outside for them.

I'm so glad we were late and could see all of them at that precise moment!

The beautiful church was absolutely packed with guests, so while Dave headed to the front of the church, Claire and I climbed the stairs to the balcony to watch the wedding from there.

I only got one photo, but what a precious moment to capture: the blessing over the married couple.

To the tune of the Svatebni Pochod (otherwise known as the traditional Wedding Recessional!) played on the beautiful organ in the balcony, Daniel and Maruška made their way outside to greet each of their guests.

I loved the first sight as you came out of the church! One of Maruška's pretty bridesmaids, Katarína, was there to greet you with this sweet frame:

Looking so full of joy as she greeted guests, Maruška received the paper flowers that she'll keep for a long time in memory of this day!

After all the greetings, it was off to the reception location for an all night party.

And what a lovely party it was!

With thoughtfulness for each of the guests, this was a reception full of beauty, tradition, food (OH the food!!), dancing, music, gifts of words and song, prayers, games, friends, and photos. It could not have been a more meaningful or special time.

Each guest was so honored and blessed by the generosity of Daniel and Maruška, and their parents

Smiles from everyone flowed throughout the whole evening, soaking in the joy of seeing Maruška and Daniel begin their life together amongst their loved ones.

It's evident to all that God has brought these two together. Full of deep love for one other, they are also full of love for the Lord, and for the people around them. It was so precious to watch them with their guests, lovingly blessing and honoring everyone for their presence.

Oh what a joyous occasion for all to celebrate in God's goodness over these two. And oh what a rich life God has ahead for them.

Later in the evening they both expressed thanks to their families and all who made their wedding day possible as the party continued. This is a true hallmark of this couple: kindness, thoughtfulness, and love for those around them. I just know the Lord was so honored by them on their wedding day.

Not long before we said our goodbyes at 1 AM (the party went until 5 AM!), I happened to turn around and see these darling girls (see below), all ones who have been in small groups with Maruška.

They embodied the joy of the day to me! There is just nothing better than seeing two people who love the Lord and desire to live for Him, be joined together in marriage.

We left with smiles on our own faces for having celebrated such goodness of the Lord at the coming together of Daniel and Maruška!

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