Monday, April 18, 2011

Words & Photos_A Raych Arles Wedding Weekend

This weekend, one of my dearest most precious friends took those terrifyingly wonderful steps down the aisle and committed herself to an amazingly sweet and loving man. I've known Rachel since she was 14, when she was crafting duct tape purses in my Mom's kitchen, teaching me animal sign language on the floor in Barnes and Noble, showing me what my college experience should have been like while visiting her at Covenant College. I had no idea that my relationship with this teenager would blossom into the sisterhood it is today. She is probably one of the most unique people I know: a tender-hearted, enormously lovable and charming black woman trapped in a white girl's body. She communicates more in noises than she does in words. She's unpredictably hilarious, a true marcher to her own drummer, seeing at times the worst in people as their best, and could fill a day's worth of audio with her own clever Raych Arles-ism sound bytes.

I asked Rachel and Asher, as I do most wedded couples-to-be, if they think they're going to cry during the wedding. Both answered pretty confidently "no."

During the ceremony, the pastor (who was also Asher's uncle) took about a minute or so asking Rachel and then Asher to look at the other's hands and take into account their meaning. That Rachel's hands would be the ones to one day hold their children. That Asher's would be the ones rough and worn from working to provide. I remember looking at Asher, unsure if the glare off his glasses was just a glare or in fact, tears. I settled on a glare when I realized he was sniffling and his nose had burned red and he was nervously darting his eyes from Rachel to us bridesmaids. I had to look away so not to lose it. What hit me the most was the pastor turning to Rachel and saying: "These hands are the hands you will support and defend, when everyone else has turned their backs against him." I suppose this hits home for me as I'm traditionally a people pleaser and tend to choose at times compromised peace over conflict. But in this statement, it really surfaced how much I am putting someone else first and championing them no matter what, even if it reflects poorly on me. It's losing my own self dignity for someone else and saying that whatever happens, I'm in 100 percent.

I loved everything about Rachel's wedding. I loved that she walked down the aisle to "For the Beauty of the Earth." I loved how she made nearly all of her decorations and executed such creative and unique ideas. I loved how we danced on a stage to Kanye West as she apologized while dancing when the "shit" and the "f" word among other expletives were unleashed. I loved how we were able to take gangsta photos. I loved seeing how much she is loved and the incredible fold of support she has surrounding her in this new phase of her life. I loved having time with just her early in the morning the day before and the day of her wedding to laugh, talk, and pray together. I love that this is honestly just the beginning. Rachel and Asher will be in my life for a very long time, for my own wedding and our probable move to Baltimore and I feel so blessed to have them by my side.

So, congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Warren. The world is better now, as am I, that you are bound together for life.


Food & The Fury said...

YAAAY!! Great great great write-up, Kimi :)

misie said...

i love rachel's facial expressions - they remind me of how i feel most of the time.