The Birmingham Bride » Birmingham Weddings

Betsy & Bernard’s Cathedral of the Advent Wedding

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Last May, I wrote an article on singleness for The Gospel Coalition. It was called Should I Be Content With My Singleness? In the article, I wrestled with the fact that although I desired to be married, it might not be God’s will for me. I shared that even if I never married, I had learned to see my longing for a husband as a parable for the way the church should be longing for the return of Christ.

The day after the article was published, I received an email from a pastor in Manhattan. I quickly Googled him and found out he was originally from London and quite handsome! I wrote back, and before long we were writing every day. After a week, we skyped, and at the end of the skype conversation, he asked if he could fly down to Birmingham and take me on a date! Six months later, on a screened in porch at my great-grandparents’ farm in South Alabama, he asked me to marry him. We were married exactly one year after he first wrote to me.

What about your wedding was unique to Birmingham? My husband is a Jewish Christian, so we incorporated Jewish customs into our Southern American wedding service. We were married under a chuppah, which symbolizes the start of a new household and reminds us that Abraham and Sarah lived in tents. After the minister pronounced us husband and wife, we smashed a glass. This tradition reminds Jews that the temple in Jerusalem has been destroyed, and even at the moment of great joy, there is still a need for restoration. As a Christian, it reminds me of the restoration to come when our heavenly bridegroom comes and makes all things new.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? It was very special to have Cameron and June Carr of O’Carr’s cater the reception. I grew up eating at O’Carr’s, and the Carrs have become good friends of my family. They have the rare ability to make food beautiful and delicious.

Where did you find your dress? I found my dress at The White Room. It was the very first one I tried on, and I loved the illusion neckline with cap sleeves The dress I tried on was lace from top to bottom, but it was a little too much lace for me, so we ordered the same dress with a silk taffeta skirt. Throughout the process, Carolyn Kelley and Jessica Galloway were tremendously helpful and made me feel like they were enjoying the process as much as I was.

Anything else that you would like to share about your day? In the article that I wrote that prompted my husband to write to me, I said, “If God ever gives me a husband, I will live out this picture of rejoicing in the long-awaited bridegroom. We’ll have a wedding feast, which will foreshadow the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19). The purpose in my season of singleness will be obvious to everyone who shares in my rejoicing; it was to make the consummation all the sweeter.” It was such a blessing to have the dream of being married fulfilled and to celebrate with people who love us.

I woke up one morning with no marital prospects, and I went to bed wondering about a handsome British preacher. My life changed in the blink of an eye, which is exactly how it will be for those who are waiting for the appearing of our Messiah, Jesus Christ, only that joy will be even sweeter!


CREDITS: Photography, Mary Margaret Smith | Flowers, Kathy Miller | Invitations, Please Reply | Cake, Barb’s Cakes | Catering, O’Carrs | Reception Music, Ray Reach |  Wedding Dress, Anne Barge at The White Room | Bridesmaids dresses, Bridesmaids Inc.

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