A little while ago, I posted about how I found out that my brother is engaged. And because I've always known that he has a tendency to play close to the vest, I thought it was only fitting that my family played a trick of their own -- they decided to throw him a surprise engagement party last Saturday!
The event was fairly low-key, and we all met at Clinton Lake for a cook-out, volleyball, and swimming. As long as it didn't rain, I figured that it would be a fun time for all, and I have to admit -- I was looking forward to getting one over on Isaac. But all surprise parties have hiccups, and ours started about 8:00 that morning: Lydia told me that she had just seen Isaac leaving the house in full Army dress uniform, which usually means that he'll be gone for the weekend for reserve duty. So I rushed out to ask what was going on, and to (not-so-subtly) ask how long he expected to take. When he didn't resond with curiosity about why I was asking, I figured that he knew about the surprise party, but was pretending not to. And since he indicated that it wouldn't be an all-day event, I decided to let him go -- things would just have to work out as best they could. All the same, I called my mom when I got back inside, to make sure she was aware that he may miss his own surprise party. She apparently already knew that he had committments in the morning, but said that his friends had figured a way to get him free in time for the party. Relieved, I went ahead and carried out the plans to set up his surprise party.
My first impression was that it would be just the two families and a few friends, so I was surprised when I got there -- I hadn't realized quite how many friends and family had made it. Not only that, but my parents had reserved not one, but two large shelter areas and volleyball courts, and had the event catered! I made several comments about the size of the party, but figured that my parents were just glad (and perhaps a little surprised. ;) ) that Isaac had found someone to marry, and they were making the most of it. So I joined the others in setting up the food area, planting citronella torches, and putting out other surprise decorations to turn the otherwise drab shelters into a festive party atmosphere. And about the time that everything was set up, we got the call that he was on his way, and we all started standing out in front where he'd see us as he arrived.
I got another shock when the limousine showed up. But I had to give props to his friends -- that was as good a way as any to get Isaac's attention and to get him away from reserve duty. And when the limo driver didn't immediately open the door, but first rolled out a white rose-covered walk-path, I thought that it was a little over-done, but fun. So to contrast the formality and official feeling that was starting to form, Ben and I (in typical Wilson fashion) positioned ourselves to tackle him after he'd walked through the column of friends waiting to receive him. ;)
But there was something about the formal way he stepped out of the limo in full army dress uniform that made us hang back. And we were puzzled when he strode through all his friends, nodded to us, and kept walking to the opposite end of the shelter. But I dismissed it, figuring that he was just embarrassed by the attention. That's when the trumpet started playing, and two of their friends got out of the limo, arm in arm, and walked down the processional. I'm embarrassed to admit that I still didn't get it -- it was my brother who first confusedly asked: "Is this an engagement party, or a wedding?" And then all the pieces clicked.
Lots of family.
All his friends.
Too many decorations, some of which were decidedly wedding oriented.
A limo, and a rose-covered carpet processional.
And then his bride-to be stepped out of the limo in a wedding gown.
Instead of us surprising him with a party, he had masterminded the entire event to surprise us with a wedding!
I don't think Isaac realized the effect he could have on close family by arranging a surprise wedding. I'm still in shock. I'll admit - I'm an emotional person in the first place, and because I'm very close to my family, my emotions are sometimes overly powerful. So finding out that my brother was getting married right then and there kept hitting me in waves. I'm still getting a little overwhelmed as I write this. For some reason, I just can't wrap my mind around the fact that my brother is married!
He doesn't read LJ, but in case he ever sees this:
I couldn't be happier that Tabitha has joined our family. I can't imagine anyone better suited for him, and I wish them the best.
Congratulations, Isaac and Tabitha!