By Sarah van Deest, Director of Event Services
Growing up, I never attended weddings. Not a single one until my senior year of college, when my roommate’s brother got married and a guest couldn’t make it at the last minute. At that, I was only invited to the reception.
And then one of my friends got married, and it all changed. I always respected the tradition but never understood the pomp and circumstance until I saw my friend walk down the aisle hand-in-hand with her dad. And I lost it. It all made sense.
Fast-forward a few years and I continue to lose it, over and over again without fail. It continues to move me every time I witness couples who begin as strangers and become quick friends, and who have trusted us to share their biggest day and the love they have for one another.
I’m humbled by the gorgeous Czech Crystal chandelier we walk under every single day, backlit by floor-to-ceiling windows and brick archways, and the anchor where our couples exchange their vows. Rozek Grand Hall transforms from this bustling intersection of the museum to an intimate, almost still space for a ceremony as if anticipating the officiant to exhale and say, “Please rise.” In the calm and silence, I can’t help but feel the overwhelming support and affection surrounding the room.
I am almost always the person the bride looks to for her cue to step out to begin her procession, the last person to give the reassuring smile and nod, the awkward thumbs up because if I don’t do something with my hands she might notice my eyes beginning to water. It’s the best part of my job. For in that single moment, I know nothing else matters but love.