Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hey Honey! KP Called My Parents About Our Wedding...

The bride looked at me with wild eyes, shock suffusing her face. What was wrong, Oh man I've never been a wedding planner before had I screwed up something???  What had happened?  In shock I hear her say "We have to move the wedding to Pennsylvania, we can't postpone. The grooms sibling was only available till July. I shook my head in surprise "Say what?"  She continued It's "policy" KP called the grooms parents  and explained it all. No more weddings at GFA they must take place in the brides or grooms home town, just like they do in India.  She was so sad, she wanted all her GFA family about her to celebrate, travel of this sort was out of the question for most of the staff living simply.  Yet here she was carefully explaining to me they the bride and groom would be obedient to KP's request and move the wedding...

I semi exploded. YOU HAVE GOT to be kidding me. Here we were 6 weeks into a let's do a wedding in 3 months, Wedding. Who does this to a bride?? Ok yes the invitations haven't gone out yet, but they will in 2 weeks!  This couple had less money than I did when I got married on a shoestring in 1992. As she poured out more of her concern; people have bought airline tickets, the cake deposit will be lost, the deposit on the church is non-refundable.  My mind was awhirl, it's my job to fix this! Isn't that what wedding planners are for??? I put on my Super Power head covering... ok not really... 

Just to back track for a moment: At first I suggested to the couple a getaway wedding, small intimate at a lovely location... mainly because the timing was bad... GFA was packing up and moving that summer from Carrollton to Wills Point.  We wouldn't want to be a distraction (see the buzz word again! it was ingrained in our hearts and minds).  In our first meeting the bride and groom believed they could use the auditorium and the "cafe" to hold the wedding at GFA.  They hoped to have David Carroll as their minister. As we attempted to obtain the permission for the use of the building and hopefully a hearty "Yes I'd love to marry you." we got a No and a No, I'm exhausted and can't give you the time you need.  Dates had been clearly given at this point. 

This couple had already waited about two years! to get married as leadership had told them to wait. This wedding was not an all out shindig, the budget could only afford a Coffee & Cake wedding with a discount dress. The thought of losing half their budget because "KP said so" boggled my mind. Then out of the blue I saw John Beers, I pigeon holed him near the stairs and asked what was the policy concerning weddings? Did they have to take place in the home town? Confused he conveyed a not to my knowledge stance. I don't remember his words but he clearly was not aware of this as a policy. 

I hovered near KP's son Danny at the end of prayer meeting that night and basically begged him to intercede for us. Explaining I was the wedding planner. I told him the bride and groom were completely willing to comply with KP, but would he talk to his dad and ask him to reconsider?  I had GFA's best interests at heart. We would not allow the staff to be sucked into the wedding plans if they didn't have the time or inclination. In fact whenever we asked for help we made sure the person being asked could say no and no one's feelings would be hurt... GFA staff sometimes have a tough time saying no and setting boundaries. See Core Value #8 Serving Sacrificially... I went on to say all in a rush that the couple would loose all their deposits totaling about half of the budget, people would lose tickets and have to pay change fees. Poor Danny the look on his face.  

A conference call to make contingency plans with the bride, the brides side, the groom, the grooms side and me the wedding planner the next day was a bit gloomy.  I did let them know I had done all but grovel to Danny to get the wedding back in TX. So we prayed and waited. Soon after the Grooms parents received another phone call from KP.   Thank you Danny for helping.  Since the wedding was so far forward they would be the exception and be allowed to keep the wedding in TX.  But he put in parameters about how many staff could help, that no one would get a half a day off to go to the wedding. The Wedding was on a Friday if they didn't have a vacation day they couldn't go. The bride and grooms family had to do 50% of the wedding preparations. Yada yada yada it was a list... 

Why did I not see it then as clearly as I see it now. If he had trusted us he would have indicated to us to be gentle on the staff and try not to be a distraction and let us be. Here again a list of rules instead of trust. With low trust, you get a lot of rules and regulations that take the place of human judgment and creativity; you also see profound disempowerment. From Stephen R. Covey's blog. 

I wondered at the time who creates a policy like this one? Did the board? Did Sr. Leadership? or was this a unilateral decision? It is obvious to me now is it obvious to you?  KP must have created this policy to avoid the inconvenience and distraction to the ministry at a time right before the big move.  I'm glad he changed his mind... in fact there have been many weddings at GFA since this policy was put in place, I suspect the policy's usefulness has expired.

Update* Since it's not clear to some, this event took place prior to the Wills Point Campus move.

Update 2*
I have been contacted by someone in leadership at this time. They offered up a few more details and insight into this particular relationship. Again here you will find the drum beat of the wife leads the husband away from the ministry is playing in the back ground of this situation. Leadership believed the Bride would not stay at GFA. (There again is that "Everyone's should be a Life-er" and have the GFA "DNA"). Leadership had been purposely setting road blocks in the couples path for years, not letting them use the Auditorium was one of those road blocks.  The more I blog, the more I find out, the more I am grieved by the manipulation I see.

Oh Lord Please heal this situation! 


  1. If the couple had been allowed to marry when they wanted to and not have had to wait two years (!), this all could have been avoided.

  2. This policy is as wonky as the headscarf fiasco and closing the nursery fiasco a decade ago. Kp gets an idea and who cares about the impact on staff. ... yet another test of obedience. So sad.

  3. This breaks my heart. A joyous celebration gets turned into a test of loyalty. I'm sure they justified it in their minds as a commitment to Christ--as I always did. I'm so thankful to have been able to be a witness to the beauty of their union. What God has joined together let no man separate. Praying they see God giving approval to them regardless of the mess they had to endure to get there.