People say that you forget things about your wedding day. They told me that I should pause and savor the moments because they pass by too quickly. Thank you for this timeless advice.
This is for anyone who has ever been married or is considering it in the future. This is what I remember…
It is the morning of our wedding and I am at a yoga class with two of my bridesmaids. It is hot in the room and we practice to music. We take our final position and lay on the floor for rest. ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ by Paul McCartney begins to play. It is our first dance song. I am overcome and begin to cry. I look at my friend Kate and see that she is crying too. We smile at each other through happy tears.
I see David the day of our wedding but he does not see me.
He is walking out of the elevator in a black tuxedo. He is calm and collected and waiting. I can feel his anticipation. He looks wonderful. It is at this moment that I realize that my best friend is going to marry me.
He is there all dressed up, surrounded by the friends and family who have raised us. My thoughts turn to our life together. I think of the day we met, the first time he took care of me, the meals he cooked, the places we have lived. In this moment, I understand what it is all for. The days, months and years leading up to our marriage were building blocks falling into place to support us in our decision. In this moment, I know.
I have never been so sure of anything in my life.
I stand behind a wall waiting for the photographers to tell me I can see my Dad for the first time. My mom nods to me and I turn to corner. He is there in black and white bathed in the evening light. He smiles with his eyes. He always has. He is smiling at me and I want to kick off my shoes and run into his arms like I did when I was little. There is nothing to say. In my eyes, he has not aged a day. He will always be the first man I ever loved. We hold hands and laugh at each other.
The doors open and we take our steps forward. The six notes of ‘In My Life’ by The Beatles begins to play and I relax. I see a hundred faces turned to me. I suddenly realize how hard it must be to be the president or a famous actress or public speaker. I focus on individual faces and realize that I know them all. Aunts, uncles, baby-sitters, friends, teachers, mentors. These people know me, know David, know us, and love us anyway. Our wedding party stands in a semi-circle wearing black and white. They are our closest friends. My heart warms and I squeeze my father’s hand.
We make our grand entrance into the ballroom and are seated. My eyes scan the room and land on my mother. She is wearing purple and is looking back at me. The light settles upon her face and I can tell that she has been crying. She has passed her wisdom to me and my sister. Because of her, we both know how we should be loved. I can’t believe how beautiful she is and has always been.
The dancing begins and we take a moment to look around. The sun is setting and the lights in Denver begin to sparkle. It feels like the city is on fire for love. Our friends laugh and dance. People are meeting for the first time. Everyone we have ever know stands in the same room for the first and last time. We sip our champagne.
I realize I have seated a divorced couple next to each other for dinner.
I am on a chair in mid-air wondering who came up with this tradition. I would like to slap them. The two men holding the chair to my right are tiring faster than the ones to my left. I begin to slide off and remind myself that if this is the end, it really isn’t the worst way to go.
We give 1,000 hugs.
The party is suddenly over and we hold hands and make our way to our suite. The hotel has left a banquet of chips and cake and champagne in our room. We have a picnic on the bed and open our cards and presents. Periodically we look at each other to make sure it’s real. I think that I love him even more than I did before.
He has chocolate sauce on his cheek.
The night ends and the rest of our life begins.