Four years ago today, a few of my closest friends and I did our hair and makeup together. We laughed, chatted, and tried to make sure everything was just so. I tried to nibble on some food my dad brought, sucked down an iced coffee, and tried to act natural in front of the photographers. I put on a gorgeous white dress, grabbed the flowers my mom had made up for me, and then we had to be on our way.
My best friend drove me to the church and helped me hide in the basement until the time was right. I tried to settle my nerves and threatened my dad when I saw him start to get emotional. We forgot all about walking slowly down the aisle, as I tried to hold my bouquet, smile at all the people looking at me, and not trip on my slightly too-long dress. My friend’s dad was taking video and still teases me about how quickly we walked.
The ceremony itself is a bit of a blur. I was aware that some of my family was crying, so I didn’t let myself look in their direction. I remember how the beautiful music floated through the church and that my new brother-in-law called me Sis at the sign of peace. I blinked back tears at some of my favorite songs were played. I hoped that my voice didn’t shake at all as I repeated my vows, as Joe and I promised our lives to God and each other.
Then, suddenly, it was over. We realized that we had forgotten to tell one of my grandparents and the flower girl and ring bearer to stick around for photos. We posed, smiled so much our faces hurt, then left for the reception.
I don’t remember what was served to us that evening, probably because we were so worked up we could barely touch our food. Which is a bit ironic, because we told everyone ahead of time that they had to sing us a song with the word ‘kiss’ in it for us to kiss, because we wanted a chance to eat and not have silverware clanking glasses the entire time. I forgot until we were unpacking weeks later that the champagne flutes I’d purchased for our toasts never made it to the reception hall.
Our deejay was fantastic. It was so much fun to see our family and friends from all over the country dancing together like they’d known each other for years. Our bar bill actually came in below the estimate because everyone was so busy dancing.
We were crazy blessed that day and have been every day after. Since then, we’ve had laughter, tears, and more laughter. We moved, started a business, and added a couple of kids into the mix. Joe, your brother told me in his toast that you would help me get to heaven. What he didn’t say was that being married to me would help you get to heaven – although putting up with me surely is enough for that. Thanks for asking me for my number all those years ago so we could get this ball rolling. It’s been a great ride, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Happy Anniversary and I love you!