For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls
The wedding season is upon us. And I, like so many, am feeling giddy. Because let’s face it, everybody loves a wedding. And while the tabloids are quite interested in the upcoming wedding of Prince Will and Almost-Princess Kate, the wedding that I am most interested in is my sister’s. Which is tomorrow. Which brings one of those, “Whaaaa? Where did the time go?!?!” reactions as I peruse my wedding-preparation to-do list and notice how much is left to check off. But her wedding will happen regardless and by tomorrow night what did or did not get checked off of a list will no longer be important. The only important thing will be that the wedding happened. All the little hiccups involved? They just become the fodder for great stories and memories in the future.
Because as we all know, weddings include little boxes getting checked off that the lovely couple may not have anticipated. So, in honor of weddings and their excitement, let me share some of my own wedding hiccups.
So that wedding day? Here are some highlights from the blessed event:
Mister Soandso and I were fresh out of college (he one year more freshly than myself) and our wedding reflected many aspects of my being a young college graduate who majored in history and English literarure. For example, I had some strong opinions on wedding traditions that I refused to include. There would be no blusher (historically it was used to hide the bride from her betrothed who often saw her for the first time at the event) and no one was going to give me away, no way!
The blusher, in hind sight, whatever. No big deal one way or another. But having an escort may have been a nice idea seeing as it turned out I was a bit nervous to get married. At least having someone, any one, to stand next to would have given me somebody to babble nervously to instead of only myself. I’m sure I didn’t look the least be insane, mumbling to myself.
That mumbling? It reflected my two clearest memories of my wedding: the feeling that I might at any moment vomit upon myself and the thought “Oh no. Now they’re all going to stand up and look at me. Yep, there they go.” That’s it. The clearest memories I have are not my handsome husband looking at me or our first wedded kiss. How romantic am I? Apparently only as romantic as a queasy stomach and a bit of stage-fright.
Also, because I refused to have any words said at my wedding that even hinted at “obeying” or such nonsense, we wrote our own vows. And we practiced them; we especially practiced Mister Soandso’s lines so that he wouldn’t be nervous on the big day. And yet, if you were to watch the whole thing go down on VHS, you would hear Mister Soandso quite audibly and oh so eloquently say his vows. Me? Not so much. Oh, my lips move but not a single sound is heard. Who knew I could ever be silenced?
That VHS also evidences a particular highlight for Mister Soandso and I. The tape captured the entrance of the minister, Mister Soandso and his best man. Then, blip, blip as the two groom’s men walk past to take their places at the altar. With just a slight pause, I’m sure as he took note of the goings on, the minister steps over to the groom’s men and says something. That something was “weren’t you supposed to pick up the girls?” Blip, blip go the groom’s men back to the narthex.
Now, of course, no wedding would be complete without a receiving line and mine was fairly staid. However, I hadn’t really planned on the effect of hugs on a veil clipped to one’s hair (your hair gets yanked, over and over, while you keep a smile plastered upon your face even while a bald spot appears like some magic trick) or just how much lipstick will be deposited on one’s face by well-wishers (folks really should try to coordinate their lipstick shades for the benefit of the bridal couple’s cheeks during the remaining photo opportunities).
But the hand’s down best memory from my wedding night, aside from being carded at the bar, is when Mister Soandso’s grandmother sat down next to me, patted my hand and whispered “Just remember that no matter what happens tonight, he loves you very, very much.”
So there you have it. No wedding bell tolling in doom. No falling cake towers, doves refusing to fly, broken wedding gown zippers, or crying flower girls, no wedding horror stories. Just a gathering of friends and family to usher us with high excitement and little drama into married life. Which is pretty much how my marriage has been…lots of excitement but not much drama, just great friends and family helping us make great memories since 1992.
And I didn’t cry or puke or otherwise embarrass myself.
But if I had, it would have been okay. Because I could have cleaned up myself with the towel set my grandmother gave us: one monogrammed blue towel (the initials match no one on either side’s family) and one brown washcloth (frayed on two sides). But that is a story for another day…