The Wedding Day
The wedding day forecast promised bright, sunny, 65 degrees. Now I don't know who's running the show over at the weather channel, but they should be fired. Looking out the window, the sky looked heavy and sorrowful, just pregnant with rain. And it delivered. A chilled, gray drizzle that never let up. I couldn't believe it. I stared out the window as I ate my raisin bran just praying and pleading for it to pass quickly. But it never did.
As I got ready I kept repeating "this isn't how it's supposed to be", "this isn't how it's supposed to be". I proceeded to put my hair up. I slid my veil carefully into the bun. I applied a little makeup. I burrowed into my dress and slipped into my flip flops. Lastly I got out my pink pashmina and put it around my shoulders (I was hoping I wouldn't need it). Ready to go. Still raining.
We got the the park and all the white chairs were set up in their perfect little rows. They were dripping wet. People can't sit on dripping wet chairs. And I couldn't get out of the car for two reasons: one, of course, it was raining pretty hard now; and two, my dress was so poofy, getting out of the car required a ton of effort. I was like a giant cotton ball.
I remembered that on the other side of the park was the pagoda. The pagoda is a pretty structure and more importantly, it had a roof. We could just move the chairs over there and dry them off. It was a plan. My brother and the other groomsmen started stacking chairs and putting them in all the big vehicles they could find. Until the park security came around. "No way can we move the chairs. They aren't to be moved," they said. No. They couldn't even be persuaded with a checkbook.
What else was there to do? All the guests would have to stand.
We moved the wedding over to the pagoda. Someone stayed behind to redirect traffic. Guests started arriving, looking confused and sorry that it wasn't going according to plan. I was still in the car, closing my eyes and centering myself. It was okay. Just roll with the punches, right?
After what felt like an hour of waiting and wondering what was going on, it was time to go. Colin and I quickly followed the wedding party up the sidewalk and under the pagoda. All the guests were standing together closely for warmth. And then I felt overwhelmed with joy. Everyone I knew and loved was there. They all smiled at me. Colin and I held onto each other and walked through the crowd.
And then the wedding ceremony proceeded. The celebrant was wonderful. She made a light-hearted comment about the cold and asked if everyone could huddle around for warmth and to hear. And they did. They were only 3 feet away, and it was like being surrounded by love. There was an opening prayer and a moment of silence, a short message followed by a song by our dears friends Evan, Grace and Charlie. That's when I got teary-eyed. I tried to hold it in until I looked around and saw my mother. It was over. I let go.
Next up my brother read the Apache Prayer. He had to pause a few times to regain composure. He's an officer in the marines, and one of the most tender hearted people I know. It was almost as if his tears were permission for everyone else to cry as well. It was beautiful.
My heart was pounding when it came to the vows. All I could see was Colin's blue eyes. We held each other's hands tightly. He said them first. I held my breath with every word. Tears slid down my face and I felt energy surge through me. I was no longer cold.
I went next. I felt like my voice came from somewhere behind me. I was almost hoarse with emotion. But I got through it. I pushed the ring onto his finger and looked into his eyes. I felt like were were the only two there at that moment. It was silent and still.
I don't remember the celebrant saying kiss the bride. But we kissed each other and held on as she pronounced us husband and wife.
Instead of having a processional and walking out then, she opened up the floor for hugs. Everyone was so close, it just felt perfect. I turned around and hugged my mom first and then my brother. Each time I hugged someone I got choked up again. It was messy and cold and intimate. And so beautiful.
What started off as somewhat of a disaster turned out to be better than the original plan. It was more intimate and heartfelt and us... Now that I think back on it, I can't imagine it any other way. I think it may be telling of my life, and our life together. There's always a plan or some path in mind. And things don't always work out according to that plan. And it happens that way for a reason.
It's beautifully imperfect.