We are unusually blessed as a couple. We have families that love us individually and together, distant relatives we gladly call our friends, a perfect wedding, a warm and happy home, employment…the list goes on. God has been good, for sure, because we certainly don’t deserve to have all that we do.
We were even blessed (abundantly) with wedding gifts. People gave us everything we asked for, everything we needed and didn’t know we did, and some extra nice things that we’dnever dream we’d own.
These weeks beging the process of thanking all of these lovely people.
However, some gifts seem to have mysteriously appeared. They had no card or name attached, and one had a card but no name. Process of elimination won’t let me figure out who they are–the list is too long, and there are too many variables.
So will the giver of the bag with the cookie sheets, bundt pan, wooden spoons, cake pans, and the 9×13 insulated baking pan, the bag with the navy blue towels, and the bag with the pizza stone please stand up?
Thank you so much, whoever you are.
I married the love of my life today.
I’d like to let the whole world know.
I’d like to let the whole world know that love is very, very real. Love is alive.
God made love because God is love. And God in His infinite mercy and grace decided to give me a taste of His love in my relationship with a wonderful young man. A young man who is much more than I deserve, who is a far better man than I could have ever dreamed up for myself.
God took my wildest dreams and made them wilder. He knew what I wanted and told me, “Let me give you that and more. So much more.”
And He gave me him.
Listen, fellow wanderers: there is hope. There is life. There is love.
And God is always so very good.
I’m getting married in twelve hours.
The church could not be prettier. The flowers could not be lovelier. I couldn’t have more wonderful people in my bridal party. I couldn’t possibly be filled with any more love.
I am filled and surrounded by joy.
I am so grateful. I am grateful for my parents and my parents-to-be. I am grateful for the people making my wedding happen. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my groom.
I am thankful for my God who loves me enough to shower all of this wonder over me. I can’t understand it. I never will.
But I have never felt so blessed.
I have no regrets, no backward glances, no second guesses. Am I ready? There’s no way to be ready. Not really. Everyone has told me that.
I am deeply in love.
I am deeply in grace.
Ready to not, here I come.
There’s nothing stranger than saying “I’m getting married the day after tomorrow.”
I mean, maybe saying “I’m getting married tomorrow” might top that, which is what I’ll be saying tomorrow.
I’m not letting myself overthink anything. After all, the wedding is just a thirty-minute long ceremony. All I’m doing is promising my best friend that I will love him forever, which is something I made up my mind that I would do about a year ago.
Everything about this wedding feels so perfectly natural. I’ve wanted it to happen for so long.
But here’s the thing:
I’ve been in a lot of plays. I’ve always had plenty of reason to be nervous. Lines weren’t always in my head, costumes weren’t always finished in time and weren’t guaranteed to stay in place, and blocking was always a little touch-and-go. Yet no matter how precarious the upcoming performance might be, I wouldn’t get nervous until the day of, nay, hours before the curtain rose. And that nervousness would find me in a dark corner, shivering, alone with my feelings of anxiety and a tentative urge to lose the contents of my stomach.
I am a mere 36 hours away from my wedding, and I am not nervous.
Almost the day after tomorrow.
I’m holding an ice cube to my face to make a pimple go down. My nails look fantastic, My feet haven’t looked this good since I was seven.
There’s only one box of my stuff that remains to be taken from my parent’s house to my apartment.
We meet with the photographer tomorrow.
And I need sleep.
Almost everything is perfect.
The decorations are perfect. The location is perfect. The bridal party is perfect. The dress is beyond perfect.
The only items about the wedding that are not perfect is the absence of two of our grandmothers and the uncles and aunts that cannot be there for health reasons.
Other than that, perfection.
I know it’s four days out still, and that’s plenty of time for things to go wrong. But as far as this bride is concerned, the only thing that can really go wrong would be something that resulted in me not marrying my fiance. Everything else is just icing on the cake, and I happen to like cake without icing.
So far all is going well, thanks to all the wonderful people who are fluttering around and making everything go right.
I am a peaceful bride.
Now, if this zit on my chin would just go away….
Here are some fun facts about the wedding that won’t make it into the program:
- The paper flowers in the bouquets and boutonnieres are made from retired bound volumes of periodicals from the library where the bride worked for five years.
- The decorative netting used in some of the corsages are cut from the yards and yards of netting from the removed underskirt of the bride’s mother’s wedding dress.
- The ring the bride is wearing on her right hand belonged to her grandmother, who gave it to the bride’s mother mother on her 16th birthday.
- The pennant flags decorating the reception hall and the ceremony space are cut from old maps used in the classroom of the couple’s university for the last who-knows-how-many-decades. They were donated to the wedding by one of UU’s best beloved history teachers.
- Some of the decorations at the rehearsal dinner are music boxes that belonged to the bride’s maternal grandparents.
- The sun and moon pendants worn by the bride and groom were commissioned by the bridesmaids and were modeled after a drawing done by the bride as an illustration for her book.
- Muffins are being served at the reception for three reasons:
- The reception takes place early enough to be called a brunch.
- The bride and groom use “muffin” as a pet name. The groom goes by “blueberry muffin” and the bride is “chocolate muffin,” the two flavors available.
- The church’s youth group (taught by the bride and groom) call themselves “The Mighty Muffin-Eaters,” a tribute to their propensity to eat a ton of the muffins that one of our church members makes for Sunday School every week.
- All of the children playing a role in the wedding are members of the aforementioned youth group. The bride grew up with most of them and considers them to be her younger siblings.
- The groomsmen’s boutonnieres are paper airplanes placed as a subtle nod to the Disney animated short Paperman, a cartoon that the bride and groom particularly love.
- The bride and groom are getting married a year and two days after they told each other “I love you” for the first time.
This whole wedding experience is turning out to be a lot less dramatic than I thought it would.
All the weddings I’ve heard of, even the weddings of close friends, seemed to be a year-long, drawn-out, horrendous pile of drama. So much drama. Huge families butting heads, bridezillas or bridesmaidzillas or motherofthebridezillas, delinquent grooms, threats of calling off the wedding, actually calling off the wedding. I’ve heard it all.
I knew the people that would be helping me put the wedding together, and I knew that they are all reasonable, kind, and giving people. I did not expect drama. I little tension, maybe. Some tears shed. Maybe some hurt feelings.
Yes, it’s been stressful. But never too stressful. Not mind-blowingly terrifyingly stressful. Just tense. Just a lot to do.
Thankfully I have a big crew of people that are competently and efficiently getting things checked off the list.
This has been fun. I have seen nothing but the best out of everybody involved.
Still really ready for Saturday, though.
You only get to say you’re two weeks away from your wedding once. Just once.
So I’m going to say it.
I’m two weeks away from my one and only wedding.
I’m not even thinking about how these are the last days of myself as a single woman. I really liked being single. It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot and went to a lot of places and did a lot of things. I didn’t twiddle my thumbs and wait around for Prince Charming to show up before my life could start.
Prince Charming came along when I was already in the middle of a grand adventure. He just made it grander.
We’re two weeks away from going from two to one.
I’m terrified and thrilled at the same time.
But the whole thing is far more simple than it seems. Under all the pretty trimmings, there’s just me and him and God and a promise. He is my best friend. I’m just going to promise to always be his best friend.
I’m going to promise him once and for all. And I’ll promise him every day if I have to.
So many things to order.
So many things to buy.
So much food to store.
So many pictures to take.
So many appointments to make.
So many things to prepare.
So many boxes to unpack.
So many notes to sign.
So many decorations to design.
So much sleep I won’t be getting.
So my stress I will be shedding.
So many memories to make.
So many kisses to give.
So little time.
So little time.
So. Little. Time.
I’m 20 days away from the best day ever.
I am simultaneously ready and not ready.
Emotionally, I’ve been ready for almost a year. Logistically, there’s still a lot to be done.
But are we ever completely ready for anything?
No. No we’re not.
And that’s okay.
If we could be completely ready for everything at all times, then we’d be God. And there’s only one God, and He’s got everything figured out so I can relax into the idea that I don’t have to have everything figured out. There’s something beautiful in that.
I know that for sure.
And I know I love my fiance for sure. And certain. And muchly. And foreverly.
So here we go.
We’re 30 days away.
We have our marriage license in hand.
We’re packing our bags and moving them into a brand new place.
We’re sending the last few invitations.
We’re counting down the hours.
We’re almost there.
I’m getting married in 67 days, but 67 is just a number. The number doesn’t make it any more or less real.
Even all the planning hasn’t made it real. The dress hasn’t made it real.
The bridal shower kind of helped it sink in a little more.
The first ten minutes or so, I had to keep reminding myself that the shower was about me. I’ve never had a shower thrown for me before. People were piling gifts in my lap, but they weren’t just presents for me–they were presents for me and my fiance that I was opening and gasping over in delight.
I’ve been to showers. I’ve seen the bride in the chair with her maid of honor next to her, jotting notes. I’ve never been the one in the chair. I kept forgetting I was the one in the chair. I was so delighted to see people I loved, but I was always surprised to see them looking at me, as if I was the most important person in the room.
But they were. I’m a bride to be.
I’m getting married.
Suddenly I find myself surrounded by dishes and flatware and linens and suddenly, everything is starting to feel very, very real.
They say it’s all about what the bride wants.
The flowers? Find what she likes. The dress? Only the perfect one will do. The food? To her taste. The music? Whatever makes her smile, and possibly cry a little. Or a lot.
Of course, money’s a limiter. So, it’s naturally whatever the bride wants within established financial limits. As it should be. The wedding is once: don’t go into debt for it. Make the marriage more beautiful than the wedding,s o they tell me.
Many brides want the moon. They want the carriage ride and the red carpet. They want arbors of flowers and custom bridesmaids dresses and trips to Bermuda. They want a DJ and a lit-up dance floor and an open bar. They want limos and specialty catering and crystal wine glasses at the reception.
I have never wanted the moon. Not for my wedding. The most extravagant daydream I’ve ever had for my wedding is a flash mob done by the bridal party. And I’m fine without that. I’m happy without it.
All I want is to say “I do” to the love of my life. All i want is a beautiful marriage.
And right now, I want sleep.