Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Part 1: Mawwiage Is What Bwings Us Togevah Today

Jonny and I have been married two months exactly today, and I find myself reflecting on two months of wedded bliss. Every morning when I wake up, he is miraculously right next to me. It's like Christmas every day! Then I go to work. That's not at all like Christmas.

The wedding was - there's only one word for it - perfect. It was perfect. We decided to have a beach wedding because we wanted something a bit more casual and relaxed, and that's exactly what we got. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Let's start with expectations and work our way from there. I'm a pretty laid back person. I don't get worked up over every little thing, and I decided several years ago that weddings were far too much trouble. There are invitations, reply cards, registries, favors, cakes, place cards, corsages, collages, engagement pictures, wedding pictures, pictures of taking wedding pictures, organists, quartets, buffets, bouquets, garters, dresses, tuxes, DJs, open bars, toasts, and drunk toasts. It's enough to make a woman scream, and more often than not, it does. Jonny and I decided back in December that we wanted a no-frills wedding, something that would be low stress and easy to plan, and get this: I actually thought it was possible.

Perhaps some people get away with easy weddings, but I don't see how. No matter how simple the ceremony, there are still a lot of people to please or appease, a bunch of envelopes to lick, a location to acquire, a dress to pay for, etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseam, ad andsubtracteam. Weddings tend to be stressful, and boy howdy, was I stressed.

I was so stressed, in fact, about r.s.v.p.s and engraved rings that I forgot to think about the ceremony. In five months of unceasing focus on the wedding, I never stopped to actually focus on the wedding. The ceremony ended up flooring me. It stole the show, just as it should have, and it was without a doubt one of the two most meaningful moments of my life.

I woke up early on my wedding day, as all brides probably do. We housed the wedding party in the same beach house where we held the reception, so technically, I was nine hours early to the wedding. Ten Wife Points to me for being on time.

Audra (my maid of honor) and I shared a room overlooking the ocean, so I awoke in peace and near a friend. That's the way to start off a wedding day, if you ask me. Auds and I got up and milled about the kitchen, prying our eyes open with fresh coffee and slices of breakfast pastry. I had lost my voice on Tuesday of that week (didn't get it back fully until Saturday), so I fixed myself a soothing cup of tea and picked a spot on the back deck. The others, most of whom had gone to bed at 4 or 5 that morning, slowly crawled their way into the living room and then on to the deck. It was a beautiful Friday morning, the kind you dream of waking up to on your wedding day. We sat in rockers on the deck, talked as old friends do, dared each other to jump from the deck to the pool - stuff like that. I'd like to say that my thoughts that morning were focused entirely on thankfulness for God's grace and good friends and family and excitement for our future (and sometimes they were), but most of my inner dialogue went like, "Holy crap, today's the day. I don't even have the playlist ready yet. Holy crap." I wasn't nervous, but I was still stressed. I couldn't force myself to forget about the details.

Following an incredible meal prepared by my mother-in-law and her husband, we held the rehearsal at noon on the beach behind the house. It went as rehearsals do.

At the end, all the groomsmen dragged Jonny across the sand and threw him into the ocean. The bridesmaids and I watched and laughed, and then we realized that we were alone on the beach. We gathered together, clasped hands, and prayed, and I don't think I'll ever forget that moment.

The next three hours were fun and games. The wedding party changed into bathing suits and hit the beach, and, as Jonny and I had requested, friends and family trickled in to join us by the pool and on the sand.

A game of four square sprang up, and the line quickly formed to vie for king or queen of the squares. Something else quickly formed; rainclouds darkened overhead and on the horizon, and the wedding was mere hours away.

The ceremony was at 5:30, so I went inside to get ready around 3:00. That's when the nerves hit. My inner dialogue transitioned from "Holy crap, the details" into a steady stream of "Holy crap holy crap holy crap holy crap..." Audra came in with me, took over the playlist I was working on, and sent me off to the shower. When I got out, my bridesmaid Ashley, an osteopath in training, aligned my back for me. I could fully turn my neck for the first time in weeks, and I realized how much stress I had been carrying around in my body. Elizabeth made me another cup of tea to soothe my throat, and Amanda came in to do my hair. Have I mentioned how wonderful my friends are? They are wonderful.

Despite their attentions, my nerves went from a steady stream to a steady tone. The wedding was one hour away, and I had flatlined. I sent everyone but Audra from the room, and, being an introvert, sat in silence and gathered my thoughts for a few minutes as I applied my eyeliner. I can't tell you how glad I am to have had that moment. I focused on the joy buried beneath the nerves, and, slowly, the nerves faded just a twinge. Amanda worked her magic on my hair while Audra and I laughed and talked together, and suddenly the wedding was thirty minutes away, twenty minutes away.

The bridesmaid rejoined to help me into my dress, and it was ten minutes away.

I put on the necklace that Jonny had given me for our first Christmas together, and the wedding was five minutes away.

We looked outside to check the crowd while Amanda hastily pinned my veil. I heard my dad climb the stairs to claim me, and suddenly, the wedding was now.

(To be continued)


Natalie said...

You better not leave us hanging for another 2 months!!!! Your adoring public wants more details.

Six in the Mix said...

I SOOOOOOOooooooooooOOOOOooooo wanted to hear this version. Keep it coming, my beautiful sister.

Keeping Up With the Joneses said...

I was there and I'm still dying to hear part II. Hurry up, please...