She’s getting married in the next parish over, but the location is home to neither her nor her husband-to-be. They will have family traveling from the east coast and the gulf coast, and she is trying to make sure everyone’s needs are met. We were both in that spot prior to my wedding 2 weeks ago. And then I learned — the wedding just isn’t that important.
Let’s stop for just a moment, Reader, so I can clarify that statement. I’m not saying that a wedding isn’t a sacred, special and solemn event. I’m not saying nuptials aren’t amazing, full of awe and anticipation. Nor am I saying that vow-taking is a flip, passe, or nominal experience. Quite the opposite: the wedding is all about the sacred, the overwhelming — that moment when your nearly newly-minted spouse pledges the rest of their life to you.
I walked down the aisle tripping on my massive gown, hanging on my dad’s arm while he clung to his walking cane with his other arm. I nearly tripped going up the stairs to the platform. My feet ached so badly in my bridal shoes that I stepped out of them while the pastor spoke and hid them under my gown until the recessional (It was kind of cute though, just two little silver sandals setting where the bride once stood).
Everything else went pretty much as planned, but I missed most of it because my head was in the clouds the entire time. It’s tough to gaze at the most handsome man alive, in his USAF dress blues, his blonde hair perfectly coiffed and his blue eyes deep with care and love, and focus. I remember us clinging to each other’s hands — as though our lives depended on it — for the entire ceremony.
I’ve been told that my parent’s cried, but I didn’t notice. I know my mother and his father lit the family candles, but I wasn’t there to see it happen. I bought the aqua rose petals tossed by the flower girl but at the end of the day, I had to ask someone if they had been thrown.
I came home and found all the bubble packs still in their cases, unused by those decorating the church. Just today, I remembered the little plastic boxes with white jordan almonds I’d so perfectly put together and packed. They are probably somewhere in the back of my truck. The veil and tiara I spent hours picking out are still in their box in a closet. My sister had to run out and grab me a veil and head piece just hours before the wedding.
All those hours, months even, spent planning our wedding were moments I won’t get back to spend with my husband. The few days I had with my family before the wedding that I spent panicking over minutiae are forever gone as well.
So to my friend about to tie the knot, I say let the vows be the focal point of your entire day. Don’t miss the important things being tortured over things you won’t even remember — or care about — the next day. Enjoy your wedding, your spouse and your guests, and leave the rest to love.