And, it's not because what has followed has been a fairytale. Don't get me wrong. I love my life with my sweet husband. I am so very grateful for so many blessings. I'm just not going to be fake and pretend it's without its challenges and obstacles. It's a real life with real issues AND real love. A decision to love each other always. We're in it for the long haul: 12 years as of today.
I read a blogpost last year that talked about how the wedding day just wasn't that big of a deal in the scheme of life. "Why have the big wedding?" she asked. Why have so many people there, the dresses, the tuxes, etc.? All the work that goes into the big day. Why?
I'll tell you why it was so meaningful to me.
Never before and never since have I ever been in a place, a moment in time, a day with so many people who I love and care about all together. It never happens. Your whole life. There will be funerals and other weddings. There will be family reunions and celebrations. But, never anything like my very own wedding day.
What is really special about this and what I want you to know is: if you were there, we KNOW you were there and LOVE that you were there. Your presence was special to us. If you weren't there, you were missed.
I remember each of your faces. I remember the brief moment we got to hug and say hello around the ballroom. I remember laughing so much my cheeks hurt. I couldn't stop smiling. I have friends that I lost touch with for a while after high school. I wish that you were there. We have friends and family that couldn't travel that far. We missed you. We have a couple of friends who got sick and couldn't make it. We still think of you each year at this time and still wish you were there. We only had one living grandparent at the time we were married. My maternal grandmother, Nannie. We cherished her presence that day. And still do. She lived another year and a half after that. Every single person who was there (or should have been there) is cherished. We thank God for you. And we are thankful for everything you meant to us and mean to us now.
I will cherish the memories I have from this day F O R E V E R. I remember being told to try to take everything in. To take it slow.
I did. The wedding reception was one of the more emotional experiences of my life. With so many loved ones in one place and my new husband by my side!
It's hard for me to find a photograph from the night where I don't look absolutely delighted. Beaming from ear to ear. (I could stand to close my mouth a little when I laugh, but I digress) I was just so happy. So very very happy.
I will never forget that day. The day I married my sweetheart. Before there were "the Els," we had you. Our support. Our family. Our friends. We love you!
Ps Maybe we'll have another big party one day and we can include all of you who were a part of our special day as well as all of our special friends and family we've come to know (and love) in the last dozen years.