Today is August 21, 2014, 5:00 pm. Exactly one month ago, on top of a mountain, next to a creek, surrounded by loved ones, I made a promise to join hearts with Brad Light forever. After months of wondering how that moment would feel and being open to every possibility, I can honestly say it was the most beautiful moment of my life.
There’s a danger in wedding planning. Many dangers, truth be told. It is after all a multi-billion dollar industry intent on making you feel it absolutely necessary to have that hand-painted rustic backdrop for your photo booth and out-of-season soft pink peony centerpieces. If you want your wedding to be the happiest day of your life, you must have those things. Right?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one to denounce the details. I’m HUGE on details. I’m a person who prioritizes aesthetics in life. I relished every moment of planning the details of our wedding. Every late night making paper flowers. Every ounce of stress wondering how to make the seating chart fit into our theme. Every penny spent on the wire hot air balloon card holder. All worth it. However, I have one image for you:
” Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, was Singing! Without any presents at all! He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming! It CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!”
I loved every detail of our wedding. I loved our hot air balloon card holder, and my beautiful centerpieces, and the starry sky seating chart, and my gorgeous precious wonderful dress. But take them all away and I would have still ended the day married to Brad. I would have still shared that moment with our friends and family. That is what made it the most beautiful day of my life. Such a simple lesson, but one that brides seem to easily forget in the yards of chiffon and cake samples. Sometimes we need Dr. Seuss to remind us.
“It came with out ribbons! It came without tags!”
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And she puzzled three hours, till her puzzler was sore. Then the Bride thought of something she hadn’t before! “Maybe Weddings,” she thought, “don’t come from a store.”
“Maybe Weddings…perhaps…mean a little bit more!”
And what happened then? Well…in Leadville they say, that the Bride’s anxious heart grew three sizes that day!
And the minute her heart didn’t feel quite so tight, she whizzed with her vows through the bright morning light,
And she brought back the flowers! And the food for the feast! And she, SHE HERSELF! The Bride carved the roast beast!
So that’s the truth. I married Brad and everything else was gravy. Lovely, fun, beautiful, delicious, gravy.
I don’t want to go on and on. I’ll just highlight a few key details of our wedding day.
1. I had a cinnamon roll for breakfast. And a banana. And a fruit salad. Yum.
2. I had so much fun on “Operation Baby’s Breath” with Dana and Russell.
3. Somehow the keys to my parents rental car got lost. They had to tow a new care from Aspen. THAT was fun. The Treadwells are angels for letting us borrow their car to run errands.
4. I watched Doc Hollywood on TV while getting my hair and makeup done. Dana did my hair and makeup and it looked Gorgeous!
5. I felt a bit rushed getting ready. That darn lost set of car keys put us back.
6. I texted Brad back and forth all day about details, every time giddy as a schoolgirl getting a love note from her crush.
7. I cried. A lot.
8. I cried when the florist showed up with my bouquet. It was so beautiful. Those flowers made it real.
9. I cried when I put on my dress. It was so beautiful.
10. I cried repeatedly when I would look at my mom, my cousin, and Dana, because they would be crying.
11. My cousin said a prayer for me, holding hands with my mom and Dana all in a circle. I cried again. It was beautiful.
12. The weather forecast said it wasn’t going to rain but at about 3:30 it started sprinkling. I didn’t care.
13. At 5 o’clock when it was time to walk to the meadow I couldn’t believe the time had come. Were my friends and family actually all out there waiting for me? Was I actually about to get married? I felt like I was about to go skydiving. A mixture of nerves and excitement tempered by deep breaths and open eyes that would keep my heart open to knowing that in a few minutes I couldn’t think about it anymore. I would just have to jump.
14. As I walked to the meadow strangers around the resort clapped for me, congratulated me, and told me I looked beautiful. My heart swelled.
15. It was still raining. Damn. Oh well, I don’t really care. It will work out.
16. The ceremony began. The sound was great. I was so worried about the sound. No reason to worry.
17. I stood with my Dad, waiting on the bridge. Waiting to walk down the aisle. Grateful to share this intimate moment with my Dad. Feeling like I could lean on him. My Dad asks me “Are you nervous?” I say, “Yes.” And he just smiles. Somehow my nerves are spiced with peace. There is grace present. I feel something present in the rain drops and the sound of the creek and the sun poking through the clouds. Something magical.
18. It’s time. The music begins. “Here, There, and Everwhere.” My favorite song. Everyone stands. I breathe and I cry. I’m overwhelmed by the thought of seeing everyone’s face. I make my way over the bridge. Through the raindrops I see only one face. The world around me is swirling and transforming in a vortex and Brad’s face is the tether on the other end of the line. I hold onto his eyes, the only eyes I want to see right now. I feel everyone else looking at me and how grateful I am for their presence. I can’t believe they’re here for me! For us. I can’t believe it. I can never be thankful enough.
19. I make it down the aisle with my Dad. We hug and kiss, and then let go. I feel a wave of peace wash over me. I’m ready.
20. The ceremony begins and it’s perfect. The rain still gently mists its way down from the sky. My aunt begins the ceremony with a blessing. A Cherokee blessing calling on the elements. As she speaks of the sky and water, a drop of rain falls on her page. It’s serendipity. The blessing ends, and the sun begins to peek its way out from behind the clouds. There are little stubborn raindrops that don’t want to be left in the sky and they fall down in the sunbeams, making the air on my Brad’s face sparkle. The air is glittery with water and sun. It could not be more beautiful.
21. Instead of lighting a unity candle we water our “wedding tree.” A tree which signifies resilience, patience, endurance, and flexibility. We named our tree Wilbur. He’s now planted in my In-Law’s front yard in Buena Vista, CO. We hope he is not eaten by a deer but if so, hey, circle of life.
22. Brad’s sister reads from The Alchemist. Our dear friend Joe reads ee cummings’ Somewhere I Have Never Travelled, Gladly Beyond. My brother sings “Storybook Love,” the song from my favorite movie. My step-dad plays the guitar. My uncle, the officiant, speaks so beautifully about love and marriage. He has such poise and grace. The perfect officiant. I look at him and think, he was there for my baptism (he is also my Godfather). How right that he be here now in this role.
23. We read our vows to each other. Brad puts my hand on his heart. My favorite thing to do is to listen to Brad’s heartbeat. We exchange rings. We say our I Do’s. Each step completely surreal and FUN. How fun to partake in these rituals. I do! My proudest two words.
24. My Uncle pronounces us husband and wife. How did that go by so fast?! We kiss! I’m so happy. I feel a wave of bliss. We turn to our friends and family. Everyone clapping and smiling. I wonder if the recessional music will begin. It does. Mr. Blue Sky by ELO. “The sun is shining in the sky, there ain’t a cloud in sight, it stopped raining… It’s a beautiful new day.” Could the song be MORE perfect?
25. We dance down the aisle. I almost trip on my dress. That would have been bad. I didn’t though. I’m still smiling and dancing.
26. We’re married.
There’s a perfect metaphor for the anticipation of our wedding day, and that is the Colorado summer weather. It rains almost every day. I spent the last year worrying. I worried SO much that it would rain on my wedding day, as if somehow my worrying would make a difference. I just wanted to have the ceremony outdoors so badly. I would fret and worry and stress and plead with the sky, but when you get right down to it there is nothing I could do to control the weather. To some things we must simply surrender. Things like whether or not it will rain on your wedding day. Things like how you will feel on your wedding day. Surrender.
You know what? It did rain on my wedding day. And it was perfect. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.