One year ago today I woke up alone for the first time in a long while. They say it’s bad luck to see the bride on your wedding day so she’d stayed with her parents. I would see her soon enough.
I spent most of the day in a mild state of panic- a carryover from the week, still so much to do. The cat was recovering from his recent seizures but needed frequent attention and pills. I hated to leave him alone like this. My suit needed ironing and I hadn’t picked up the party favors yet as I’d planned. Coordinate the groomsmen, check in with the venue host, drop everything off at the hotel room, make sure the cupcakes get picked up. Don’t forget the rings!!
One of the bridesmaids called to inform me that my wife-to-be had woken up even sicker than last night. They were pumping her full of drugs to get her through the day. I could tell it was worse than she let on. I carved out fifteen minutes to write her a cute little card that I’d have one of my groomsmen deliver before the ceremony.
After taking care of everything I reasonably could, I granted myself a long hot shower and reminded myself that this was the best day of my life. I took my time grooming the beard she’d begged me to grow out and thought of her. I ran out the door only slightly behind schedule and laughed when it started to rain.
As we gathered at the front of the room and started the ceremony, I looked out on the crowd. I was almost surprised that I recognized them all, this support group of family and friends that would be there for us through the years. As I was smiling at old friends and waving to my little niece and nephews, the music paused briefly. All eyes went to the back of the room as a Beatles song announced her arrival. And finally there she was: my beautiful, radiant, medicated bride. My face erupted into a grin that still hasn’t fully worn off.
We didn’t make the standard wedding promises that you typically hear. We didn’t take each other for better or worse, richer or poorer. Not a mention of sickness or death. Those boiler plate assurances seemed unnecessary for us and our love. The officiant asked us only one question: Do you both promise that there is nowhere else you’d rather be than right here, right now?
And I said yes.