When I ran out the door with my sister on my wedding day, headed for the salon, I left my veil behind. We had to run back and get it.
The makeup lady told us that my best bet was to go to Walgreens and buy waterproof mascara, so we went with our hair all fancy and my veil on and bought mascara so if we cried it wouldn’t run.
My sister needed it more than I did. I only cried once.
We stopped at McDonald’s and got a snack because we were starving after getting our hair and nails and faces done. The guy asked which of us was getting married. You would have thought the veil would clue him in. You would have thought.
I wore something old (the necklace I wore in a wedding when I was four), something new (most of my clothes), something borrowed (the ring my Grandma Edwards passed on to my mother), and something blue (the ribbon in my garter). And I had a penny in my shoe, because my Grandma Cobb said that was part of the tradition too.
Our friends Jon and Alex played guitar and violin for the prelude. It was beautiful, and I relaxed and listened and ate grapes with the skirt of my wedding dress draped over the back of my chair so it wouldn’t get wrinkled.
Dear friends who have since gone to heaven sang “Great is Thy Faithfulness” while our mothers lit candles. That song still rings good and true after ten years. We have seen His great faithfulness.
The bridesmaids walked up to Canon in D, played by my Aunt Marge, and I walked up to the traditional wedding march. Tradition is important to us, and our wedding reflected that.
My dad read a poem to me– a poem he had written– when he gave me away. I almost cried then, but not quite. I didn’t want to run my waterproof mascara. I didn’t want my eyes red in my wedding pictures. I wanted people to know how happy I was. I still am. But I cry thinking about it. No mascara to worry about this morning.
I sang to him– a song I had written– accompanied by Jon with his guitar. He and his family moved to Wyoming years ago and I still miss having him around to play by ear for me. Haven’t seen them in three years, I think. Time for a visit, friends. We miss you.
I almost cried during our vows, when Art started to get emotional and teary-eyed. I didn’t want to cry. I crossed my eyes and made a dumb face to make him laugh instead. The memory makes me smile.
I had five bridesmaids and they all cried through the entire wedding, except my sweet friend Tammy. She beamed. She said weddings are happy, not sad. She was right. But I still cry now, when I think about it. Tears of memory and of change and of new walking away from old. Tears of joy and beauty and sorrow mingled. Tammy, you live too far away. You should come and visit Iowa too.
We were husband and wife, and he kissed the bride, and I don’t remember the kiss, but Art says it was very sweet and wonderful. It’s weird, what you remember and what you forget. It’s good to have him here to remember.
I remember a blur of family and friends and hugs and laughter and bubbles and pictures and camera flashes.
We smashed cake into each other’s faces, and people clinked their glasses and we kissed, and people clinked their glasses and Art almost kissed my mom, which was funny.
We were old-fashioned and opened our gifts there, at the church, because so many had come so far, and it was a blessing to spend a few more moments with them.
Then it was time to change, and to leave, and my mom undid the buttons on my dress and I walked away into the little room to change, and then the tears came, and they flowed free, and I was back there with my mother, her little girl one more minute, and always, crying in her arms.
I changed into my blue dress for leaving, and there were more hugs and more laughter and the tears were gone and with cans clanking on the back of the car we drove away, into forever.
And it was a good day.
But the life that has come since– that is even better.
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