“I now pronounce you husband and wife; you can now kiss the bride,” said the Priest. As the couple confirmed their union in front of family and friends through the tenderness of a kiss, I began to cry. These tears were tears of joy for the happy couple.
Recently, my best friend’s sister got married. I wasn’t invited to the wedding, so I did not anticipate going to the Church. When the big day came, I woke up feeling this was somewhere that I needed to be. Now, since I was not invited to the wedding, I was not sure if I should even go to the Church. My mother told me that people who weren’t going to the reception can absolutely still go to the Church. On that note, I threw on my finest Bandolino shoes and clasped my bling around my neck and headed out.
This was one of the biggest moments in my best friend’s life. How could I not take part in the moment? If I could ride shotgun with her when she first got her license, dance all night with her when she turned sweet 16, and celebrate when she got her first post-grad job… I could definitely be there when her only sibling was getting married.
It dawned on me how inexperienced I was with weddings when I didn’t even know the protocol for attending the Church. I didn’t know where the appropriate place was to sit. I didn’t know when I should sit or stand. I didn’t know if I was allowed to say anything to the bridal party when they walked down the aisle; and I didn’t know what to do when the party and family exited the Church.
My last wedding was when I was ten, and it was for my aunt. Needless to say, I don’t remember much. I wore my hair like Shirley Temple and didn’t know what a tweezer was at the time – just to put it into perspective. Fast forward about 15 years later and I am a little rusty.
Not only did I not know what to do, but I kept tearing up. All of the Ashton Kutcher chick flicks couldn’t have prepared me for such an overwhelming amount of emotions. It really hit me as to how precious and sacred the sanctity of marriage truly is.
Seeing them light the unity candle, exchange vows, and declare their love for one another amongst everyone they know was enchanting. The beauty of a real marriage was nothing like I had seen in my pointless reality TV shows or countless blockbuster films.
Seeing it first-hand reminded me more like the fairy-tale stories of my childhood: the beautiful Cinderella in her white dress walking down the aisle to her prince charming, the rose petals adorning every part of the Church, and the married couple riding away on their bountiful steed. In this case, in their truck with a 450 horsepower engine.
She’s stepped off the beaten path into a whole new identity, a whole new life, a whole new unity. She will now have company when she wakes up in the morning, will have someone with whom she’ll start her own family, and will never again use her last name to sign important documents. She’s entered a whole new life emotionally and physically.
That same day my cousin got engaged. I guess I will soon become the wedding expert. Hopefully going to more of these won’t desensitize me. I hope that every time a couple consummates their vows, I will ALWAYS feel that I am getting a front row “pew” to something magical!