*reader beware: long sentimental post*
someone once said that upon remembering a significant event, if the tiny details were the things that stood out the most, then the event was a happy one. my wedding was a very happy event – i have absolutely no recollection of taking my vows. i had put so much time into researching the wording before deciding on the very traditional: “i jennifer christen, take thee marco luigi…to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, to love and to cherish till death do us part.” i thought the words were so beautiful just as they had been written hundreds of years ago, i didn’t see any need to update them. then, reflecting upon my wedding a week afterward, i didn’t even remember having said them. i did, and still do, remember many of the tiny seemingly insignificant details however, that made up that lovely june day.
~ i remember waking up around 2am and telling myself before going back to sleep “today is my wedding day…”
~ the weather was lovely. the heat had broken just for the weekend and we had beautiful spring like weather for about 48 hours.
~ my mother insisted on one last family breakfast together before my dad drove me to the church. i opened a wedding gift from my sister and took a phone call from a well-wishing family friend who also had a question about the finger sandwiches for the afternoon high-tea reception.
~ i remember the drive to the church. it was just me and my dad. i don’t remember what we talked about, i just remember the drive and the sunny morning. i remember he pulled up to the main entrance of the church and helped unload my overnight case from the trunk.
~ one of the first things i saw upon arriving at the church: my childhood friend happily putting the finishing touches on the silk rose and stephanotis petals we had scattered down the aisle.
~ when i got my hair done, i realized i was wearing a t-shirt that i couldn’t change out of without messing the up-do. my friend and i switched outfits in the church kitchen. she wore my t-shirt and i wore her vintage dress with a spin out skirt.
~passing through the sanctuary for one reason or another, i recall hearing marco’s voice on the other side of a door. he sounded happy.
~ i got dressed about three hours or so before walking down the aisle. it was then i started to get very nervous. as tradition dictated, i was helped into my dress by my brides maids, but i also wanted my mother there and my littlest sister. littlest sister could not be found. i panicked. interestingly enough, four years later at my sister’s wedding this same little sister went awol when it was time to dress the bride.
~ i remember taking my ivory roses, stephanotis, and lily of the valley bouquet out of the florist’s box.
~ i remember standing in the three way mirror and thinking “this is exactly how i always wanted to look on my wedding day.”
~ i remember holding my ear to the door to listen to “jerusalem” before the bridesmaids started down the aisle.
~ i remember a wedding coordinator who was a force to be reckoned with. she had told me that i would have a moment before going down the aisle. i would stand in the foyer, catch my breath, and she would fluff my dress. then i would start my last walk as miss kuney. i’m not sure why but this didn’t happen. i don’t recall seeing the coordinator at all before starting down the aisle. i do remember the door to the bride’s room opening and seeing a friend holding her little girl across the hall. she saw me and began to cry.
~ the organ started mouret’s “rondeau” before i was quite ready but i went ahead anyway. i stood at the door to the sanctuary, took my dad’s arm, and thought “this is it…..” i tried to take it all in. then i started to cry.
~ i remember thinking i should have practiced walking in my dress at home because the train was. soooo. heavy.
~ i passed by a dear friend who was teary eyed. i passed by another friend who mouthed “i love you”. i remember seeing my mom. the church suddenly felt very small. i remember the tulle and the yellow light from all the candles.
~ i remember pulling back my veil to kiss my dad goodbye, then i took marco’s hand before going up to the altar. i was shaking. everything then became a blur. my feet started to hurt and i realized i didn’t put two and two together when planning the ceremony: if one wants a long formal ceremony one is going to have to stand through it. i was grateful i had the presence of mind to switch out my original high heels (which i never wear) for a pair of ballet flats (which i always wear).
~ i do recall the pastor’s charge and he told us to “pray the biggest prayers you can think of to pray….” throughout our marriage. who knew that just eighteen months (or so) later we would begin our journey through long term primary infertility. this and the verse read just before we were pronounced man and wife “now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think” were to become very significant over the next several years.
~ i remember being introduced as mr. and mrs. marco cazzola. the organ began the “tocatta” and i cried again. all the way back down the aisle.
~ one little flower girl fell asleep at the altar in a perfect ivory tulle poof. she remained there after the recessional and had to be carried off. it was priceless.
~ i don’t remember having much to eat at the reception but i remember cutting the cake with the same knife my grandmother used to cut her wedding cake, and that at some point someone handed me a much needed cup of hot tea.
~ we had ordered a horse drawn carriage to take us from the church reception to our car. as we waited in the foyer to make our exit, my mom came back for a tearful goodbye. it had just hit her she said, that i was married and actually leaving home.
~ as we left the church to get into the carriage we had doves released from wicker baskets on either side of the doorway. it was a supremely perfect cinderella-fairytale-moment.