Well, maybe not a river. But definitely a respectable puddle.
So, I'm back. And married! It only took twenty-six years.
As you can tell from the blogs of my nearest and dearest, the wedding day, it saw rain. Luke and I knew it was coming; at the rehearsal we were huddled together under the shelter of the gazebo, shivering, attempting to stay dry, giving up all hope that the sun would deem our firstborn child a worthy sacrifice for twelve minutes of cooperation. However, our wedding party was fantastic and agreed to proceed through the park as planned, so everyone could ooh and aah over their spiffy tuxes and dresses and I could savor the moment of walking down the aisle with my father. Equally fantastic was our paparazzi, who came armed with color-coordinated umbrellas for the ladies and a white sleeveless parka vest for me, the latter probably unintentional but they deserve the credit nonetheless. Mandy Meyers, if you haven't booked a photographer for your gig yet, call the Bellas. Really. Do it now. Just don't tell them Frema sent you, because they don't know who she is.
Seconds before this shot was taken, I was hissing in my father's ear, "They forgot to set up the chairs!" I'm currently torn over whether or not to call the park and complain. On one hand, since it was wet outside, I doubt our guests were expecting chairs, and even if they were set out, who would've wanted to sit in them? On the other hand, we paid two hundred and fifty-six dollars to rent the space, so dammit, gimme my effen chairs.
Despite all that, though, the ceremony was perfect; I felt it would be the minute my dad pulled into the parking lot. When I took my place on the bricks and spotted Luke for the first time, I knew with every fiber of my being that saying "yes" to this man was the best thing I'd ever done. And when I looked into his eyes as we exchanged our vows, I saw five years' worth of love fill his pupils and spill down his cheeks. He never looked more handsome.
Praying to God we make it past the first year.
There's nothing really poetic to say about the picture we took with our pastor; its primary purpose is to serve as a public service announcement to future brides who might assume stashing lip treatments in your dainty little bridal purse and leaving said purse in the back seat of your father's truck is sufficient, because when you're ushered from the ceremony straight into pictures with no lag time in between, you will think about your lipstick but ultimately be too chicken to put a halt to the festivities for five minutes to ask your dad to fetch it for you, as you can't stop imagining your guests tapping their feet and drumming their fingers in anticipation of your arrival with only a coffee bar to keep them company. Thus, you'll resort to coating your lips with the natural moisture of your tongue and hoping the photographer can Photoshop lip gloss. My recommendation? Chapstick in your bra, if not fastened to your wrist like a sassy charm bracelet. I guarantee you'll thank me.
Anyway.... The reception went just as well, even though the cake had pistachio icing instead of buttercream and people were too interested in the open bar to notice the pretty champagne fountain set up next to the entrance. Luke and I danced our first dance to "Someone Like You" by Van Morrisson, which I first fell in love with when I heard it in Prelude to a Kiss in the scene where Alec Baldwin is lamenting the sudden drastic change in his new wife and befriends a strange old man who strangely enough made a brief appearance at their wedding and also strangely enough knows the color of the undies Meg Ryan was wearing the night she left for a summerlong trip to Europe, or something, and Alec realizes that Meg is trapped in the decrepit body of one Archie Bunker. Those less cultured in Meg Ryan cinema may recognize it from the better-known Bridget Jones's Diary, when Mark Darcy tells Bridget he likes her just the way she is.
My father and I danced to "What a Wonderful World," during which he told me how beautiful I looked and what a great family I married into. Then he said it really was a wonderful world, held me tight, and started to cry. At the end he held up my hands and shouted, tears still streaming down his face, "This is my daughter!" It was the most magical moment I've ever had with my dad.
And now I'm verklempt. More to come later.
P.S. Thanks so much for all the lovely comments and e-mails this last week. If it weren't illegal, I'd marry each and every one of you.