Soon I heard the music starting to get serious. The moms and my maid of honor got in front of me, we proceeded down the staircase a little ways. and I felt even more numb. This was it. The ceremony was actually starting; the plan I put in place was really coming together. There was Ave Maria, and they were through the doorway. My sister got to the middle of the staircase and whispered, “If you come any closer than right here, Adam WILL see you. It’s a small room.” I nodded, and she proceeded through. Then I got nervous. What did Pachelbel sound like again? I whispered to Sarah, who was standing right there near the door, “Let me know when to go!” But she misunderstood and whispered to someone, maybe the musicians? “She’s ready!” I got nervous. I think the music changed, but I can’t even remember. I just got the feeling it was time, so I approached the door.
Did I stop long enough like the photographer wanted?
Did I hold my flowers low like I’m supposed to?
I think I approached slowly enough. Adam was smiling HUGE. I enjoyed that for a moment, but then I felt pressure again. Everyone was SO crowded in that room. I was embarrassed that I didn’t plan the space well. Everyone at the front was squished, and it looked messy. I felt shakey. The room was REALLY dark. Why weren’t the lights on? The candles were all lit…except for the ones at the front, where most of the photos would be! Was it because the JP was there and it was too cramped to be safe?
I gripped Adam’s hands like they were a lifeline and nervously stroked them for the whole first reading until I remembered telling him the day before, “If I rub your hand with my thumb, that’s code for look at me so the photographer will have some pictures.” ARG! I wanted to tell him I was sorry about that. But then I told myself again, just try to relax. And listen to the vows. So I did, and I teared right up. The vows I picked out, because I meant all of it. I wondered if, 10 years from now, I’d still have picked the same vows. If marriage will still mean everything to me then that it does today. I expect not. I think, and hope, marriage will feel just as great, just in a different way. A way I can’t imagine yet.
Adam blew me a little kiss, a tradition that started when we were separated for months on end by the Atlantic Ocean and chatting on webcam, and continued when we were out at dinner and minimizing the PDAs. I blew one back and fought back tears a second time. And then a third, when the JP said the line about it being easy to hurt the one you love, and that hurts the most. Adam and I have had a fair few fights lately, feeling a lot of strain. He looked a little emotional too when Rick said that, and it was like a silent promise passed between us. To be more patient, more of a team, not adversaries anymore. This was what a wedding is for: making these promises to love each other and put the other person first, in front of all our friends and family. An amazing next step to our relationship.
The one funny moment when Rick said maid of honor could hold the roses we used in the ceremony, and saw she had her hands full of flowers. I said she could juggle them. And felt a little silly for making an obvious joke.
We exchanged rings, and Adam was able to quickly slip mine on. It was déjà vu; just like the engagement ring I knew it was too loose and going to need resizing. Rats. Adam’s on the other hand, was REALLY tight. I almost gave up trying to push it down his knuckle! But I feared he wouldn’t understand that, so I kept going, kept trying, and eventually it did slide down as I finished off the vows.
And before I knew it, the ceremony was nearly over. Done. All the anticipation, and done! Some people fall victim to post nuptial depression after the wedding; would I be victim to that? “You may now kiss the bride,” Rick said, and Adam leaned in. I put my hands on his face gently to help guide him, slow him down if need be, and as a tender gesture too. But he didn’t need guidance! He gave me the most tender kiss, even though we hadn’t rehearsed it or talked about it…it was perfect.
I remember a feeling of, “Now what do we do,” (not in a deep way, just in a “where do we go” sense) since the ceremony was over, but I quickly remembered: Recessional means leave: walk “back down the aisle, this time with Adam.” So we walked together joyfully, stopped in the foyer, and I gave my new husband a hug. Then, still unsure of what to do, I went back, remembering I needed to remember my other guests and acknowledge them and not wanting to forget, so I ended up giving every one of them a hug too. I was just giddy with happiness.