Diary of a Marriage: Happy Anniversary to Us.

A reflection on our wedding day, three years later.

Em & J. on their wedding day, three years ago.

Things started going wrong very early on the morning of our wedding.

I woke up to rain. Not the light, summery kind, either. No, this was an angry sort of torrential downpour, one that would cause curls to fall and hems to drag, soaking, across the grass. I was devastated. We’d planned outdoor pictures, and rolled up dozens upon dozens of paper cones, which we filled with rose petals to be tossed as we exited the church. Our cocktail hour was to be outdoors, too, and puddles just weren’t part of the plan.

After a little pout and a few frustrated tears, I shrugged off the rain. I was getting married. To hell with the weather. And then my dad pulled me aside and told me, ever so gently, that the trolley we’d booked wasn’t going to be there in time to cart the bridal party to the church and, possibly, wouldn’t be making it at all.

A family friend ended up finding a cream Cadillac somewhere in the neighborhood (which was promptly taken to the carwash and scrubbed inside and out) and we used a gigantic golf umbrella to shield me from the rain. Even now, some of my favorite pictures are of me laughing as I navigate my way out of the car, my four bridesmaids grasping the bottom of my dress, family friends holding a tunnel of umbrellas for our walk to the church door.

And then there was the walk down the aisle. During our rehearsal, my dad nearly sprinted to the altar. I pleaded with him the morning of the wedding to slow down, reminding him that I wanted to soak up every last second of this moment that I’d been waiting for seemingly forever. He laughed at me, and I remember worrying that he’d pull me up the aisle before I even realized it was happening.

And then, doors opened, violins played, a sea of faces, but mainly, J’s. I remember seeing J.’s face, and nothing else. I started walking very fast towards him, just wanting to get there already, excited to hold his hand and squeal, and be on the altar and be married to him already. And then my dad tugged on my arm.

“Slow down, sweetie.”

I did slow down, and I will never be able to thank my dad enough for that.

And then we were there on the altar, and then we were married, and then we were streaming back down the aisle, giddy with excitement. When the church doors opened, it was sunny, and the trolley was there waiting for us. A rocky start, but that’s life, isn’t it?

Three years later, J.’s is still the only face I see.


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