This Sunday, my husband and I will celebrate our one-year anniversary. To celebrate, we are headed back up to the Wild Basin Lodge to spend the night. This time I have a belly much bigger than I did last year and we are full of a whole new kind of joyful and nervous anticipation for what’s to come in the weeks ahead.
I always wanted a very small wedding. I'm an introvert and am easily overwhelmed by being the center of attention. Andy and I didn't really buy into the wedding planning market and the need to spend endless amounts of time and money planning one day of our lives. We just wanted to be married and spend time with our families.
And so we had a whirlwind, 4-month engagement. We came across an amazing venue, the Wild Basin Lodge, which took care of many of the details and decisions for us. I bought my wedding dress the day after our engagement, and friends and family took care of a lot of the details that I didn't feel like I would be very good at.
While I was certainly excited for my wedding beforehand, I was stressed about a lot of the little details. We had originally planned an outdoor wedding (yes, in the middle of winter), but there was SO much snow and wind that we decided to move it inside. The Thursday night before, winds were gusting at 80 miles per hour and I was sure that there would be no power on the day of the wedding. I wasn't even sure if our families would make it up the mountain.
And then the day of the wedding arrived. Our families made it. There was power. The final preparations are a blur in my memory. I kept getting updates on who and what had arrived: the flowers, the cake, the bagpiper, the officiant, the photographer. Suddenly the guests had all arrived it was just about time. Everyone left the dressing room except for my immediate family. I realized that I didn't know the last time that we had been together, just the original 6 of us, before we added in a gaggle of brothers-in-law and nieces. My parents presented me with a dime that had been placed in the shoe of the bride for good luck for many generations. With my sisters holding my train and veil and clutching my dad’s arm, we snuck up the outdoor stairs in the snow to make our grand entrance. I was shaking as I watched our families start down the aisle. Then my five nieces tromped out to fulfill their flower girl duties. The big wooden door closed in front of us. The bagpiper's music changed. The door opened again and we headed down the aisle.
Even though the room was full of familiar faces, it was such an overwhelming moment that I could barely recognize who was who and where everyone was. We were both passed off from our parents to each other, where we stood for the rest of the ceremony: hands clasped and eyes locked. The minister read the names of our loved ones who had passed away or who were unable to make it, and it truly felt like the room was full of the most wonderful kind of energy I had every experienced: a swirl of love and of hope for our future together, standing on the shoulders of many strong marriages before us. It surprised me how moved I was by my own wedding: to say out loud the words that have been repeated by couples declaring their love for centuries and then to have it be declared that we were now husband and wife. I had tried to be so casual and nonchalant about my wedding planning that I had failed to realize how powerful my wedding would actually feel to me!
The memory of the day our marriage began is so strong and powerful in my mind and serves as a reminder of our commitments to each other and the love and hope of those who shared the day with us, both in body and in spirit. This year will bring yet another huge change, and I imagine that the moment that we meet our son for the first time will also be awesomely powerful.
Here’s to a wonderful second year of marriage.