Wedding season is just around the corner and despite my disdain for planning them I’m totally infatuated with attending them. Nothing beats friends, music, and cake – not even two people declaring their love for each other in front of God and the world. That’s nice and all, but sticky dance floors and “Mony Mony” trump even the most romantic, heartfelt, I-just-puked-in-my-mouth vows.
Speaking of puking, you may want to grab a paper bag because this next part is going to get disgustingly cheesy. I remember my own wedding (or rather, our wedding, because I suppose it’s his too) the same way I remember childhood Christmases – nostalgically, longingly, and humbly. There is a beauty in weddings, particularly one’s own. It starts as a whisper, a subtle realization that everyone you care about is together, then turns into a loud, overwhelming sense of joy, gratitude, and love. On November 6th, 2010, I remember wishing I had the power to lock that feeling – that brief, fleeting feeling – in a jar and keep it forever. Sometimes I catch myself wishing those highs would last, but really, it’s blessing they don’t because what makes them so beautiful is their brevity.
If you’re married, you’re lucky because you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not married, you’re even luckier because you have yet to experience such elation, and the anticipation is half the fun. Weddings are one of the few positive events that bring friends and family together, and in a simple, honest way, I like that.
Then, of course, there’s marriage. You can’t have one without the other. If you get the ring, you’ve got to take the guy too. It’s a package deal. That’s not, however, to say that a wedding and a marriage are the same thing. Though they arrive in the same package, each item comes complete with it’s own triumphs, tribulations, and set of indecipherable directions. The latter’s “how-to” manual is especially hard to understand, as it’s written by a very cryptic author named No One.
We’re learning though, and in the midst of it all I find moments where I crack open that jar from our wedding day and let a little bit of awesomeness trickle out. I remember why I’m here, why I made those momentous promises years ago. Such moments are elusive; if I’m in a hurry I miss them. So I have to remind myself to slow down, because having my best friend as a perpetual teammate is nothing to take for granted. There’s comfort in knowing that, no matter what lies ahead, we’re trekking it together. I’ll never have to agonizingly question the loss of a child, nor celebrate the joy of welcoming that question’s answer twelve months later alone.
The wedding is the fantasy and marriage is the reality. One is easy, the other is hard. But I’m beginning to discover that both are worth it.