At this time 8 years ago I was gliding around my family’s large lake home on a cloud. It was my wedding day; in a few short hours I would become a Mrs.
The heady smell of hundreds of roses floated on the warm summer air and the sun shone in all it’s strength on that glorious day. It was a calm, warm, summer day that cooled off later in the evening into the perfect mid-Summer’s night.
I remember the moment I first realized the groom was in the house. My hair and makeup were finished but I was just heading downstairs to put on my dress and I caught a whiff of his cologne. I felt light headed and giddy with excitement knowing that he had arrived. He came around the corner and was surprised to run into me;
“Why aren’t you dressed?” He asked me. So much for the romantic notions floating through my head of that first moment we would lay eyes on each other.
“I’m going right now.” I replied. I turned to go down the stairs to my bedroom and he grabbed my hand to stop me. I paused and turned back, he smiled.
“Take your time.”
I flew down the stairs into the cool, dim welcome of my bedroom; the butterflies in my stomach following in close succession.
I slipped into my vintage inspired buttercream dress and starred at myself as my sister laced up the back. I hadn’t been eating much lately in my nervous excitement and the laces had to be pulled tighter than I originally had hoped. I shrugged, oh well. The color was perfect against my faintly tan skin and the beautiful sequined bodice and lace details on the skirt and train still made me sigh a bit. I glanced out the patio door into the back yard and saw tons of people running around in their sweaty t-shirts and jeans preparing for the big event. I felt bad, slightly, and then turned back to admiring myself; it was my big day, the one day that I deserved to feel like a princess holding court.
It was a whirlwind. Pictures, greetings, ceremony, married. We practically galloped down the aisle and back into the air conditioned bliss of the house. We sequestered ourselves in my parents bedroom for a few minutes to breathe and calm down. My heart was racing, beating like a drum inside my chest.
Was that it? One ceremony, a few whispered vows and we were officially married? How could one little party change so much between us?
It took me a long time to really come to grips with this reality. For some reason it seemed so foreign that one day could so completely change everyone’s attitude towards our relationship. Suddenly it was okay to be together –alone. It was okay to live together, travel together, kiss in public, and inevitably everyone knew what we were planning to do that night. Weird.
But I didn’t really think about all that in that moment. Instead I focused on wiping the sweat from under my boobs (discreetly of course), and touching up my makeup for our grand re-entrance as husband and wife.
When I walked out the doors and down the stairs, introduced for the first time as a Mrs, I had no idea that I was literally walking from my old life into my new; no longer single, free to do whatever I wanted, and in charge of my own life, I had just tied myself to a young man who had hopes, dreams, and goals of his own.
To be honest, if I’d realized the gravity of what I was doing and how drastically it would change my life I don’t know if I would have been able to make such a big decision at 18. But thank goodness I was too naive and head-over-heels in love to cognitively consider the situation.
Instead I gazed into the sparkling green eyes of my best friend, gave him a quick peck on the lips, and blindly charged ahead into our future.
Best choice I ever made.