If you know me at all, you know that throwing parties, any kind of event where I am in charge and want people to have fun, I sort of wig out a little. Just a little. Anything that goes wrong sends me into a frenzy of panic. It's not pretty. I pretty much lose it, and ya know - that's just a good time for everyone, right?
So, to start off my wedding day, it was raining. That wasn't too horrible, as my grandmother pointed out to me that rain on your wedding day was good luck (she's Welsh). My sisters and I had an appointment to go and get our hair done. As I was getting some long, loose curls put into my hair, I look over and see that my sister, Dana, who had beautiful, long, blond hair at the time, was sitting in a chair. She had a bun in her hair. On TOP on her head. On top of the bun on the top of her head was ANOTHER BUN! I was under the impression she was just going to get a partial up-do, and let most of that beautiful, curly blond hair hang down. What she had was a bee's nest, people. A BEE's NEST, like from 1960. For my wedding. Then, I look to the other chair, where my other very beautiful sister with long blond hair sat, her hair all twisted up in the BIGGEST. FATTEST. French twist ever. It was less horrible than Boo's hair, but still horrible enough to leave me dismayed. My cool head went a little south, but I was okay. I hated the hair, but I couldn't do much at that point.
|Exhibit A - The Ugly Hair|
Then the lady who did our flowers showed up with them. This lady was my soon to be husband's ex-sister-in-law. Needless to say, I was never crazy about having her do our flowers, but he really seemed to want her to, and she was cheap, and at that point I was all about wanting to be nice, and pretend I was okay with the whole ex's, divorce, blended family thing. So, the flowers. They were not great. They didn't even seem all that special to me. I had made my headpiece, and I LOVED it. I wished I had just done all of them, I am sure I would have been a lot happier. I asked for flowers that matched my bridesmaids dresses. Mostly lilies and other more exotic flowers, and I got carnations and roses. Uck. My sanity level sunk a little more. I was starting to panic. Plus the ex-sister-in-law was still there, curling Elizabeth's hair and commenting that she and Doug's ex-wife didn't know why she hadn't been invited so that she could watch Elizabeth be a flower girl. The idea of her being there made my nerves do a little not happy dance, and my stomach started to churn.
Soon, it was time for the ceremony to start, and the best man had yet to arrive. He was flying in and his plane had been delayed and he was going to be an HOUR LATE! I wanted to just have someone else stand in, but my Douglas wanted to wait for him. This conversation was carried out by other people running back and forth, giving us messages, because, you know, the groom was not to see the bride before the wedding! My level of comfort was at an all time low, when I hear the singer we hired start to sing the last song she was supposed to sing before the wedding started. No one gave her the memo on the best man. So, the poor girl sang. She sang and sang and sang. THE SAME SONG. No one thought to run up there and tell her to take 5. I could hear her singing all the way in the basement. I started to see stars. It was bad. So bad. If you look at my wedding photos, I do NOT look happy. It's because I was ready to KILL! I was 10 seconds shy of going psycho on everyone in sight when someone came down and said they were ready. Man, I had the hardest time conjuring up a smile.
I remember my dad walking me down the isle. He didn't look any happier than I did. I was worried that he didn't want me to marry Doug. I would later find out that he would NEVER be happy when giving one of his girls away. It was the end of an era, each time, and it was bittersweet.
I'd love to say that all my angst washed away as I walked down the isle, but my nerves were shot. I just wanted to get it over with by then. The girls were supposed to sit down with their grandmothers after they walked down the isle, but they pretty much bounced back and forth the whole time. When we went to light the unity candle, we hadn't planned what we were going to do while the soloist sang the song we had chosen for the moment. Silly, really. We had like, a 20 second thing to do, but we made her sing a 3 minute song. So, we stood up there, with nothing to do, for like 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Like a couple of dopes. We kept kissing, every few seconds, because we were standing there in front of all those people, all watching us. I couldn't just stand there. IT. WAS. AWKWARD! and people mentioned it all night long. I am pretty sure that's what they remember most. Uck.
In the end, it wasn't about the things that went wrong, like the fact that the best man wore a suit bought at Goodwill 20 minutes before the ceremony for $4 (so glad I did not know that at the time!), or my sisters' ugly hair, or that one of the groomsmen wore a tuxedo shirt, or even that my husband's ex-wife's sister made ugly flowers for my wedding, it was about the fact that we had found each other. It was that truly, God had found us for each other. See, I finally got to the mushy part.
The next few years were long in some ways, blending a family is about the hardest thing. I never knew how hard. It took a good five years to feel "blended", and even then issues would arise from time to time. In the mean time we lived. We loved. We had a bunch of babies. We were broke. We made some good decisions and some bad ones. We moved. We had more babies. We had more money, but somehow, always still broke! But, I wouldn't have wanted to do this with anyone else. He is the other half of my heart, and lots of times, he is more than half my heart, because I am just to tired to do my share, so he does it for both of us. I hope I have done that for him, too. We've learned each others moods and habits, and we put up with each other in spite of them. We are blessed with really good chemistry (thus all the babies!), and for some reason, Doug always smells REALLY, REALLY good. I think that is just God's way of reminding me why I like him so much, during the times when I need some reminding. I think we know that we aren't always going to be head over heels, but we will always come back around to feeling that way again. And when it does, look out!