Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chapter Thirty-Six: I DO (Part 2)

The ceremony was beautiful. Darin’s father performed it and we each had a friend perform songs that are special to us. We had a time of praise and worship where the guests were encouraged to sing hymns as a call to worship, and it was all around the perfect ceremony to represent us. We wanted the entire thing to represent our Father – the reason we were even there that day - and I totally felt the Lord there with us. His presence was evident!

When we were pronounced “Husband and Wife” and kissed, we turned to the crowd with huge smiles and for the first time, we faced the world together – hand in hand. It was the best feeling in the entire world.

After all of our pictures were taken, all of our guests were already across town at the reception. We had a dinner party, and we told everyone to begin eating when they got there so they wouldn’t have to wait on us. And if they had waited on us, they would have been waiting a long time. Everyone ran off without us, and Darin and I were stuck at the Church by ourselves! The only two people left were us and the two ladies who delivered my dress and helped with timing the ceremony. They so sweetly offered to take us to our reception, and of course we took them up on it. We had no other way of getting there! They were in a tiny little truck, and Darin helped shove my huge dress into the cab and we made our way over there, holding hands and laughing all the while. We joked that everyone got us married and then forgot about us!

When we entered our reception room, I felt like true royalty stepping into a fairy tale. That image is forever burned into my mind – it was hands down the most beautiful room I had ever seen. We were surrounded by thirty-five gorgeous centerpieces overflowing onto each table that were filled with fine China and all the people that were there to celebrate my new husband and me. It was perfect. My breath was literally taken away. My Mom and Dad did an incredible job in superseding my dreams for how I wanted our wedding to look. We were blown away.

The food tables were filled to the brim with delicious fare, there was an ice sculpture, a gorgeous white cake filled with roses, a chocolate fountain flowing with endless goodness, and a lively band playing upbeat songs on the stage. It was the most fantastical party I had ever been to. And it was ours!

Darin and I made our way to the head table with our bridesmaids and groomsmen and watched a beautiful video our videographer created for us. We made the rounds, trying to greet every guest who came, and I got one bite of mashed potatoes and of course, one bite of cake. There were too many people to see and things to do than sit and eat, though everything looked absolutely divine.

When things began to wind down a few hours later, it was beginning to get late and we still had an hour trip ahead of us to reach our honeymoon suite. A sweet lady friend pulled us aside and said they had a room ready for us to change into our “getaway” clothes, and so we escaped back there to get ready.

When we walked into the room, I realized that it was just one room. Um. I needed some privacy, here. I peeked my head out and said, “we’re BOTH supposed to change in here?!” The ladies died laughing and reminded me that I was now married. Um, yes, I know. But the first time my husband sees me getting undressed was NOT going to be in florescent lighting, thank you very much.

There was no way I could get out of my wedding dress by myself and Darin kept offering to help.

“NO! You’re not going to see me for the first time in a tiny little florescent lit room, so don’t even THINK about it!” I said.

I am a bit dramatic. I do admit.

I made my Mom come in the room and help me get undressed. That was much more comfortable and made much more sense! I could hear the ladies still snickering. Darin was just shaking his head like “what have I gotten myself into?”

I wore an emerald green short gown to “get away” in, and our guests lined the outside with lit sparklers, appropriate for a July wedding. We stood at the doorway, gave each other a kiss for the crowd, and then took off running through the sparklers and into our car, ready to head off to our new life together. It was such a perfect way to cap off the perfect day with my perfect husband. We were headed off into marital bliss the two happiest people on earth. There was no better feeling in this world.

The days, the months, the years leading up to this moment was the best journey of my life. They were moments that I would not trade for anything in this world. As we pulled away from a banquet hall full of every influential person in our lives, I couldn't help but see the years of our past flash before my very eyes. I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of love that I felt, as the people who spent time praying for, encouraging and lifting us up throughout the years waved goodbye as we began our new life together. Our families, who stepped in to this day separate support systems, were now one. His friends were mine, and mine were his. His goals were now mine, my dreams were now his ... our lives now meshed together in every single way imaginable, and I was no longer just me. I was one. One with my true love.

And finally. Finally we were together.

Together forever.