I admit it; I’m a sucker for weddings. I can sit and watch endless hours of other people’s weddings on television – there’s practically an entire cable network devoted to people getting married after all. And there’s magic in a wedding dress; I’ve seen the plainest, biggest and frumpiest of people transformed into beautiful when they put on that gown. And it defies logic honestly; because wedding dresses are sort of weird looking if you think about it. Huge amounts of fabric frequently covered in sparkles and generally in a color that’s stark and unflattering to most.
And yet – put it on, and you’re nothing but beautiful.
I was no exception. As I’ve said before I had my gown custom made from combining two patterns that I chose with a hefty amount of creativity from me and my seamstress. I picked out a brocade fabric in a color called ‘candlelight’ which is ivory with the lightest blush of pale pink. The dress didn’t look pink at a glance, but it had a warmth to the color that helped keep me from washing out while wearing it. With my creamy Elmer’s glue-like complexion, stark white on me is just not a good idea.
It was beautiful, and I felt beautiful that day in a way I never had before and never have since.
Seven years ago at eleven o’clock I was at the salon having my hair twisted into a hundred big corkscrew curls and being fitted with a crown of Champagne roses and ribbons that matched my dress. It took forever, and while my stylist, Sabrina, was working… the rest of my bridal party finished up and one by one or in pairs started hitching rides from the salon back to my parent’s house.
Finally, it was completed and I thanked Sabrina and looked around. I was alone. Thankfully my mother had paid for everything in advance because I didn’t have a penny on me. I stepped out of the salon into the temperate, beautiful fall afternoon of my wedding day and stood there alone on the sidewalk; wondering how long it would take for someone… anyone… to realize they’d left the bride behind. Since my wedding started at two I hoped it wouldn’t be too long.
It wasn’t, but the humor value of being the forgotten bride on my wedding day still makes me chuckle. I think in total I was only standing out there five, maybe ten minutes with my big curls blowing a bit in the autumn breeze.
At two o’clock we were at the church. I’ve heard brides say they don’t remember their wedding ceremonies well; but I do. I remember speaking quietly and trying to keep my voice low pitched, clear and loud enough to be audible. My voice is high pitched normally and a lot of emotion can make it shoot up to subsonic levels. I remember Ted trying to get the ring on my finger, struggling a bit, and me giving him the ‘one minute’ gesture before screwing it fully into place myself (you can see me doing this on the video too). I didn’t cry, and I wasn’t nearly as scared as I thought I would be.
I remember feeling very calm, solemn and full – like standing in the presence of something wonderful.
I remember the expression on Ted’s face – like a man who’d been given a prize beyond his imaginings. I remember seeing how much he loved me in his eyes.
I remember dancing at our reception to “Dela” by Johnny Clegg and how much fun we’d had learning our choreographed moves before hand – and the way people clapped along with us.
I remember the food… not great, but good. I remember chocolate chip wedding cake and having my picture taken while I toasted the cameraman with a can of diet coke.
I remember Vlad up on his ladder.
I’ve been told ‘I love you’ before in my lifetime; but Ted taught me what it is to be shown love beyond the word of it; his love is in every action he takes.
On the inside of my wedding band it says 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 7; “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
All these things he has shown me. He has looked at me every single day since that one and told me that I’m the most beautiful, most sexy, most desirable woman in the entire world. Every time he said these things, he meant them utterly. The force of his belief behind them is like a flame inside, I can feel it when I touch his skin. It resonates out to me, like two strings that vibrate to the same tune.
I have never spent one day hungering for attention, for affection, for love. I have never felt inadequate or anything less than treasured.
For all this and more, I thank you. You are the great love of my life and I long for another seventy times seven years to spend with you – no number can never be enough…
Happy Anniversary, Ted.