It's taken me some good, long hours, turned into contemplative days to write this post.
If you followed along with my countdown posts, you will have witnessed the process unfold. The process, which seemed to last forever, and then in one, short, hazy swoop it was over. Now here I sit, a candle in front of me, a cup of tea within reach, and an extra ring on my finger. I kissed my husband goodbye this morning, and sent him off to work. My husband. My husband?! It is all still so strange.
I waited my whole life for October 21st, 2016. I had dreamt of that day a million-and-one times, and when it came, it was strangely real. In fact, the strangest part of this whole ordeal has been that it isn't. It feels oddly normal, as if my whole had not just turned upside down.
I keep looking at Mr. Pedantic with wonder as I repeat to him, "This should be strange, you know. But somehow, it's not..." It's just right.
I'm assuming a greater degree of realization will eventually set in. As it is, I keep having to remind myself that this is more than a dreamy interlude, upon which I will return to my former, familiar life. Right now, in addition to being far too busy for any dangerous hours of true contemplation, I bounce in and out of knowing that this - this newness - is truly my life now, and wondering when I am going to wake up.
The wedding day. That is what you really care about, isn't it? I do not blame you, I am a sucker for the gritty, glittery details myself. So let's get to it!
I awoke Friday morning sometime around 4am. My sister told me to go back to sleep. I did. We both awoke for the second time around 6am, whispered our giddy exclamations, and fell asleep for another half hour before beginning what would be the most tremendous day of my life. I finished the last detail of Mr. Pedantic's gift, gathered for a time of sweet prayer with my family, and then my beloved sister and I raced out the door, hair undone, makeup-less, eager, and in great need of fuel. We somehow balanced our multiple trays of coffee, and were off to our hotel rooms for preparation. The hours to follow were filled with good food, lots of laughter, and an unbelievable amount of hairspray. Somewhere in those wonderful, wedding-day moments, my sister handed me a gift from my husband-to-be, as if the diamond ring and a European honeymoon were not enough. The most beautiful ruby earrings were in that tiny box for just a short time before they were hung in my ears. During all that excitement, during all the bustling and shuffling of bobby pins and lipstick, my friends, mother, and family showered me with more love than my heart could hold. After the dress was on and my hair was completed, I walked down a long hallway and tapped gently on my father's shoulder. My father has seen me in a great many dresses, and told me I look beautiful a great many times, but I think I can safely say, that was by far the most momentous, for both of us. His tears were happy ones. Happy and proud.
After pictures and lunch (where I suddenly realized that sitting down in my dress was nearly impossible), it was time for final touch-ups. I believe it was then, as I took one last selfie with my Mama as an unmarried woman, that the shaking began. I felt as though my heart was in one of those vibrating chairs that you pass by in the mall, except this particular model was seriously malfunctioning and on the cusp of eruption. My stomach was cramping like never before - likely due to the increasingly painful stays in my dress, and I was a very panicky blushing bride. I was happy, so very happy. In the deepest and truest parts of my heart, I was ecstatic, but every other hair-sprayed ounce of me was terrified. I was the bride. I was going to be a wife. It was then that the weight of what was really happening set in, and I turned to my friend with shaking hands and asked if it was okay to feel nauseous. She said yes. I found a wall to lean on.
Once I found my place on my father's arm, his coaching began. I looked at him in the candid, jejune way that I had for so long as a child and squeaked out a timid, "I'm scared." He held my hand tighter and reminded me to breathe, something I was not doing enough of, and that nearly led to me being a fainting bride in the first moments of the ceremony. When my hands were at last placed in Mr. Pedantic's, and the pastor was just beginning our service, I looked out at the many rows of chairs. So many smiling, expectant faces, so many loving and beloved friends. So many individuals who had touched our lives in unique and precious ways. I was overcome. They were there for us. Because they love us.
The ceremony was a blur. I kept looking into his eyes and reminding myself to breathe and "for goodness sake do not lock your knees!" Partway through my vows my heart could no longer contain the emotions that had been building for days, and the tears began to flow. That was when my sweet almost-husband slipped a handkerchief into my shaking hand - a handkerchief that my father had given him just for that purpose. That little square of lipstick-stained cloth will be forever precious to me.
The rain began just as the wedding party stepped outside for pictures, but I did not care one little bit. I barely heard the questions being asked or the suggestions being made. I was a wife - his wife - and nothing else mattered. The pictures were taken indoors, and the rain faded just in time for me and my new husband to snatch a few shots under the clearing, golden skies.
The reception flew by in what felt like a matter of moments. So many warm embraces, so many heartfelt wishes given, and not nearly enough time with those dearly-loved individuals who had come from near and far just to support us in these life-altering moments. Just before leaving, I snuck away to steal a few solitary moments with my parents. And with that, we were off and I was in utter disbelief - entirely overcome by all that had happened. My heart overflowed with joy, thankfulness, and a deep, sinking grief over the fact that my long-awaited day was nearly over.
We entered our new apartment, him holding me in his arms as we stepped over the threshold. I did my best to hold back the tears as we opened and read each one of the cards we had received, but it was to little avail. Those written words only reiterated the great load of love that had hung about me all day long. Thankfully, Mr. Pedantic does not mind tears because even now, I cannot talk much about the wedding without the flood of emotions returning. They are not tears of sadness - quite the contrary. I just have simply never felt so loved and so treasured as I did that day, and my heart is still bursting at the seams with the deepest and truest kind of thankfulness.
Now we are three weeks into this joyous new life and I am still training myself to accept the fact that the wedding I planned for so long is at an end, and that it is okay. The excitement is not over, it's really just beginning. Our wedding was the beautiful, capturing prologue which will open up into dozens of thrilling chapters, and I cannot wait to write them. As one dear friend reminded me at the reception, life is not simply about the mountain peaks - it is really the valleys we trod to reach them that matter the most.
I appreciate your patience and grace as I readjust to life and embrace the wonderful new privileges and responsibilities that wifehood brings. Cookies to come.