Hey, look! This one time, I was a really lucky bride who got to stand by the side of Old Hickory Lake on a beautiful day and marry the nicest, smartest, silliest, gentlest, most thoughtful man I know. And he looked really great in his gray suit. But I'm getting ahead of myself!
Early that morning, the back porch at my parents' lake house looked like this. I sat on the steps and sipped my morning coffee while my Mom painted my toenails. I kept channeling Jesse Pinkman and giggling like mad: "It's my wedding, bitches!" In a few hours, the back porch would be filled with friends, reunited family, happy chatter, and gold chiavari chairs. For a few peaceful hours, though, it looked like this. And it was glorious.
While friends and family took their seats, I waited in the house with our friends and my parents. Aside from a small worry that my tulle skirt might catch on the wooden steps, I don't remember feeling nervous until the processional music started, and then I just felt like I might cry out of respect and awe for what we were about to do.
Our friends walked out to The Luckiest by Ben Folds. I chose it because Ben Folds is one of the first musicians Keith really loved, and when Keith was younger he traveled to see him play on a regular basis. Our attendants stood at the front in order by how long we'd known them; the longer they'd been part of our lives, the closer they stood to us during the ceremony. So our newest friends, Lauren, Brent, and Stephanie walked out first...
Followed by a friend who values her online privacy very highly, so I'm not going to post her picture. Next our youngest siblings, Keith's brother Sam and my sister Kelly, entered...
Followed by Keith's brother Ryan and my sister Erin...
And finally our very best friends. Keith's friend Cal was his best man, and Samantha was my maid of honor.
Samantha's son Isaac was our ring bearer, and he was wonderful. He carried our rings so gently and carefully, and he ascended the steps very, very slowly. I think he was loving all the attention! I vividly remember the moment Sam told me she was expecting Isaac: Keith and I were on one of our first dates when I received the call. I was so excited, I went outside and jumped up and down and screeched on the sidewalk in front of 3 Crow Bar. Isaac and Keith came into my life at the same time, so it was surreal and sort of perfect to have Isaac carry our rings.
And then... the big reveal! I walked down the aisle to Flowers in the Window by Travis, and if you don't know that song I urge you to look it up on Spotify right now. I've put Flowers in the Window on at least half the music mixes I've made since I first heard it eleven years ago. And it describes exactly how I feel about our relationship: When we first met, Keith was sort of "a melting snowman," and being together has warmed and changed us both for the better. Once I selected it for the processional, I had to practice listening to it without crying--it wasn't easy.
I walked down the aisle with both of my parents. I don't believe in "giving away" the bride, but since both of my parents raised me, loved me, and showed me what marriage looks like, I was glad that they both showed their support for me and Keith by walking me down the aisle. Also, I kind of wanted someone on either side of me in case I stumbled on the steps. *grin*
And then it all clicked into place, and I don't have words for a lot of what happened next.
Keith's mother read "Union" by Robert Fulghum:
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way.
All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, "When we're married", and continued with "I will" and "you will" and "we will" – all those late night talks that included "someday" and "somehow" and "maybe" – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, "You know all those things that we've promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word." Look at one another and remember this moment in time.
Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world – This is my husband. This is my wife.
We did it!!! We exited to Do You Realize? by the Flaming Lips. We both felt completely JUBILANT!!!
All photos in this post are by Aaron Yung Photography.