I didn’t cry at my wedding. If you knew me, you’d know how shocking that is. I cry at commercials, songs…the beauty of a nature hike can bring me to tears. But at my own wedding I didn’t shed a single tear.
Because I was so concerned about everything else!
I remember watching my husband as I walked down the aisle. This man, who doesn’t cry and still won’t admit that he did on our wedding day, was leaking like a sieve.
And here I was, with this big, fat, dopey grin on wondering why the hell I wasn’t crying…and if the coordinator had maneuvered the cake onto the dance floor like she’d hoped, and if my mom was having fun, and if the guests were comfortable, and if I would laugh my head off inappropriately during my vows, and if I would remember the steps to the intricate waltz my husband and I had practiced for our first song.
For the record, everything went beautifully. Every wedding has a major disaster story, right? Mine didn’t.
By all accounts, everyone had an amazing time. Our ceremony didn’t last too long. The food was excellent, though I only got a bite of mine. The toasts were poignant. Everyone danced like it was 1999. And our first dance was so good my girlfriend’s mom just told me last week that it is the most beautiful first dance she’s ever seen…and it was almost a decade ago.
So, even though I had this perfect, wonderful day, I always felt a little cheated that I hadn’t cried. What was wrong with me? Didn’t I love my husband? Was I not touched by the sentiment of the day?
I got my answer last year.
When we first got married we thought it’d be fun it to renew our vows in Vegas. It sounded like so much fun we said, “Let’s do it every year!”
But you know how life goes. It took us years to actually do it.
So off we went last year. And when I say we, I mean my mom and the kids too. I couldn’t leave them out of such a momentous occasion!
We stayed at the Paris. It was gorgeous! And my husband took care of all the arrangements for this ceremony. All I had to do was show up…and get the kids dressed, of course.
I didn’t wear white. There was no DJ. No photographer. No five-tier white cake with gum paste roses. No crystal Tiffany lamps on the tables. No reception at all.
But I cried.
When we got to the chapel, made famous by Michael Jordan and Jackie Collins, we ran into another lovely couple from Boston who, on a lark, hopped a plane to renew their vows after 25 years. We were chatting and cracking up in the lobby with the same attitude of “What the hell…ain’t this a kick?” But when they came out, their faces were tear-stained and wobbly. I couldn’t believe it.
“What did they do to you in there?” I asked.
But they just smiled and shrugged. They couldn’t answer. But they left hand in hand and cuddling like 18 year-olds.
Then it was our turn. My little ones were our attendants, which was really cute because one of them was just walking. And I do mean just walking. We were so proud.
And then it was time for our vows.
What went through my head this time can only be compared to what people say go through your head when you face death except it was like a montage of every hardship and joy we’d faced together. And everything the officiator said was the perfect counterpoint to everything I was feeling.
I couldn’t believe it. This cheesy Vegas ceremony in a rundown chapel that married couples faster than you could get prescription glasses affected me more than my wedding that took me a year and a half to plan.
But there I was. Focused solely on my husband this time…I didn’t know I could love him any more than I already did, but in that moment I loved him more than I ever had.
And you know all those fears you have when you’re first going through it? Can we really make it? Am I really choosing Mr. Right like I think I am? Well, while I was renewing my vows, those uncertainties weren’t even on the radar. I knew we could make it. We had. I knew he’d be Mr. Right. He was.
I bawled my freaking eyes out!
But this time there was one disaster. My little one lost Bunny! We looked for that damned thing everywhere before we finally found it…in the parking lot…with a tire track on it from where limo had run it down. Poor Bunny. My little one cried too.
Dana Diamond is the OCC/RWA Secretary, a columnist for OCC’s award winning Orange Blossom Newsletter, a contributor to The Writer’s Vibe and hard at work on her next book. For more on Dana and her interview with Charlene Sands, be sure to visit Dana’s blog at: http://www.danadiamond.blogspot.com/
Mary, I love that quote! It’s so true for many people I know.
Shawn, thank you. It’s good to see you. And I love your new pic!
on June 25, 2006
I knew we could make it. We had. I knew he’d be Mr. Right…
Wow! That is so beautiful!
on June 23, 2006
I have a book that says, “the first two husbands were just for practice!” But for those of us who aren’t so diva-ish, the first few years seem like practice and it takes something like renewing your vows or having kids to make you realize that you love your spouse even more. Thanks for sharing, dude!