I couldnâ€™t move.
Halfway down the aisle, I stood in my motherâ€™s wedding dress, the beautiful bouquet my mother-in-law made me clutched in my left hand, my right hand firmly gripping my brotherâ€™s arm. And I couldnâ€™t move.
â€œYou okay, sis?â€ Michael drawled quietly.
My smile firmed as I tried not to move my lips. â€œI canâ€™t move.â€
â€œWhat do you mean?â€ He kept his gaze forward.
I hoped he didnâ€™t think I suddenly had cold feet. I smiled confidently at John, waiting for me at the end of the aisle. Cold feet wasnâ€™t the problem. Stuck feet was the problem! Iâ€™d practiced bouncing down the aisle last night in a cute little sundress, not a floor-length dress. When I stepped up onto the riser where our church served communion, I stepped onto the edge of my gown!
â€œIâ€™m stuck,â€ I told Michael, still pretending to be a whispering ventriloquist.
He took his cue from me and smiled, speaking without moving his lips. â€œYouâ€™re what?â€
â€œI stepped on my dress,â€ I hissed, smiling sweetly at the dozens of eyes all fixed on me.
â€œStep back and try again.â€
Easier said than done. I tried to move my feet without looking like I was backing out of the church. Finally, my smile brightened and I took a step forward, unencumbered by lace and tulle.
Michael and I breathed a sigh of relief. From the look of the congregation, they apparently thought Iâ€™d stopped so they could see the grand beauty of a bride on her wedding day. Well, if that was the worst thing to happen today, I thought.
Michael turned me over to John â€“ cold, clammy-handed John. I looked up at him in surprise. He wouldnâ€™t look at me. I turned back to our pastor. Iâ€™d shed my tears and fears last night. Perhaps John hadnâ€™t been so lucky. I gave his hand a reassuring squeeze, reassured myself when he squeezed back.
Now that I understood how easy it would be to get caught in my dress, I moved very carefully when turning or kneeling. And since my sister was at my side as the maid of honor (sheâ€™d begged me not to call her the matron of honor), I had no more near misses with the dress.
But a wedding gown isnâ€™t the only hazard at a wedding.
As our pastor talked about the joining of two lives and two families, John and I leaned in to blow out the two candles representing our previous lives.
And my veil went flying toward the flame!
For a heartbeat, I saw it all â€“ the flames licking up the headdress, the hysterics of the congregation, the water sprinklers coming on, the $10,000 prize on Americaâ€™s Funniest Home Videos! In the next heartbeat, John yanked me back as I grabbed the veil, feeling the heat of the flame on my hand.
Whew! Another disaster averted!
But our day wasnâ€™t over yet. And if the wedding is a portent of things to come, it certainly explains the last sixteen years! Our pastor mispronounced our last name, though we wrote it out for him phonetically. My brother-in-law dutifully took every picture people asked of him, but no one asked him to take pictures of just the bride and groom. The picture sent to the newspapers was a candid snapshot of us leaving the church, with Johnâ€™s waving hand cropped off â€“ as well as the hightop tennis shoes hanging by their laces from his fingers.
One of our favorite teachers (we were married in college â€“ couldnâ€™t wait any longer!) came in as we were exiting. Sheâ€™d misread the invitation. â€œWell, Iâ€™ll be the first to congratulate you then!â€ she said, giving us big hugs.
When John shoved cake in my face â€“ â€œBigger, stronger, faster!â€ heâ€™s always saying â€“ I nearly fell over, my veil went flying, and I had to borrow a tissue and turn my back on our guests to get the cake from up my nose.
Friends came over to our table to talk to us as we ate, stepping back every time people dinged their glasses for us to kiss. By the third kiss, we couldnâ€™t figure out why everyone was laughing so hard. Then we turned around to see our friends had been holding signs with â€œ10â€ and â€œ9.5â€ and â€œ4â€ on them. John and I were the stars of the Kissing Olympics!
My favorite part was driving around town in Michaelâ€™s semi, honking his air horn. Our friends had decorated his truck in the traditional manner, and also decorated the stepladder I had to use to get in! The shocked looks from people in their cars and on the sidewalks made me laugh!
Johnâ€™s favorite part was discovering on arrival at our hotel that our bridesmaids had packed his suitcase and not mine! Good thing we were planning on staying in. And it might explain why John still likes to see me in his shirts.
After we returned from our weekend honeymoon, all our friends around campus had their own favorite story. â€œWe all pitched in to rent you a new car for the weekend, arranged for Rachel to drive you to the hotel with the mirror cocked up, and we find out you fell asleep in the back seat! You were supposed to necking and groping!â€
My friends, I assure you, weâ€™ve been making up for it ever since.
And isnâ€™t that the best part about wedding stories? Theyâ€™re usually full of smiles and laughter and fun, for the tellers and the listeners. Who can have a better start to their new life than that?
Kitty Bucholtz is an OCC/RWA member currently living in Sydney, Australia. For more on our adventures, go to http://johninaustralia.blogspot.com.
Your day sounded like so much fun…just like you!
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