I remember being nervous the morning of the wedding, but then going for a swim and then feeling calm and peaceful. Still, my hands shook as I dressed and put on makeup. E came to the church early with me to get ready, and as we prepared downstairs, my heart skipped a few beats thinking about C and what he might be doing or thinking about. I thought of my family, too, and wondered what each one was thinking as they all prepared to come see me be married. My sisters all came downstairs to see me in my wedding dress, and some friends also popped in for a few pictures and well wishes. When it was finally time to begin, I carefully made my way up the stairs and took my father's arm. Then, all eyes were on me as the organ played a fanfare and we began to walk down the aisle toward my waiting husband-to-be. He had the most wonderful smile, and that look of gratitude and amazement that he gets sometimes which makes my heart turn flips. I remember everyone in the pews watching me and smiling, and I returned their smiles with a huge one of my own. I felt beautiful, special, and thankful to have so many kind people there to see me.
All the details were perfect. The flowers in the church were white, and everyone wore corsages of white roses. My bouquet was similar, but with pink peonies and pale pink roses from the garden. My veil stayed in place, and my knees didn't buckle--I was actually able to stand and sing with gusto all the hymns that C and I chose. The ceremony opened with C's favorite hymn, How Great Thou Art, which moved us both. Then a friend read the poem, "How Like an Arch This Marriage" by John Ciardi, which describes how the two sides of an arch lean inward and upward to greater strength. Two ladies then sang "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" like angels. Next, my dad spoke the sweetest words of praise, admiration, and fatherly counsel, and I felt amazed to have such wonderful parents. "On This Day of Joy and Gladness" was the next hymn, and then it was the moment for Chris and I to step forward. The bishop's words were doctrinal, wise, full of promise and hope for our eternal future. C and I shared long looks, full of meaning and emotion, but our words were both strong and clear as we said, "I do," and as we exchanged rings, promising to one another a pledge of faithfulness and abiding love. My hands were sweaty and my ring stuck, so there was a slightly awkward moment as C wriggled the ring slowly onto my finger, but other than that there was nothing to mar the incomparable moments of being officially knitted together as husband and wife.
The service ended with "Now Thank We All Our God" and my own heart swelled with thankfulness and joy. As C and I made our way down the aisle together, my smile was even larger than it had been before, and C also could not help beaming. We stood in the back of the church as our guests filed out and we greeted each one with more smiles and thanks. There I was reunited with my roommates from New York, friends from near and far, and more joyful greetings from family members. Never have I felt so happy, so entirely at peace with the world, so heart-full. Like a beautiful dream, or heaven, I was surrounded by all my friends and family, partnered beside the best and most wonderful man I have ever known. But it wasn't a dream, and as the reality sunk in, if it is even possible, I just became happier and happier.