Ten years ago today, I woke up in my old bedroom in my parent's house. I rolled over and grinned to my cousin Courtney as we shrieked together, "I'm (You're) getting married today!" And that's how it all started. I can't remember what I had for breakfast but I remember the overwhelming feeling of anticipation.
I went to the church early so I could get dressed and Kellye's mom Cheryl met me up there to do my hair. Now, when I say "do" my hair what I mean is that she put it up in a few pins so the headband to which my veil was attached would sit nicely. Nothing like the elaborate updo's I had for Amber's and Courtney's wedding. But she was there and did a beautiful job, and then I waited for my bridesmaids. And waited...and waited..and waited. Finally, I asked Cheryl if she would help me get into my dress on and she obliged. I was starting to get a little nervous...who ever heard of bridesmaids getting cold feet? I wasn't a Bridezilla or anything.
I finally heard them coming down the hall. Apparently the local hairdresser was overwhelmed with all of 4 people to handle, and they ran behind. But at least they had arrived, which was a good thing because I was starting to get a little antsy. Then I experienced what pretty much every bride since time began does: I had to go to the bathroom and my dress was already on. So, with some help I managed the task without dipping anything into the toilet.
As the parade of people started coming into the bridal room, it hit me that this was really happening. My grandmothers were dressed in beautiful dresses and Gramps told me how proud he was of me. Then came the moment when Daddy walked into the room and saw me for the first time in my gown. Years of memories flashed through my mind as I watched him walk towards me with that singular look of pride and love on his face. We cried a little and then laughed about crying because it was going to mess up my makeup.
Soon I was left with Courtney, Amber, Ronna and Pam as everyone else took their places for the ceremony. I remember quoting that line from "Steel Magnolias" when Julia Roberts is about to be escorted down the aisle by her father. He is partially deaf from shooting birds out of the tree in the backyard so that her reception will be perfect, and she has to half yell/half stage whisper to him "It's time, Daddy. It's time!" so that he will come over to take her arm. I guess we were getting a little out of hand with the joking because Mrs. Voytek (the coordinator) had to come back and tell us to keep it down like we were 12 year olds at a slumber party.
I remember taking a big breath before I stepped into the sanctuary and the sensation of my train being arranged one more time before the trip to the altar. I gripped Daddy's arm and off we went. As I rounded the corner to turn down the center aisle I went a little weak in the knees. All my friends and family were there and at the end of that aisle was the man I love waiting for me with a look that made me feel like the most beautiful, desirable woman on the planet. When I finally made it to him and Daddy gave me away, I took his arm and the air around us seemed charged with electricity.
My old youth minister and dear friend Roy Deane Webb officiated for us, and we made it through the ceremony without any mishaps. My veil didn't catch on fire from the unity candle and I didn't trip over my dress and fall which was really a miracle considering my natural state of clumsiness! After the wedding, we went across the street to the reception. When we were ready to go, we ran out to the limo amid a shower of bubbles and birdseed. I have a framed series of four pictures that were taken of us as we left the church that day, and they are my favorite photos from our wedding. We opened the sun roof of the limo and stood up so we could wave goodbye to everyone. It was just starting to drizzle (which is supposed to mean you will be rich if it rains on your wedding day....I may have to challenge that) so we quickly closed the roof and sat down.
As soon as my behind hit the seat, the exhaustion hit me. We were going all the way to Houston, so we had a few minutes to relax. I had Trevor unzip me and I actually fell asleep for a little while. If anyone thought that we were consummating the marriage on the way to the hotel, they could not have been farther from the truth! It was quite sad actually. We were too tired to even have much of a conversation....Trevor had driven in from Virginia just days ago, and I was crashing from all of the wedding planning. We were really looking forward to getting to the hotel and changing into something more comfortable than a wedding dress and rented tux.
We pulled up to the hotel and as we made our entrance into the lobby, everyone clapped and cheered for us. It was so sweet and we felt so important. I was so proud to be on Trevor's arm as we walked up to the desk and confirmed the reservation for Mr. and Mrs. Newly Married Couple. The wedding had gone beautifully, the reception was great and the day had progressed exactly as I had imagined it. Did I mention that there were no mishaps to mar my perfect day? That is until we tried to check in. Imagine my embarrassment when I realized that I had made reservations at the wrong Marriot. The one at which I thought I was making reservations was across the street from the Galleria. The one at which I actually made the reservations was just down the road! So after our grand entrance into that cavernous lobby, we had to go back outside in full regalia and load up into the courtesy van to be shuttled down the road a mile or two. I can't begin to tell you how mortifying that was, but in the end it really didn't matter. We were finally married and excited to begin our life together.
So here we are 10 years, 2 kids, 8 moves, 11 cars, 1 Bachelors degree and 1 name change later and we are still as in love today as the day we wed. If the truth be told, more in love because the years together just strengthen and renew that deep feeling of belonging to someone else and knowing that whatever comes, he has my back. And not because he was born into a relationship with me, but because he chose me and my life has never been the same. So tonight we will light our unity candle like we have done every year on this day, and remember the vows we took before God 10 years ago.