Recently a few friends and I had a conversation about weddings and how something always goes wrong. After giving a couple examples of things that had gone wrong with our wedding, I made the statement that, actually, the only thing that turned out right about my wedding was the husband I ended up with. Of course, such a sappy statement was met with groans-- and I agree, it was sappy, but it was also pretty true.
Our wedding was in turns a comedy of errors and a tragedy. When you're seventeen years old and still in high school, and you're getting married two weeks after you got a positive pregnancy test, the ideas you had about your dream wedding kind of go out the window. I had no engagement ring, and our wedding rings were cheap yellow gold (we replaced them with something more our style a few years later). It was not the beach wedding I had dreamed of; we were at least going to have it outdoors at a local park, but it was moved to my parents' church at the last minute because it was a cold, rainy December day. Despite the fact that this was the church I grew up attending, it was the last place I would've chosen to get married. With very little time to find a dress, I went shopping with my two closest friends and decided on a very pretty dress that I loved and that fit me well-- but it was navy blue, not white. I decided that was fine with me because I was okay with not being "traditional," but looking back, I do wish I'd chosen something that looked more like a wedding dress and less like a dress you'd wear to a high school Christmas dance.
The ceremony itself also included mishaps, some comical and some heartwrenching. Our music, which was on a cassette tape, loudly screeched to a halt when Clark walked out, so my dad and I came up the aisle without music. The tape began working again when we reached the front of the church, and no one knew what to do at that point, so we let it continue to play while we all stood there trying (and failing) to keep straight faces. In the video, you can see me snickering, then becoming serious again, then looking at my best friend and snickering some more. The pastor who did the wedding used the oldest and most traditional vows possible; they included the term, "and thereto I plight thee my troth." (I did request to have that changed at the rehearsal because I had no idea what it meant, and I sure as heck wasn't making a vow I couldn't even comprehend). To wrap it up, our parents had thought it would be nice to surprise us with a special song, so Clark's stepmom got a guy she knew to play his guitar and sing. It was a lovely thought, except for one minor detail-- the song she chose was Creed's "With Arms Wide Open." If you're not familiar with the song, it's about a guy finding out he's about to become a father. We stood at the front of the church awkwardly throughout the entire song, and I cried, trying to pretend it was because I was so happy and not because I was so mortified. (Eventually I did ask her why she chose that song. She'd had no idea what it was about; she just chose it because she knew we liked it. Oops!)
I do have a few good things to say, though. My mom and grandmother worked hard to put the wedding together and decorate the church despite their shock at the situation and the short amount of time we had to plan it. The church was filled with our friends and family members. My best friend was my maid of honor. And our friends put together a lovely reception for us. So no, it really wasn't ALL bad. :-) Still, I'm glad that the wedding was no indication of how our marriage would go. Eight and a half years later, we've worked through some difficult stuff, we've grown in so many ways (individually and as a couple), and I couldn't ask for a better person to spend my life with. The wedding may not have gone the way I would've wanted, but I am so blessed to have my husband.