And now, part two of the story, this time told from Meighan’s perspective (she’s the stunning red head of the duo).
Mostly when I think about the wedding, it’s with a sense of jaw-dropping gratitude. Complete strangers, friends and family all rallied to help make our wedding possible. Yes, a lot of things went “wrong,” and there’s still a teeny part of me that’s bummed that my wedding didn’t look how I wanted it to. But that part is a tiny unpopped kernel of sad in the marvelously abundant vat of happy kettlecorn that was our wedding. (In other news, clearly I need to hit up a state fair, if my cravings are making my metaphors this bad.) So yes, the wedding didn’t look how I wanted, but it felt how I wanted. I can remember the exact moment I let go of things being perfect, and while it was sadly about a quarter of the way through the reception, it felt amazing. I walked away from having, er, strong words with the caterer, grabbed a glass of champagne, slung an arm around my new wife’s waist, and let myself enjoy the love of everybody there. And it was gorgeous.
I was talking to my soon-to-be-married BFF yesterday, and she’s having trouble letting other people contribute to or do things for her wedding. I told her, “If I can share nothing else about this whole experience: Let people be nice to you.” One, because you need it, and two, because people will be insanely amazing if you let them. It was kind of a revelation to me how very much people wanted to help us. Christina’s aunt (who used to do window displays for a department store) helped us make some gorgeous centerpieces and fixed my bouquet when I was about to throw it against the wall in frustration. My college little sis came up early from South Carolina and acted as “Decoratrix,” making sure the decorations were put out and making them look better than I ever could have. Everyone wanted to help, even awesome bloggers who I asked for advice. (True story, we found our first photographer on APW, but after our engagement shoot, she became really flaky and eventually stopped returning communication altogether. So, we were less than four months from the wedding, with no photographer and less our deposit, since we couldn’t even find her to ask for it back. When I emailed to Ask Alyssa for advice, Meg stepped in and used her magical interweb powers to contact some incredible photographers on our behalf. When we got an email from Kelly Prizel saying she was available, no lie, I made a noise so full of squee that only dogs could hear it. And our photos turned out better than I could ever have hoped for, just because nice people want to do nice things.) I still have some what-is-this-I-don’t-even-know moments when I think about how beautiful people were to us, and then I get kind of overwhelmed and verklempt by gratitude and I have to go lie down or something.
I discovered that a wedding kind of takes on a life and meaning of its own. Obviously, for Christina and me it was the embarkation point for a brand new adventure. For Meg and Kelly, maybe it was an opportunity to be really excellent to some strangers just because they could.
Another true story: after the wedding, my mom could not stop telling me about all of the friends and colleagues she never knew had gay kids or family members, who had seen her pictures on Facebook and reached out to say that this wedding was really meaningful for them. One woman whose son had recently come out to her told my mom that part of what had been so hard for her to deal with was thinking that he could never have something like this wedding, and now she knew it was possible. Y’all. Seriously, I was crying about this woman and her son, who I’d never even met.
So, the wonderful thing about a wedding is it’s bigger than the two people getting married. It’s about building community where you didn’t even know there was one, and recognizing again just how magnificent the people are with whom you’ve filled your life, and it’s about love.
Pictures by Kelly Prizel Photography, APW Sponsor