I threw up in my wedding dress. I wasn’t hung over. I wasn’t sick. I was excited. Too excited. Excited and nervous. This wedding thing. This marriage thing. It is beyond important to me. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made, and it was worth the puking.
In fact, the physical trauma wound up being one of the best things that could have happened.
I woke up more excited about anything I’ve ever been excited about in my life. Marshall and I had decided to stay together in our house so that things would feel as relaxed and normal as possible before our morning wedding. I shot awake, bounced on the bed and yelled, “Wake up! Wake up! We’re getting married today!”
Four minutes later, he got out of bed and found me puking in the bathroom.
“Are you okay, baby?”
Covered in snot, crying at the toilet, feeling as un-pretty as I’ve ever felt, I turned to him, “Sickness and health, right? You sure you want to marry me?”
Marshall, laughing, “Let me get you a wash cloth.”
We split up, and I got ready at my mom’s house with all my best friends. They took care of my makeup and hair. I calmed down.
Ten minutes before the ceremony, my pastor says, “Let’s all gather around and pray for Jes to remain calm and peaceful.”
“Nope, I gotta throw up again.”
In seconds my sister had a trash can, my pastor had a cold cloth, my photographer had some toothpaste, a bridesmaid had a mint, and someone made sure there was a glass of water for me at the front of the church. They took care of me.
A few minutes later, my mom told me, “Okay sweetie, time for you to get married. Let’s get your shoes.”
“I’m not wearing any shoes,” I informed her.
“That’s okay,” she replied.
My mom and dad helped carry me down the aisle. My legs were so shaky. They took care of me.
I hurt Marshall’s hands holding them so hard during the ceremony. He swears he doesn’t mind. When we had a few moments to whisper during a reading, I apologized for throwing up again. Then gave him the trash from my mint. He always complains about the tiny trash from mints in my pockets. He smiled as he slipped it into his.
After the ceremony we had a mini-reception at the church. I was hot. And sweaty. And my ribs hurt. From the dress, and the throwing up. My mom and a cousin shuffled me into the bathroom and helped me strip away every petty coat and every undergarment we could. They took care of me.
We left early and went to my mom’s. My back hurt, my head hurt, I couldn’t eat. My bridesmaids helped Marshall get me out of the dress. They brought in every type of cracker my mom had. They made me tea. They ran to the gas station to get Saltines. They drew me a bubble bath. They rubbed my back. Marshall spent his first few moments as husband drinking a beer while I soaked in the tub. They took such good care of me.
Marshall took me home, tucked me in with the dogs on our couch. Put on a rerun of Fraiser. Made sure I had tea and water. Brought me an extra blanket. Got me a cuddly sweatshirt. Read a book while I napped. Letting the first food I’d had in half a day settle, and some medicine kick in.
After a few hours and the nap I felt better. Much better. I got into my party dress and we went over to his dad’s to finish setting up for our reception. We had a wonderful night. It was everything I wanted it to be.
I spent the most important day of my life being taken care of by my family and my closest friends. By the community who has taken care of me my entire life. The sisters and girlfriends who were there for me during heartache, brought me food while sick in the dorms, picked me up in the E.R. during college, nursed me back to health in Istanbul. The pastors who helped me become comfortable with my own beliefs, and who taught me how to help others. The mom and dad who have always supported me, no matter what, propped me up as I walked down the aisle.
Then there’s Marshall. I’m guessing he didn’t plan on taking care of me as I puked my guts out on our wedding day, any more than I planned on throwing up. Yes, he’d taken care of me before, but the most comfortable, the safest, the happiest I’ve ever been was when he was tucking me into the couch. Knowing that the man making sure I had crackers was the man I had married, the man I get to spend the rest of my life with. It doesn’t mean my family goes away, or stops taking care of me, but now I have Marshall. Forever and always.
Also? Best puke-and-rally ever. Just saying.