As of today at 1:00pm I will have been married for 17 years. I was 20 years old. The day was much like today. Warm and sunny (except for a brief shower in the late afternoon which is supposed to be good luck on your wedding day). We had only been engaged for 7 weeks and had planned the whole thing beginning to end in that time. (Only one person asked me if I was pregnant. Obviously, I wasn't since Josh wasn't born until 7 years later.) I ordered my dress from JCPenney and the invitations from the discount card store. I picked out these radically cool turquoise dresses for my bridesmaids. (After the wedding, they could pull off the puffy sleeves and a few of the ruffles and the huge bow on the backside and dye them another color and totally wear them again! Right, Ada?) We flew our recently moved youth minister in to perform the ceremony. We asked some talented photographers from church to take the pictures. Arrty's aunt made the cake. I bought all the stuff to make bouquets and decorations and friends helped assemble them. Arrty and I picked all the music and made mixed tapes (yes, tapes, it was 1992 after all) to play before and during the ceremony. There was even a lady at church who served as my wedding planner on the day and organized everyone. It pretty much went off without a hitch. Like everyone when they get married, I suppose, the whole day was kind of a blur, but there are a few things I remember distinctly.
When I was standing outside the double doors of the church auditorium holding the arm of my dad just getting ready to walk down the aisle, he leaned over and said, "You still have time to run." I'm still not sure how serious he was.
During the ceremony, the minister, who had done some research beforehand, mentioned the love notes that Arrty and I had written to each other when we were in middle school. He then pulled a folded paper out of his pocket making it look like one of those notes. I'm sure my eyes were as big as saucers afraid he might read some of our adolescent ramblings. The paper was blank. Phew!
While we were lighting the unity candle, hot wax dripped onto my thumb. It burned, but Arrty consoled me and I don't think anyone besides us knew it happened.
And I remember a great since of relief when it was all over and I didn't have to be the center of attention anymore.
It was a great day. Sweet and fun and happy. But I was so young and had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. I think of my 20 year old self and try to remember what I was feeling and thinking and expecting. I can't remember, but I do know that I never, in a million years, would have been able to guess what the next 17 years would hold. And honestly I wouldn't have wanted to know. What fun is that?
But on this day, I'm glad to be where I am. I'm glad to be Mrs. R and still falling in love with Mr. R. more and more each day. I'm glad that I'm able to laugh and cry and live with this man who loves me more than I deserve or understand. I'm glad to live in this time, in this place, with this family which all started on that sunny July day 17 years ago.
Happy anniversary, Mr. R. I love you.