I wore a medieval gown a generous and talented friend custom made for me. The fabric was (and still is) a soft ivory, but it looks white in every picture. My long, dark hair falls down my back, the front braided (less than symmetrically) by my soon to be sister - in - law, who realized half way through that we should have taken time to practice before the big day. I chose not to wear a veil. The red roses in my hand were a last minute bouquet my soon to be mother - in - law assembled from flowers purchased from Costco just hours before.
The embellished sneakers I wore caught in the aisle runner; the park wouldn’t allow us to anchor it to the grass. My dad was reluctant to let go of my hand.
But at the end of the aisle stood the only person I had ever loved, had ever wanted, had ever needed.
We got married in front of the same fountain we had taken prom pictures under. The Officiate had married most of my family, and although we had talked with her about our beliefs, during the ceremony all of our revisions were forgotten, but the I Do’s were heartfelt. And if we both had happy tears threatening to fall, they only served to make our eyes brighter as we walked back down the aisle together, fingers intertwined.
In the nine years that have come and gone since that joyous afternoon, we have lived with family, had our boys, lived on our own as a family, bought a house, had triplet girls, lived through darkness, had moments of shining happiness.
The groom I walked to on that day is now my wife.
And we are stronger for it. Our marriage, our partnership, our love is stronger, and deeper for every step we’ve taken together. She is still the only person
I have ever loved, have ever wanted, have ever needed.
I now understand why her face is hidden in most of our wedding photos, why so many of her happy smiles were tempered with a trace of sadness. And why she doesn’t look at our old photos anymore. But her smile today is radiant.
The joy of being who she really is burns so bright she almost glows.
Here’s to walking this path together, fingers and hearts still intertwined;
to holding onto each other through both the smooth and the rocky.
Happy Anniversary, Beautiful Girl.
I love you.