Three years ago today at this time, I was woken up in a beach condo on Pensacola Beach by my sister coming into the room singing the wedding march at the top of her lungs. Ah…memories. That’s right, boys and girls. Today is my 3 year wedding anniversary. Three years ago I tied the knot, strapped on the ball and chain, got hitched, took the plunge, bought the cow, set up shop.
Now a lot of people want flowers or candies or romantic cards for their anniversary. But me? I just need to reminisce. I just need some time alone (Chris’ presence is optional) to sit in my wedding shoes watching my DVD of our wedding day and flipping through my wedding photo album. For me, the anniversary isn’t so much about celebrating where we are, but instead is about remembering where we’ve come from.
I love the wedding picture of us standing next to our wedding cake because it reminds me of one of the sweetest parts of my wedding day. Chris’ grandmother made 7 wedding cakes for us. There was a large center cake and then 6 supporting, smaller cakes that sat on tiers around the big one. It was beautiful. Apparently about an hour or two before the wedding, my Dad was helping to move the wedding cake table and he knocked it over. All of the cakes fell and were ruined, except for one little cake. My Mom told my Dad to just let it go and not to say anything to me until right before the reception so that my day wouldn’t be ruined. But the guilt killed him. So just before he walked me down the aisle, he whispered that he needed to tell me something. He took both my hands in his and he had tears in his eyes. I almost fainted. “Chris bolted!” I thought. “I’ve been ditched at the alter!” But then my Dad told me what happened, and I remember I was so relieved that Chris hadn’t changed his mind I couldn’t care less about the cakes! I loved that moment with my Dad.
And I remember my Mom had this sudden coolness about her on the day of the wedding. My Mom and I planned my wedding together. Completely together. And we’re still speaking! If I could put that on my resume, I would. I think it shows excellent conflict resolution skills. My Mom is a 4-star General when it comes to planning. She’s the kind that creates the notebooks, carries samples of tissue paper in her purse, distributes lists of to-do activities to the Groomsmen, orchestrates an emergency phone tree of all wedding party and family members. In short, she’s crazy! But the day of the wedding she just had this calm. I remember when we were adjusting my veil in the back room of the church, and I was getting ready to walk down the aisle, I looked over at her and she just looked so happy. Now, I’ve told you that I’m a crier, but my Mom takes the cake on this one. She cries at just about anything. But she was just peaceful on the day of my wedding. I remember thinking, “This must be right if my Mom is okay with it.”
And, of course, I remember seeing Chris when the doors opened in the church. Seeing him in his tux at the other end of the aisle was just breathtaking, but its not actually that memory that I think about on my anniversary. Its the memory of us going to dinner the night BEFORE our wedding. In all the hustle and bustle of the wedding week, with family and friends in town, parties being thrown, Chris and I decided that the night before the wedding would be our night and we would do something that was normal to us. So we went out to dinner. We had about a 4-hour dinner and talked about everything that was getting ready to happen. We talked about how our lives were about to change, and how exciting that was. We talked about how excited we were to be moving to Connecticut, and how nervous Chris was about starting graduate school at Yale. We talked about our first date, when I forgot him and came screeching through the K-Mart parking lot in my Mom’s convertible, an hour late. It was just a perfect dinner. When he took me to my parent’s condo and dropped me off for the night, I will never forget what he said to me. He kissed me goodnight and then said, “There’s no one I’d rather see walking down the aisle to me than you.”
Yep, anniversaries are pretty good stuff. Its a time to think about how great our lives are and how happy our marriage is. But it is also the time to look back at where we started, how far we’ve come, and how we got here. 3 years isn’t that long, but my goodness. What a difference a day makes.