the final wedding

I am all wedding-ed out.

Thankfully, the three weddings I was a part of were lovely.

  • lovely brides
  • lovely grooms
  • lovely cakes
  • lovely scenery
  • lovely love

This past weekend, I celebrated the wedding day of one of my dearest friends, Elizabeth. We met during our first year of college, and quickly became buddies; bonding over shrimp cocktail, and our mutual love for Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. In all honesty, it was more our love for Joe Lando/the tomahawk wielding Sully that brought us together. Please. Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5h052g5-Rs Elizabeth is one of the kindest, most genuine souls I am privileged to know, and while I wish I could have done a million times more to relieve her stress this past Sunday, I am honored to have played the role of bridesmaid. I am honored because she is:

  • constant
  • supportive
  • encouraging
  • hilarious
  • understanding
  • able to answer my medical questions because she is a nurse
  • also, this:

we took turns wrapping ourselves in my comforter because it was like sleeping in a cloud.

 Rare are the friendships that can be set down for a semester of college classes, and picked up again over a panini at Panera Bread. Far and few between are those that remain silent due to busy schedules, marriages, and distance, yet lend an encouraging word or a listening ear in a moment’s notice.

This is Elizabeth.

liz 1

She was also an incredibly beautiful bride.

 

liz 2

I have come to the realization that I love…love. I didn’t shed a tear on my own wedding day, but standing at the altar next to Katie, then Meredith, and finally, Elizabeth, my heart was akin to a bowl of maple & brown sugar oatmeal. I have also discovered that what I love most about weddings now is not what I loved when I first became obsessed with all things bridal.

I used to spend hours avoiding homework, swooning over pictures of wedding dresses, and engagement rings. I vowed never to wear strapless. I didn’t. No regrets. I thought constantly about bridesmaids dresses, wedding venues, and the timeless debate between indoor and outdoor ceremonies. Wedding photography became a troubling obsession. I hated sepia. I still kind of do.

After being a bride, and now a bridesmaid three times over, my favorite part is the vows. Yes, I still love bouquets, dresses, and first dances, but what I have loved the most about each wedding this summer is watching three of my closest friends vow their love, respect, and devotion to their significant others.

My first year of marriage has been one of the most wonderful and fulfilling years of my life thus far, yet I know that years to come will not be as calm. Times will be rough. Times when I think to myself, “why did I marry this man that just ate my last cheese danish?” (I only say this because I just ate our last cheese danish)

The times when the vows become the most significant, I feel, will be when giving up seems to be the best option. When I think to myself, “I deserve something better, and I don’t want to try any harder than this.”

These are the times when I will need to cling on to the phrase “I choose you.”

And this is why I love vows. I want to believe that love can be eternal, and couples are still willing to choose love, and to fight for it. I want to believe that love can still be as exciting and exhilarating 20 years down the road, as it was when Caleb first saw me that night at Applebee’s, and when I finally noticed him that night at the vending machine. And I want to believe that e.e. cummings’ words will always ring true for not only me, but for my three newly married friends as well.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

So, I dedicate this post to you, dear Elizabeth. And to Katie. And to Meredith. And I hope that this next year is as lovely and sweet as each of you are.

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