One of my favorite moments of May 2: I arrive at the church, dressed, with my hair and makeup and veil on. We walk through the doors, and Maggie (our flowergirl and niece) runs to me. She stares up at my face with a soft expression and says breathlessly: “Oh, Sarah. You look so beautiful.”
It was a precious moment, and it caused me to pause. I remember breathing in and realizing the “bigness” of this day. It’s cliché but true that girls think about their wedding from a young age. A wedding was never THE biggest dream of my life or my ultimate goal. I never spent much time envisioning myself in ball gowns or practicing as a little girl playing wedding. But I remember watching my aunt Lisa be married and thinking how magical it was, how beautiful and happy she looked.
As I grew up and as I fell deeper in love with Patrick, I think that the gravity of a reciprocal, lifelong promise took on all the properties of a fairytale. For the last few years before we got engaged, I did think about the flowers. I romanticized about the way it might feel to walk down the aisle. I dreamed of our first dance. I wondered if I would cry. I knew it wouldn't be the most important day of my life, but I thought it might be the happiest. I was right.
I love this photo of all of Patrick’s little nieces standing around us. We were waiting for our first dance, and they were all looking at us with that sense of awe.
Later, after we returned from the Bahamas, we were sifting through notes that guests left for us. A sign and a jar marked "wishes" greeted guests at the door of the reception, inviting them to leave “wishes, memories, or a bit of wisdom for the bride and groom.” Most of the note cards contained traditional words: “We wish you a life of love and happiness.”
And then we pulled out the first little wish. “I wish for a dog, elly,” said one, a name scrawled below the wish. And then another: “I wish I go to Hollywood.”
And finally, “I WANT A PERSON.”
That last one really moved me. If we are lucky, we find a person -- to love, honor, to care for. Isn’t that what we all want? Someone. And that’s the magic of a wedding.