I was sitting at our dining table the other night, feeding Willow her little mix-up of peas, carrots, gluten-free pasta, and so on. My eyes fell on a beautiful framed picture of me with my five incredible bridesmaids from our wedding day. Randomly, it seemed, I mentioned to Josh, “We had such a beautiful wedding.” Naturally, he was confused at why this thought was being dropped in the middle of a conversation about what we’d be eating for dinner that night, but the photo just sparked a memory.
Recently, I was at the home of a new friend and happened upon her wedding album on a table in the den. I asked if I could take a look, not wanting to be intrusive, but we all know how obsessed I am with weddings! She encouraged me immediately, lamenting that no one ever takes the time to look through it. I sort of feel that way about my own, too, I realized.
Isn’t it interesting how so much planning and love goes into the big day, and then we sort of let go? Of course, life must go on and with it comes job changes, arguments, babies, chores, friends, and the daily ebb and flow. We lose sight of our beautiful memories sometimes, and that’s okay. But every once in a while, the mood sets in. The baby is sleeping and the day’s work is done. I wash and dry my hands and then sit on the edge of my couch, tenderly turning the pages of the album that marks the memories.
I remember the wind that day — it was strong but warm. I can still see Josh’s face as I approached him on the pier for our first look. I can feel the weight of my dress in my mind, even though it’s doubtful I could slip into it these days as easily I did then. Life has changed so much in just over two years since we’ve gotten married. Our love has grown deeper and more complicated as we’ve become parents. Some of the people who were there to celebrate our day are no longer here. But the memories will stand. The photos help us conjure them.
Sometimes I worry that we’ll forget. That we’ll get so lost in the moment that the choices we made to decorate and celebrate our nuptials will fade away. But all I have to do is glance in the direction of that treasured book, and I remember. Today is a perfect one for contemplation. Perhaps I’ll scrape 10 minutes off the afternoon agenda, leaf through those heavy, beautiful pages. Maybe I’ll wait and coax Josh into looking at them with me, this weekend.
One day, we won’t look a thing like those young lovebirds in that album. We’ll tell Willow and then hopefully her children all about it, though. We’ll pass down the precious belongings that were incorporated into our big day, and we’ll laugh over the things that went wrong. A wedding is a lot more than a big party, I stand by that statement and make absolutely zero apologies for having “bought into” the hype.
Our wedding was the day that Josh became my family, that our future truly began. It was the day he went from my tender love interest to my rock. Yes, it was about a cake (that I never got to taste), a dance (that brought down the house), some special words, and a few truly beautiful garments. But above everything else, it was the day that we solidified our forever-bond. To me, that more than warrants a big old celebration and a fancy, heavy book full of photos. Full of memories.