1: a marriage ceremony usually with its accompanying festivities : nuptials
2: an act, process, or instance of joining in close association
Do you cry at weddings? I do. But it hasn't always been that way. In fact, when I think back to my own wedding, the emotion I remember is excitement. I had spent the summer living at home with my parents. J was living in Columbus, OH where I was scheduled to start grad school in the fall after our late July wedding. We had spent about two months apart leading up to the wedding and I was so excited when J arrived the week of the wedding, that I just quit worrying about anything at that point. Several little tasks on my to-do list were never marked off, but I couldn't even tell you what they were. All I cared about was that I was getting married!
At the weddings that we attended after we were married, J and I would smile through the ceremony and squeeze hands during parts that reminded us of our own nuptials. I didn't cry. He didn't cry. We just left feeling renewed and reminded of why we had married each other on that hot July day in southern Alabama.
But about nine years ago, weddings changed for me. Instead of relating to the bride, which brought huge smiles, but no tears, I began to focus on those words "give away." This little moment in the ceremony was not a big deal to me during my own wedding, but now it stood out in bas relief. I was one day going to have to stand in front of those I love and give my daughter away?! What was this craziness? Even worse, my daughters would be excited to be given away, just as I had been. This definitely brought some tears.
I know (logically) that I will be smiling through tears of joy when A, B and/or K walk down the aisle to wed. But (emotionally) I can't believe I'll ever be ready for this. I actually get a tad angry when I think about all of this giving away stuff because mothers and fathers of boys don't have to stand there and give up their sons. I'm sure there's some archaic reason that it's structured the way it is, but it still seems wrong that J and I have to foot the bill for a party celebrating giving our beautiful daughters away!
We attended a wedding this weekend. A sat between J and I, with B on J's right. I leaned over to A and told her to hold her daddy's hand because he was sure to cry when they started playing Jesu. She looked puzzled and asked "Why?" I tried to explain that when we watch a bride walk down the aisle, we see her. We look at those bridesmaids and see her sisters. That, of course, is not sad to her at all.
At the reception, K went outside to pick flowers and then gave them to "the princess who got married today." I know my little girls want to be princesses who get married one day and I hope they are as excited as I was nearly 13 years ago at my wedding. But I'm sure I'll still cry.