Writing has taken a back seat to Bridgette’s wedding. I can’t believe that it’s already been a week since she and Cody were married and a month since I’ve been dumpster diving for seasonal greenery.
I sit at my desk this Saturday morning, revelling that I can actually sit at my computer and put some thoughts down. Wedding recovery surrounds me. There are boxes of items to return to friends, thank you gifts to distribute, a table full of Craigslist wedding decor that I’m sure will be snatched up because ours were so good, and a house still decorated in Christmas. Sugar plumbs of wedding memories dance in my head.
The last few months were consumed with wedding and Christmas. I tried to sort the two out, giving priority to Christmas, while doing preliminary wedding prep. Once Christmas was over, every spare minute was spent on executing wedding details. This project was like every other project. I didn’t consider how I would do it, I just moved in the right direction and asked God to bless it.
And that he did. One by one friends contacted me to ask what they could do. I try not to ask for help unless I’m desperate. That’s not because I’m shy or try to be a martyr, but managing a home requires constant upkeep, so I reserve tapping into my friends for situations like my water tank or refrigerator leaking, which they did in the last couple of months. As the wedding date approached and big ideas for the perfect wedding formed, I began to see that this “hot water tank was leaking”, and as friends asked what they could do, I accepted their offers and a miraculous team formed, one in which I almost didn’t have control. They went beyond what I asked and anticipated what I needed and we gave Bridgette and Cody “the best 24 hours of their lives.”
For me, this team gave me the gift on that day to be Mother of the Bride. And unencumbered with executing the details, I got to enjoy “happy”.
We moms and grandmothers stood on one side of the room to be escorted to our seats. I was the last in line and having a hard time composing myself. “It’s a Wonderful World” serenaded us and was begging me to react. I stood waiting for my cue to meet my son, but turned to the wall to hide the contortions my face made as I willed myself to resist the poorly timed emotions. One guest and I made contact a couple of times, our eyes connecting, which comforted me but was also like that moment when you’re trying to hold it together until you see someone who knows and understands, and you lose it. As I inched closer to my place in line, on the other side of the room Bradley mouthed, “You can do this, mom.” He was right. The last thing I wanted was to make a spectacle of myself (or mess up my makeup).
I don’t completely understand the emotions I had. They were just there. We’ve had so many layers and components in our lives that seemed to all converge in this culminating moment. Experiences are different when they come from a foundation that is formed out of unity. Preparing for the wedding without a partner was difficult and Bridgette and I had intense moments of disagreement. I wanted Bridgette to have a wedding that reflected her personality, beauty and wholeness, regardless of the turns and complexities we’ve experienced. I’d worked hard so that nothing would get in the way of that, and I realized that everything for which I’d dared to hope was unfolding before my eyes.
In retrospect I realize that an overarching emotion was “happy”; happiness that we had achieved everything we both wanted. Happy is not an emotion I experience regularly, and I’m so good with that. Jesus’ life on earth has assured me that HAPPY isn’t the goal in life. Internal (and eternal) joy is a solid sentiment I carry with me that is difficult to explain. Joy is satisfying and allows me peace and comfort when I go to bed at night. HAPPY is a wonderful gift I received and it seems fitting that it surfaced to the top and exploded on Bridgette and Cody’s wedding day.
All night long, happiness was everywhere: In the message that was delivered (Go BEAVS! – see breakdown of that message below), in friends and family who came, in the beauty of the venue, in the sacrifices that people made, in toasts that celebrated and reflected on the relationships people share with Bridgette and Cody.
It was pure joy to experience that kind of happiness, and I owe that to God who blesses me with friends who walk this life with me in various ways. They were there before, during, and after (many cleaning up until the end and still the day after). They know the sorrows and frustrations I experience, and they know my joy. That makes me very happy.
Below is the breakdown of the message Bridgette and Cody were given in the ceremony by Cody’s spiritual mentor, Barry.
B – Be there for each other
E – Encourage each other
A – Always put God first
V – Valentine’s Day every day
S – Share life with each other
And finally, a few people have asked me who did my hair and makeup, where did I get my dress, how did I do this thing or that thing. I’m happy to share!
Subscribe to my blog and I’ll give you all the info you want. I now feel very equipped in executing a wedding!
I’ll share two things with you now:
I bought my dress on line from Anthropologie’s wedding line. It was $80 on sale. I did my hair and makeup. I had help from a best friend who was my shadow that day. She ensured the bobby pins were in securely and that kind of stuff. But I want to give credit to a YouTube / blog that I follow for my hair and make-up tips. I wrote a post about her last year when I searched Messy Buns. The blog is called The Small Things Blog. Kate is the author, a darling young mom and half my age. I should probably be watching a blog for 50 years +, but I like Kate best.
Beautiful post, Joni! The more pictures I see and words I read, helps fill the void of missing the amazing wedding! Of course, you did a wonderful job! I’m so grateful that you feel “happy!”
You are among my friends who weren’t physically at the wedding, but were there for me before, during, and after. I look forward to sharing much more with you!
Wonderful to see you today at church and share your joy of your beautiful daughter’s wedding! You two look so alike! Thrilled to learn you are leading Rooted and I know you will be amazing as you are a patient listener and have the “JOY” of the Lord!
Hope we can get together soon! Keep writing as I love hear your voice through your thoughtful and eloquent words!
You, too Sonya, and congrats on the things going on in your life! Thank you for reading. It means a lot to me!