There are days in our lives that stand out in our memory, moments that stick with us when other recollections fade into insignificance. These memorable days are often so because they represent a major shift in our lives: changes that we either steadfastly move toward or shrink away from but that inevitably come regardless. If we are lucky those that matter most to us surround us when these shiftings occur. For the fortunate, familiar faces are there to support, witness, and share in the momentous events that carry our lives. And, when these occasions call for celebration, hopefully those loved ones are there to party with us like it’s 1999.
My little sister just got married to a man she has been committed to for years. This wedding symbolized a big adjustment for her, not just in her circumstances but also in her attitude. I remember her profusely stating for years that she didn’t believe in marriage and had no desire to be married but somehow John changed her mind. As her wedding approached she didn’t apprehensively retreat back into her previous way of thinking but instead seemed to pick up momentum and show increased satisfaction with the new direction her life was taking.
Kristen and John were married at the Ogden Nature Center out in the middle of the untouched environment that they both love. The wedding procession was a little awkward, I’m guessing there wasn’t much in way of rehearsing, but the vows John and Kristen wrote for each other made up for the lack of processional preparation. Their declarations were sincere and full of adoration. And, after all, we were all there to honor Kristen and John not to scrutinize the bridesmaids’ apparent confusion.
After the wedding there was a little of that unavoidable picture taking but, in my opinion, there wasn’t nearly enough snapping going on. The wedding photographer really didn’t adequately make use of the unique scenery at the preserve and the photo opportunities it afforded. So I went in search of those perfect picture spots, along with many other idle family members and wedding attendees. We all ran around wild in the preserve’s expansive bushy jungles and dry August meadows in our formal attire like the mad escapees of some barbaric cocktail party. I’m sure we looked odd tramping through the tall yellowed grasses in our tulle and ties as we scanned the landscape for distinct and beautiful places to take pictures but we definitely found what we were looking for. I shot some really lovely photos of my family and the newlyweds out in that unkempt terrain.
After our impromptu photo shoot the evening was far from over. We stuffed ourselves on vegan tacos (surprisingly tasty), toasted the bride and groom, and then obligingly danced to the jubilant beat provided by a Celtic band. I love to dance so I especially enjoyed that part of the evening. I boogied with my nieces and nephews, my sisters, my dad, and of course my sweet hubby. The joyful energy was almost tangible as we kicked up our heels in a chaotic churning mass of people. We were celebrating. We were celebrating Kristen and John, their happiness, their new life together, their commitment to each other, but more than that I think we were celebrating our connections to each other as friends, family members, and human beings.
I believe my little sister had a memorable wedding day, a day that will stay with her when other memories lose their importance or fail to be recalled. I hope the giddiness that she felt as she contemplated spending a lifetime with the man she respects and loves will linger with her long after other details have become obscure.
I know it will be a while before I forget the euphoria I felt twirling about in my high heels on that patio under the stars with the smiles of so many of the people I love surrounding me.