I went to a wedding tonight and was touched when the bride walked down the aisle toward her future husband. Until that moment though, as I looked around the room at the decorations and the cake, the place settings, centerpieces, the guest book and all the other things required to put a wedding together, I cringed.
I’ve had two weddings already. The first was in Jamaica to Ivy’s Dad. I wanted to forego a wedding because I was intimidated by the process. But then I felt guilty that no one could celebrate or publicly acknowledge our nuptials. So though we were married on a beach far away in the company of strangers, I still put together a reception with about 110 people when we returned home. We were very young and on an extremely limited budget. I recall buying flowers from a Haymarket type vendor in Boston the day before, and vases from the Christmas Tree Shop. We hired a caterer who made meatballs and pasta at $6.50 a person. All I remember about that night was how stressful it was to prepare everything. On the way home my ex and I fought like crazy. I remember thinking I had made a mistake. All that work for nothing.
We chugged on for eight years and eventually, through circumstances we couldn’t fix, split up.
When I later married the second time, I wanted a big and real wedding in mansion, with a limo and real dress (not beach attire). We were in a better financial position than when I was a kid. But he said no. I wanted to honeymoon in Costa Rica. He said no. He wanted a beach honeymoon. In the end we had a micro wedding in a restaurant with about 30 people and a honeymoon on a beach.
My mother drove me so I could show up separately, still clinging to some sense of tradition. I almost threw up in the driveway and I couldn’t stop shaking. I kept thinking Why am I doing this? Is it too late to change my mind? That wedding didn’t involve as much planning but it was by no means fun. I didn’t look at my new groom with love and gratitude. I just watched him watch me, keeping me at arms’ length. When we got home I tore my dress on a nail. I said it was a shame because I liked the dress. All he could say was something like “Too bad you didn’t lose the weight.” Yeah, big mistake on my part. We honeymooned on an island far away and were divorced 18 months later. I had learned to cut my losses.
And I’ve been pretty marriage resistant since. A few years ago someone asked me if I wanted to marry Mr. X (long gone) and I said “God no!” Once I said it out loud I wondered what I was doing with someone whose involvement would cause a reaction like that.
I’ve been happily legally single the last five years but lately I’m thinking that with Ryan, it would be nice to try again. When I saw the bride and groom tonight smile at each other, I could see love and innocence and respect. I didn’t see angst about the planning, or the traffic that caused some people to be late, or the upcoming hurricane that caused some people to cancel. I didn’t see a bride whose face was filled with regret, or a groom who was detached.
Someday, with Ryan, that’s the kind of wedding I want. (hypothetically, I mean, we’re not engaged). It doesn’t matter to me if there are 100 people in a hall or just a few of us in an Elvis Chapel in Vegas. No matter the venue or the amount of guests, I know it’ll just be the two of us in our hearts and in the room, finally getting it right.
Here’s to weddings and wishes.
To learn more about the real Carly G. please CLICK HERE.