It is time to tell you the rest of the story. Grab a steaming cup of hot tea, will you. Sit back, kick up your heels and prepare to swoon. Get your lungs ready because you’re going to heave a sigh of utter contentment in a few moments…
Okay, this story isn’t that great. I might be exaggerating slightly. My wedding was hardly a fairy tale. There were no fluffy white bunnies who tied bows in my hair. Tiny sparrows did not flit about my head whistling in perfect harmony. Clothes-wearing mice did not sew my glistening white wedding gown and my groom did not break out in song when I walked down the isle (just the thought of that makes me laugh).
All of that would have been cool (except the mice part; clothes or no clothes, I don’t like those furry little creatures), but that is not what the day held for me. It was, however, in the immortal words of Mary Poppins herself, “Practically perfect in every way.” I was ready to marry the boy. For eight months I had been his fiancee. I wanted to be his wife. I was ready to be a Mrs. I wanted to walk down the isle on my dad’s arm and say “I do.”
And I did.
I am blessed cursed with plenty of neuroses. But one thing I am not is a girly girl or a perfectionist. This makes planning a wedding very, very easy. I bought the first dress I tried on, because I loved it. I tried on a few more, but I knew right away that the first one was it. It was me. It was simple, elegant and comfortable. I also knew from past experience that I wanted to look natural. I’m not a heavy make up person, because I’m well aware of the fact that too much make up makes me look like a child who played in her mama’s bathroom cabinets. If I attempt the smokey eye I don’t look elegant so much as I strongly resemble a two cent hooker.
And I’d had enough up-do’s in my school dance days to know that my hair in a French Twist makes me look like an ’80’s era creature from Alienation.
I like Daisy’s and Lilies, and I like photographs…and lots of them. So the photographer and the florist were easy decisions to nail down. I didn’t want anything elaborate. I just wanted comfort and familiarity because as much as I wanted to marry the boy and as excited as I was to become his wife, I also wanted to be surrounded by the comforts of simplicty. It made the idea of marriage seem less daunting.
So I stuck with my simple hair, my simple make up and my simple dress. My simple flowers, my lots of pictures, my simple hors de veurs and wedding cake (none of that nasty raspberry filling stuff – nope, white cake, white icing…the way the angels like it). But I felt anything but simple and ordinary. I felt as if I had been adorned by woodland creatures and singing cherubs. I felt…like a Princess.
To be honest, I remember few details about the day of my wedding. I know I was up early all jittery and happy. I know I had my hair done and my bridesmaids (all nine of them) had breakfast with me. I don’t know what time we headed to the church or where everyone got dressed. I do remember my grandmother making me laugh out loud at some point.
“Kelli,” she said, “I heard that you and all of your bridesmaids are wearing thongs today.”
“Uh…Mimi! What?! I…maybe. I haven’t asked them…”
She stared back at me completely confused. And my mom burst out laughing. “They don’t call them thongs anymore, Mom,” she said. “And yes, all the girls are wearing flip flops.”
I was a bit of a traditionalist when it came to my wedding. I didn’t want to see the boy before the ceremony, I wanted the Wedding March played when I walked in and I wanted hymns sung during the ceremony. Somehow that just seemed right to me. And it all went off without a hitch.
Well…except for the tears. I’ve told you about my penchant toward crying. I don’t get the cute little single tear drop that streams down the cheek like you see in the movies. Oh no…I cry like an ugly gopher. And if I try to hold the tears in I end up bursting like the Hoover Dam.
So mid-way through the minister asking who would give this woman to marry this man, I broke. And I was mic’ed. Then I tried to laugh to cover it up, which only made me sound a bit like a machine gun filled with snot balls. A blushing bride, I was not.
But sobby sobberson’s aside, the ceremony itself was beautiful. My uncle and my high school youth minister, two of the most unorthodox, craziest men in ministry I’ve ever known, led the service and they injected the right amount of humor and sweetness to balance out my crazy. The music was sweet, the boy was sweet (and terribly, terribly handsome in his tux with tails. Oy!) And it ended with me becoming Mrs. Lee Stuart. A name I was happy to take on and I am even more proud to bear today, nearly ten years later.
After what seemed forever in photographs (We had a wedding party of eighteen! We’re not good at narrowing down…) we hopped in our limo and headed off to the reception where we had one heck of a party and a huge surprise waiting for us.
To be continued…
Read the rest of the story here.