In a few hours I’ll be at a restaurant on 9th avenue celebrating the nuptials of my boss of the passed two years. I’m excited for her. Mostly I keep thinking about how the same day — this day, is so drastically different for her than everyone else — even those attending the wedding. My morning has been slow and peaceful and quiet. It’s my rest day from workouts but I felt like moving so I spent about two hours walking around my neighborhood and drinking tea and picking up this and that for brunch. Meanwhile I imagine that if she is not running around, many around her are. While I feel like I’ve got all the time in the world before I have to get ready, I suspect she gets a little panic every time she looks at the clock; time really flies on your day, at least that was my experience.
Weddings are weird. My husband and I don’t have that many friends so weddings are not something we have to attend super frequently. But when we are set to go to one, I’m often beset with a sense of dread. Both my husband and I can frequently be found in sweatpants and more often than not avoiding social situations (hence the low # of pals), so you can see how dressing up and mingling with strangers would not be high on our fun list. That being said, I secretly really like weddings. I guess because they are apart of a story…
I think most people look forward to the second half of the wedding — the free booze, the dancing. More than once I have seen guests high-five each other immediately following the ceremony and declare, “Let’s get this party started!” That was definitely my attitude for a long time, but after almost 9 years of sobriety the open bar has lost its luster. I will say that weddings are one of the times that I really miss drinking. Imbibing can be such a blast when it’s in celebration — when you are with a big group of people that are all happy about the same thing. That’s what I focus on now, all the people that gather, that make an effort to be present for the two people joining their lives together. I love watching all of these people, and the brides and grooms, especially during the ceremony.
For most modern couples who’ve done the sensible thing and lived together for a bit before deciding to tie the knot, the wedding is not the beginning of their story. Rather it’s this awesome pause, a conscious decision to establish, mark, and celebrate the merging of their lives. At the ceremony, I love thinking about the couple’s lives up to that point — alone and together. The best is when I actually know a good bit of their love story — when I know about the circumstances on which they met or a few details of their first date. For some reason, a wedding photo we have hanging in our bedroom always takes me back to the first time I met my husband. He came up and said something to me, something rather unremarkable. I didn’t go home thinking about it — but I didn’t forget it. When I saw him again after that I would think, “Oh, there’s that guy.” Whenever I look at the photo hanging in our bedroom now I think, wow, I can’t believe “that guy” was my love — if I would have known who he was I would have grabbed him and smooched him up right there.
In my experience, relationships are all about growth and change. When I first met my partner, life got pretty terrifying pretty quickly. There was so much change in such a short amount of time. All of the sudden there was this other person whose opinions and feelings I was having to consider; I was uncomfortable at every turn, I wanted to run from and hang on to him for dear life, all at the same time. But eventually I chose the change. I decided that adjusting to being vulnerable and exposed and forced to consider someone other than myself was a price I was willing to pay for laughter and companionship and love.
So at the first half of weddings, that is what I am thinking about — how these two people have already changed to find and to love each other, and how on this day, they are signing on for more change and more of the unknown, when they make each other their family. I used to think getting married was so run of the mill. But now, I really understand it being called “taking the plunge”. Two people are making the decision to take a stab at life together. Their wedding is a profound, out-loud declaration of each individual, that they are prepared to make their live’s bigger — to join with another human being to create a greater impact on the world than they would have been able to on their own. Forget run of the mill, getting married is fucking bold.
And so, while I can’t say I’m that anxious to don lipstick and heels tonight and meet new people, I am incredibly honored and grateful to witness the union of these two. I know watching them choose their new path and begin the next chapter of their story will give me so much appreciation for my own choices and ignite my excitement for all the things my husband and I have planned for the future. So much can happen when people get together. Love never fails to inspire.
Originally published at medium.com