Our wedding was a comedy of errors.
I know that’s cliché, but it’s the only way I can describe it!
The bridal boutique ordered the wrong dress. Nobody realized the clerk had written the code down wrong until the dress arrived six weeks before the wedding. My fitted lace gown with a beautiful train had been replaced with a princess ball gown that made me look like one of those cupcake dolls I played with as a child. After tears and threats of calling the local news station’s Trouble Shooter, they agreed to rush order my gown – from China – and it arrived days before the wedding. To make up for their error they offered to pay for the alterations – which were completed by their seamstress, the Thursday evening before our Saturday wedding. She hacked off the delicate lace design along the bottom of my dress with her shears and left the edges ragged because she “didn’t have time” to do it properly. It looked horrible but that close to the wedding, I had no choice but to wear it. “Nobody will notice,” my future mother-in-law assured me.
But I noticed.
On the day of the wedding I went with the bridesmaids and my mother to get my hair and make-up done. I had made hair appointments for the girls but there was a miscommunication with the make-up artists and they started working on the bridesmaids while I was getting my hair done. We hadn’t budgeted for that – financially or timewise! – so I had to put a stop to it before all of the girls were done. Awkward.
The lady who did my make-up caked so much on that I thought I looked like a drag queen. I don’t wear make-up on a regular basis so I wanted to look natural, but she assured me that I needed that much to last the day and I foolishly believed her. I was afraid to smile all day because it felt like my skin was going to crack, it was so thickly covered with make-up.
While I was in getting my hair done my husband texted me to let me know about a slight hiccup that occurred when he was picking up the cars we had rented for the day: His license had expired on his birthday six months earlier and he had to wait for a registry to open so he could renew his license before he could pick up the cars.
I offered the bridesmaids food at our condo before we had to leave for the church. “Food’s in the fridge, help yourselves!” I called as I ducked into the bathroom to adjust my hairpins. My future mother-in-law had promised to send food in the cars so I wasn’t too concerned. Unfortunately she neglected to inform my brother-in-law – who took ALL of the food – resulting in one of my bridesmaids collapsing at the altar because she hadn’t eaten all day.
When the wedding was supposed to start, our pianist didn’t realize he was supposed to play for the entire ceremony, not just one song at the end – so my mother-in-law had to hunt him down to get him in place before I could walk down the aisle.
Apparently Nathan forgot to tell him.
Instead of unity sand, we chose to have unity “dirt” – my parents brought soil from our garden in New Brunswick and Nathan shoveled some dirt from beneath his parents’ deck. It was supposed to pour evenly into a beautiful glass vase – but he hadn’t sifted his, so it wouldn’t come out of the jar. He had to pound it and shake it and still – nothing. It finally fell out in a massive clump.
Oh, and I lost my voice. I had a horrible cold in the days leading up to the big day but on the day of our wedding – I could barely whisper. So I technically never said my vows.
But no matter.
Eventually we were married!
Then came the reception. We didn’t get to eat because of the constant glass tinkling. The photographer – who my in-laws had hired and paid for without consulting us because he was a family friend – made me cry because he was so rude and brisk and just AWFUL – I actually got to the point where I refused to stand for any more pictures taken by him. He was an amateur photographer and he didn’t do any editing, so we got two decent pictures out of the hundreds he took.
After the reception, most of the bridal party bailed, so Nathan and I stayed late to clean up the church. We got to the hotel for our first night as a married couple well after midnight. We had barely eaten all day and couldn’t order room service because the kitchen was closed.
I slept in a chair beside the bed because my nose was plugged and I couldn’t sleep lying down.
A day to remember forever!
We’ve always said we’d have a do-over on our tenth wedding anniversary and this past summer, we tried to do just that. We originally planned a getway at a fancy resort and spa – but when we called to book the spa treatments two weeks before our trip like I was told when I booked the trip, they told us nothing was available at the spa. That was the whole point of staying at that particular resort and it was too late to find another so we cancelled our trip.
Nathan’s parents had already agreed to watch the kids for five days while we went away, so we sent Topher and Ellie to their place and had a staycation instead. We planned to renew our vows at the dock where we got engaged – just the two of us. But the day of our anniversary it rained – because of course it did! When there was a lull in the downpour we decided to attempt a vow renewal anyway. When we got to our dock, we discovered that it had been roped off – condemned, waiting for repair.
I was frustrated.
Nothing had worked out the way I wanted it to.
Our wedding was a disaster, our week-long getaway had been cancelled, and we had spent the majority of our staycation binge watching Stargate Universe. While we stood there debating what to do, the clouds opened up again. We raced through the rain, holding hands.
“Let’s just do it anyway!” I said, tugging on his hand before we reached the car.
“Here?” he asked.
“Sure, why not?” was my reply.
So we stood there in the pouring rain, water dripping off our hoods. I had every intention of re-writing my vows but with everything going on in the week leading up to our anniversary, I ran out of time. Instead Nathan pulled up the traditional vows on his cell phone and we held hands and recited them to each other as quickly as we could while the wind whipped around us, blowing rain into our faces.
Nathan turned the heat on full blast when we got back to the car. “How fitting,” I thought to myself. “Our wedding was a comedy of errors – and so was the do-over.”
I stewed over it for awhile, even going so far as to suggest a do-over do-over for our fifteenth wedding anniversary! But then I realized - isn’t that the way of things? Isn’t that just life?
Marriage isn’t about the wedding. The wedding is just one day, and marriage is about so much more than that. It’s about waking up early on the weekends to make the kids breakfast while the other sleeps in. It’s about volunteering to sit beside the kid who gets sick on airplanes, and dealing with the aftermath so the other doesn’t have to. It’s about dancing in the kitchen while we make dinner. It’s about making date night a priority even though we’re both so exhausted from work that we’d rather stay in and go to bed early, and it’s about sneaking upstairs for some grown-up time while the kids are busy playing video games.
Our wedding was far from perfect. So is our marriage! But after more than ten years together, the thing that I’m most thankful for is the fact that I have someone who I can laugh with. Even if everything is a mess and nothing is working out the way I want it to, all he has to do is look at me and I smile. I can’t help myself! We’ve been through it all together – the ups and the downs, the good and the bad – and we’ve survived.
If life is a comedy of errors, there’s nobody else I’d rather share it with. Here’s to another ten years!