I know that people say that your wedding day is the most memorable day of your life. They’re right. It really is. I just didn’t understand how it was possible. I thought we went into our wedding day with our hearts full of love, but what we left with was a love that I could not imagine. It was as though we became one vessel that left overflowing with love. After we said our goodbye’s on Sunday to the remaining friends and family, I felt a little depressed initially. I wondered if the warmth we felt all week was now gone, if we’d lose that feeling of love. And of course, I missed having someone at the ready to get me a soy chai when I wanted (thank you again, Laura and your wonderful husband, Dave).
Instead as we headed east, we reflected on the weekend. We ended the wedding with an after party at our hotel bar. The bartender treated us very well and I had a grilled cheese sandwich that I could only make peace with after I said a prayer for the cheese-food I was about to eat. It reminded me of elementary school: a delicious piece of nostalgia on such a special night. We didn’t close down the party, but it was the latest I’ve been up in a few years. Around 2am we headed up to our room, for the first few minutes alone all day.
As we got ready for bed, we ran through the moments of the day. Seeing each other in the chapel for our first look, the image of the orange tree as we took photographs in the Park of Roses, watching my Matron of Honor hold back tears during her speech, and Justin talking me through our first dance with a big smile on his face. The entire day was full of these special moments – each one of them punctuated by our community telling us how much they loved and supported us. In fact that was the purpose of our wedding. In the first days of planning it became clear that we wanted to emphasize the communal aspect of the wedding. One of the most vivid moments was of our minister blessing our wedding rings and looking at each of us in the eye – her expression was solemn and yet there was a slight smirk, as though she knew something we have yet to learn.
The next afternoon we loaded our belongings into the car and began the journey back east. There was an initial sadness when I realized that our friends and family were now going to spread back out over the globe and that we would never have this group back together again in one place. I mistook that and thought that the love we had received was now leaving us. But I feel now that we left Ohio with all of that love and more. We cemented bonds to new family – and made connections with both new and old friends. For that I am grateful. And I know now that this love we received is what makes the wedding the most memorable day of our lives.