I've been gone for a week.
I got married.
We finished up our journey on the road, landing in Estes Park and checking into our awesome hotel. But almost immediately, the high-jinks began with our reception venue. After putting out two fires, we headed downtown where we had dinner with my Maid of Honor (Kate) and her husband. We were then given free s'mores at our hotel, and free mosquitos in our hotel room.
I didn't think any day could get more stressful than the day before our wedding. Fire after fire had to be put out, and stress ensued. I wanted to just cry. Nothing looked like it was going to go well. My anxiety started acting up, and Alex put me to bed and told me to rest. With a nap under my belt, I was able to get through the rehearsal and dinner with ease. It was beautiful on those mountains. Everything about the venue was perfect, and it was wonderful weather. Our two families (and Kate) met for dinner, and it was so delicious. We went to bed hopeful, watching the stars from our balcony, and then heading over to my parents' cabin to watch the stars from theirs. It was so quiet with all of us on that porch for so long, and then a big shooting star fell out of the sky. "Did you see that?!"
Turns out there can be a more stressful day than the day before the wedding.
I couldn't sleep. I just could not sleep. I woke up at the crack of dawn and Alex snuck out without seeing me. We went to breakfast, and that turned out well. The hair and makeup lady was amazing. And then the reception venue started to fail at life. Fifteen minutes before I left for the ceremony site, I was in my hair and makeup and robe moving a thirty-pound, two-hundred-dollar cake from one table to another table on the other side of the room because no one else was doing it. I was so frazzled, I couldn't breathe as soon as I was zipped up.
"The reception will be okay, right?" I kept asking up the hill. But then we turned the corner and I saw Alex, pacing down at the altar, and I felt calm.
That is, before Kate discovered after checking in with him that he'd forgotten the backpack with all of our music and props for the ceremony back at the hotel ... thirty minutes away.
That was the last straw.
I freaked out. I cried. I didn't act like a bride should. Everything was ruined. I'd had just about enough of weddings and just wanted to go home.
I couldn't walk down the aisle mad at him, I told everyone within earshot. I couldn't do it. He's always forgetting things.
Thinking quick, Kate grabbed him and put a veil between us of her clothes. We talked. We were both scared out of our minds. He'd forgotten something and felt awful. I was angry and sad I was angry. But then the music started to play, and he had to take his place.
As soon as I came down the aisle, everything was fine.
Today when I was talking to Mom, she put it in perspective for me.
"A half an hour worth of music is not as special as what happened," she said. "You both showed your worst side, and yet you met him at the end of that aisle smiling and crying."
I'm still processing how this wedding didn't go perfectly, but it was still special. I will never forget Alex's face when he saw me in my dress. He loves me, I love him. And that is what lasts.
I guess that the stories we live through aren't always as we expected. They're not always gumdrop happy, and sometimes they're messy. But they're our stories. They're the ones that make us who we are.
That's what I told him in my vows. The people we were are the people who got us to that moment in time where we could stand before everyone and get married.
And of course as a writer, I make note of this. Stories can be complicated and sometimes not what a character would necessarily want. But it's their story. It all is connected in the end.
We sight-saw with our families, discovered the mountains on our own, and had some more run-ins with the reception venue before packing up and heading home. I thought I would be sad, and I was for a little while, but I was more excited. Because now the true adventure begins.
While we were in Estes, I received a fortune saying that if I didn't focus on my studies, I wouldn't succeed. Of course this fortune came from a Zoltar machine that swapped Zoltar out for a bear dressed in a Star Wars tee, but I give it some sort of credence. This is why I'm writing this blog now, and I am staying home tomorrow to work the whole day.
The wedding is over. Europe is over. Quitting my job is over. The Disney trip is over. Now I can breathe for the first time in a year.
Adventures are wonderful things, but sometimes it's nice to have a little peace and quiet in a hobbit hole.
So for tonight, I'll open up my word document and get going again. Now where was I ...
What is this?
Dawson is an editor and writer and MFA student at Stonecoast. She writes stuff.