In the three months since my wedding, I’ve failed terrifically at writing so much as a single word about it.
(Well, technically, that isn’t true. I wrote some words, but they were beginning to sound like a Buzzfeed Listy-List, so I chucked them.)
(Also, my current Martha’s Vineyard beach-read is the latest Bridget Jones installment, so vocabulary like “chuck” and “rubbish” and “bloody brilliant” seem vaguely accessible and reasonable to me right now.)
Anyway, it was starting to bother me. This blocked indecision.
I mean, it was MY WEDDING.
To the LOVE OF MY LIFE!
SURELY I have something profound and reflective and resonant to say about an event that reflects my past, projects my future, and bonds me to another human forever. Right?
I should be able to write about wearing my mother’s wedding gown; listening to my husband-to-be’s original song (performed by the groomsmen in our ceremony and composed for that exact moment). About walking down the aisle to Sweet Child o Mine – an acoustic version artfully played by dear friends BruceIII and Birdman – and hearing our loved ones erupt approvingly when they recognized the tune. About seeing my groom identify the song as well, raise his arms, pump his fists, wipe away tears.
I was a blank, save a bit of paltry, overly-sentimental drivel.
But last weekend I went through some pictures from our wedding weekend with my new husband, in-laws, and parents. After flipping through the sizable stack several times, Bonesaw and I both pulled out the same image.
It’s easily one of my favorites.
Though perhaps not frame-worthy, this pic is a group shot from later in the night, taken on the stage by the dance floor (er, carpet). It captures the view of our backyard, facing toward our house.
Bonesaw and I are centered(ish), but we aren’t the focal point. I’ve changed into my “party dress” and the cowboy boots that guided our decisions about wedding colors and theme. Bonesaw is sleeveless, of course, thanks to a college friend with some scissors several hours ago. We’re dancing together, unaware of the camera or even what else is around us. We’re just holding on to each other, draped together. Just celebrating. Just reveling in the waning moments of our day. Just gazing at each other, all wrapped up.
Behind us, string lights stretch across the far fence and the back porch, meticulously placed and engineered by his brother and Best Man, Hoag. Glow sticks are fastened around people’s necks and wrists, like we were throwing a college rave rather than a homespun backyard wedding. (They were my mom’s idea. And though I initially bristled at the suggestion, everyone gravitated to the ridiculous accessories so aggressively that I couldn’t really argue or fuss. Bubbles waft dreamily over the crowd, creating a sparkling finale to the dancing.
And the crowd!
We’re nestled in among people in love. Bridesmaid Cara and her husband Mike, unknowingly and just barely pregnant. Another maid Missy and her girlfriend Rachel, celebrating the first wedding they could attend together. Maid of Honor Nazish – 5 months pregnant yet bringing the party in full-force, grinning at her Babby Daddy Hubby Andy. In the foreground are brother Tyler and his wife Jen, married 14 years, whose four kids spent the majority of the night putting on a dance clinic on the stage.
There’s Sheila and John, approaching their first wedding anniversary, sweaty with their intense (and intensely hilarious) choreography; Morgan and Carolyn in from Pennsylvania; Frankie and Aleah, newly-engaged old-souls; two of Bonesaw’s college friends hugging (or slow-dancing together?); Katharine and Elissa, in last-minute from Colorado; Abby and Boz, David and Laurie, Marissa and Conor; Kiran and Sarah, fresh from exploring the Jam Room in the house…
The list goes on.
And everyone is embracing. Everyone is smiling. Everyone is filled with love and life, or something close to both.
I think the song playing in that moment is Drive by The Cars – a song that, when Bonesaw played it briefly on his guitar four years ago, made me fall a little bit in love with him for the first time. It’s a song filled with ache. It’s haunting and sad, but somehow hopeful. It’s a question and a promise all at the same time. It’s a song about taking care of someone in the hardest, most challenging moments.
“Who’s gonna pay attention to your dreams?”
“Who’s gonna pick you up when you fall?”
“Who’s gonna come around when you break?”
“Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?”
I love this song for its angsty, brutal honesty. For the way that it looks closely at how hard life and love can be, and sees the strength in having an ally who will stand by you even when it’s almost unbearable. But the last question is unnecessary, because here in this picture, my husband and I are already home.
They say that one of the secrets to marriage is who holds you up when things get tough. Who rallies around you with support. And of course I know that at the core, Bonesaw and I will hold each other.
But looking at this picture, I know that there’s so much more to our life together. In this frame – with it’s twinkling light, and the music that I can almost hear in the image, and the FULLNESS of the crowd – I see a world in which I want to live. A community and a family I want to be a part of. And I’m proud that we gather this group around us for these big moments. For the times when no one is watching, but when we’re held tight, cocooned, cradled.