"We have a very involved driver..."
"He should be, from what I'm paying him."
Ha. So. All the bridesmaids were down and the kindly driver closes the church doors so that my father and I could get in place. Dad held my hand, looking stunning in his military uniform, as the driver made sure my train cascaded just right. Then we heard the processional and the driver opened the doors.
I don't know why right there I was overwhelmed. Okay, maybe I do know why. Here I was standing at the entrance of the rest of my life - looking at all the most important people in my life until then, and my life from then. I could feel my dad shake, and I shook too. I tried so hard not to cry - not now, not now. It was, obviously, incredibly hard.
But I was happy.
As Father Bob began the Liturgy of the Word ceremony (Jesse is not Catholic, thus we did not do a full mass), my hand was clammy and held onto Jesse's hand until my knuckles were white. I almost couldn't believe that is was happening - that all of our planning for the last year and a half was coming to fruition and in mere minutes he would be my husband. I would be called a wife.
Jesse's mother, Sandi, read an excerpt from the Bible, as did my Uncle Arthur for the second reading. Father Bob gave a solemn homily to the gospel, and then Jesse and I read the traditional vows to each other and put on each other's wedding bands. And, the kiss. It was lovely. More lovely? Jesse reaching in for a quick second one - does that happen often in a Catholic ceremony?
Soon after, Father Bob pronounced us Husband & Wife and we walked down the aisle to claps and cheers. I can't remember a time when I was more happy. I was married. I am married. I will be married for the rest of my life.
The driver was ready for our receiving line, even though we had practiced it the day before. I got to see everyone that witnessed our marriage and I seriously felt the most love ever from the moment I kissed Jesse through the weekend. I was overwhelmed by everyone's sheer joy - the happiness they expressed for us, and the hugs that let me know of their love.
My ecstasy lasted through some more photographs by Channing with family outside of the church, and the driver popping some champagne for Jesse and I. We climbed into the Rolls Royce and got our first moment alone as a married couple. We laughed, we kissed, we breathed - finally.
And we got ready for the party!