“I have found the one whom my soul loves.” (Song of Solomon 3:4)
Two years ago was the best day ever. Literally. I woke up the morning of Saturday February 22, 2014 to this weather forecast…
It seemed too good to be true. I got to marry the perfect man, on the perfect day, in the perfect ceremony, followed by the perfect reception (and perfect honeymoon). To this day, I’ll never know what I did in this life to deserve any of it. The only explanation is that my guardian angels cashed in all of their favors to bring Holden to me and give us the perfect wedding.
What you won’t read about in our Style Me Pretty feature is my breakdowns leading up to the wedding.
It’s interesting that the happiest times of your life can bring hidden, deep-rooted emotional issues to the surface. After our engagement, the void from loved ones I had lost– my grandparents, Uncle/Godfather, and Godmother– became unbearably palpable. Adding that to the traditional stressors of wedding planning and blending families had me considering giving up my dream of a perfect day. My parents saw how much I was hurting during one such breakdown and even gave me their blessing to elope.
But then I imagined my sweet Catholic grandmothers clutching their rosaries to their chests in shock at the very idea. I remembered the pride in my Uncle’s face when he presented me for Confirmation as my sponsor. All the weddings at my church that I had cantored for– how could I not say my vows within those same walls?
The Catholic church doesn’t make it easy for anyone to get married, let alone to someone of a different faith. Poor Holden didn’t realize when he proposed to me that he would eventually have to sign his life away (aka a document stating that he promised to raise our children Catholic) in order to get married at my church. Or sit through hours of meetings with our sponsor couple, or spend a weekend at an “engaged encounter” retreat. But he did it– for me, for us, and so that we could have my perfect ceremony, married by the priest who knew me by name, with hymns performed by cantors with whom I had grown up singing, in the place where I most felt the presence of my loved ones who had gone before me.
It’s how I knew that God made Holden for me and my angels conspired to help me find him. Even though Holden didn’t get to meet them, I know that they were watching him as he asked my parents for my hand. They sent him to wipe my tears when I grieve for them and support me in whatever lies ahead.
On my wedding day, I was eerily calm. Everyone who spent the morning getting ready with me comments that they can’t believe that I was so peaceful. I didn’t feel nervous to say my vows, because Holden had already exemplified his to me (and then some). As we were standing at the altar, Holden and I saw a ladybug land on it. This magical, surprise guest reminded me how much love we were surrounded by, both seen and invisible. If everything else had gone wrong after that serendipitous moment, it still would have been the most perfect day.
To my husband on our second wedding anniversary, thank you for looking at me today with the same love that you did as I walked down the aisle. For helping me believe in magic and happily ever afters. And mostly, for making every day of our lives together the best.
Photos by Elisabeth Carol Photography