Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mine at Last: In the Evening

Only one thing stood between me and marriage . . . formal pictures.  I knew they wouldn't be fun and that my cheeks would hurt by the end.  Worse than that, the pictures would forever document me looking like  it was no fun and my cheeks hurt.  I think it was Mary Poppins who said, "If you must."  The silver lining is that we ended up with the most complete family pictures in recent memory and everyone who needed to be on time for the ceremony was now on the premises.
 (Note the brilliant blue sky and the deceivingly bright sun outside of our church.)

My cheeks recovered in a back hallway by laughing and smiling until they were numb.

The men folk hid in the basement, fostering Mr. Palindrome's unhealthy relationship with his phone.  Caught ya red handed!

A quick note about the logistics: there were only two options for moving us into place to walk down the aisle.  The first was to hide in the balcony and the second was to wait in the annex and then walk around to the front of the church.  With 22 in the wedding party, plus parents and grandparents, we didn't think we could keep everyone out of sight and quiet on the balcony.  

On the coldest day of the year (10 below freezing without factoring in the wind chill), I picked up my train and HUSTLED.  I felt sorry for our friends, but at this point I was chilly, happy, and had my eyes on the prize at the end of the altar.  Make way! Bride incoming!

 I remember seeing everyone line up.  I remember laughing as my brother ran back to process a second and third time (escorting my grandmother, my mother, and then as a groomsman).
I remember not seeing Mr. Palindrome before he walked with his parents (modification of Jewish tradition) and wondering how the processional had gone by so quickly.
I remember standing alone with my Dad at the back of the church and hearing our coordinator say, "It's time."
Probably the worst bride to photograph, I looked all around me as we walked.  I greeted my friends with a smile and nods.  I strained forward to see my groom.

My dad took his role seriously, and though I should have given him a veil lifting lesson, he lovingly placed my hand into Jason's.  My identity multiplied in those moments as my family grew.  From daughter to wife, the most important men in my life were there supporting me. 
After the excitement and anticipation of walking down the aisle, my soul became quiet.  The rest of the ceremony was intensely spiritual for me.

My friend Laura has inspired my faith and encouraged my marriage.  She read Ruth 1:16-17:
But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.
Our friends, Tom and Heather, were spiritual mentors to us during our engagement.  They read Ephesians 5:21-33:
 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
As our pastor and friend started the homily, I thought Mr. Palindrome was going to give me a blister.  He was rubbing the backs of my hands with his thumbs - such a handsome wreck of nerves.  Besides Mr. Palindrome's assault on my fresh manicure, I remember the homily on forgiveness.  We've each given each other plenty of practice living out that message.  Forgiving as Christ forgave us is a cornerstone of our faith and now marriage.
Mr. Palindrome and I chose to celebrate the institution of marriage quite traditionally.  I'm still coming to terms with the reality that we repeated the vows of our parents, grand parents, great-grand parents and the generations before them took.  In those short phrases, we joined our lives not only together but also to the broader idea and philosophy of marriage.  Overwhelming.  In a good way.
I, Jason, take thee, Melinda, to be my wedded wife; and I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses to be thy loving and faithful husband, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.

I, Melinda, take thee, Jason, to be my wedded wife; and I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses to be thy loving and faithful wife, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.
After we exchanged rings, the unity candle ceremony began while Emily's voice filled the chapel.

In addition to the ceremony candles at the front to represent our establishment of our new family together, our ushers lit small personal candles for all our friends and family to show their support for our marriage.

Dangerously armed with red lips, I kissed Mr. Palindrome.  It was a passionate, yet church appropriate kiss.
And it marked him as mine.
The whole wipe-off-the-lip-stick-and-look-cute schtick was inspired by my make-up artist, Liv Lethal.
Mr. and Mrs. Palindrome.
Walking down the aisle with my husband, well, words fail me.  
Joy. Love. Peace. Awe. Relief. Amazement. Beauty.  Cheer.
As long as we both shall live.

1 comment:

Amberdawn said...

Aww, looks like it was a beautiful ceremony :) Congrats.