Our wedding was shockingly perfect.
I know that sounds strange, and I don’t want to make it seem like I didn’t suspect that marrying that boy I chose five years ago was going to be a good call, and maybe even a little fun. But still, somehow, it all caught me off guard.
The joy and the love, without pretense. The way you can put on a pile of tulle and fake eyelashes and lip gloss and still feel just like yourself. All the little moments woven in between the big ones — because, as it turns out, that’s all you’ll remember. The celebrated traditions, the bits and pieces when all eyes are on you, the epic embraces captured on camera – your memory will be wiped clean of all those, but you’ll be able to call up, with vivid clarity, the feeling of writing out the names of everyone you love on those silly little escort cards. Of letting your best friend read your vows on Thursday night and watching her cry and thinking: passing that index card to her was a good decision (it was) and, you’re totally going to blow his vows out of the water (you’re actually not, how hilarious is that?) Of lying on Jon’s bed before the rehearsal dinner, passing around a pack of pastel macaroons, and deciding that even though they fly them in daily from Paris to the Upper East Side now, it’s still somehow better when he brings them. Of collapsing in a fit of laughter when the rabbi — the rabbi! — interrupts your yichud, and sneaking in a second one on the terrace after dinner to compensate. Of how opening nearly every single card, in your same old living room that somehow looked different in the weird vortex that is the hours after eating scrambled eggs with all your (moderately hungover) family and friends but before you jet off the Hawaii for two weeks, made you cry.
And of that party.
Man, it was a great party.
I didn’t chronicle it in detail here (because, let’s be honest, I haven’t chronicled much of anything in detail here in quite some time), but it was a bit of a rough winter, as the past few have tended to be. I lost someone close to me and I screamed myself hoarse and I said things I didn’t mean and I struggled with being the bride and growing up and being a grown up in this city. One stretch in particular was marked by a bedside visit where I shared a photo of my wedding dress with someone I knew wasn’t going to be alive to see it in person, looming biopsy results that unfolded like the worst kind of dejavu and then, finally, a guest list war that brought me to tears (ok, and to inappropriate text messages.)
There was a flash in those weeks when I didn’t even think this whole wedding thing was worth it. The ensuing flip-out involved many profanities but the general sentiment was this: why can’t we just go to the courthouse?
I’ll give you a response to that question that involves lots of words and photos and jokes and stories, just as soon as I get all of our pictures back from our photographer. But for now, I’ll just leave you with the short answer, which is that, apparently, even the day that everyone tells you is going to be the most important of your life, the day you’ve spent so long planning and waiting for that you’re positively sure you’re already jaded and a little skeptical and just oh so ready to tackle everything you’ve sized up in your head, can still manage to surprise you in the most wonderful way.
*All photos by the incredible Elisabeth Millay. A sneak peak of the day through her lens can be seen here.