A year ago we stood in front of our closest friends and family and vowed to forever be a team. Through tears and laughter we became man and wife. Nope, our day wasn’t perfect, not even close, it was real.

Real. As we planned our wedding I constantly read bride’s reviews of their wedding day. 99% of the time I read “it was the BEST day of my life!”.  When our wedding day wasn’t the best day of my life I felt like I had been cheated out of some rite of passage. I cried the day after our wedding, mourning for something that I thought I missed. I blamed it on being sick, the drama of our lives the month prior to our wedding and on being too controlling throughout the whole day. My poor husband didn’t know what to do with me and just let me cry. I had reason to be upset, after all how many brides have the flu through their whole wedding celebration? How many brides don’t want to wear their dress and look at their cake and immediately feel nauseous? I hope not too many.

A year later I can look back and laugh. I know my wedding day wasn’t the best day of my life. I’ve accepted that wanting it to be and feeling remorse that it wasn’t is just silly. I had an amazing day. The memories of our day are beautiful, funny and touching and I wouldn’t change anything. The memories just make me smile.

My bridesmaids, Mom, Mother in Law, sister and all of my new sisters were there with my that morning to get ready. We had bumps in our schedules, crazy make up ladies and tears and laughter, lots of laughter. I may have been a little upset when we were running late and while I was yelling at my little sister for driving us to the ceremony like a true crazy person, I was laughing like a crazy person in the backseat while my maid of honor yelled at the Harley guys to get out of our way because there was a bride in the backseat.

While everyone finished up their walk down the aisle and the music changed to signal my start, I was just chatting away with my Dad and we missed the cue. I’m sure to our guests they thought I wasn’t coming. I was just enjoying the moment with my Dad.

Our ceremony was beautiful. We were married by my aunt who did an amazing job at bringing our pasts together, involving our guests and bringing tears out through laughter. My sister in law read a poem about dinosaurs,  our family members blessed us and each guest blessed our rings as we watched and chatted under our homemade aspen arch. It was beautiful. Absolutely amazing.

Our reception was beautiful too. While the food didn’t do much for me and the smell of the cake made me want to sit on the other side of the room, our guests were close and we could feel the emotion in the room. Our first dance didn’t happen how it was supposed to, the cake took forever to get cut and I did yell at my new husband because our iPod wasn’t turned on, but it was perfect.

 

Photo by Sara Lazio

A year later I’m proud of our wedding, proud of the man and wife we’ve become and proud of where we’re going. I can’t wait for what the future holds and know that next year will be easier and I can’t wait.

 

I’ve looked at this poem many times in the past year, my Dad wrapped up our ceremony with this reading. It speaks the truth: a marriage wouldn’t be possible without understanding, forgiveness, sharing, giving, respect and looking within.

 

The Key to Love

The key to love is understanding…
The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word,
but those unspoken gestures,
the little things that say so much by themselves.

The key to love is forgiveness…

to accept each others faults and pardon mistakes,
without forgetting, but with remembering
what you learn from them.

The key to love is sharing…

Facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together;
both conquering problems, forever searching for ways
to intensify your happiness.

The key to love is giving…
without thought of return,
but with the hope of just a simple smile,
and by giving in but never giving up.

The key to love is respect…

realizing that you are two separate people, with different ideas; that you don’t belong to each other,
that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.

The key to love is inside us all…
It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold;
it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work… but the rewards are more than worth the effort…
and that is the key to love.

 

That’s real.

We’ll have several more shots at having the best day of our lives, but I’m not sure I ever want to. What is there to live for if you’ve already experienced the best day? I would love to have many more days just as joyful as our wedding day.

Photo by Sara Lazio

Just to give you an idea of how beautiful the sunset was that night, I’m still amazed by it: