Tuesday, October 30, 2012

on turning water into wine

Forgive me if the next few (or way more than a few) posts are about my wedding or moments during or after. This feeling is all too new and exciting. Once we get photos from our photographer in the next month or so (btw. She is Heather Canterbury and is the CAT'S PAJAMAS!) it will be on...so please brace yourself, my loves.

I have a post that I wrote the night before my wedding, but I am saving it for tomorrow or the next day, I think.

My first post about the wedding involves my father, who as most of you know died 5 years ago today. It may sound strange to you for me to talk about a wedding post that involves my deceased dad, but trust me, he was there.

The Lord's first miracle was keeping a wedding party going by turning water into wine. This could have been a very frightful thing for the bride and groom (or let's be honest, the bride's mother). By this time, they probably hadn't been married but minutes or a couple hours max and BAM: everything suddenly wasn't all roses and rainbows. They faced a (small) problem right off the bat. The Lord then provided them with what they needed, which was his very first miracle.

The wedding planning was such a fun thing for me and my mother. She rocked it out with her creativity and thriftiness. I have witnessed so many weddings through being a photographer. I had a pretty good thought process on the do's and don'ts, the things that I have seen that worked, the things that hadn't. I tried to trouble shoot as much as I could. I wanted our day to be full of joy, but there always seemed to be something amiss, no matter how much we checked things off lists. As much as I wanted to fight it, I knew it was the fact that my daddy wasn't going to be with me. In a way, I was moving on to next big thing in my life. Though these types of moments are filled with so much rejoicing, there is always a piece that is missing in our puzzle. Him.

October was his favorite month. It is the month that held his birthday, but it is also the month that held his death. It is a bittersweet month for my family because we know this was his favorite time of year, but October 30th always hangs on at the end like whale with its mouth wide open ready to devour the happiness leading up to it.

When Heath and I got engaged in September, we knew we didn't want to wait very long but we wanted to have enough time to plan a small family-based wedding. We both chose October because we really wanted to have a Fall wedding because Summer weddings in Arkansas are too hot.

October 27th: I feel as though I had a small miracle of my own this past Saturday; though by many, it could have been viewed as a problem. But as the Lord does, he turned my water into the sweetest wine.

It happened right before I was walking down the aisle. I dreaded walking down the aisle by myself. It wasn't like I didn't have anyone who could have done it. I had originally asked my mother if she could because she is the closest thing I have to my dad. She told me she didn't think she could do it emotionally, and the more I thought of it, I didn't want to rob her of getting to see her oldest daughter walk down the aisle. So, I resolved with walking myself, and the more I let the fact resonate, the more encouraged I felt about it. I am a 27 year-old woman who has lived independently for 5 years. I wasn't a 20-year-old who still lived at home to where it would be customary for the father to "give away." Even if my dad had been with me physically on Saturday, he wouldn't have been "giving me away" to Heath. I was willingly giving myself to Heath, all on my own.

Feeling empowered, I waited behind the door after my bridesmaids left down the aisle and was standing on the stoop of the church alone with Heather, our photographer. Before I could catch myself, I said, "Hey, could you get a picture of my bouquet, please? I have a picture of my dad in it, and he died 5 years ago." Once the words left my mouth, I felt this huge lump form in my throat, and I thought that I was going breakdown and then there would be no bride walking down the aisle and everyone would think I had ran away and was rejecting Heath and so on and so forth... (crazy how the mind just takes off before you can catch it).

The bridesmaids song was getting to a close and I knew I had to suck it up because there was the most beautiful man waiting for me to come to him. I took a deep breath and then all of a sudden, the song was over. The song that I was walking down the aisle to (Saeglopur by Sigur Ros) was supposed to be starting. My brother Callahan was in charge of the music that day. I had given him 3 cds, all numbered with directions. #1 was supposed to be music playing while the guests were arriving, #2 had 2 songs: the song that the bridesmaids walked down to and mine, both cut and faded, all he had to do was push play, and then #3 was the song we were walking down the aisle to once we were pronounced. As I nervously waited behind the door, waiting for the piano/ xylophoney music, it never came. All of a sudden the previous song came on, then it abruptly stopped. I heard a slight shuffle and whispers and thought how strange it was. Then I heard it start and stop again and then I got a bit concerned. The left door of the church was open and is the door I entered, slowly I put my hand out in the open giving the number 2, and I heard the giggles. After Andrew saved the day and Saeglopur started up, I had the biggest smile on my face. You had to know my dad to know what a big prankster he was. I find no surprise that the music mysteriously messed up when it was a pretty cut and dry thing. When it was supposed to have started, I was on the brink of getting upset. By the time it actually did start, I found myself giggling and feeling like this was the most perfect way to enter my wedding. Quite fitting. As soon as I entered through that left door, all I saw was my Heath standing at the end with the best looking smile I have ever seen from him. When I got to him, he gave me a big hug because he knew that it really was a big moment for me, walking alone.

But as I said before, I was not alone.
Not at all.

photo of my dad when he and my mom were dating, which is what he looked like when they got married later that year.

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