There were two pieces of advice that I heard most often repeated, in the weeks leading up to the big day:
- Be sure to eat.
- Enjoy your wedding; it’ll be over before you know it.
At the wedding of Friend S, she even went so far as to say that she barely remembered saying vows (although there are copious pictures and she’s got a groovy new ring, so she’s pretty sure the ceremony happened and all). All of our vendors stressed this as well, as experts in the field. The day will go quickly. The time will fly, they said.
Well, here is my inexpert experience, as a one-whole-week-married lady. The time didn’t fly; it progressed at exactly the pace that it normally did.
And somehow, that was even harder.
Having been so heavily warned, I was bizarrely cognizant of this for the entire day. Time passed at a normal pace while we got our hair done and fretted over the weather. Time passed normally as we slowly gathered for the rehearsal. Time passed normally as we went off to get changed into our fancy clothes. Time passed normally as I shuffled along the walkway to our first look. It was all passing at such a normal, mundane sort of speed that I could scream. A minute was just a minute. An hour was just an hour.
And I wanted it to be more. Every second was so dense, full of beautiful things and loving people and spontaneity and serendipity and utter magic, that you couldn’t possibly get through it in a second. Every moment was full to the brim, and all I wanted was for time to stay where it was, because in a moment, the moment would be over, and another one would begin. A minute shouldn’t pass the way a minute always passed, because how could that possibly be right? How could the universe not know that there was this insanely beautiful whirlwind happening and things needed to slow down on this day, just for a little?
I remember having a few giddy minutes to myself during prep, staring out the window and not being entirely sure that this was all happening, and wanting to feel… that we were on schedule. Or ahead of schedule. Or running late, even. Anything to temporally self-identify.
I remember standing up in front of our friends and family, listening to our wonderful officiants, our hearts bursting with silly, giggly in-love-ness, and I could practically feel the second hand ticking in my chest as every second passed in metronymic precision, hanging before me in suspension, brief and beautiful and utterly perfect, and then gone again forever.
I remember the end of the day, sitting with our nearest and dearest, my head so full of memory and fellowship that I didn’t even really know how to talk about it.
It’s a week later, and I feel like I still haven’t completely processed how wonderful the day was– occasionally flawed or bumpy, but utterly wonderful. Eight days have passed, somehow. The last week (back at work – honeymoon won’t be for a while yet) has flown more than the wedding day did.
Loving husband and I have been friends for twelve years, have been together as a couple for close to ten; we were engaged for ten months, and for about 24 hours, we were getting married. And now “the rest of this” has begun, all the tomorrows and tomorrows and tomorrows. Some of them will fly, and others will not.