Friday, June 19, 2009

Wedding Weekend: Part 4

Our wedding Mass was beautiful. My nervousness didn’t entirely disappear, but it definitely got easier as soon as I took Daniel’s hand to walk to our seats. I had been worried that I would be too anxious to pay attention and pray during the liturgy, but that didn’t end up being a problem at all. I was able to stay focused and prayerful the entire time. And I remember every detail of the ceremony—I heard the organ music, sang along with every song, smelled the incense, and caught the eyes of several people in the crowd to exchange smiles.

The (small) bad part was that I was extremely warm throughout the whole thing, taking sips every so often from the water bottle Caroline had stowed beneath my chair before the ceremony and fanning myself with my program almost the entire time. I was afraid that I would faint; luckily, I didn’t!

My Aunt Alli read the first reading (from Genesis 2) and Daniel’s cousin Mary read the second (Colossians 3). They both did a beautiful job. The Gospel reading was from Matthew chapter 7, about the wise man who built his house upon the rock, which we just love (well, obviously we love it—we’re the ones that chose the readings!).

When we said our vows during the Rite of Marriage, I had absolutely no problem either remembering the words or projecting them so that everyone could hear me. And I will never forget the look of love on Daniel’s face as he spoke those words to me, too: “I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”

We had a little bit more trouble with the rings. First, we couldn’t get them off the pillow easily at all because the ribbon bow had turned into a knot. Then I really had to push, with both hands, to get Daniel’s ring over his knuckle. Now that it’s on there, it definitely isn’t going to be coming off without a fight—and that is perfectly fine with me. I love seeing that ring on his finger!

Everyone was smiling. Everyone was happy. Cameras flashed. The Mass continued, and Daniel and I received the Eucharist for the first time together as man and wife. The liturgy ended with the lovely Nuptial Blessing that Caroline and Leeanna posted for you last month, and just like that, I got a new name! Actually, not “just like that” at all—it’s taken me the whole month to get most of my name-change stuff finished. I only made it to the MVA to get my new license this past Wednesday! But I heard Father Rick say, “Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Hammond,” and then Daniel was kissing me. It was pure and simple bliss.

I forgot to take my bouquet from Marie when Daniel and I walked back down the aisle at the end of the blessing, which made me feel funny because I had nothing to do with the hand that Daniel wasn’t holding. But I’m laughing about it in all the pictures.

After hugs all around in the sacristy while the rest of our guests made their way to their cars, we took pictures with our immediate families and the bridal party in front of the altar before leaving for the reception. My cheeks were killing me, but in a different place than they ever had before as a result of having to smile for lots of cameras. The pain was more directly under my eyes, in the muscle covering my cheekbones, whereas in the past (high school and college dances and graduations, etc.) it had hurt closer to my mouth. I guess that is because I was more genuinely happy than I had ever been before!

On the way to the reception, with Daniel driving my Dad’s car since it is nicer than either of ours, I discovered that I am rather a fan of riding down the highway in a white dress and veil and having everyone who passes us do a double-take, pointing out to their own passengers the bride and groom in the other lane. It’s such a silly thing, I guess, but I’ll admit that it made me feel a little bit like royalty. In the meantime Daniel and I were so busy laughing together, reveling in the fact that we were really and truly married, that we missed our exit. The next exit wasn’t for several miles, so we lost at least ten minutes just turning around and backtracking to find our way.

We made it to the resort eventually, of course, and stood in the hall with our bridal party waiting to be “presented” to all of our family and friends in the banquet room.

Now, I’m going to pick up at the beginning of the reception next week for a several reasons: 1) Because I know how much you all love the anticipation, 2) To avoid my word count going way over my usual entry, 3) Because I am getting very tired and want to go to bed, and 4) So that I can enjoy reminiscing about my wedding day for yet another week!

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