I walked up State Street towards the Capitol with the Love of My Life. I savored my surroundings and gladly accepted our photographer’s request to walk slowly. My shoes were fabulous but not functional. The weather was meteorologically pristine and was made pristine-er by a preceding week of rain, which always seems to heighten appreciation for an averagely nice day.
The dress I wore and Eric’s suit highlighted our presence amidst a street saturated with people. We were an underlined sentence on a page full of words, drawing in the passerby’s attention. We felt like B-list celebrities, with guys (read: paparazzi) taking photos that would be forwarded to the editor of Us Weekly. Some just smiled and said congratulations. A little girl with wide eyes stared and turned as she held her mom’s hand. As if the universe knew that Ali & Eric were getting married today, she surrounded us with blue skies and a vibrant batch of strangers to heighten our wedding day bliss.
When I heard the string quartet start playing the Wedding March, the coordinator helped me take three deep breaths. I turned the corner and saw 127 familiar faces. I felt my Dad’s hand give way to Eric’s. I looked at the Love of My Life on our wedding day. I could not look at anyone—everyone—else. For if I met someone’s gaze, I would trigger a title wave comprised of each and every individual’s adoration, support and hope for us. The wave would leave me in an ocean of appreciative tears. The wave would move me to a calming and belated realization: All of these people…are here…for us.
I can go back to those moments now, with all of my senses engaged. I watched my best friend from high school slow dance with my brother. And my other brother having a serious discussion with the best man’s parents. I found out that my friend from high school used to play soccer with Eric’s friend from high school. I danced around my friend from grade school as she shimmied to Bye Bye Bye with Eric’s friend’s girlfriend.
I experienced the beautiful coincidence of a world in which my husband was born five days before me and strangers become friends because they knew one of two people who decided to get married. For a day, their fresh bond with each other served to strengthen ours. For a lifetime, we will be in awe of our personal cheering squad who stands up & speaks for us, serenades us & dances with us, and stays up way past their regular bed time to celebrate life and love and togetherness.