Wedding Stories

Every wedding has a story. It usually isn’t told in the design of the dress or the Pinterest perfect decorations.  The story lies beneath all the careful planning and the high expectations of the day. They are the simple moments, the quiet corners, the small gestures, and the hilarious goofs that aren’t disclosed in the perfectly staged wedding photos. These are the stories we tell and retell over family dinners. We laugh and even shed a few tears over these anecdotes. They complete our total wedding narratives.

I have three siblings, and we were all married within four years. Each event had its own saga. My brother Jeff’s ceremony ran almost a half an hour late because the ring bearer was stuck in traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge. Before my brother Bruce’s wedding, the groomsmen went AWOL. They were soon discovered returning from a local fall festival where they had headed to the beer tent for a quick drink. My sister Ann’s ceremony was very short. As she walked down the aisle, she asked her husband Mike, “Was that too short?” He responded, “It’s too late now!” I will never forget the quiet moment I had with my father at the back of the church before he walked me down the aisle during my first wedding. He just patted my hand and smiled. As we made our way toward the front of the church, he waved and pointed at everyone in the pews. It was definitely his moment.

When I asked a few friends to share their own wedding stories, I was touched and surprised at their responses. 

“As I was walking down the aisle with my father I was terribly nervous and wondering if I was doing the right thing. Then I saw my husband-to-be and he winked at me. I knew all was good.” 
-Karen E.

“During my first wedding I took my husband as “my wife.” My sister (maid of honor) and I couldn’t stop laughing. Should have known that marriage wouldn’t last.” -Sue Y.

“I remember trying on wedding dresses with my mom. When I came out in one and saw her crying, I knew that was the dress. It was two hundred and fifty dollars, including the veil! That might buy a sleeve today.” -Kerry C.

“The entire process from planning to the reception was contentious. Attempting to blend two large Greek families and all that entails in itself is a nightmare. Egos galore! Different customs for one particular area of Greece and the Deep South created too much drama for this bride-to-be. I wish I could say “love” prevailed. Or maybe it is love in the form of respect and commitment. I have no idea. But we’re still here. And he still is the first voice I want to hear in the morning.” -Evelyn S.

“This Jewish bride and my groom (who still refers to himself as an ex-Catholic) picked an Unitarian minister, but she was late to the rehearsal and the actual wedding day. My brother-in-law, a psychologist, thought her excuse was lame and offered to fire her. She said she was late on the day of the wedding because she was visiting a dying man in the hospital. I would have loved to have given her a lie detector test on the spot, but my brother-in-law said to her they have phones in the hospital to which she said nothing. So our backup was an engineer who worked at NASA, a family friend licensed to marry couples. So the joke of the day was we fired the minister and hired an astronaut. All true.” -Peg M.

“We ran down the aisle so fast the photographer actually stopped us so he could get the photo. We had a snowstorm, and my husband’s fraternity brothers drank two kegs and offered to buy more so they could keep partying.” -Diane A.

“When my husband hugged his mom as we handed her a rose, the two of them embraced. They both sobbed. I honestly wondered if he would ever let go of his mom! Then, at the reception he kept wondering where I was since I was talking to everyone. Also, the reception locale said they had never gone through as many beer bottles in one night as we did at our reception!” -Karen M.

“My mother was in the midst of her struggle with Alzheimer’s when I was planning my wedding. She was still able to interact with us but didn’t always get the whole story. My sister Amy and my mom went with me as I tried on wedding dresses. As I paraded out of the dressing room to the wall of mirrors with my first dress (which I eventually purchased), I stood there in all my glory beaming as I was the bride! My mother said, “It’s a nice dress, but when do you think you will ever wear it again?” My sister and I looked at one another and burst out laughing. I said, “Oh boy, Mom, I hope I only ever wear this dress once. I’ve been married for fifteen years, still own the dress and still laugh at that story and miss my mom to the moon and back.” -Maggy P.

I always tell people my first wedding was beautiful. I was beautiful. My bridesmaids were beautiful. The venue was beautiful. Everything was beautiful. It just didn’t take. The second (and final) time around was going to different. We didn’t need a huge ceremony in a church. A reception in a hall with family and friends wasn’t necessary. All we required was us and that is what we had. We ended up going down to Key West and were married on the beach two days after Christmas in 2005. I ordered everything online, from my dress to the internet minister. It was perfect. I have so many precious and funny memories from that week, but my favorite is the look on my husband’s face as he said his vows. I saw our future in his tears, and now ten years later I still catch my breath when I gaze into his blue eyes. We are a team, a unit, our own little band. We laugh and giggle and love every day. I never knew I could be this content. 

Our wedding stories are just prologues. The rest of the tale is up to the main characters. 

“The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It’s a choice you make - not just on your wedding day, but over and over again - and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife.”
~Barbara de Angelis