Most things in life have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Sometimes this process from start to finish takes a lifetime. Perhaps years or months. Then there are ones that take weeks, days, hours or even minutes. Depending on what is being experienced, we may or may not have control over the timeframe nor the end results.
With my engagement four weeks ago, my thoughts today are focused on a wedding. Specifically the process of getting married. Not so much on the things like spending life together or the combining of families and so forth, but more practically on the actual wedding.
Most weddings are carefully planned and executed over several busy, sometimes grueling months. Months filled with appointments, shopping, celebration and spending money. Finding the rings, settling on a date, deciding where to get married and who should officiate. Securing a location, agreeing on the guest list, choosing the wedding party, finding dresses/tuxes, picking a caterer, a florist, a photographer, a videographer, DJ, cake, etc..
There is absolutely nothing wrong with all this fanfare and hoopla as, after all, it is an important day in anyone’s life. Not just for the couple getting married, but their families and friends as well. It is a very public symbol of commitment followed by a party to celebrate. I have enjoyed those experiences in my past and have very fond memories.
And sometimes choosing a simpler way is more desirable and much less stressful. Rick and I chose to skip down that path. True, planning was still necessary, but a lot less effort in a much shorter period of time.
For various reasons, Rick and I married last weekend. About three weeks after our engagement. Whoa…wait, what? That was the response of some. How Rick kept a straight face I will never know as he stopped his employees in their tracks after informing them we rushed the wedding because I was expecting. That led to a few moments of silence and jaw dropping before a hearty laugh. Uh yeah, I’m past that stage!
Aside from those Rick works with, we know very few people down here in Cotulla, Texas. So, we decided to make things “official” sooner then plan for a party back in Phoenix in a couple of months to celebrate with our close friends and family.
This leads to the next step in the process. The Middle.
Many years ago, I videotaped weddings for my original production company. After about seven years of doing this, I swore I’d never shoot another wedding in my life! Haha! Talk about burn out. You can imagine after filming likely two hundred plus weddings, I’ve witnessed the very traditional to the very untraditional. Exquisite ones with upwards of 600 guests down to casual ones with less than twenty. From a bride holding a cascading bouquet worth a thousand dollars to a bride holding the bridal reins whilst sitting on the back of a horse. (Yes, the bride and groom rode off into the sunset!) From cathedrals to ballrooms to backyards.
Our ceremony was conducted by a minister under the Tower of the America’s in San Antonio early on Sunday afternoon. Who was there? Us and the minister! Oh, and the minister’s wife who took some photographs. Having none of our grown children, other family members, nor best friends there was a bit unsettling. But, knowing we would be celebrating with them soon allowed us to move forward with our little private ceremony.
We met the minister, he explained what would happen and he began. Within ten minutes our vows were said, rings on our fingers, and we were husband and wife. What made me think about today’s blog topic was how those ten minutes were spent.
Usually during a longer, more traditional ceremony, the bride and groom face the minister as he or she talks. Then they turn to face each other during the vows, then to their guests afterwards. Well, this officiant had us face each other and look into each others eyes for the entire time. At first, I thought no problem. I mean, if I can’t stare into the eyes of my future husband for ten minutes, I probably shouldn’t be marrying him!
What I actually experienced was totally surreal. After just ten seconds I was faced with the fact that if I stared into Rick’s eyes for even ten more seconds, I was going to fall apart! My emotions kicked in and the seriousness and beauty of the moment hit me like a ton of bricks. As our minister went on speaking of love and commitment, the union of two hearts, and dividing our burdens, I constantly blinked back tears, looked at his forehead, his chin and even his left ear!
It wasn’t about rituals or traditions. It wouldn’t have mattered if there’d been hundred people watching. In those ten minutes of intense eye-contact, what was nonverbally communicated was pure and deep, beyond anything we could have planned for.
Ten minutes set a lifetime in motion.
It is hard to describe, but that’s love for ya’. When it came to repeating our vows, I barely got the sentences out. But, it totally convinced me that if given the opportunity of officiating the marriage of two people, I’d definitely have them looking into each other’s eyes for at least ten minutes! What a simple, yet highly intimate experience. One we both will not soon forget.
Enough mush. Now to The End.
We enjoyed lunch at the Chart House at the top of the tower. It is a rotating restaurant 750 feet in the air. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and the view of San Antonio was spectacular. Before drinking some champagne we texted some pictures and had some communications with our loved ones.
Oh, did I mention it was Superbowl Sunday? The New England Patriots versus the Seattle Seahawks. We changed clothes in the car and found a fun sports bar to enjoy the game. And, it was a good one, for sure. Probably not many would think about spending their wedding day watching football in a bar with a bunch of strangers hooting and hollering, but honestly, it was a great way to spend the afternoon with my new husband.
I am not knocking or implying that big weddings are a bad thing to do. I have had my own and have participated in many myself. Each couple determines for themselves what they really want at their particular phase in life.
After all, it’s all about love anyway.
As a side note and completely off topic, I wanted to let my wonderful blog readers know about a free giveaway of my upcoming audiobook for PROMISE OF PROTECTION. We finished recording Kane Black reading the novel and it’s now being edited. We will randomly pick two lucky winners! Simply register your name on my Mindclover page and once the audiobook is ready to go, we will pick from those that have signed up. Click HERE for the link and scroll near the bottom. Thank you!!
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