In college I formed a somewhat unlikely friendship with a now dear friend, Cheyanne, during a period in our lives that ended up being incredibly transformational for us both. I used to force her into sharing in my holly jolly Christmas spirit by decorating the Christmas tree in my frigid college apartment and in turn I was the first and only person to know in advance that she and her then boyfriend were going to elope over spring break in Niagara Falls. We’ve shared many a night drinking vodka tonics and eating fine pizza at our favorite neighborhood establishment, and I long for the day we’ll get to spend such wonderful leisurely hours together again. For me, I guess it just goes to show that you can never know exactly what to expect in life and in love and that it is all so much more important than planning a wedding. But, at the same time it is exactly these sorts of endearing relationships in life that make planning a wedding so incredibly special.
It has been nearly two years since I last saw Cheyanne who defected for the left coast soon after our college graduation. Even so, I never fail to laugh at something I know she would find funny or to think back on some of life’s toughest moments that we helped each other through when I’m stressed. Her very existence in my life, albeit long distance at this point, is a great equalizer that really allows me to keep it all in perspective. Isn’t that what the greatest of friends are for? This week I learned that Cheyanne and her husband Eric, also a dear friend, will be making the trip to NYS for the first time in over two years to be here for the wedding. She excitedly went out and bought herself some brand new bright pink Samsonite luggage to make the trip and they’re making arrangements to buddy up with a friend of ours to split hotel costs for the wedding weekend. Who needs the diamonds, the dress, or even the food? This development in the planning process has made me happier and more excited than anything to date aside from my impending marriage itself.
I have a bridesmaid flying in from Virginia to be a part of the celebration, friends from opposite corners of the state making arrangements for time off, a sister and future sister in-law who are both obsessing over how to wear their hair because they’re so excited for the wedding, a mother who keeps tearing up at the thought of my first bridal shower next month because that somehow makes this all real, a fiancé who keeps practicing how the word “wife” feels, a confirmation number for an oceanfront cabin for the first vacation M and I will have ever taken together, and a bubbling feeling of joy and excitement that keeps growing and one of these days might threaten to choke me if I’m not careful.
I’m slowly, excitedly and happily, coming to the realization that this wedding weekend is going to be huge. It’s going to be huge because it is likely to be the only time in our lives that all of the ones we love, the ones we miss, the ones we laugh with even though they aren’t with us in body, the ones we turn to in good times and in bad, will all be assembled with us at one time in one place and it will be in celebration of us, in support of our union, and with love for us. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Isn’t it about bringing together all of the people you love in one place at one time to make a commitment, to seal the deal with the one you love and look forward to sharing a lifetime of ups and downs with? To celebrate with the people who helped make you who you are, who guided you to this day where you can look around you and know you’re ready to jump into marriage with both feet, no doubts, no regrets, no holding back. For me, that is precisely what it’s all about and exactly the reason why I can’t wait. Suddenly, it’s all starting to hit me. In a little over four months we’re getting married and we’re going to be surrounded by an incredible circle of love and support as we make that commitment. And that feeling, that realization, is pretty much the most amazing thing I’ve experienced to date.