And for those of you who find this portrait of wedding planning to be a tad over-dramatic, please leave this conversation, and/or go fuck yourself. Because guess what: the act of planning a big city wedding on a budget not only occupied over 50% of my time for an entire year, but it changed my life in ways I never thought possible. It made me a better person and a better partner to Mike; it made me into a person who could finally be proud of who she was, and once and for all, a person who was capable of promising herself never to apologize for being said self -- no matter how crazy or weird or frightening or hard shit got. It was an experience that I will forever look back on as a "monumental transition" in my life: physically, mentally, professionally; name any 'ally, and I bet you I felt it. So it's not just the planning and all the wedding bullshit one is forced to rifle through; it's the emotion and the change in oneself that goes along with all that, and obviously-hello the whole part about becoming a lifelong partner to the love of your life is, of course, at the head of all that. And that is what makes us all smile like we've never smiled before when that day finally comes -- it's not even the day; it's the moment. And that moment will be different for everyone, but for me it was the second Mike and I joined hands at the very start of the ceremony. It was at that moment when The Smile hit me. It's a smile that makes even the most cynical of brides and grooms say, "this is the best day of my life." Because, hands-fucking-down-YES it was the best day of my life (so far). It wasn't the "best" because of the attention and the pretty dresses and the pampering -- no -- that was all just sexy extras. It was the "best" day of my life so far because it effected my husband and I on exponential levels to the enth degree. I know, real specific, eh? I'm sorry, but seriously, guys. The feeling is almost indescribable. Get married. You'll see what I mean.
You wanna see what that smile looks like? 'Cause keep in mind that when I show you this glorious smile, you might, but just for a moment, experience an uncontrollable excited feeling that encompasses the fact that soon (oh so soon!) you will be done with everything endlessly stated above, and finally, just finally, be able to walk down that damn aisle and marry the love of your effing life...
Without further ado, I present to you, The Smile:
The smile I had been waiting so long for had finally come. And it truly was an out-of-body experience. I was smiling so damn hard that I had cheek wrinkles, and the veins in my neck were protruding out!
On a personal note, in the the next week and a half, 3 special couples, all friends of mine, are getting married. Have the best day of your lives, my loves... I double dog dare you to. Experience The Smile. Let yourself. Cause after all you've been through in the last year of planning, you fucking deserve it. Love you guys... you know who you are :)
*photo by Nicole Polk Photography