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A wedding story

June 5, 2011

I love weddings. They fill my heart with joy.

They remind me of all the good things in this world: misty eyes and plentiful kisses and aunties shakin’ it to We Are Family on the dance floor.

Every wedding holds it’s own unique story, ceremony and sentiment.

And today’s wedding made my inner storyteller swoon.

I thought you may like to hear it?

Very well, here it is:

The wedding story of Adam & Jane.

But quickly: a back story.

I met Jane in 6th grade at a private school where we were required to wear navy skirts and white tunics and saddle oxfords. Girls rolled up their skirts and settled for an extra inch more around their waist so they could have an extra inch less on their legs. We were great friends and had sleepovers and called the radio station and stayed up all night.

And even though I moved away a couple years after we met, we stayed in touch – often not talking for months. But when we did talk again, it was like no time had passed at all.

Jane is just that kind of friend: the kind that, no matter how old we get, it will always feel like 6th grade when we are together.

But today, my 6th grade friend made a lifelong vow to a beautiful man named Adam.

They’re artsy types, these love birds. So there was no bouquet-tossing or garter-finding or cake cutting or monogrammed logo shown in bright lights on an oversized dance floor.

But what there was… was simply magical.

There was an entrance song played by a long-haired man with a classical guitar.

There was a crowd gathered in folded chairs beside a quaint gazebo. And a wedding party in festive pinks, greens and yellows.

There were young girls carrying – not flowers – but flowing streamers, leading the entrance of the beaming bride.

There were vows made before family, friends and God.

And when it was over, the guests roared with applause. And the mariachis, with music.

They had tears in their eyes as they spoke their vows. We could feel their heart – their sincerity – as they promised to love and support each other for better or for worse.

We followed their every word – and then, we followed them. Past the gazebo and through the streets, led by Jane’s white dress and the beat of a mariachi band.

The mariachis led us to the courtyard of the restaurant. A receiving line formed as guests drank sweet sangria and shared sentimental stories and said things like, “I’ve never met two people so perfectly matched.”

I sat in the bathroom and fed Kate and had a heart to heart with Jane’s mom in the air conditioning. We talked about Jane as a baby, how she was always an independent spirit – how she always knew what she wanted even from the start. Then the crowd flooded in the quaint reception hall with a hardwood floor and stone walls and ceramic chicken centerpieces.

And then, the performances:

Adam’s sister, a professional singer, sang a love song acapella.

A friend recited a toast in the form of a spoken word poem.

Jane’s Dad gave a funny, yet heartwarming speech.

Cake toppers were not just a plastic bride and groom, but handmade nesting dolls, painted by Adam.

They each held dolls within them – symbolizing their future children. But instead of painting the “children,” they simply wrote the qualities they would like their children to have on the inner dolls.

Someday, their children will open up the dolls and read what their parents wished for them on their wedding day.

Instead of cutting the cake, we ventured outside to club the cake piñata. Guests took turns swinging in the parking lot until the cardboard cake broke into layers and spilled candy to the earth.

Then back inside, where we watched Jane and Adam sway in the candlelight on the hardwood floor to a beautiful love song.

And we shook our groove thangs to everything from salsa to Michael Jackson to Johnny Cash.

And then, it was time to go. We gathered our Kate, our bag, and our party favors: handmade “love birds,” made by the love birds themselves.

Wishing Jane & Adam all the love their hearts can hold on this beautiful day that their story begins.

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