The Ceremony

"Whither thou goest,
     I will go;
and where thou lodgest,
     I will lodge:
thy people shall be my people,
     and thy God my God."

Ruth 1:16

The night before the wedding, I managed to sleep very peacefully. When I woke up and looked outside, I saw nothing but blue skies. It was going to be a sunny day! It was in the 80's with very low humidity. So far, so good.

I was showered and on my way to the hairdresser's by 8 am. I was amazed by what this woman was able to do with my hair. I have never been able to keep a single curl in my hair, but when she was finished, I had a head full of them!

When I arrived back home, around 9:15ish, the flowers had already been delivered and the photographer was setting up. After stopping to smell the flowers, I gulped down some tea and practically inhaled a bagel. Boy was I hungry! Soon after, my bridesmaids showed up, looking absolutely lovely I might add, and were helping me get dressed. After a quick transformation to "The Lady of the Hour," the photographer began taking pictures. The limosines arrived, signalling that we would be leaving shortly. I noticed that we were running late, but everyone assured me that the bride is *always* fashionably late. I can never seem to get any where on time...not even to my own wedding!

It was 10:35ish when we left for the church. The bridesmaids and flowergirl rode together in one limosine, while my parents, my sister (my Maid of Honor), and I rode together in a Jaguar limosine. On any regular day, it takes only 20 minutes to get to the church. Today of all days, being a Saturday in the middle of the summer, the traffic was horrific. I started getting anxious just sitting there in the car. I felt like tugging on my Dad's arm asking "Are we there YET?!?" But I held it together and we were at the church at 11:15ish. Mind you that the wedding was supposed to start at 11:00. Before we went into the church, the photographer took a few pictures of my Dad and I. Then it was time to line up. As I walked into the church and saw all the people who had come, it finally hit me that "I'M GETTING MARRIED!" I hid in the hallway, out of view from the front of the church, where Damian would be standing shortly.

The processional started with the seating of my mother. I don't even remember what music was playing at the time...I was off in my own little world. Then the aisle runner was set in place. First to enter the church was Neal, the ringbearer and Damian's little brother, who gingerly carried the ring pillow to the altar. Next to proceed were my three bridesmaids Michelle, Vicki, and Rachel. Then the Maid of Honor, my sister Denise, made her trip down the aisle. Next was Emily, our flowergirl. As she approached the altar, my father and I got ready to proceed next. The first thing I saw was Damian waiting at the end of the aisle. My eyes started to fill up with tears. My father and I's dramatic entrance was stalled due to the fact that I thought the music was going to change before we proceeded in. But it just kept getting louder. And of course I was not thinking clearly, so I waited for it to change. It wasn't until I saw the pastor waving to us to come down the aisle that I realized that the music wasn't going to change and that we should go in. I felt a little embarrassed but that quickly passed.

As my father and I reached the front of the church, he turned, gave me a kiss, and shook Damian's hand. At last the ceremony began. During the entire wedding, it was as if no one else was in the church besides the pastor, Damian, and me. Pastor Fleischmann seldomed looked out into the congregation. He spoke to us; He *married* us. It was only during the Homily that he looked passed us, and gave a lesson of love and marriage to all those who were present. Damian and I managed to get through our vows and ring ceremony without crying. We were both on the edge, but we did it! It wasn't long before we made our way back down the aisle as husband and wife. I don't actually remember walking...I think we floated!!!

We had a receiving line following the ceremony. I was so happy to see all the people who had traveled, some from great distances, to attend our wedding. I started to cry when three of my housemates from college, whom I hadn't seen in over 2 years, came through the line. They were there from the start of our relationship and were there to see Damian and I get married. It meant a lot to both of us to have them there. After the receiving line was finished we made our way outside, through a cloud of rose petals and bubbles! Then off to the reception!!!

1997 Susan Lynch