11 years and one day ago I was preparing for my wedding. I don’t know what other people experienced on the day before this ceremony, but I was scared and I’m not sure that word can really even do justice to how I was feeling.
Casey and I had only known each other for about a month when we decided we should get married, but looking at that girl in her greyish silk-like dress, I just knew I wasn’t going to be able to find anyone better. Plus, I had fallen for her. Every bit of her. And it only took 30 days for it to happen. That had to have meant something. To me, her decision to accept my proposal was like hitting the lottery. There was only a 1 out of 52 million chance that I would end up with a girl as stunning as her, with that kind of amazing personality. I was definitely marrying out of my league.
Then the dreaded wait for the wedding day began—six long months waiting for the time that I would commit the rest of my life to that girl in the greyish silk-like dress. Somewhere during that wait, the magnitude of the decision hit me and it hit me hard. I became terrified of my upcoming wedding.
I decided I had to get out. Getting married after only knowing that girl for a month, and at such a young age, couldn’t be the right decision! I decided that I would let her down softly at some point beforehand. As each day passed and we got closer and closer to that day, I couldn’t find the right moment to tell her that I couldn’t get married. It would destroy her and I couldn’t do it to her, so I kept putting it off fully intending to end it before it was too late. People would understand. Marriage is a tough and important decision. It’s not just something you jump into with the hope it works out! Right?
Before I knew it, the day before the wedding arrived and I still hadn’t told Casey I couldn’t marry her. We had the rehearsal dinner and I took off to a movie with the best man and eventually night fell.
I went to bed and laid there with my eyes wide open hour after hour after hour. I didn’t sleep and the sun rose and there I was more terrified than I had ever been in my life. I got dressed in my tux and headed to the wedding where I met my father. His first words to me? “It’s not too late to back out.” Hmm, not exactly what I needed to hear.
Family and friends sat in their assigned areas. Still terrified, the best man and I stood up at the front of that banquet room and prepared for the wedding ceremony to begin. The nervousness and terror just would not leave and I didn’t know how I was going to get through the ceremony. I just knew I was going to end up as one of those grooms who passes out at the mid-way point and someone somewhere would find it really funny to submit the video of me in all my terror to ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos.
That’s when I saw her in her wedding dress for the first time. I can’t describe just how beautiful she looked. She had a silver/grey wedding dress that sparkled. It was fitting considering the fact that I fell in love with her when she was wearing a certain grey dress. And it wasn’t just that she was clearly the prettiest girl in the room at that moment, or that her eyes were sparkling with excitement like they so often do, that eased all of my fears. It was her smile.
That smile, I was ready to spend the rest of my life with that smile, and just like that all my fears were gone. I watched her walk down the aisle hoping that that moment would last forever.
Here we are 11 years later with two wonderful girls, having survived the difficulties and mistakes of marriage, and happier than we ever have been. Marrying that girl was the best decision I ever made.
Happy Anniversary, Lady.
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