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On being shirtless at weddings…

April 1, 2015

10391429_10155334903665414_2317694539252189868_nIt’s that time of year again. Flowers bloom, drinks flow freely, and happiness abounds. I’m not talking about the golf tournament…yet. It’s wedding season!

When our friends were finishing college, there was a wedding nearly every weekend. Though I cried during each ceremony, I’ll admit to growing tired of making travel plans, buying gifts, and just sitting through another wedding.

Once we had ours, I felt differently. I didn’t want anyone to think, “Oh no. Another wedding?” I promised not to dread attending any more. I’m sure people still felt that way at our wedding, but I’ve happily gone to every one since. I cry at them all.

All those years ago, when it seemed as if everyone was getting married, the ceremonies lost their lustre (a little. Don’t freak out. I loved yours and it was super special). A chilled glass of chardonnay to take to my seat,  a Skin So Soft wipe for keeping the mosquitoes at bay, and other little touches made some stand out from others, but let’s be honest. A wedding is a wedding.

We went to one this weekend. I was looking forward to it, actually. The bride and groom are fun people (and very sweetly in love), we haven’t been to a wedding in awhile, and the guest list promised to be entertaining.

Sure, weddings are special on their own. Two people starting a life together, overflowing with optimism and love. When a couple adds little details, important to them and their people, there’s an extra sweetness. A well-stocked bar is a plus. I realize that not all people drink alcohol, and that’s a choice we are free to make. If you want ties off, shirt unbuttoned unabashed dancing, serve beer. I’m not saying anyone unbuttoned their shirt at the wedding this weekend, but that’s only because I don’t want to embarrass anyone.

The vows themselves aren’t bad reminders for us already marrieds. For better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…until death. I’d like to add in, while hormonal and while not, in good moods and bad, whether the kids are annoying or well behaved, and always with a nice Pinot. Most of that was probably covered in the better or worse part, but a little clarification never hurt. Not that my husband would ever doubt his undying love for me. That was for the rest of you.

I cried at this one, too, remembering the “whoosh” as everyone stood to watch the church doors open. I had a death grip on Dad’s arm. It wasn’t because I was afraid to get married; I wanted the day to go off without a hitch. Seeing my now husband at the end of the red carpet, waiting for me, sent me in to a wedding tunnel. I remember waving to people on the way down, but I don’t remember who I saw. We exchanged those same vows, though guests will tell you they couldn’t hear a single word.

Every day isn’t as sweet as the first day. Most days aren’t, really. Weeks go by when we don’t feel as connected or the kids’ schedules seem to occupy every free minute.  We can still hear those vows today, reminding us why we ever got started. Here’s to the newlyweds. May your life be filled with unbuttoned shirt dancing and happy tears. When the vows seem distant, remember your wedding tunnel. Your one person, waiting at the end of the aisle for you and only you. Cheers!

*originally published in the Metro Spirit, Augusta GA on 3/26/15. Visit for more!

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