Many a time in the past I've heard many a married man say that when they saw their bride coming down the aisle in the church they felt their hearts swell. Now, due to the fact that most men aren't openly sentimental about their weddings when only in the presence of other men ONLY, I figured this was just something they say to get onto the good side of their spouse who was within striking distance. C'mon...heart swelling? Sounds like a Hallmark saying (or some horrible disease).
However, at my wedding on August 21 I felt exactly that.
The morning was chaotic, and I had been stressed to the gills about the day ahead. Melanie and I pretty much planned the whole event....ok ok....Melanie planned the whole event and I was just there to nod my head and grin. But with that in mind I still felt that I wanted this day to be PERFECT. Not just for us but for the 70+ guests we had invited to share the day with us.
As my bestman Ted and I were locked away into the Reverends office to await the big moment I do remember analyzing the walls looking for weakpoints that I could tear through to escape. I mean, Tijuana was only 18 or so hours away, and felt tempting. It wasn't that I didn't want to marry, it was more of a man's instinctual bitchslap up the head better known as (and I paraphrase my friend Ric on his sagely advice) - "What the ^&()%* are you thinking???".
But better sense and internal resignation to my fate won over so I waited patiently in our little cell. Actually, cell is the wrong word...I'm sure hardened prisoners would find this room a little crowded for their tastes. Then the big moment came. Our Priest, Robin led me out, kindly foregoing the leg-irons that Ted recommended to keep me from running. I knew my fate was sealed.
Both my mother and Melanie's mother lit the pyres...er, I mean candles, and then Ted and I found ourselves at the front of the church with a whole lot of people staring at us. Now, I have done a lot of live theatre in my time, and rarely ever get nervous, even in front of hundreds of people. This however was a very stressful situation to be in. Would I flub my lines? Would Melanie walk down the aisle, take one look at me and run for freedom? Would it begin to rain toads as God sends his displeasure upon our union?
Fortunately, the church was amphibian free as the organist began the first notes of the wedding march, and after Melanie's Matron of Honour (also her Sister) walked down the aisle I got my first glance at Melanie in her gown. She was being walked down the aisle by her father (a HUGE event by the way as he always swore he would do no such thing) and she looked utterly gorgeous.
And the first flutter came. Was that gas? No. Heart Attack? Negative.
It's like my entire Heart Chakra just cracked open and spilled away all the stress I had been feeling. And at that moment, there was nobody else in the room but her and me. I understood everything at that moment.
The rest of the wedding went off without a hitch. The reception was awesome. Everything else? That's between Melanie and I.
I'm sure as I get older and crankier, I'll be one of the guys joking to the upcoming grooms about running for their lives, just as everybody else has done for me. It's a guy thing.
However...in my heart, the moment of that feeling will be captured forever.