A Daughter’s Wedding

My daughter was married on Saturday. 

Some highlights:

* As we waited for my daughter and her father, my husband, to arrive I was surrounded by our family. Next to me were our sons, and behind me were my daughter-in-law (wise, warm, an essential part of my life for so many reasons) and my future daughter-in-law (with a radiant smile that embraces and spreads joy). How blessed to have such a family. They make me complete.  In this moment I know my cup brims over.

* The man about to marry my daughter watched her slowly walk toward him and as he smiled it seemed as if, for him, this was his entire world. He took her hands in his, looked into her eyes, and was moved to tears. In this moment I loved him more.

* As they exchanged their vows the sun came out and it was as if the universe smiled.

* The mother of my new son-in-law gave a wonderful speech. She was funny, witty, and, best of all, her words embraced her daughter-in-law.

* In mid sentence my son-in-law said “my wife”, chuckled, paused and smiled as he again said “my wife”. 

* The first dance together as husband and wife was spectacular. It was a mix of romance, drama, fun and action, and moved easily into everyone joining them on the dance floor. Even me! Young and old rocked on together. Everyone stayed on the dance floor for hours.

* An atmosphere of happiness and joy pervaded the ceremony and celebration. It was tangible and touched everyone. The high spirits, emotions and energy of this couple lifted me up and made a magical celebration for everyone. They dismissed every potential stress, and their calm and focus on what was truly important soothed me, and I laughed and shared their joy.

But the moment I most remember is at home, minutes before we left. I stepped into the living room and saw my daughter,  a bride. In that moment, every memory I have of my daughter flashed before me and merged into this vision of beauty. I saw the baby lying asleep on my chest as we lay on the couch in the afternoon sun. I saw the toddler jumping off the stairs into a bean bag. I saw the little girl who wriggled into a space beside me to be as close as possible as I lay immobilised in a tilt bed in the spinal unit. I felt the arms of the little girl who placed them around my neck as she sat as close as possible as we wheeled on the prone trolley months later. I saw the little girl who never saw the wheelchair I sat in, only seeing her mother whose lap she wanted to sit in. I saw the ballerina, beautifully serene and beaming as she waited to dance as a unicorn. I saw the little girl who looked after her crippled mother and elderly grandmother when we flew to Melbourne – lifting luggage the size of own little body off the carousel, and making us cups of tea in bed. I saw the little girl arriving at Wellington international airport having flown alone from Sydney. I saw the girl who rode horses ten times her size. I saw the tomboy who climbed trees and was fearless. I saw the public speaker, confident in every situation. I saw the athlete who ran, cycled, swam. I saw the young woman who has seen so much of the world, determined, overcoming challenges. I saw the young woman who took me on road trips to Mt Maunganui. I saw my brave, loving, kind, strong daughter. I saw my best friend. I saw a goddess standing before me. I saw my wonderful daughter on the happiest day of her life … and I burst into tears, my heart so full love for her, and joy that she loves and is loved.

I saw my friend and daughter who had included me in her wedding preparations. Who the evening before had included me, with her bridesmaids, in drinking cosmos, eating pizza, and watching Moulin Rouge, laughing and reminiscing. My generous daughter who opened our home to her friends and family on the morning of her wedding, to share her happiness this day. Her happiness was infectious and as we all scrambled to get ready at the last minute, we laughed as we found ourselves  sharing space, three or four people in every room.

As we waited for the bride, I watched the groom and thought of my son who two years before had stood waiting for his bride. I remembered his nervousness. I remembered the smile and joy as he watched her come toward him. I remembered the happiness that she reawakened in him when they found each other. I turned to my future daughter-in-law and she smiled at me, reassuring me. Sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, friends and more. I, and my grown up children, are truly fortunate to know love and be part of loving, caring, growing families.

“There is no greater happiness than to love and to be loved in return”

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13 thoughts on “A Daughter’s Wedding

  1. I cried as I read this. You have so beautifully taken us into the life of your little girl turned woman. I am so grateful for your artistry with words. I felt I was there. I understand a bit of this from my son’s wedding a year ago. I knew it would be wonderful but wasn’t prepared for how wonderful. Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Marilyn. I thought I was ready for my daughter’s wedding day, after all, she is an independent young woman. But, turns out I was unprepared for the turbulence of mixed emotions. For mother’s day my daughter wrote me a letter telling me how she had felt at that moment. I am truly blessed.

  2. Thanks Fran! The two of them were so easy going about everything it wasn’t possible to stress. The cake cracked on the way to Wellington – it didn’t matter. The venue refused to open the doors at the agreed time to allow the guests to be seated before the bride and groom arrived, meaning the two of them had to wait – it didn’t matter to them, so why stress. The venue screwed up the menu – it didn’t matter, the bride and groom didn’t care. There was no champagne to toast with – use the glasses and the drink on your tables. The serving was a fiasco – it didn’t matter, everyone ate. The couple danced and danced and danced. it was a great celebration and the couple’s relaxed attitude meant everybody else forgot the screw ups and had a party!

  3. Thanks Deborah! That’s a great way of describing how you felt … My heart goes all squeezy when I think about how happy the two of them are!

  4. Congratulations to you all. I know what you mean Denny, having just experienced the same in the beautiful sunshine and warmth and the tress of the Wilton garden that seemed to embrace everyone and especially the couple. Zac’s mum said to me that she had never seen Zac smile so much and I said the same of Debbie, she just beamed radiantly the whole day and evening. My brother in law said during the evening that he never felt so much love and happiness that was present in everyone, both family and their young friends and he was right, the whole wedding was a loving , happy thing for everyone..you can’t ask for more than that can you..

  5. Congratulations, Denny! What a happy day, for you and for yours. My heart feels all squeezy at the thought of your happiness and joy and delight in your daughter.

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