A Sun That Won’t Fall

You know how I said recently that the wedding was over? I lied.

It’s still here, much to my surprise. It lingers. It shows up in unexpected ways, even now, a month after the fact.

headlands-turkeysunsetMarin Headlands: the night before our wedding

It’s in the decor that we brought from home to make the Headlands space feel like ours. (Now, when we are at home, it feels, in some small way, like we are still at our wedding). It’s in the music that reminds us of our ceremony, and in the new dishes and pots and pans that we use every day. It’s in the pictures we got from our photographer and can’t stop looking at, and in the emails and comments we get from our family and friends about what they took away from our wedding.

And it’s this last point, what other people got from our wedding, that I didn’t expect at all. I focused on our wedding as simply a party, but it turned out to be more than that — not just for us, but for some of our guests as well.

My sister and her girlfriend said they came away from our wedding feeling more a part of my extended family. They’d spent the last five years in New York City, five years when they missed the moments that help give one a sense of family: weddings, funerals, birthday parties, baby showers, our family’s annual Tahoe trip. But they found that our wedding and the preparations for the wedding gave them ample opportunity to reconnect with our many aunts and cousins, and to re-establish their place in our big, loud family.

Of all our guests, our friends Amy and Steve made the biggest effort to be there with us: they flew out from Maryland with their not-quite 3 month old son.

Coming out for our wedding meant a first family vacation earlier than they probably felt ready for it. But despite the obvious stress of traveling cross-country with a baby, Amy said that the trip gave her a new sense of what is possible for their new family. Their sweet son did great with all the new people and places, and perhaps more importantly, the new parents seemed to enjoy themselves, too.

My dad is perhaps the last person I expected to be changed by our wedding. He’s practically famous for his distaste of most weddings. He told me once that being at a wedding was like being a sheep, herded here and there. He usually seems confined by what is considered appropriate wedding attire or suitable wedding behavior.

But at our wedding, he relished having a role in the proceedings, and he seemed liberated by his father-of-the-bride status. He said that he felt like he could go talk to anyone. He’s still talking about how at ease he felt at our wedding, and he still seems surprised that he had such a good time. “Don’t you think sometimes that we should have a wedding every week?” he said to me recently.

Of course, the answer is no, I do not want to have a wedding every week or even every year. Weddings are a crazy amount of work. But I have a better appreciation of all the work we put into our wedding now that I know that it wasn’t just for us.


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