I remember, strangely, sleeping very well the night before. Marla and I spent the night at our apartment and Pete had one last night at his parents. We had decided not to see each other until we met at the alter.
The day was a blur- my (very large) bridal party at the salon, where there was a cake made for myself and the other July 4th bride and her party! It was a whirl of little girls, makeup, and hair extensions but finally, we were all beautified, my veil in place. Getting to the ballroom, screaming when I saw my cake (good screams, of course! Plus, OMG GIANT CAKE!), pictures and happiness and lugging my eleventy-billion pound dress around until 4am because I couldn't bear to take it off. There were speeches and eating and dancing and tears- all pretty typical wedding stuff, except it feels anything but typical when it's your day.
Our wedding meant so much to me. I wasn't a happy bride when it came to planning, mainly because I am far too high-strung to get pleasure out of all that work. It was stressful! But the day, the day that turned out to be the last time that everyone I had ever loved until that point would be under the same roof- it made love easy. Doing the cha-cha slide and putting out a burning football in the sink in the men's room (don't ask) was easy. Accepting the love and grace from all of the people we love and give grace to was easy. There were no harsh, hasty words, no stupid arguments, no mistakes, big or little, to apologize for. It was so easy to love Pete that day.
Of course, marriage isn't easy. Life isn't easy. It's the lesson you learn the farther away you get from your wedding day. Living with someone and making a life is hard work. I read the greatest summation of this very point in an article today: "We make the choice, again and again, to come together despite our imperfections." Goodness knows that in the past six years, Pete and I have flaunted our imperfections. But, in the past six years, we have also flaunted our very best selves. I'm a person who lives and dies by quotes and definition and meaning, and I read the lyrics to our wedding song and it's still so perfect for us. "You're still here...," Alanis sang on our wedding day. And we are.
It's all a balance, the hard work tempered by the memory of such an amazing day, when we were just at the start of our journey. But, the work is good, and it makes the love easy. So we celebrate our "more perfect union" on the day our country celebrates its independence.