Wedding bells have passed but memories will not

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 3, 2009

If you asked me last week if I was ready for Holly and Parker’s wedding, I told you “yes.”

We had list of tasks for every single day leading up to Saturday and as long as we marked off each thing every day we were on track.

No, I wasn’t really nervous. We had been planning for awhile, and I felt that Holly was marrying a wonderful young man who genuinely loved her and would be good to her.

Email newsletter signup

I knew at some point it would be emotional, that we would all miss my late husband and that we would have to deal with it and move past it.

Suddenly it was Friday and time to go to the rehearsal.We arrived at the rehearsal dinner and the groom’s parents had done a wonderful job planning it.

While dessert was being served they played a video that the groom’s mother had made. It was a composite of years of photos of Holly and Parker growing up and when they met. That began the tears for me. To look to my right side and see this beautiful young woman and then to see her as a baby and pictures with her siblings and her father, was so was surreal. All the years just flashed back to me.

As the evening ended and everyone was saying goodnight I realized this was it, this was the last night my daughter would be mine. In 24 hours my daughter would be a married woman with a different last name than me.

As soon as I told her good night and went to my room I cried all the tears that I had not shed all week.

Then before we knew it morning had come and we gathering up dresses, shoes, makeup and jewelry. The bridesmaids’ brunch came and went, the trip to the salon was done and everyone had gorgeous hairdo’s.

Then literally I blinked and we were at the church taking pictures, two blinks later guests were arriving and Becky Stephens was singing the “Lord’s Prayer.” Then our wedding director was placing my hand on Matthew’s arm and sending us down the aisle. Sitting in my seat watching the groom and his father come in and the bridesmaids was fine, although I did tear up when Emily came down and took her spot. But then, there was Matthew escorting his sister down the aisle. They were both smiling, she looked radiant, and I had to reach in my purse for my handkerchief.

The vows were spoken, the rings exchanged, the kiss and then the Rev. James Earl “Pete” Herndon pronounced them man and wife. Two blinks later we were in Stanton Hall watching the happy couple cut their cakes and drink champagne. I greeted guests, talked to family, shared the dance floor with friends and congratulated the mother of the groom on the two of us doing such a great job. Before long we were waving red and blue pompoms and throwing confetti and the new Mr. and Mrs. were gone.

Now two days later things are as usual, hectic. Holly and Parker are on their honeymoon, and I’m trying to clean up my house, pack up wedding gifts, and get rid of all the lists that have been marked off.

Here’s what I learned from the whole experience. It’s a good thing to let your friends help you. Without friends there wouldn’t have been magnolia leaves in the church windows, food and drinks for the wedding party at the church, or a bridesmaids’ luncheon. Many thanks to my friend who not only went and checked on it but sent pictures to look at right before I walked down the aisle.

I learned you can plan all you want and make endless lists, but in the end all that matters is how happy the new couple is.

So two days before the wedding, put away the lists, call your friends and tell them what you need and just relax. For those of you who have small children, don’t plan their wedding now, enjoy every moment of their life, because they will walk down the aisle way to soon.

The last time my family changed it wasn’t for better, and we missed David and Joyce so much during this celebration. But this time my family has changed, and it is for the better. I have a new son-in-law, Holly has new in-laws and they have a big family that has welcomed us with open arms.

Change can be sad and sometimes hard but sometimes you get lucky and change is good. It makes your life better. So embrace change, enjoy your children and try to make new memories every day.

Christina Hall writes a weekly column for The Democrat. She can be reached at