Yesterday, I was privileged to attend a beautiful wedding of one of my closest friends from high school, and a guy that she met our first year of college. Their wedding day had finally arrived yesterday–after being together for five years and engaged for one year, they were married yesterday.
As I was waiting for the wedding to begin, I started to feel anxious sitting in the white plastic chair on the aisle side by the rose petals scattered about forming a “L” and “T” for their initials. I’m not sure if anyone realized what was about to happen. Sure, the wedding was beautiful, the setting was gorgeous and everything was seemingly going just as planned. But really, the second they say “I do”, literally, there is no turning back. This is it. FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. They are bound to each other in every way possible. And there is no undoing an “I do.”
But then I remembered what she had told me one evening in the marketplace (the place where we ate our “mealplans” for dinner) in college, just three weeks after she had started him–“Taylor, I know this is crazy, but I am going to marry Tim.” I was speechless, but responded with a, “Wow, you really think so?” In my 18-year-old mind the idea of marriage seemed impossible. (Not much has changed with me, obviously) She was so sure of him–yet she had only been dating him for less than a month. I am a firm believer of the saying, “When you know, you know.” The amount of time you’ve known a person doesn’t matter–it’s what happens once you “know” that does matter.
Sure, they were married relatively young (22 is young for marriage in my eyes), but they waited a long time to get engaged, had a long engagement, and did not over-do the wedding. They had pre-marital counseling these last few weeks and have, to me, been doing almost everything right. The wedding was focused on the marriage, not on throwing some huge party that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.
My anxiety vanished as soon as I saw her come down the aisle, hands intertwined with her moms, smiling hugely, with her eyes on nothing or no one but him. The same assurance she said to me that night at the marketplace was exact same assurance she had walking down the aisle yesterday. And I’m not sure if everyone that gets married these days has that assurance along with years of experience being together and going through so much, growing as a couple and each other. Not that if you have been together for less time you’re wrong or anything like that, but few people can say they’ve been dating since they were 18 and have stayed together through it all. I thought about all the boyfriends that have come and gone through my life, people I’ve dated, people they’ve both hung out with and gotten to know because they were once “someone” to me–and yet they were constant with each other that entire time.
I also don’t know if people realize–it really is until DEATH do you part. The person you marry vows to stay by you for better, or for worse. When you’re sick and when you’re healthy. When times are tough and when times are good. I honestly think that the newlywed period is called that for a reason–that’s when it’s the best time to be married. Problems arise later, conflicts happen, and life throws so many curve balls that you’re expected to get through together, as couple, no matter what. Anxiety? Yes.