The mason jars still hang in the trees, but the chairs and tables have been taken away.
My beaded white wedding dress is back on its hanger.
Bottles of champagne, floating in melted ice.
Flowers are slowly wilting in vases.
The cake is starting to crumble but is still very sweet.
It’s hard to put into words this marriage celebration of ours.
We’ve had an official union for a while now, but the act of gathering with our family felt important, especially after all these years of separation, sickness and loss.
So, last Saturday, we hosted our family and friends for a bonafide wedding, with a caterer and a makeup artist and rented tablecloths and not one photographer, but two.
My whole goal was to not be so stressed out that I didn’t get to enjoy the day. With a little help from Priya Parker, I tried to find the art of the gathering within the act of it. I set a disputable purpose and embraced my role, not as a chill host, but as a host with generous authority.
I can’t say those hours (and absolutely nutty weeks before) weren’t totally stress free. My stomach was a mess; my endorphines are still all over the map. The closest thing I’ve experienced like it was like childbirth — so much anticipation, unavoidable bumps in the road, an incredible payoff — I wouldn’t want to do it again, but the joys of having done it made it worth the effort.
Watching my kids see me in my dress. Holding Frank’s hands at the altar. Dancing under the patio lights.
Before time gets away from me, a thief stealing the tiny treasures of this special day, I wanted to record some of them here.
Those one-inch picture frame moments that take us straight to the source.
The Fishbowl Game: Y’all know how much I loved Parker’s “The Art of Gathering,” which included this little game to help encourage guests to chat with one another. I wrote a little fact about each person on a little piece of paper. Something that might come up in casual conversation with new person they met at the party. (“Met Addie outside a bank in Spain, where their first conversation was in Spanish.” Answer: Emily W., who is now a Spanish teacher and midwife assistant in Pennsylvania)
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