Monday, October 20, 2008

The Beauty of the Bride

I love the show "Say Yes to the Dress" on TLC (Fridays at 9p). It's amazing what reality television can dramatize. Who knew it was possible to make a half hour program about the vendors at a bridal boutique and soon-to-be-brides choosing a durn dress? Who cares about such things? I do, for one. I love wedding dresses and weddings and pictures of brides on their wedding day. When the day has gone well and the bride's hopes for her wedding have come to be, there is an elusive joy in her eyes and a smile that is like no other. She has no idea what the future holds and as far as she is concerned, on that magical day, she expects nothing less than perfection for her life. Does that happen? Rarely. Could anyone convince her otherwise? No. The pictures bear witness to a combination of joy, hope and the wonderful unknown. The pictures capture emotions that cannot be replicated because even as soon as the evening of her wedding the unknown doesn't exist anymore. From the church, to the reception hall, to the hotel, from moment to moment she acquires something new about her husband that sends a message loud and clear that the wedding itself is not going to be the marriage and forever is a very long time. I have looked at my wedding pictures and there is that elusive look in my eyes and a smile that is unrecognizeable because I had never been so happy and because I had no idea what was in store. But this truth isn't a bad thing. I wouldn't trade what I know now for what I didn't know then. When I look at my bride-self in my beautiful champagne colored dress I marvel at her but I don't envy her. I embrace what I have learned about my marriage, my husband, myself and marriage has made me a better person and best of all, a Mom. I imagine if my husband and I had another ceremony on Nov 12th, our third anniversary, the smile that would emerge would be just as worthy of my awe. Because I have lived. My husband and I have treated the word marriage like a verb and we have tried our best. Now my smile would suggest pride, anticipation for more of our shared life come what may, and knowledge as well as life's great constant, the unknown.

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