Once upon a wedding...
Have you ever dreamed and dreamed about something so much that you almost feel like it actually happened? I mean really imagined each and every detail down to where sighs would be placed in conversations about it?
I am a single, very independent woman who, one day, will put a ring on it and shop for china patterns. Now is not the time to skip down the aisle. Now is always the time, however, to plan it.
When I was nine, I wanted to be married on the patio next to a life-size replica of Barbie's poolside snack shack. My groom of choice was Dan Marino on some days, Ricky Schroder on other days.
When I was 14, I wanted to be married underneath the Eiffel Tower. My groom of choice was the brown-haired boy I met when I spent the week camping with my grandparents at Skiatook Lake. He wore a cut-off muscle shirt that said "Webster High Wrestling." He was 16. He was hunky. And he always made sure to stare when I pranced around in my swimsuit. So I pranced. And pranced. And pranced. For a week. We exchanged a total of one sentence each. From that sentence, I realized we were meant for each other and a 350+ guest wedding at the most famous spot in France.
Then I turned 17. I thought it was perfectly logical to want my daddy to add a second story to our house, solely for my bridal descension. Why my parents didn't think of the biggest moment of my life when they decided to build a house is still lost on me.
When I was 25, I didn't care if was married at city hall. In jeans. And a T-shirt. I was convinced men sucked.
I recovered at 25 years and 4 months, when the Drake Hotel in Chicago became the dreamiest, most fabulous place in the whole world. And since I was a new Chicago resident and I knew someone who knew someone who knew someone who knew someone who was the assistant to Clive Owen's personal stock broker's aunt, it was all but a given he and I would probably become Mr. and Mrs. at some point.
But for the last seven years, any time I have ever had a fleeting thought of a wedding, it has been the most intimate, flirty, simple event ever. In a springtime garden at dusk, with 50 people who mean the most and a big, round barn in the background. I'll wear a simple white dress. Non-poofy and non-ruffled. I'll carry a bouquet of random pink flowers tied with a yellow ribbon. And I'll wear the biggest, boldest turquoise necklace you've ever seen.
There will be a few hand-picked flowers in mismatched vases. We'll eat cute, little barbecue sandwiches and drink sweet tea. There will be a table full of all sorts of desserts on beautiful dessert stands. Cheesecake. Chocolate-strawberry cake. Lemon tart. Apple pie. Homemade candy. A chandelier will hang from an oak tree and candles will flicker while a bluegrass band picks and grin for hours. And under the Oklahoma stars, I'll dance with my family, old and new. All. Night. Long.
This morning, I saw this photo spread. It was if my dreams came to life.