The other day son got married.
I know right? Some of you have been reading this blog since almost the beginning. Ten years ago! Son was just 15 years old.
Since the wedding is in NYC, we drive up the day before to we can attend the special blessing gathering at fiancés house.
We arrive at our VRBO. Philly, daughter, daughter’s friend and me. We put our things away and hang up our very special gowns for the wedding day. My brother and his family have been here since yesterday doing the NYC tour. My parents arrived late the night before as well. We have planned to meet them out on Long Island to visit my brother’s grave and maybe visit a few of the old haunts.
Since it late when we finally get out there all we can really do is go to the gravesite. My brother, his wife and kids and us. It is an emotional moment. I get to mourn my brother’s death with my family. Something I rarely have had the opportunity to do.
This has only happened one other time in my lifetime.
Later we head over to fiancé’s house. When we get there we find a big beautiful tent set up with lights and everything. Many relatives are there. We are talking and fiancé’s father comes right over and tells us to make ourselves at home. “Ge up! he says. “Walk around, this is not formal!” He is like this, very welcoming. Lots of cousins are there. And fiancé’s mother of course. She is quieter than fiancé’s dad but very funny. You can tell she has a big heart.
I see son and I can tell he is so happy.
The blessing starts and we sit. Then stand. Then sit. The blessing is for their union. I cry a little. Just a little.
I do not know it but apparently I will speak for my son. This involves standing up before the crowd and saying a few words. I am unprepared but I think it goes ok.
There is all kinds of food and a special cake that is made for the wedding day. All the aunts make it and then in assembly like fashion it gets cut up into small pieces and place in little boxes with son and fiancé’s name on the box.
Fiancé’s mom tells me no Guyanese wedding is complete without this special cake. Fiancé tells me there is rum in it and if you eat two much you will get drunk. She also tells me she is not really a big fan of this particular cake.
It is getting late, so we go home. Tomorrow is the big rehearsal dinner.
Next day comes and we are going to take it easy since it is the day before the big event. Philly will get together with Wuzzy (can you believe it!) to rehearse a song they will be playing with daughter for the wedding.
Later comes and it is time for THE DINNER. It is a chance for parts of my family to meet fiancé. I like the idea but I don’t like the long table set up. Round would better so everyone could talk. We make it work though. People get up and walk around, talking to each other.
Afterwards Brother decides to go over to fiancé’s house to hang out more.
He texts me: These people are great!
It is getting late and we need to get home because tomorrow is THE WEDDING!
I wake up at 6AM excited. I go for a run. I mediate. I do a short practice. Daughter and I have to be at the hair place by 9AM.
When we get there the hair festivities begin immediately. I am shown to my chair. Curling starts and then bobby pinning and then LOTS and LOTS of hairspray. I see daughter is going through something similar over on her side of the salon.
Now are done but daughter is not happy about her make up. She augments this problem in the car with her own make up. And off to venue we go.
Right away I see son for the first time in his suit. And fiancé in her wedding gown. They are having this thing called a first look. Have you heard of this reader? It is when the bride and groom see each other privately for the first time. Not like the old days when the groom did not see the bride until she walked up the aisle. I guess this is in case anyone really has to have a big cry.
I cry again. Son is getting married. TODAY.
Now we are being hustled around by this well-run organization. Up to the Bridal Room. We put our stuff down. I have brought way too much stuff including 3 extra pairs of shoes, just in case.
We go outside where the service will be. We have a few pictures taken. Then it is off to get organized for the lineup for the processional.
All of a sudden Friend 1 is standing right in front of me.
“Hi!” I say. I am so glad Friend 1 and Husband could come. Friend 1’s second child was born just five days after son.
“Hurry! Go sit.” I tell her. She scurries off to find a seat.
Apparently, Wuzzy and I are going to walk down this aisle first. We walk together down the carpet to our seats in front. Slowly the rest of the processional comes along, Bride’s mom and brother, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Maid of honor, Ringbearer, Flower girl and finally the Bride and her Father. Bride looks beautiful. Like a fairy really. With a sparkly gown and lacey sleeves. I cry when I see her with her father. Son stands up at the front and waits for her. He walks down a few steps to go and get her from her father. I look at him and all the moments of his life flash before me. How did we get here so soon?
The service is beautiful. Philly videotapes the whole thing. And yes, I cry through the whole thing. Especially as son and almost new wife turn and exchange vows. Vows they have written themselves. I watch them put the rings on each other’s fingers. I look down at son’s hand and I think: Son is wearing A RING! They stand and face us with big smiles right before they walk back down the aisle.
Now it is cocktail hour. Since I do not drink cocktails, I run around sampling food instead.
When cocktail hour is over, the bridal party and the parents will get announced as we walk into the reception room.
Once again, we line up. It is all very fabulous. And crowded. Since New Wife has a big family I estimate 200 people.
The usual wedding things happen: First dance of the newlywed couple. New Wife and her dad dance to I loved Her First, by Heartland. Son and I dance to Green Eyes, by Coldplay, which has always kind of been our song since son does have these amazing green eyes. But also little parts of the lyrics: I came here to talk. For all the conversations we had on the purple couch. And of course, the spotlight shines upon you. I touch his face as we are talking and briefly put my head on his shoulder.
“I love you son” I say.
“I love you too mom.” he says.
I go back to my table. Every time I return to my table there is a new plate of food on it. There are speeches. Even I make a speech although I did not know I was going to be making a speech. Son tells me he mentioned this to me but I do not think he did tell me or I would have had something prepared. Anyhow, once again I think it worked out ok.
People start dancing. Dinner comes out and people stop dancing. Then people start dancing again.
Soon out rolls the dairy-free, nut-free cake. The cake cutting happens. The feeding each other happens. They are both way too polite to take a huge piece of cake and shove it at each other.
And now the dancing REALLY gets started. LOTS of dancing. All the kids in my family are having a great time. And me too. Many different types of music are played. Some is music from brides’ culture, Guyanese: Soca and Calypso. It is very, it is very fun to dance to.
My feet are starting to really hurt now. I need to take a break. When I sit down I find out it is already late and soon the celebration will be over. I walk over to say thank you to Bride’s parents, the hosts for such a beautiful wedding.
I think some people are going back to the Bride’s house. I don’t know how they do it! I am pooped. This is like a five day wedding. Tomorrow once again there will be an open house gathering at the Bride’s house.
Son and Daughter-Law.
And all of their friends and family surround them.
And so the new chapter of son’s begins.
He is a husband. She is a wife. They are a couple.
May they stand upon solid ground with their Higher Power guiding them, with communication, with commitment, forgiveness, love, honesty, trust passion and compassion.
May they be happy.
May they be healthy and strong.
May they be peaceful.