For me, ‘getting married’ was not about how it looked, but how it felt.
I felt different when I walked down the aisle with Joe than I did on the walk up.
Our relationship seemed brand-new with endless possibilities.
The memory and feelings are still fresh, twenty -eight years later…
I woke around 4 am feeling anxious. Today I marry Joe. My life would never be the same.
Change and uncertainty were not my strong points. I felt scared. Excited.
My mind raced. The enormity of the day ahead overwhelmed me.
Would the planning and preparations succeed? Would it be a great day for everyone? Eventually, I slept.
7 am the alarm sounded. My eyelids flung open. No time to think. With a schedule to follow, my wedding day began.
At 2:40 pm, I heard the sound of horse’s hooves along the road. Time to go.
The neighbours gathered to watch the hoo-ha.
When Mum, my four bridesmaids and I exited the house and descended the front steps, there was applause. Ha! I realised how much fun a wedding could be.
Mum, with a huge smile on her face, climbed on to the carriage to sit next to me. The past three years since Dad’s death were sad and painful. Today was about joy.
“Giddy-up” the driver yelled. ‘Rusty’, took off and trotted along the road. Mum and I felt like royalty.
As we made our way to the Church, a rush of mixed emotions swept through me – grief, regret, appreciation, pride, happiness, excitement, sadness and fear.
Arriving at the Church, I stepped out of the carriage and felt…….remarkably calm. I had an acute awareness that something special was about to happen.
Joe and I put considerable thought into discussing the meaning of our marriage and how our ceremony would feel like a reflection of who we are – our values and relationship.
The music played. I stood waiting at the side door of the Church.
When I saw Joe appear at the door directly opposite, I’ll never forget it. Our eyes met. We walked toward each other to meet at the centre of the aisle.
Joining hands, we walked up the aisle to get married. Mindful that we were entering into marriage freely, together, as equal partners.
Although we had no experience of the realities of marriage, we confidently vowed to love, respect, appreciate and care for one another for the rest of our lives.
Making such a public commitment felt powerful. The act demanded that we accept the quest (mission).
Twenty-eight years later, our wedding pics evoke happy feelings and memories. While the fashions have changed, our commitment to live our marriage vows remain the same. So far!
End note: As I wrote this piece, I felt sad, frustrated and annoyed that “marriage” is not available to same-sex couples. It’s time for Marriage Equality.
Please CALL your MP’s office and request a meeting with them to express your views on allowing same-sex couples to marry.
If you are unsure which federal electorate you live in or who your local MP is, find out here: http://apps.aec.gov.au/esearch/