It’s Just the Beginning… by Lori Reynoso

wedding bouquet pendant charm

wedding bouquet pendant charm

Photo Credit: Maegen-Christie Photography ©

It’s kind of unbelievable that we’re on the other side. All the stress of wedding planning is over. The vows have been said. The knot has been tied.  Rings have been exchanged. And now, our life together has begun.

It wasn’t an easy process. I’d be lying if I said it was all rainbows and butterflies the whole way through.  If I was being perfectly honest, there were a handful of times where we seriously considered cancelling. Not because we didn’t love each other or because we didn’t want to be together.  The devotion has been there from day one. But the expenses and obligations got to us on more than one occasion.  As simple as it seems in theory; picking colors, dresses, suits, floral arrangements, invitations, etc. and having them ALL match can be an arduous task and those aren’t even the “hard” parts.  For us, I think narrowing down the invitation list and making the seating chart were the extremely painful parts.  How do you choose which cousin to invite and which one not to? Which friends make the cut and which friends do you just avoid for a few months? LOL. Who sits where and how do you discreetly put cousin so-and-so at a random table because he/she doesn’t get along with aunty what’s-her-face? It is NOT easy, and not fun.  With all that said though, and even taking into account all the minor snafus, I know Joseph and I both agree that we wouldn’t have changed any of it for the world.

The night before the wedding I had a bit of an anxiety attack (eeek!).  Our original plans included going to a local bar and hanging out with the bridal party. Kind of like a “last hurrah”.  I had showered and dressed and I finished packing when I just lost it.  Poor Joseph had no idea what to do with himself (much less with me).  A call had come in and I thought my aunt and uncle were cancelling.  You see, my uncle had recently had surgery and although, thank God, there were no complications, surgery is still surgery, and recuperation isn’t easy.  I understood from a month before that it wasn’t going to be easy for them to go but when I saw her name on the caller ID, I couldn’t help but think, “if she doesn’t go (my mother’s sister) then I’d really have none of my biological maternal figures at my wedding.”  Moments later my dad walked in letting me know that she was just confirming what time she’d pick him up in the morning and although hearing that was a relief, it just made me sob all the harder.  I didn’t want to focus on the unpleasant; I had kept it together for 8 months. I was getting married! Woo-hoo! But it was hard to genuinely enjoy it to the fullest when I knew there was a key person missing.

I remember waking up on our big day feeling very lonely.  I reminisced back to December ‘04 and how my sister had a house full of people doting over her on the morning of her wedding.  I didn’t necessarily need the attention of a multitude of people; I’m pretty annoying about doing things myself and having privacy.  It was the loss that settled in more than ever – it was the fact that she wasn’t going to be there to adjust my dress, make sure my makeup wasn’t smearing. To do all the little things that mothers do.  It also didn’t help that the morning was obnoxiously dreary.  I had been checking the weather for about a week and a half and every network forecasted rain.  A lot of people tried to appease me by telling me that rain on your wedding day meant “Good Luck” but I didn’t feel lucky.  We had chosen our venue because of the floor to ceiling windows in the chapel.  I wanted to see the sun, the Long Island Sound and trees, not clouds.But I wasn’t familiar with any “sun dances” so I just said a quick prayer and made my way to the venue.

Upon arriving to my bridal suite I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly calm.  Something had changed; shifted.  I’m not generally calm on an average day but for some reason as soon as I walked in and grasped the fact that I was there to marry the man of my dreams, I was soothed.  Something deep down reassured me that everything was going to be all right.  As the morning passed and my girls and I began to get ready, slowly but surely, the sun started to make its way out of the clouds.  At first it was in patches and for short moments only so I tried not to get my hopes up, but about half an hour before our ceremony was scheduled to begin the sun began to shine brightly. I couldn’t help but be absolutely thrilled and I quickly apologized to mother nature for all the evil things I had said about her.

wedding bouquet pendant charm

Photo Credit: Maegen-Christie Photography ©

With my hair and makeup done, dress, shoes and garter on and bouquet in hand I gently squeezed my bouquet charm.  It was a charm with my mother’s wedding picture on it.  The same friend that had pushed me to speak to Joseph talked me into getting it. “That way your mom can walk down the aisle with you”, she said, and it was by far the best purchase I made in my life.  Now I owed her for my man and my charm! 😉

black and white wedding photography

Photo Credit: Maegen-Christie Photography ©

I couldn’t believe it. I was wearing a white dress; arm in arm with my father and was walking down the aisle, looking at him, looking at me, knowing without a shadow of a doubt that we are soul mates.  As I intently listened to our beloved pastor perform our marriage ceremony I couldn’t help but randomly think “HOLY CRAP, THIS IS TOTALLY HAPPENING!” lol! Then it was time to speak.  My voice shook as I recited my vows because I meant them with all of my being, and as he said his, I closed my eyes and allowed the words and the truth and intensity behind them to wash over me.  We were then pronounced “man and wife” and as he kissed me, I melted into a state of pure euphoria. It was literally a dream come true!

wedding day selfie

Photo By: Maegen-Christie Photography ©

The rest of the day was kind of a blur.  All I know is that there were tons of pictures taken, delicious food and drinks consumed, heartwarming toasts and prayers and pained feet from all the dancing that was done.  The day was flawless.  It was a perfect representation and celebration of our love. And although I missed her every step of the way and I’m sad that she didn’t get a chance to meet him (she would’ve LOVED him) I’m glad that through me, he gets to know a piece of her.  I like to believe I’ll be just as good of a wife as she was.

It’s been almost four weeks since we said “I Do” and it’s nice to reminisce about that day; to feel completely satisfied with all that we accomplished and above all, toremember what it was all for.  On occasion we’ll whisper “we’re married!” to each other and smile goofily. It’s pretty amazing to hear him randomly say “hello wife” or for me to order Chinese and say “my husband would like….”  It is an awesome, awesome feeling!  I remember sitting in the airport with Joseph the night we left for our honeymoon and sadly saying “it’s all over”.  He then smiled, kissed me and said “no, it’s just the beginning” and he was totally right.  It’s still hard to believe; to absorb all that’s happened, but we couldn’t be happier and we can’t wait for the next exciting chapters of our lives to unfold!

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