From the moment the bride glided in, looking so exquisite, so graceful, the wedding became something amazing.
All the stress of the day melted away when I saw her, radiant in her stunning dress, escorted by her two boys.
I could tell she was fighting tears. As was The-Oldest. And The-Youngest was doing his best to be mature.
My world telescoped just to her. All I could see was her face. Her smile. She looked so very, very beautiful.
I took a deep breath, fighting the tears of happiness that built behind my eyes.
We were officially getting married.
This was it.
The girl I knew I’d marry the moment I met her, three years, ago, Feb 26th, at 3:15 in a small coffee shop in Langley.
I felt so happy to be here. I felt so lucky to have found her.
She stopped beside me, only glancing in my direction. Her beautiful blue eyes shone. She was trying to hold it together. She feared a mascara disaster if she let go and just let the emotion overwhelm her. Behind her, the junior bridesmaids took up their station and, her boys – both as handsome as I’ve ever seen them – went to stand beside me.
The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World and I listened together as her mom began the ceremony. All else faded into a blur around me.
We laughed when her mom put on her hat and recited the Princess Bride marriage speech. Her mom had been nervous about this part, but she carried it off with great humour and dignity.
It was so wonderful to see The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World laugh. I would be happy to make her laugh like that for her entire life.
When it came time to say my vows, I belted them out. Proudly. Happily. The Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World whispered hers. Nervous. In her head, she said later, she thought she was shouting them out.
Then it came time to make my vows to the boys. Not something every groom does, but The-Boyz are such an important part of my life, I wanted to ensure they knew how much I’d come to love them, too. I’d spent a night figuring out what to say, then passed it along to the officiant to whisper to me so I wouldn’t forget.
The-Oldest listened, then nodded his approval. Or just nodded ‘cuz it was over. I don’t know. The-Youngest didn’t pull a face until the end, not sure, I think, what to feel. What to say or do.
But it felt good to tell them how I felt. It felt right.
Then I turned back to my gorgeous bride, we exchanged rings after the boys fought to get them out of their pockets and we were pronounced man and wife.
I couldn’t have asked for a better ceremony.
I kissed my new wife like I want to kiss her every day. With passion and love.
Then we turned to the room.
A room full of smiles and cheers and applause.
Joe 3.0 had been upgraded to Joe 4.0. A newer, greyer, wrinklier version that will likely crash a lot.
I doubt there was a happier man in the world than I was at that moment.