M is for Mushy...
Dont throw up with all this talk about love.
Marriage is what brings us together today. All I can think of is Peter Falk’s voice from The Princess Bride—ridiculous guy movie (despite the title), but I love it.
I had the honor recently of witnessing an overwhelming authentic display of true love. Every detail was done in a way that reflected careful attention and thoughtfulness. There were envelopes in alphabetical order with our names and table numbers. Inside the envelope was a thank you card. It was personal and made me feel so special.
I woke up that day with intention and a sentimental heart. I showered, shaved, and styled my hair in preparation for the wedding starting at 4pm. I knew I wouldn't have time to do an overhaul on myself. I have a system for situations like this, obviously. You get used to it working on Saturdays.
I packed up my makeup kit for the wedding party, and off to the salon I went. This was my fourth wedding party of the season. This one would be different, though. I would actually be attending the event after getting the girls ready. Little by little, over the past few months, I had gotten to hear about the details: collecting vintage china for the place settings, making a bouquet out of brooches, and executing a 1950s garden party theme...done perfectly.
As I put the finishing touches on the bride, my eyes began to tear. I felt honored to have been asked to do this. I do her hair and her makeup quite frequently, but to be allowed to prepare a bride (this bride) in particular was a humbling pleasure.
Picture this. I was as happy as if it were my own wedding. It's early evening, and it looks to be an enchanting garden party. Guests sip bourbon slushies (funny that slushies isn't even a real word with auto correct), and the men wear suspenders. Both wedding parties parade down the aisle with drums, kazoos, and clapping. Family members speak of their favorite love stories and how each connects to the couple. Rings are passed around to each guest in order to infuse the rings with a prayer of what is wished for the couple’s marriage.
But the vows.
The vows were the real tearjerker. They promised their love, yes, of course. But then they said wise things like, "I promise to always seek growth so I can bring it back to you to help us grow.” Each promised to give the other space to learn and grow and love the person the other became, to forgive the person when they mess up, but also to forgive themselves. It was really powerful, and it spoke to me. These two were true soul mates.
I couldn’t help but look around and see people from every facet of my own life. People I've known for ten-plus years, people I’ve known since kindergarten, people from my go-to local coffee shop, salon clients, yoga studio, and people from my neighborhood. This is my community, my amazing, perfect community that each one of us has a part in building.
Towards the end of the evening, my friend’s partner danced up to me with sweat dripping from his forehead. Tearing it up on the dance floor! He grabbed my hand and said, “Thank you for teaching us the hand squeeze." I had no clue what he was talking about at first. Then he explained. A long time ago, I ran into them at a mutual friend’s party. It had been awhile since I had seen the couple, and I have always adored them together. Apparently that night I grabbed their hands and said, "Hand squeeze!" He went on to say how special that gesture had become to them—something they did often as a sign of deeply felt affection. I can picture the couple doing this, the two of them standing together holding hands, looking at each other, squeezing more tightly, and saying, “Let’s do this.”
The power of intention is so strong. Don't drown out your dreams about love because you feel foolish or unworthy. I believe in forever soul mates and true love. I used to be ashamed that I believed, as if I wasn't being realistic or smart by doing so. Then I became wise and learned that voice, recognizing it as the voice of fear that says it might not happen. The magical part is that anything is possible if you just believe.
This is what I heard this at the wedding and found to be wonderful. Happily ever after doesn't just end after the prince and princess get married. It's actually the beginning of the couple writing their love story together.