Yesterday Keith and I went to the wedding of two of our friends. We were supposed to go to another wedding last month--but then I went into labor a few hours before the ceremony, so that didn't happen. So this was our first wedding this year, and our first Catholic wedding since we ourselves got married.
It was quite beautiful--both the ceremony and the reception. The bride was gorgeous, the Mass beautiful, and the reception quite lovely. And it made me super nostalgic. As we pulled into the church parking lot, I saw the bride standing outside the church getting ready to go in and wait, and it immediately brought me back to waiting outside the church at my own wedding, first in the limousine and then in the foyer as, one by one, my bridesmaids processed in, until I was left alone with my Dad. And then going through the doors and seeing Keith, and feeling the smile glowing on my face ... such intense emotions!
The bride and groom's exit from the reception was very sweet. One moment they were slow dancing, surrounding by a ring of friends; the next they suddenly broke free and made a mad dash out of the hall, hand in hand, and everyone chased them out to stand in lines along the drive and wave as they left.
And I remember those emotions, too. How for days, you and your fiance/husband have been surrounded by other people, with perhaps a moment here and there to yourselves; how this huge and jubilantly loud day suddenly ends in quiet, with just the two of you, driving, alone. The intense intimacy of that alone-togetherness, by comparison to everything that's happened before. How you are so familiar with and to each other, and yet ... in that moment, sitting side by side and driving, there is also a shyness, a difference, because now you are husband and wife, and while you know this person so well ... you also know so little. There is so much more to learn, and you will never exhaust the otherness of your spouse's personhood.
So yes, even today, I am still feeling nostalgic. (Keith just laughed at me for paging through our own wedding photos on Facebook.) And you know, we attended that wedding with a baby in tow. Which is crazy. And which only emphasizes the fact that that particular moment of our lives is over. We will never get married to each other again. Watching other people live through those moments makes me so happy for them, and so grateful for the beauty that I have been given in my own life.