The groomsmen entered first, escorting the mothers and then the bridesmaids, all taking their places on either side of the decorated white trellis. Our two flower girls entered next, pulling a wagon decorated with flowers and pillows around our six-month old baby girl, dressed in a pretty white dress with a champagne colored bow.
Finally, it was our turn—I was finally going to marry the older man of my dreams. The string quartet started playing our song, “With or Without You” by U2. My stepfather Jim couldn’t hear it, because he was mostly deaf and forgot his hearing aids. So I nudged him and off we went. As we entered through the French doors of the building, my eyes quickly scanned the entire room. Everything was in place, just as I imagined it.
We walked in slowly as the song played; I started to cry so instead of trying to look at everyone, I looked down at the floor. As we got closer to the altar, I looked up to see Keegan standing there, smiling at me, tears in his eyes, too.
We finally made it; after everything we had been through, we were finally here. Jim handed me off to Keegan and walked back to his seat next to my mom. As the ceremony began, I could tell something was wrong. Keegan and the groomsmen were all whispering messages down the line and back before Rob, who was standing at the very end, disappeared into the back room. Keegan and Richard kept pointing to Richard’s wedding ring and I realized what Keegan was saying. “We forgot the rings!”
I just started laughing hysterically and loudly. I laughed so hard that Mike had to stop the ceremony, because at this point the entire bridal party was laughing. Finally, Rob had the rings and everyone settled down. Keegan and I turned to face each other and took each other’s hands.
Mike, my stepbrother, began reading our vows. It wasn’t long before there was a prayer, and then another, and then another. I had only agreed to one prayer, but I was getting ready to say something, Keegan squeezed my hand and pulled me just a little closer to him.
Finally, we said “I do” and kissed. Keegan was sweating bullets. As we turned to face our families and friends, we were both radiantly smiling. Tears rolled down my face as we walked out of the reception hall to the string quartet playing “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay.
Keegan held me close, kissing me once we made it outside. Finally, we had our wedding toast speeches, food was served, and we danced the rest of the night. Because we had our wedding on a Sunday, most people didn’t stay past 8 p.m., thankfully too, because we were all wiped.
Keegan and I headed home while our baby spent one more night with my in-laws. On the way, we stopped at Mt. Washington all dressed in our wedding outfits. We just sat together and reminisced about our first date, his proposal, and now our wedding day.
I knew Keegan had been drinking at the reception, but it wasn’t until we were sitting along after it was all over that he made a surprising confession. He was apparently pretty drunk during the ceremony too, because he was afraid that I was going to run off at the last minute. His reasoning was that he wanted to be numb before getting dumped at the altar, but yet again, he says I surprised him. Throughout our May-December relationship, I dumped him several times, but I would never leave someone at the altar. I understood where he was coming from, so decided not to make a big deal out of it. Everything ended up working out the way it was supposed to.
We somehow managed to get a ton of random pictures from five different cameras, and it wasn’t until four years into our marriage that we got the high-resolution pictures of our wedding from John. It truly was a very lovely event, on a smaller budget, at my request. Keegan loves that about me. We could have done a lot more, and spent a lot more money, but looking back, it was the perfect wedding for us.