I know you’re expecting Part VI of “Do You Have a Head I Could Borrow?” Don’t worry; the story will be back Wednesday, but right now, I have something special to tell you.
A year ago today, I woke up in an empty bed. I let Ripley out of her crate, took a shower, and threw on some clothes. I hit up the grocery store and bought a bunch of sub sandwiches, orange juice, and champagne. Then, I said it for the first time to the lady ringing up my order at Safeway: “I’m getting married today!”
While Jake hung at Yardhouse, drinking mimosas with old Navy pals, I drank mimosas at our tiny apartment on Old Litchfield Road, surrounded by makeup artist Stephanie Kain, my mother, my aunt, and a mixture of friends from high school through to my time in Charleston, SC. Susie took a nap in the “office” while I was covered in powder and hair spray.
The veil was the last step. Once Stephanie put all that tulle on my head, it was for real. I was getting married, and soon, within hours. I chugged one last mimosa, and we struggled to get me into my 1996 Toyota Camry without crushing the veil that my mother also wore on her wedding day.
We arrived at WindStar Gardens to a panicked bartender: Where was the booze? Where was the booze? I broke the rules and gave Jake a quick call to ask “Where’s the booze?” Brandon, our liquor guy and DJ for the night, came running soon after with booze. Crisis averted.
Mom and Susie helped me put on my dress and jewelry. I remember I was sweating a little, and in a panic, Susie pulled emergency deodorant out of her SOMOH bag (SOMOH: Sexy Old Maid of Honor). After a quick shoot with photographer Pat Shannahan, I hid in my little bride room. Susie brought me my first Cosmopolitan, and I did my best not to spill anything on my dress. Girlfriends snuck in to visit. I made time to get my dad some Cheez-its (because Dad can’t go a day without Cheez-its).
I wondered what it was like out there, outside my little room. I wondered what Jake was thinking at that moment. Did he need emergency deodorant, too?
Suddenly, Lois, our wedding coordinator, came in with bouquets. I barely remember how beautiful they were, made of white and red roses, wrapped in black velvet ribbon. She said, “It’s time.” Susie gave me a Listerine mint, my handsome daddy took my arm, and we walked toward the door where friends and family awaited my arrival—where my fiancé waited to become my husband.
I know pianist Paul Tipei played “Clair de Lune” upon my entrance, but I don’t remember hearing it. There’s a picture of my dad and me laughing about something, walking down an aisle covered in rose petals, but we don’t remember what. All I do remember is seeing Jake. He looked so handsome, my knees almost buckled. I almost went running to him, because I just had to say it: “Can you believe we’re getting married today?”
The ceremony is a blur, blinded as I was by Jake’s ever-present smile. My brother played a song he wrote for us. The chorus: “I never knew it could be this easy …” And it was so easy, becoming Jake’s wife.
I remember every moment of the reception, through the constant kisses, through the toasts, to the mad dance-off on that warm Phoenix night. Then, there was the rain. As friends and family said their goodbyes, Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” played, and I had to find Jake and dance—dance beneath the rain … “because I’m still in love with you. I wanna see you dance again. Because I’m still in love with you … On this harvest moon …”
I never wanted that song to end, because I never wanted our wedding to be over. And yet, the wedding did end, and something else started: a marriage. The real deal. Love, forever.
It’s been a year since that day. As I type, Jake naps two feet away on our couch. Ripley the dog is shoved up against me, snoring. My little family. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. I’m not worried about “where’s the booze” or emergency deodorant. With Jake next to me, I don’t worry much at all, because I know he’ll always be here with me, ever since we said “I do.” I will always love him; he will always love me, and this … this is just the beginning.