15 June 2009

The Empress's New Clothes

Here I am, back at long last. The past few weeks have been the most glorious, heartfelt, and overwhelming of my life. I have thought long and hard about the best way to share what has transpired, and what it has meant to me. I search for words, but can find only tears. Happy ones.

To say that our wedding day was joyous is true, but does not go far enough to capture the utter joy it was. To say that the day was magic/magical, is true, but still not enough to convey the sheer magical fantastic-ness of it.

To say that it was everything I had ever wished for, dreamt of, prayed for, and imagined would all be true, but still would not go far enough to express what I feel right now.

To be sure—confirmed perfectionist that I am—there are moments I wish I could rewind and re-do somewhat differently, (who doesn’t feel that way?) but overall our wedding day was as “perfect” as it needed to be.

And I am learning, slowly, that there is something in the imperfectness and unexpectedness of life/things/people/events that is utterly human and should be valued and regarded as precious in its own, and often mysterious, way.

(I can guarantee that the concept of “perfectness” will be a recurring theme from this point on, as I have already begun to ponder the idea of what it might mean to be a “perfect wife.”)

But, for now, back to “the day”…

More than anything I was aware in a remarkable and profound way of being utterly surrounded that day by love. There was one moment, amongst so, so many, that really stands out for me.

At the end of the service, the choir sang a choral blessing (John Rutter’s very lovely ‘The Lord Bless You and Keep You”), and I swear, it felt to me as if, in that moment, the D.E.B. and I were being washed over by a sea of love and blessing, surrounded and embraced by not only all of our beloved family and friends who were present, but also by the love and good spirits those have gone on ahead of us in eternity. Bliss.

Once my head is out of the clouds I will share all the wacky and wonderful practical details such as how, yes, I did go for an early morning swim at the gym the morning of the wedding(!); and which shoes I finally settled on in the end (!!!).

For now, I am savouring my favourite moments, and replaying the scenes that felt and were indeed like a fairy tale.

Our wonderful, talented, gifted, incredible wedding photographer, Elizabeth Harper, did an amazing job of capturing our special day. She sent me some sample shots to whet my appetite, along with a note saying that our wedding seemed to her to be like a scene from a Jane Austen novel/movie, and I have to say that is exactly how it felt for me too, as it all happened…

….The absolutely perfect, crystal clear and warm (!?!) weather. (Truly, there is no day like a perfect English, summer day.)

All the smiling faces that greeted me as I entered the church…

….My handsome, gorgeous D.E.B. smiling at me as I walked down the aisle.

The choir singing “our song” – Howard Goodall’s “Vicar of Dibley” theme tune (Psalm 23), that moment could have lasted forever and it wouldn’t have been long enough! Everyone was crying. Me, the D.E.B., the vicar, the choir, the world! The lead soprano got so choked up, her voice cracked a little at one point, which just made us all cry even more!...

…Saying our vows…my turn to have my voice crack…

Standing on the altar and singing “Jerusalem”, with the Barford W.I. standing and singing in the back rows...

Speaking of W.I.!!! As the D.E.B. and I exited the church the Barford W.I. formed a guard of honor for us to walk beneath. They saluted us with long wooden spoons adorned with garlands of flowers.   

...The Church bells ringing out joyously...


The whole day was sheer magic. Such an incredible expression of love, family and community. (And that something you can’t plan, organize or manage on theknot.com!)

Our reception at the Granville was absolutely splendid! The D.E.B.’s brother, a.k.a. The Guru, was the best Best Man, ever. His speech was all in rhyme like a Shakespeare sonnet, and he even created a Quiz.

Yes, there was a written trivia quiz during the reception! How awesome is that?! No, I didn’t win, but that’s okay. J

And the evening dance party with fabulous, (I finally fulfilled my DJ-ing fantasies!) and we danced till the wee hours.

Everyone made sure that the D.E.B. and I felt feasted, feted, hallowed, honoured and celebrated. And I do feel that something tremendous has transpired, an incredible shift in my soul and psyche. I do feel that I have changed.

The title of this posting obviously refers to that old children’s story about the Emperor who doesn’t realize he was nude. He actively ignored reality, what was staring him straight in the face, and he lacks clarity and self-awareness.

By contrast, my fairy tale is all about embracing new life, starting again, and seeing things afresh. Shedding the “old clothes” of the past, and putting on the snazzy, new garments of the future!

It has been a remarkable journey, and the D.E.B. and I have come a long way both individually and collectively. The past was not very kind to either of us, and for all our blood, sweat and tears, neither of our paths were particularly smooth.

I think of the character, Paulina’s words at the end of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, after all the trials and hardships the lovers have all endured, finally to win their crowns of love and wedded bliss at the end of the play, she says: “You are precious winners all!”

Funnily enough, the D.E.B and I are very like the characters in The Winter’s Tale, who take 16 long years to get their relationships/lives together, in that it has taken me and the D.E.B. 13 years from the time we first met, to get from there to here.

What a journey it has been. We both had to kiss a few frogs before we found our Prince/Princess Charming, but the good news is that dreams do come true. We finally reached the happy ending. 


Nanny Debbie said...

so glad you had such an amazing day and is really good to see a picture of you both on your special day!

p.s. i went to see Romeo and Juilet at the globe and it made me think of you

Random Thoughts said...

oh so pretty!

peaceful Yorkshire said...

Loved it. LOVED your pics.... !! I have really enjoyed reading about your preparations for this wedding and to see it all look so lovely--!