Thursday, July 31, 2008

Over The Rainbow

Do you know how those special family scenes in movies sometimes have a soft, afternoon light haze over them with stirring, beautiful music informing you that these are moments you will never forget? That was Laura’s wedding on Friday, June 20, just before sunset.

We were on an upper deck overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. The sun was low in the sky and the evening summer breeze was soft and warm, making the apple green, peach and lemon lanterns sway gently under the white lattice where Laura and Jake would soon promise to love and cherish forever. My two sons, in black tuxes with green orchids were tall and handsome as they escorted me in to an instrumental, “Piano Man.”I memorized each moment, wanting to keep it. Then the music changed to a Hawaiian version of “Somewhere, Over The Rainbow,” and little Madison, the flower girl, came, shyly and perfectly, down the aisle, hurrying a little when she was close to her destination, her grandparents, waiting in the front. Following her came seven bridesmaids in short apple green dresses, carrying yellow summer bouquets, faces beautiful and full of emotion of the moment. Then Laura, absolutely breathtaking, came in with her Dad to “How Deep Is Your Love.” The breeze, catching her veil and her hair made the moments even more deeply etched in memory. She looked young, happy and totally beautiful in her ivory, satin wedding dress, her long veil and gardenias in her wedding bouquet. With the background of the bay, the twinkling lights of cars over the bay bridge in the distance, the changing colors of the cloudy, evening sky in the west, and the air of a summer evening all around, the seven bridesmaids in green and the seven groomsmen in black with green orchids stood on each side of Laura and Jake while the minister reminded them and all of us of the importance of the vows that were soon to be said. Laura and Jake poured sand to symbolize the blending of their lives. They spoke to each other, they smiled and laughed to each other and made promises. Emotions flowed freely when a reading from Carson told them that, after this day, they would say to the world, “This is my husband, this is my wife.” And, at the end of the ceremony, the music played, “I’m Gonna Be,” as they came back down the aisle, beautiful, happy, and husband and wife.

The rest of the evening was a wonderful celebration of food, music and dancing. Laura traded her veil for a gardenia in her hair. Jake removed his jacket. The fragrance of lilies and gardenias scented the night. There were speeches, dedications, special dances, cake cutting and joy. As the sun set, guests walked down to the water with little stones to toss into the bay to make their wishes come true. The wedding day ended too soon, but the pictures are coming in and the memories are safe!