I’ve been trying desperately to separate my mind from wedding stuff long enough to write about something –anything– else, but it just isn’t working. It’s funny because I’m not obsessing over flowers or dresses or whether the caterer will bring enough utensils. I’m not stressing over the weather – not since I decided I’m not allowed to check the forecast again until next week. I’m not even the slightest bit concerned about the actual marriage.
It’s just all-consuming. The entirety of 2016 has been wedding stuff so far. Not a day has gone by when we didn’t do at least one thing for the wedding. More than that, most weekends have not gone by without one or both of us getting our hands on a barn-related building project.
It’s been a busy time with little room for stepping away and forgetting, for a moment, that we’re getting married soon.
Millions of people have done this before us and millions more will do it after. Nothing we’re doing is new to the world, just new to us.
And that doesn’t matter to anyone reading this. It only matters to me and Russ.
We’ve promised ourselves, and each other, that we will make every effort to soak in these next 10 days.
By April 24th our extended family and friends will leave town and we’ll head to Savannah for a couple of relaxing days before returning to our normal, yet somehow completely different, lives.
I’ll power through the next four days at work, days during which even my boss has acknowledged I will likely be a tad distracted. Over the weekend we’ll drop loads of beer and wine off at the farm and stick around to help with finishing touches. I’ll probably try on my dress one more time and make sure every tiny details makes it onto our big list.
Next Tuesday I’ll leave work as a Sanders for one last time. I’ll drive home to hug my almost in-laws and we’ll all go out to a big dinner. We’ll plan last minute details and laugh at old stories over drinks.
Over the course of the week there will be floral arrangements and manicures, toasts and table setup, a bachelor party, a fish fry and a fancy dinner followed by drinks downtown at a favorite Clemson bar.
There will be a note from my brother who can’t be there, for reasons nobody wants to discuss. In a house full of women getting their hair and make-up ready for photographs, I’ll sneak away to a quiet room and read what he wrote. It’ll be another big moment in my life that he’s missed – birthdays, graduations, my wedding. The note will probably be thoughtful like the poem he sent me for my 13th birthday because he couldn’t live at home. There will be tears and there will be forgiveness.
Then there will be people. About two hundred of them. They’ll arrive by car and bus and pack antique church pews we’ve borrowed from the civil war-era church down the street.
Two hundred people we love will come together to have a good time, but more importantly to show us they support what we’re doing here. The significance of that is not lost on me.
So this is where I am on April 13. It’s ten days before the wedding and I can’t worry about flowers or table runners. I can’t care if my dress is completely free of wrinkles or every hair on my head is in place.
I can only think about the people – how they know both of us or just one – how knowing Russ as a child impacts me as an adult who is marrying him – how someone in the crowd is bound to be just wishing we’d get this thing over with so he can hurry up and have some food – how dozens of them helped us build the barn where we’ll dance and eat after the ceremony – how two of them will be sacrificing whatever other birthday plans they might’ve had to celebrate with us – how amazed I am to have this much love from this many people.
Y’all, I’m not even a hugger, but everybody better prepare themselves because I have a 6’3″ wingspan and I’m coming in.