Are We There Yet?

Growing up, there was a church down the street from the house where my heart lived. Grandma and I would pass the church on the way to spend my allowance on baseball cards, Cherry Coke bubble-gum and Wintergreen Tic-Tics.

Most Saturdays, there was a wedding at the church and Grandma and I would try and catch a glimpse of the bride, but never stayed long enough to seem like we were staring, or wedding-crashers.

‘Think that’ll be me someday?’

‘Of course,’ Grandma would say. ‘You’ll meet somebody wonderful and the weather will be even better than today.’ I believed her, because that’s what I did. I never forgot what she said, but I was more interested in baseball cards.

Saying that, we came home from our shopping sprees and I’d make her break out her white photo album, looking at the photos and twisting her wedding set while it was still on her hand. That’s as close as I got to praying. For somebody wonderful. And good weather.

Now.

Nobody wanted to share a room with me the night before I got married. My sister-in-law drew the short straw, after being told ‘Lorna is a restless sleeper.’ To be fair, I didn’t sleep much anyway, restless or not.

My thoughts went like this: What time is it? Holy shit, I’m getting married! I gotta pee. I should practice my photo-face. PHOTO-FACE! Don’t do that neck thing. Or the other neck thing.

Gahd, I love Neil. Love him, love him, love him. I’m gonna barf. Grandma, be with us. Everyone be with us. And remember, rain is good luck, though. Thanks, Nana. I can’t drop the F-bomb during the vows. What time is it?

Five minutes after I asked myself the first time.

And repeat.

Somehow, the sun rose. I was on my fourth trip to the bathroom and there was a 90’s disco going on in the livingroom. Good times.

I don’t remember much of the conversation (sorry, bridal crew). But there was a lot of, ‘You’re getting FREAKIN’ MARRIED.’ With me answering, ‘I KNOW!’

My Dad stopped in for a flying visit, after picking up Neil’s wedding gifts from the engravers. And he dropped off the bouquets of paper flowers I found on Etsy, which my mother then spent a week putting together with my Nana’s brooches and cameos.

‘Hello, Daddy, I’m getting married,’ I said. We hugged and then he left on another secret mission.

I think I ate half a bagel, and took a shower. After figuring out how to get in the shower and then out again. It took a team effort, because my brain was elsewhere. What time is it?

I’m drinking pink bubbles and my Maid of Awesome is putting on my thigh-high things. When did I become a girl? What time is it?

My mother arrives. Everyone else disappears for a bit. ‘You look nice, Ma. I’m getting married.’ And after a few beats. ‘I miss Nana,’ I say.

‘She’s here. Everybody’s here.’

‘Here, here would be good, though.’

And then I drink. Where is everyone? Has Neil ironed his shirt? What time is it?

Jessica, Maid of Awesome, comes back with a gift that’s actually wrapped. ‘What’s that?’

‘It’s from Neil.’

It isn’t in a plastic bag. Must be a special occasion.

The card says, You May Now Change Your Facebook Status. I laugh. And he gave me the moon and stars. I cry. Everybody’s crying. Good times. Group hug.

The photographer arrives and my dress is half-way on, I’m still holding it up. My lovely dress people said it would take 45 minutes to get me in it. I count every one of them.

Dad and Anne arrive. Time moves faster. My face is on. My dress is on. Have I shit myself? No, that’s just my train. I have one of those, apparently. And I’m sitting on it.

My Docs are on. With a sixpence in them.

The veil goes on. I have one of those, too. I can’t feel my body.

Somehow, Dad and I are in a car. ‘Oh, I’m gonna barf. Are we there yet, Daddy? I gotta pee. How are my boobs?’

‘I wouldn’t know.’ Dad says. ‘But you look stunning.’

Dad’s phone rings and he goes into his sporran to get it. Because he has one of those. It sounds like he’s going over details with the Best Man, so I yell, ‘Hello, Brian!’

‘That wasn’t Brian, that was your husband.’

‘Holy shit,’ I say.

We arrive, and I’m guided into a sea of people taking photos. Of me. I don’t know any of them. Our wedding venue is a very public place, and it isn’t a private party yet.

I go in and my bridal crew is standing with the co-ordinator. We have a debate on whether a spot below my eye is some wayward make-up or a skin-tag. I think it’s the latter. I’m right. Because it’s my face.

‘The groom’s here, the bride’s here, let’s have a wedding!’ And the co-ordinator leads us through yet more people I don’t know.

On the way to the lifts, someone touches my arm and says, ‘Can I take your photo?’

I actually flash-back to watching brides from afar as a kid. I think I breathe.

‘Not right now,’ I say.

‘Well done,’ my Dad says.

‘Well, I am kinda busy here.’

We go up to a room with a view of Edinburgh. I get some fresh air on the balcony thing with my Dad.

‘What time is it?’

‘We’re early!’ Dad says. He is, shall we say, fashionably late for everything, and I was not-so secretly wondering if it we’d be late for my wedding. Apparently not.

‘You look like Madelyn,’ he says.

‘Don’t start me off, please,’ I say. But crying is my cue to go back in and get married.

The bridal crew is waiting to go downstairs before us. ‘Walk slowly please, I like the processional song,’ I say. But as the door closed on the lift, I said, ‘AndIloveyouall.’

And then the co-ordinator, speaking into a walkie-talkie, that might have been headphones, says, ‘I’m bringing the bride down now.’ It was all very Secret Service.

‘What? Who? I guess I’m the bride. Let’s do this.’

On the way to someone wonderful.  In a room full of people I actually know.
On the way to somebody wonderful. In a room full of people I actually know. Good times.
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28 thoughts on “Are We There Yet?

  1. Sorry we were not there to see you and your dad. You look, oh, so beautiful and Dad looks as handsome as ever. Yes, your Grandma and Grandpa were there, looking down on all of this and applauding.
    We wish you the very best.
    Anne & Ralph Nardo

  2. That. Was. Simply. Beautiful. I loved it. I wish to all the stars we were there, watching you in all your glowing beauty…. Happiness and love to you both, always… xoxo

  3. This was the best post yet. And that’s saying a lot! I actually felt as if I was there and started welling up more than once. Your Dad promised he would send me a DVD of the wedding, so keep on his case. Gigantic hugs and much love to you all.

  4. I love how you write and now everyone in the train thinks I’m a nut, because the when did I become a girl, have I shit myself and how’s my boobs had me in stitches!! Thanks for making my day lol

  5. This was one of the most delightful descriptions of a wedding. I was sitting in a waiting room reading with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes. Beautiful wedding, beautiful and funny writing. Well done, Lorna.

      1. First, I just read your father’s reply…goodness, does this storyline get any better. Tears again. This is my favorite blog post of the year.

        The trip was a many-layered grand adventure. I left feeling physically and emotionally depleted, and embarrassed that I was in the walking boot, unable to even get off the boat without help. But the generosity and kindness (and fun) of the people with whom we traveled healed a place in my heart and the beauty and grand vastness of Southeast Alaska and British Columbia moved me. I came home stronger on every level.

  6. I easily swept up the rice from more than 2000 weddings in the 10 years I worked there as Sacristan. Your wedding was by far and away, the most amazing and perfectly beautiful one I have ever attended. I could not possibly be any more proud of you and Neil than I was that day, and will ever be. Its always tough to pick a favourite line in your posts. However, “down the street from the house where my heart lived” may just take the cake. I had the original 1947 front and back door keys to 80 Southberry Lane in my pocket, as ever, on the day you and Neil married. x Dad

  7. Lorna, I so love what you wrote about your wedding day. You made me smile and cry. It is beautiful, and so are you.
    On June 15th I watched the time all day, thinking about you and what must have been going on at every hour, and wishing we were there. We send much love and happiness to you and Neil. Hope there is time for you to write more funny and beautiful moments of your life together.
    Like your Dad, I also carry a key to 80 Southberry Lane (only the front door). It is your Aunt Karen’s key, she would use it after I would take her home from a shopping spree. Love, Aunt Nancy

  8. WOOOOOOOOOO!! I love that Neil sent you a card that said you can change your Facebook status. Awesome. I looked at the Hub’s website. WOW, what a beautiful place. And you look amazing in that photo. So freaking happy. The days/hours leading up to the wedding are really the most exciting and surreal, aren’t they? Also, I too did a boob check before my trip up the aisle. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that one of the Monsignors was standing right behind me. Oopsy.

  9. This story was beautifully told. So sweet. Congratulations and all that jazz. You’re in for an awesome ride 🙂

    New friend visiting from SITS.
    P.S. “baseball cards, Cherry Coke bubble-gum and Wintergreen Tic-Tics” – Girl we would’ve been besties back in the day. lol.

  10. Awwww! That was so well written. I dont know you, yet I felt like I was there. Too cool. My fav line from the entire post was ” Have I shit myself? No, that’s just my train.” Ha ha..Made me crack up. And don’t worry if you can’t really remember much from the day, neither can I . I think most brides space out and can’t remember much of the things leading up to the moment. Once again, great post.

    Following you now. You can find me at http://beingnenne.wordpress.com/

  11. This was lovely and reminded me of my own pre wedding um, jitters that included beers with my wife’s grandma against her wishes and a manicure that made my hands look pretty. Hello future post!

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