My Wedding Day
by Raphaëlle

I expected the jitters that came over me a couple of weeks before the wedding. I even expected to be happy and to cry a bit. What I didn't expect was the magnitude of the joy I felt.

Until I walked down the aisle with my father, I was incredibly nervous. The day had been hectic and I had gotten to the Château Montebello over a half hour late. I'd had to change into my gown at lightning speed and hadn't had any time to spend with my mother and grandmother. Not even enough time to truly appreciate the moment when my grandmother gave me the embroidered handkerchief she'd tucked in her gown when she got married over 60 years ago.

Right before entering the ceremony room with my father, I was surprisingly calm. I sensed how anxious my father was and had to slow him down or he would have gotten me down the aisle before the guests had even arrived. I remember reminding him we had all of Pachelbel's Canon to get there. As my father and I entered the room, all heads turned toward us, as would be expected. I looked at my fiancé and wanted to look at him until I got to him but the urge to look at our guests hit me. I looked at them, all staring back at me. I have no idea when the joy came over me. I just remember being happier than I've ever been, beaming at everyone, smiling bigger than I've ever smiled and not being able to help it. Everything was a bit blurred, like a Monet painting. I hardly heard the music, hardly saw the musicians or our guests. Everything was softened and joyful. My emotions were bigger than me. Walking down the aisle, with all these people looking at me, I felt loved. I felt the love our friends and family had for me, for us and I felt the love I had for them. I remember thinking they looked so nice, all dressed up and here for us.

As I sit here writing my thoughts, trying to express how I felt, everything I write feels both like too much and too little. It's so ridiculously happy, like one of those religious feel-good TV shows where everyone is happy in the end. At the same time, I still haven't managed to convey the intensity of the emotions that hit me. I suppose happiness is always a little sappy, especially when there's absolutely nothing bitter to tone down the sweetness. In that moment, I felt more love than I've ever felt, around me and coming from me. The moment was pure joy. My fiancé had made a mistake with the candles but I didn't care.

When I got to the front of the room, I turned to kiss my father. I saw the tears in his eyes, hugged him, and almost lost it. I turned to my fiancé but had to stop to try to regain my composure. Way too early to cry! I was still trembling when we lit the candles. I hardly remember the ceremony. I tried to concentrate on what the officiant was saying and I tried to look at our guests, take everything in. Still, I never really saw anyone and I never really heard the officiant. I did hear my fiancé whispering and I do remember smiling at him. That's all.

I woke up when we came out of the room after the ceremony. I was in a daze while our guests congratulated us. By the time the photographer had us all outside for pictures, I was back to my normal self. Worrying about every little thing. The rest of the evening was a whirlwind. I tried to see everyone but I'm sure I missed a bunch. I put my bouquet on the table with the cake because it was bothering me. Still, I felt a twinge when I threw it. My beautiful bouquet... When our guests left and we were left alone, my new husband found the right words, "I wish we could do it all over again tomorrow. The same way."