Bill and I have been engaged for one year and 6 days now.
I found the ring at an antiques store. Funny thing about this particular antique store is that it used to be my place of employment, before it was an antiques store. When I worked there, it was a women’s clothing design and manufacturing company. Twice a year, we’d host a warehouse sale and women from all over the land would line up outside for hours before we opened to get first dibs. The minute we opened the gates, ladies would storm the place like bulls, and the warehouse instantly turned into a madhouse for three days!!!
They would run in and get naked and try on clothes, throwing clothes they decided against all over the place. It was my job to pick up the discarded clothes and hang them back up. I cursed these ladies under my breath, but felt a little sorry for them because they were so feverish to find a garment.
Little did I know or ever dream that right in the same spot that I cursed and labored over naked lady’s messes, that I would find the ring that would signify my love and future with a wonderful man.
It glimmered through the case amongst plastic clip on earrings, broaches and beads. I pointed it out to Bill. He went back and got it a few days later (I didn’t know). Apparently, he had already bought one for me, but he said he could see how much I wanted the antiques store one and didn’t want to disappoint. Anyhow, the one he had bought previously was too big and made of jade and couldn’t be resized, so he’d have to buy another one regardless (the one he bought is even too big for his fingers, what was he thinking?).
He proposed while we were skiing at Scuppernong, the snow falling all around him, little flakes caught up in his red curls. The sparkle of the snow, the sparkle of my ring, the sparkle in his eyes and smile, sparkles everywhere. It was like a dream. After I said yes and as we skied out of the forest, I felt like we were floating, up and over the glimmering hills and down soft slopes. I never wanted it to end; it was just me and Bill, the towering pines and the sound of the wind blowing through them.
Watching the snow fall like white feathers today, I remember.
With the wedding day approaching quickly, things are getting panicky, which unfortunately (sigh) makes moments like those sometimes easy to forget.
I reserved a shelter in the woods for us to get hitched in. I thought, at the time, we would host a small wedding. We would get hitched, build a fire and camp. Voila!
As it turns out, Bill has relatives I didn’t know about. I love his family, the family that I do know, so I’m certain I will love these stranger family folks as well, but not everyone is going to fit in the shelter, so I hope it doesn’t rain.
Bill’s got 77 family members to be exact. I’ve got five. Then of course there’s friends and we do love our dear friends. We can’t not invite them, so the total amount of invitees are 200. Bill’s mom says only count on half of the guest to be able come. Great! That means if it rains, only 30 people will have to stand out in it…if only half attend.
Sometimes we stay up wondering about the rain and where the money will come from to pay for all of this and then the whole idea tangles like a circus in our minds. Lately, it gets us so panicked we begin to wonder if we should just call it off and go to the courthouse. Bill’s supposed to decide by today.
I found a song to calm my nerves that I wanted to share. It reassures me that everything will fall into place just the way it should. Like the ring that glimmered after the days of the wild naked ladies became a distant memory. Maybe these days are symbolic of the wild naked ladies, feverishly desperate for perfection and the best deal. And when the actual day of the wedding does come, the sun will rise, even if it’s behind clouds of rain, like a diamond in the rough, or in a case at an antiques store. It will shine shine shine, and the thirty people out in the rain will just happen to be the kind of people who adore the rain.
Here’s the song, it called Wedding Song and it’s by Anais Mitchell and features Justin Vernon, who plays with Bon Iver. Hope you enjoy. Happy Friday!!
Hey lovely Chick-a-dee: let it be your & Bill’s day. Create the day that the two you YOU want. There will be enough compromise between the two of you already that you don’t need to factor in what others want as well.
I wanted it stress-free and simple yet still a tiny event in it’s own way. That meant for us immediate family, minus my mother, plus 4 friends. That was it and it was perfect. I felt if I got too involved with what others wanted then I would lose myself in the process rather then being aware of the moments.
If 200 makes you feel like you want to run away- then keep your ceremony intimate and then within a few weeks after have someone with some space host a BBQ where everyone can come and eat, bring you gifts, an celebrate there (or whatever you imagine for that sort of celebration).
Just consider treating the actual event of marriage and whatever comes after as two separate things and it may bring some clarity.