For today's (or tonight's) post--yes you get two in one day today!--in honor of celebrating two months of being married, I asked Ian to do a little recap of the wedding day from his point of view. Because Ian is the kind of person who gets a job done once he starts it, he spent a good portion of his day off today coming up with what you're about to read. I hope you have a box of tissues handy...
I awoke this morning to the deafening silence of a power outage. Our bedroom fan had come to a standstill, which was enough to rouse me from my slumber. I stumbled through our lower level apartment, habitually clicking light switches—forgetting each time that they wouldn’t respond without electricity. There was no doubt in my mind that this was due to the deluge that put us to sleep just hours beforehand. This was simply the next event in a 24-hour series of something we refer to as—meep.
If you listen to Brenda and I have a conversation, you might not understand us. We tend to speak in a language that only we understand, and ‘meep’ is one of those words you might overhear us say. She introduced me to the word around the time we started dating and I am not too sure that it has a clear definition. The best way I can describe it is like this: We haven’t seen blue sky for days. Meep. A river of water was running through our back yard. Meep. Our refrigerator has leaked a brownish water since we moved in and now there is a giant stain in the carpet. Meep. My XBOX 360 overheated and kicked the bucket so I can’t play football video games during football season. Meep. Oh, and my 1996 Chevy Blazer wouldn’t start yesterday after replacing the fuel pump a little more than two months ago for $800. Meep.
As I rubbed my sleepy eyes at 5:45 am, with Brenda still in bed, it felt like I was awakening from the dream that was our wedding, just two months ago to the day. It was a time where meep was absent from our vocabulary and still doesn’t feel real.
Saturday morning the day of the wedding, July 9, 2011, was a beautiful morning. The sky was deep blue and a few fluffy clouds drifted toward the horizon. No one was in my family’s house, so I laid my tuxedo out on the couch and sat back in a reclining chair as if to wait there, motionless until it was time to make our way to the church.
But my dad flung the front door open, dressed in an old tee-shirt and sweatpants, dripping with paint, and yelled, “Today’s the wedding, are you ready?”
I responded, “I sure am.”
“Great, then can you come help me hang some window screens at the rental property next door?”
My dad owns the house next door and the tenants decided to move out the weekend of our wedding, so he was preparing it for the next couple that would move in. We didn’t talk too much as we hung the screens. It was kind of this quiet recognition that this was the last time my dad would be able to ask his son to help him with a menial task around the house. It was the last time that I would sleep in their home as a child—although I was already an adult. Something about marriage makes people seem more grown up.
After hanging the screens next door, my family prepared for the wedding. I looked at myself in the mirror with my black tuxedo, purple tie, and blue eyes and could only imagine what Brenda looked like as she also peered into her mirror at the Saylor household.
*All photos by Meagan Jepson Photography*
My family drove to the church together and I sat in the back of the car on the driver’s side. This was the same seat I had occupied all through my childhood. I stared out the window at all the State College landmarks passing my window. The drive was taking a long time and I think my dad was driving slower than he usually does. When we got to the church, I raced to the library to find my groomsmen waiting. It was so great seeing those guys. They had given a lot to be with me that day, including traveling long distances: Paul S. came from Colorado, Paul H. from Vermont, Ben from Michigan, Angad and Steven from Virginia, and Nate, Joe, John, and JJ from good ole’ Pennsylvania. They came from different times and places in my life and it was surreal seeing them all together.
I anxiously waited in the library for the moment the pastors, Jonathan Weibel and Anne Ard, would call me up to the front of the church. I opened a letter that was handed to me from Brenda and read the greatest messages ever written for me. She wrote the letter during FISH years ago at the Presbyterian church addressed to, “My Future Husband.” She wrote the letter in the very library I was reading it, before she even knew who I was. I would tell you what the letter said, but that’s between her and I.
An eternity later, the pastors pulled us away from the church library and directed us toward the front of the church. As I was getting used to doing, we waited behind the big wooden doors to the sanctuary and You Are My Sunshine played lightly in the background. I peaked through the door and watched our mothers light the candles Brenda and I would use for the Unity Candle. Then it happened.
Ann Ard directed us, “Here we go!”
The heavy door creaked open and I headed for center stage. My nine groomsmen streamed behind me and stretched from the oaken door to the center aisle. This is where everything gets a little blurry. Waiting was becoming an aversive activity. I just wanted to see my bride. I tapped my foot on the floor in anticipation and kept my gaze focused on the doorway in the back. One by one, the bridesmaids traversed the long stretch of aisle from the back of the sanctuary to the front. Each bridesmaid displayed a different emotional reaction to her good friend’s wedding day. Of course, I gave my sister a high-five. Courtney Kolesar couldn’t even look at me, for I knew the moment she did, she would burst into tears. Hannah was happy, yet all business; She wanted to make sure she got that strut down the aisle just perfect. Lastly, the Maid of Honor, Brenda’s own kid sister Emily, walked elegantly toward me. I knew I would be taking her sister from her, but I smiled back at her as if to say, “But you have two of us now.”
Finally. Finally. My heart jumped when I heard Here, There, and Everywhere begin to play because I knew that was Brenda’s cue.
To my unanticipated horror, everyone stood up. I knew that was going to happen, but I didn’t realize it was going to block my view of the doorway. I heard sobs and gasps as Brenda entered the sanctuary—the sound of loving friends and family realizing this girl had become a woman—but she remained out of my view. It was as if everyone was stealing the beauty of my Bride for themselves. I was about to take off running down the aisle so that I could see her for myself, when she finally turned the corner with Mr. Saylor’s arm through hers.
Everyone else disappeared in a white fog. Now it was just her. And me. And (barely) the pastors who would marry us. This is the moment that the rest of the day began to fly by. She joined me in the front and we couldn’t stop looking at each other. I can’t even begin to describe how I felt that day. There was a cocktail of emotion, with something like love, excitement, passion, happiness, joy, fulfillment, and so much more. Jonathan and Ann’s words sounded like the teacher from the Peanuts cartoons, so much so that I wasn’t sure I would be able to properly repeat back my part of the vows.
The moment I said “I do” felt like a long time coming. Although Brenda and I had only known each other for three and a half years, it seemed like we were lifelong friends. Destiny is not something I ever adhered to, but this moment had to be. God created us for each other. To love and to cherish, til’ death do us part. I can’t imagine a lifetime without Brenda, nor do I want to. She is the most blessed gift to grace my presence and I am fulfilled to know that I will spend a lifetime with her.
Listening to the church bells proclaim our marriage, leaving the church in a vintage car, taking photographs downtown, and partying at the reception was like watching a movie in fast-forward. I am glad to have the pictures that Meagan Jepson took, because the day went by so quickly. Brenda and I kept reminding each other to stop and soak it in. I have vivid memories of certain parts, such as riding in the back of the old Avanti with Andy Colwell chauffeuring. I can still see Brenda’s gorgeous face as we slowly spun during the first dance and her contagious laugh during the bride and groom toast. I remember jumping with excitement as Emily Saylor caught the bouquet, which must have been a nightmare for Mr. Saylor. It’s the little moments like these that help me realize that it was real. From the handmade decorations, to the custom wedding cake, the dream was so vivid that it had to be real.
As I laid in bed with Brenda last night, in the real world with broken electronics, bad weather, and dysfunctional vehicles, we looked into each other’s eyes. She knew what I was thinking and simply said, “meep.” As per usual, I repeated “meep” back. But I had to continue.
“Brenda, I am so glad that it is you who I get to spend a meep day with. I would not want to spend a meep day with anyone else.”
Meep days are not so bad when I get to spend them with the one I love.
Happy 2-month Anniversary, Love!