The stained glass windows of the little red brick church glistened in the morning sun. Rain clouds started to gather in the sky and cast shadows across the fields surrounding the building. I was hidden in the church hall, dressed in my wedding gown, surrounded by my sisters. The photographer put us through our poses and disappeared back into the church.
Everyone had arrived, except for John’s grandmother and his great aunts. Evidently his uncle had gotten lost with the matriarch of the family. We had to wait, didn’t we? I paced, as more clouds bloomed. Five minutes turned to fifteen, then twenty. This was before we all carried cellphones. John’s older brother finally came out and said I didn’t have to wait anymore as his poor brother was getting more nervous by the minute. Let’s get the show on the road.
Just as I exited the hall, it started to sprinkle. My sisters gathered up my train and we dashed for the church foyer. Fortunately I’d worn flats. I took a couple minutes to settle, then placed my hand in the crook of dad’s arm and nodded at my brother in laws. They reached out and pulled open the double doors. My heart flip flopped as I took in the pews full of friends and family.
I hadn’t thought I known enough people to fill up a church, even a small one. One of those horrible fantasies you get during the stress filled days of planning. What if no one shows up? Dad walked me up the aisle, kissed me and guided me to my hubby to be. I gave John a quick kiss and in his nervousness, he asked “are you supposed to do that yet?” I giggled, relaxed and stepped up to begin our new life as husband and wife.
John’s cousin, a catholic priest and Father Dan, the very Irish pastor of our church performed the mass and the ceremony. Old friends, the two riffed off each other telling jokes, putting us all at ease. John’s relatives arrived midway, much to everyone’s delight and their embarrassment. My sister forgot to hand me John’s ring during the blessings of the rings.
Once I realized what had happened, I said ‘wait you forgot John’s ring.’
Father Dan waved his hand with a smile and said “Oh, it’ll take.” And it did!