Eight years ago today, I married my love. We stood on the Big Rock (no points for originality, but the name fits) at the edge of the woods, beside the creek that borders my parents’ land. The ceremony was at eight o’clock in the evening in an attempt to avoid the heat and humidity of a South Carolina July, but it was still hot! One of our favorite moments in our wedding video is at the start of the first prayer, when all of the groomsmen, as one, mop their foreheads with their sleeves.
After the ceremony, we walked across the lawn to the reception tent and spent the evening with our family and friends. When darkness finally fell, Mike, who had married Ben’s sister, Ginny, just seven days earlier, took his life in his hands setting off fireworks out in the pasture. The launching pipes were too long, so most of the fireworks went off too close to the ground, and every time one exploded, it illuminated Mike making a dash for safety.
Looking back, I would have simplified things. Chosen cooler, more comfortable outfits for us and our attendants. Opted for cupcakes and lemonade at the reception instead of the cake that gave our baker heart palpitations because the frosting melted in the heat and the whole thing threatened to slide apart. Probably skipped the fireworks altogether, although their fizzling is one of our funnier memories of the day. But even with the complications, it was a magical evening and a beautiful start to our life together.
After all of those earlier smiles, Ben had a singularly doomed expression on his face for the entire ceremony. Here in the procession, he looked like he was on his way to the block. I’m still wondering if I should take offense at this.
Elizabeth’s darling brother, Stephen, is front and center here, between Ben’s dad and oldest brother. Stephen got his learner’s driving permit a few weeks ago. In my mind, he’s still eight and wearing this seersucker suit.