The Best Day of My Life

IMG_1341This month marks our 12th wedding anniversary.

Any anniversary causes you to pause and reflect, to look back, take stock.  Wedding anniversaries are no different.  What stands out in my memory about that evening 12 years ago, surrounded by a panoramic view of my beloved New York City, was that everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time.  In that sense, our wedding was a spectacular success.   The happy bar-tending staff triumphantly presented my brand new husband and me with the last bottle of wine in the house, informing us that, to the great chagrin of the management, we had managed to drink the bar dry.  As you can imagine, it was a merry evening.

But was it, as love songs and chick flicks and flowery iambic pentameter would have you believe, the best day of my life?

Nah.

Our wedding took a village.  Many of our wedding gifts were the donated talents of our mucho talented friends, including my dress and our wedding photographs.  But despite getting by with the help of our friends, we still had a ton of rushing around to do on the day.  One of my husband’s best men declared, at 10 am on the morning of our wedding, that he didn’t have a shirt to wear.  We had boxes of grass to pick up for centerpieces, orchids to buy, place cards to write out, hurried photographs to take.  Without the benefit of any kind of rehearsal, we were marching blindly down the aisle and hoping that the music was cued properly.  My poor mother, sidled with her control freak daughter, had had no say in any of our plans, and was unable to travel to be with me before the wedding.  She saw me in my wedding dress for the first time as we were hurriedly trying to organize the family for photographs.  She wanted to stop to talk to me, to comment on how I looked.  I am pretty sure that I barked at her to hurry up, that there was no time to talk, the light was fading.

So, Mom, I am sorry for that.  I like to think on the best day of my life I will be a little less stressed out.  And I certainly like to think that on the best day of my life I won’t be mean to my mother.

My sister, roped into chaperoning and waiting for deliveries, had to cut short her own prep time.  As she showered and attempted to 2141_61524994065_6104_ncontort herself into shape wear in record time, I pleaded with her to hurry.  Sorry, sis.  I hope on my best day I don’t have to confront my spanx-tied sibling trying to apply make-up,  dodging hipsters while running through Union Square.

Wedding day jitters prevented me eating. I hope that on the best day of my life I enjoy every mouthful, preferably of a bacon cheeseburger and a plate of salty fries.

My newly minted husband made a touching speech.  My father overcame his own anxiety to make a very funny one.  I danced with my husband, I danced with my dad.  But I spent the rest of the evening mingling and thanking and smiling and making small talk with lots of people who had flown or driven lots of miles.  I didn’t dance at all.  I hope that on the best day of my life I dance more.

The next day, exhausted and bewildered, we set off on a much-anticipated honeymoon.  In the backseat of a taxi we both had minor panic attacks that we hadn’t said good-bye to our parents.  We were flying across the world to Australia.  My new in-laws were flying back to England and my family were driving back to Boston and we couldn’t remember if we’d had time to thank them or say goodbye.  So to our families, thank you.  I hope that on my best day I don’t forget to say thank you.  Or good-bye.

IMG_1338No, my wedding day wasn’t the best day of my life.  Every day I wake up and the man I married is next to me is another best day.  The day the third stick turned pink after 2 years of heartbreak, that was a best day. When my boys stomp like baby elephants into our room and clamber and climb into bed with us, that is a best day.  Meeting my mother and my sister at the airport when they come to visit, that is a best day.  Laughing with good friends until I have to catch my breath, that is a best day.   When my son tells me “I love you more than you can imagine”, that’s a best day.  When a teacher tells me she wishes she had a classroom full of students like my older son, that’s a best day.  Toasting my husband with champagne on a random Wednesday night, over pizza, that’s a best day.  Hysterical games of Scategories with family friends around a depleted Thanksgiving feast, that’s a best day.  My father, nearing the end of his life, getting to witness my older son walk for the first time, that was a best day.  Greeting an old friend that I  haven’t seen for yonks and picking up exactly where we left off, that’s a best day.  Standing in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza with my family, a lifelong dream, that was a best day.

My wedding anniversary is an annual reminder of the day that we pledged, in front of family and friends, our commitment to one another.  But it is symbolic.  The real day that happened, when we both realized that yes, this was the person we were willing to forsake others for, that day happened long before our wedding day.

That was a best day.

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29 thoughts on “The Best Day of My Life

  1. thelallies April 14, 2013 / 2:31 pm

    Absolutely, I have many things I would have done differently on the day and all of them involve people rather than detail. Enjoy all the little moments with your husband, boys and family, they are precious….. BTW where is the money shot? The Bride!?

    Like

    • dhonour April 14, 2013 / 6:11 pm

      I am thankful that the vast majority of people who celebrated that night with us are still in our lives, even if we are separated by an ocean or two. But then again, there are so many people that we’ve met along the way AFTER the fact that would have made such a great addition to the party!

      Like

  2. lexborgia April 14, 2013 / 2:57 pm

    Best wishes from Berlin, may the best days never end. Your Name really is Honour(wow). You must write a book – free napkins with each purchase, to dry the tears.

    Like

    • dhonour April 14, 2013 / 6:10 pm

      I know (re the last name). One of the reasons I couldn’t change it when I got married ;-). I worry a bit about the book I would write–too tear jerky–too flowery–too full of metaphor–but it’s getting close.

      Like

  3. samantha hall April 14, 2013 / 3:41 pm

    as usual a wonderful story, and nice to see my gorgeous hubby amongst your wedding pictures

    Like

    • dhonour April 14, 2013 / 6:09 pm

      Thanks, Sam. You do have a gorgeous hubby ;-).

      Like

  4. Rup April 14, 2013 / 3:46 pm

    On the button as usual. However, from what I can garner from the pics, a day that rocked, nonetheless. Congratulations.

    Like

    • dhonour April 14, 2013 / 6:08 pm

      Oh, it was a rocking’ wedding for sure. I just wish I rocked a little more!

      Like

  5. ehs0612 April 15, 2013 / 5:30 am

    Yep. You did it again. Sweet tears of similar memories shared and many more to come!

    Like

  6. Jeneva April 15, 2013 / 10:19 am

    LOVE this… took me back to my own wedding and all those best days I’ve had. So lucky. Thanks for the memories, Dina. 🙂

    Like

    • dhonour April 23, 2013 / 7:49 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Jeneva. I will come back and re-read it on one of those not so best days when I’m annoying my husband by clinking the spoon against my teeth and he’s ready to leap across the table at me ;-).

      Like

  7. lexborgia April 15, 2013 / 2:07 pm

    I hope, assume you had a really nice April 14th… 15th and sunnier tomorrows. Your book will be a best selling tear Jerker and a great pleasure to read; write it – Mr Honour agrees. Greetings from sunny Berlin.

    Like

    • lexborgia April 15, 2013 / 2:09 pm

      …and I do concur with the others: let’s see some of those beautiful wedding photos.

      Like

    • dhonour April 23, 2013 / 7:50 am

      If I write a novel in which everyone dies at the end (or even better, about 2/3 of the way through right after you’ve gotten attached to them), do you think that’d work ;-). Thank you for the vote of confidence, I will file it away in the filing cabinet of my thoughts for when I am staring at a blank page.

      Like

      • lexborgia April 23, 2013 / 3:24 pm

        Whatever you write will work,

        Like

  8. Elyse June 11, 2013 / 12:29 pm

    Terrific piece. I barked at my parents (and everyone else) all morning long, too. Maybe that’s where the tradition of the groom not seeing the bride until the alter came from. Surely there are many guys who would change their minds seeing the madness that comes with wedding prep!

    Like

    • dhonour June 11, 2013 / 6:07 pm

      Ha, probably! Mind you, then there’s menopause….

      Like

      • Elyse June 11, 2013 / 9:52 pm

        Yes, but by then they are already ignoring us!

        Like

  9. Marnay April 20, 2014 / 8:52 pm

    I really loved reading this, thanks Dina!

    Like

  10. El Guapo April 20, 2014 / 9:24 pm

    Happy anniversary! And here’s to a lifetime of best days still to come…

    Like

  11. cherryreads April 20, 2014 / 10:14 pm

    Wedding days are so stressful, it’s lovely that you have the perspective to look back and laugh. Happy Anniversary!

    Like

    • dhonour April 25, 2014 / 9:59 pm

      Thanks, Cherry. I still feel bad about yelling at my mom!

      Like

  12. Anonymous April 14, 2016 / 12:15 pm

    Hmmm.. maybe the marriage is for the couple and the wedding is for everyone else? I agree that the day you decide to get married/ spend the rest of your lives together is THE best day…. EVER! (Even though I didn’t get a proposal, but I’m not really bitter about that 😉 ) A very happy anniversary to you both. Can we see a photo of the bride now please?

    Like

    • Dina Honour April 14, 2016 / 2:45 pm

      I’ll have to dig one up ;-). This is an older post so we hit 15 years next week. No small feat in this day and age, I think.

      Like

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