My extended absence from the blog has come to an end. Emily and I arrived back in Kentucky from our Florida honeymoon as husband and wife on Monday. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the pace of it all; the gap between the wedding day and the end of the honeymoon feels both eternal and nonexistent. In the span of 24 hours I made the longest lasting promise and the most solemn oath I will take this side of eternity, and boarded a plane with the girl I’ve been in love with for at least 3 years, and really, much longer.
I’ll say this about my wedding day: It was the longest and shortest day of my life. I’m of the opinion that the contemporary American wedding is designed to entertain guests and flatter the hosts, not celebrate vows and love on the couple. That’s the only explanation I can give for why most wedding ceremonies manage to be both unbearably long and inexplicably shallow. That’s why Emily and I purposed from the beginning that our wedding would be two things if nothing else. First, it would be short, and second, it would be explicitly Christian. Whatever else our day would be, it would be that.
I said just now it was the longest and shortest day of my life. That’s true, if only because I had heretofore never reached the end of a day feeling like so much had happened and also feeling like so much was left to happen still. In a way, our wedding day was a microcosm of the eternal: Something we had promised each other and many others finally happened, but not in the way that things happen as an end but as a beginning. That’s what marriage is, though. It’s a time and space, flesh and blood reenactment of something that has both already happened and is yet to happen again and again, endlessly.
The day was perfect beyond superlatives. The forecast for an entire week leading up to May 30 had indicated rain. Not a problem for an indoor ceremony/reception, but potentially a huge problem for outdoor pictures like the ones Em wanted. By the grace of God, absolutely nothing rained on our pictures or ceremony. That was kind of how our entire wedding day went: Filled with small, special graces.This went on during the honeymoon too. Because we are such rugged individuals, Em and I flew to Orlando. Granted all the cliches, the reality is we decided to honeymoon in Orlando long before I even proposed last October. Why is that? Because of a place at Universal Studios Resort that has special meaning to the both of us: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Harry Potter actually figures prominently in our love story. Emily and I have been friends for several years. Back in the day when we were peers in the church youth ministry, I knew she was fan of the Harry Potter books/movies. Being a well-trained Southern Baptist, I had no interest in the stories, but I did have interest in her. So, to compensate for my lack of Potter knowledge, I would tease her about liking the books; an offhand comment here, a friendly kid there. Making fun of her fandom would at least get her talking to me, and so in a way, Harry Potter was more useful to me than I had originally thought.
As our friendship progressed, I started to realize that a girl this awesome probably doesn’t get excited for books and movies that are lame. So beginning with the movies, I dipped into J.K. Rowling’s universe. And wouldn’t you know it, I was absolutely hooked from the start. After watching a couple movies I went out and bought used copies of the books, which I devoured, not always in order (an area in which Em has been able to return the mockery I heaped on her). You can probably guess what happened after that. Harry’s story became one of the stories we shared most deeply. That’s why being at Wizarding World together as husband and wife was such a meaningful capstone in our courtship.
We are back in Kentucky now and are loving life together. Even the mundane enchants us–late night Kroger runs, falling asleep to Netflix, morning coffee over no conversation in particular. I’ve said this before: Emily is, apart from the Lord Jesus himself, the kindest grace that God ever gave me. She is the apple of my eye and the desire of my life. Our wedding is just the beginning. We’ve only started to know each other.
We’re happy to be home, together.
[Our wedding photography was done by our dear friend Elizabeth, whose services we cannot recommend strongly enough. Visit her Facebook.]