Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 122: Fields of Gold, Chapter 30

As I approached the entrance of the temple, I could see Dave standing and looking down at me. I was so glad he was there. Suddenly, everything felt more real to me.

I had quite the entourage with me, carrying my dress and all the accouterments of bridal paraphernalia. I walked up to Dave and he gave me a nervous hug. Someone snapped a picture. We both laughed. I hugged his mom, who lovingly put her arm around me as we walked in the doors.

Walking into a Latter-day Saint temple is a supremely peaceful experience. They are remarkably quiet places, and each one has their own personality. One of the things that Dave and I both loved about the Manti Temple, and why we had chosen to be married there, was because it feels very warm and welcoming, in a country kind of a way. No one is hurried or rushed. Everyone smiles a lot. They pulled me over to one side and took all my things, placing a small sticker on each item with the number "17" on them. There were 25 weddings in the Manti Temple that day, and we were number 17. (I later found out that in the Salt Lake Temple, there were 96 weddings that day.)

Dave and I were escorted down the wide hall and into a small office where we signed our certificate and answered a few questions, and then we went our separate ways to get ready.

In the Manti Temple there is a special room called the Bride's Room. It is not large, but has been lovingly decorated. There are four small vanities with mirrors and a delicate chandelier. Attached to this room is another small room with a wall entirely lined with mirrors. I entered the bride's room and my mom, sister, and an attendant from the temple helped me to put on my dress and fix my hair just so. There were two other brides in the bride's room--one just married, and one waiting to be married like me. We laughed and congratulated each other.

Once I was all dressed, I remember standing in front of all the mirrors. My mom was on one side and my sister on the other. I think it was the only time, in my life, when I would have completely believed that I was beautiful. Everything that I was feeling inside matched how I appeared outside. I have never been happier.

My attendant reappeared and I went with her to meet Dave. I remember the gentle rustling of my wedding dress as I came into the hall where he sat waiting. He looked nervous and young. I could tell that he was missing his father. He stood up and took my hand, and then dropped it after we'd only walked a few feet. He kept stepping on my dress, standing that close. We laughed a little, and it seemed to ridiculous, at that moment, to be wearing such a thing.

We entered the room where we would be married, called a sealing room, and spoke briefly with the man who would officiate. He gave us an encouraging smile, and then our guests began to enter. They were all perfectly quiet, and they filled the room and even lined the walls. Dave and I were seated on a small love seat, with his mom seated at Dave's left and my mom seated at my right.

The officiator welcomed everyone to our wedding, and then spoke for just a couple minutes. He gave us a few little pieces of advice, which I have always tried to remember: always be honest, use a soft voice, pray together, and respect each other. As he spoke, I kept my mind and eyes focused on him. Dave, meanwhile, was clutching my hand ever tighter--he wanted me to look at him. I knew if I looked at him, I would start to cry, and I didn't want to miss anything important.

I remember everything seemed to be in a haze--I wanted to hurry up and be married. I wanted every minute to last forever. I could see everyone smiling, but also how many were choking back tears because Dave's dad wasn't there. I looked up at Dave, and he looked down at me. We were both crying.

Soon, we arrived at the actual marriage. I listened carefully, trying to make sure that I didn't miss a moment of it. Almost in one breath it seemed, and we were husband and wife. It was then that I fully, intently looked into Dave's eyes. He kissed the bride. Our friends and family grinned and laughed.

Standing together, we exchanged rings. Dave had mine engraved, and it said simply, "You're home."


Denise said...

Wonderful! Perfect couple, perfect place, perfect day!

Christina said...

Love this chapter... and love the photo of you two!! Can we see a picture of you, in your dress??

...and what did you engrave on Dave's ring, since we know you had something done with it? or do we have to wait to find out?

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I would love for the story to go on and on, but I assume that for reasons of privacy and decency we may not go much farther than this. It's been a great story, Becca. Well written and easy to follow and enjoy.

The Smiths said...

I actually have tears in my eyes :)

Layne and Teresa said...

touching - i lost it the first time you mentioned dave missing dad.
funny how memories of the same event can all be different depending on perspective. i remember different things from this day - it's all happy.
i also remember nicole/mike and dave performing (previous post) - my memory also includes ed asking for mike about the music. i also thought you looked great that night and i don't remember you seeming nervous.
i do have to say i think it's great dave sings to you. can he put a word in to layne? he has a guitar, a great voice, even has sheet music of songs he's going to learn and sing to me someday...:}
thanks for writing your story - it's been fun remembering and getting your perspective. i think i've even gotten some details i hadn't heard before.