Parents + Children
There is so much that is brought to a wedding day, more tha the planning and props. There are memories and history that each family member and friend carries when they arrive. For some the road was bumpy, winding, and hard, for others it was easier but just as meaningful. And I reckon that for the parents of the bride and groom, they must carry the heaviest burdens. The bitterness of letting go of their child, but the happiness that they are in capable and loving hands of their spouse.
I always get the most emotional when the couple hugs their parents during the ceremony or when they are dancing together during the reception. In those embraces I can hear their stories. There is a comfort in their steps but a tear on their faces as they let go for the last time, their children.
I spent some time researching the perfect dance song for my dad and I (probably more than the first dance for andy and I). even before practicing it (which we did maybe once and quite brief), I couldn't listen to the song without getting teary. so having shared that, it should be no surprise that I got a bit emotional dancing with him on our wedding day. I selected the song wonderful tonight because I thought it described what my dad thought of me not just on our wedding day but every day from the moment I was born.
During the father-daughter dance, I felt like everything was silenced and that he and I were alone. My dad shared a few, simple words with me; he told me to live a good life and to be happy. I felt like I was making this promise to him. I realized that he was letting me go, to be loved by another man to fulfill that promise. This was a bittersweet moment for the both of us. I was going from being daddy's girl to being a wife. my dad was taking a step back and allowing another man to love me. letting me go was both a hard and happy moment for him as was leaving my parents was for me. At that moment, we were both reminded that things will never be the same again.
The whole wedding process was extremely stressful. Especially being away from family and friends. But everything came together in the end. The day of the wedding was a whirlwind. My dad and I were going to prepare a funny dance for our daughter-father dance, but we never had the chance to practice. So, we just decided to play The Way You Look Tonight (rendition by Frank Sinatra). My dad tends to get sappy, and will blurt out everything.
But that night was different. I know that even without spoken words, his droopy eyes, and soft wrinkles said so much to me that night. Having only seen my dad cry two times in my life, to see him cry again, broke my heart. I told myself I wouldn’t cry for fear of looking terrible in pictures. But I didn’t care at that point. It was just me, and my daddy. I felt that we were the only two in the entire room. I cried out of thanks, gratitude, and love. At the same time I was bidding farewell as I was starting a new chapter in my life. In the middle of the dance he was wiping away my tears with his handkerchief to tell me everything was going to be okay. I hope the moment wouldn’t end.
The wedding day was a culmination of endings and new beginnings, but the bond and between my dad and I is enduring, no matter what the circumstances are. I will always be my daddy’s girl.