Their much-anticipated wedding day is now a sweet memory one week into the past. “Now you have them all married,” our friends say to us as though this were somehow an accomplishment of ours, noting also that our youngest son was married earlier this year.
Although we parents have little to do with it, our dearest wish is to see our children happy. A week ago, my son John Avidano was married to Amanda Jo Allen in an outdoor ceremony held before a small gathering. The bride, at her entrance, was accompanied by her mother. Officiating at the ceremony was the groom’s father.
Years ago I wrote all the wedding stories for a weekly newspaper. Names, date, the setting, the apparel described in detail. After that, for the past twenty years, I have also officiated at weddings. Believe me, I know how these things go.
Which is by no means the whole story.
Last Saturday, just as at that other son’s wedding six months ago, I thought of what the newspaper story will not include. I thought of what the photographer will fail to capture even though a picture is worth a thousand words. What I mean is, this was their day: the earnestness of their promises to each other, their brave self-giving, their declaration of love, their gratitude for the past that brought them together, their embrace of the future, whatever it may hold.
Their wedding vows: contrary to what some people, the older ones, seem fond of saying, couples today do not make those promises lightly. I love that moment best, it is something wondrous to witness their sincerity, their wholeheartedness. And as this couple said their promises on the eighth day of September, 2012,the cottonwood leaves nearby whispered to them, be happy, be happy, be happy.
John and Amanda had many relatives and friend present at their reception that evening, also wishing them happiness, also sharing in their joy. We who love them both will long remember.