One would think that the title, “father of the bride”, is to be dealt with lightly, but I’m here to tell you that the weight the title carries buckles the knees of the strongest men. Even I, a simple man, a man who only wants his children to be happy and healthy, has a hard time holding it all together on the ” big day”. Yes, it has finally happened, my 19 y/o daughter tied the knot this past weekend. After months of preparing, the day came and went like a gentle breeze. I’ve been to a few weddings in my life, been married twice of course, but nothing prepared me for giving my baby girl away in marriage, nothing. I’m sure at least a few of y’all are shaking your head in agreement, because you know I’m right.
I’m not going to talk much about the wedding ceremony itself, I think we all pretty much know how those go, and this wedding was no different, but this time it was my daughter who was the beautiful bride. I would, however, like to talk about the reception, because this is the place I learned how much my daughter really knew me, like deep down to my soul knew me, because she found the ways to make a normally emotionless man shed tears not only in sadness but in joy as well. I personally didn’t think I would break down in front of hundreds of people, but it happened. Let’s go back a while first, where it actually started hitting me. It was time now, after she was dressed in her gown, for me to place her garter, a garter she had not seen yet, a garter I searched high and low to find, the perfect garter for my little girl. Little did I know this was to be such a huge event, so many people were there, and the photographer catching every meaningful moment. I had no idea my special gift, my personal touch, and the beautiful garter of lace and satin would be such a “moment” for everyone. But it was, and it was a hard moment for me, it was when I realized that when the garter is finally removed she will be married. Let that sink in a moment, it hit me like a ton and a half of bricks, I was not prepared for the emotions or the brief moments of flashbacks to her childhood, or me as the proudest dad ever.
Soon, the ceremony was over, my little girl was now officially a married woman, and the next chapter of her life is beginning. I had thought I was keeping it together, remaining stoic in my composure, being the happy dad on the outside, hiding the even sadder dad on the inside. I was doing a damn fine job of it too, until my daughter decided it was time for her to give a toast. She raised her glass of sparkling grape and announced she would like to give a toast to her dad, her dad who was and always will be there for her, no matter what. There was more, much more, it grabbed my heart and began to ring out tears and emotion I didn’t even know was inside me. When she was done, when the clapping stopped, I made my way to the front of the room, going behind the table where she stood in happy tears, and we had the second biggest hug we ever had. Then it was announced that the father and daughter dance was going to commence momentarily so we needed to make our way to the dance floor. I was prepared for this once in a lifetime dance, I really was, but I was not prepared for the song she selected. Imagine being in the fellowship hall of the church your daughter was just married in and hear the first musical notes of the song “Changes” by Ozzy Osbourne sung with his daughter Kelly Osbourne, a song that I joked was about us, a song about letting go, and a song about daddy’s little girl growing up. To increase the emotional tug of our song, she had prepared a slideshow of many moments of her growing up, of her and I in the good times and bad, and our dance became the hug that I never wanted to end. So, if you were wondering why that was included at the beginning of this post you now have your answer, I hope you enjoyed it.
I close this post now trying to understand the pain and joy of one’s daughter getting married, remembering that in June of 2016 my oldest daughter will be getting married, and I wonder if I’m strong enough to do it twice. Eventhough I’ve said it a trillion times, I want to tell my daughter that she is truly loved and I wish her one thousand years of happiness. To all my readers, thanks for taking the time to share in some of my personal moments and memories today.