The Wedding Day
I always wanted my wedding day to be full of family, food, and dancing. I didn’t want to be stressed over every detail. My wedding day was everything that I always wanted! The night before my best friend -Alisha, my daughter and I had a girls’ movie night in a hotel room we had rented for the weekend. We did facials and watched chick flicks. I woke up and needed to pinch myself, I was getting married today! From the first thought of the day until we left the reception, it was like I was walking on air. Alisha was my wedding coordinator/maid of honor and she had done such a great job of attending to the details. There was a little bit of a hiccup as I had gotten my hair done the day before and as careful as I tried to sleep Friday night, my hair needed a little touching up Saturday. My hairstylist was gracious enough to let me come back Saturday morning so she could fix what my sound sleeping had messed up. She got me in and out and I got to the museum timely. I wanted my sister Hope to do my makeup, but there was an issue which caused her not to be able to make if to Florida. So, she contacted another makeup artist who came and did an outstanding job on my makeup. After makeup, I put on my dress and I felt so regal! My seamstress Comfort did an AMAZING job on my dress. It was her idea to add the veil and I was so glad she thought of it because the veil made me feel bridal. Once I was dressed, Alisha had a surprise for me. My mom and my sisters presented me with something old, new, borrowed, and blue. Davion presented me with a memento which he kept from his childhood which made him think of me. It was all so beautiful and I was trying not to cry and mess up my newly “beat face”.
Before I knew it, it was time to start the wedding. Initially I did not want to walk down the stairs at the museum. I was scared I would trip and fall, but I changed my mind. I told Davion, “Your main job in giving me away is to make sure I don’t fall down those steps.” He did good. I had chosen the song “Suddenly” by Billy Ocean as the song I’d walk to because it seemed to describe my feelings perfectly. I truly did think ‘love was just a fairytale’ and after getting to know Terry, life and love have a new meaning to me. Before Davion and I began our walk, I looked at him and said, “I’m really getting married, huh?” When I made eye contact with Terry, I smiled. I thought about all the planning we had put into the wedding and there we were: me behind a veil and him in a tux with a pastor there only a few minutes away from saying “I do.”
The ceremony was beautiful. It went so fast! Nick sang “For You” by Kenny Latimore. I was so proud of him. Princess was as beautiful as ever and Davion was such a great source of strength for me. Terry and I took communion together which I didn’t expect to be as emotional as it was for me. We played “Now behold the Lamb” by Kirk Franklin and the Family. I’ve always loved that song! Hearing it as Terry and I took communion at our wedding caused the tears to flow. One line in the lyrics says, “Why you love me so, I’ll never know.” That’s what broke me. The love I have always felt from God, the love and support I felt from my children and the love that Terry had displayed made me feel like I was so unworthy of it all, but very thankful just the same.
Terry and I wrote our own vows. I had hoped to remember mine, but I was too nervous to trust my memory, so I read them. I put together some of the things I had learned in pre-marital counseling and other things our pastor had been preaching on concerning marriage. Terry’s vows to me were beautiful. He was so calm delivering his vows. He was ready to deliver those vows to me the day he proposed. He included in his vows his “vow” to convert all my family to Steelers Nation and after the season the Dolphins had, my dad might be the first to convert. After the vows, we said, “I do” and kissed. It was probably the first time my kids had seen me kiss anyone. As the ceremony closed and Terry and I were presented as Mr. and Mrs. Bryant, the song playing was “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.
The whole thing was so much fun! I’d do it every year if it wasn’t so expensive. The ceremony and the reception were so beautiful! A few times, I wanted to cancel the wedding because I thought no one would want to come. I didn’t want to offend anyone or hurt anyone by having a wedding ceremony. I am extremely thankful for everyone who came, who wanted to come, who prayed for us and continue to pray for us. Our day was so special and so memorable because I got to spend it with loved ones.
The Wedding Planner, Part 3: The Wedding Day
Terry’s Thoughts (T2):
The day had finally arrived. All the planning, “spirited discussions” and everything else that would lead up to the moment where Faith and I would be husband and wife were about to come to fruition. I had booked a room for her and her bridal party 2 days before the wedding and was secure in the knowledge that if no one showed up, we could still get married as there only needed to be 3 signatures: the officiant, Faith’s and mine. Everyone and everything else was secondary. I even went as to have back up officiants on duty in the event something occurred at the last minute. This wedding was going to take place – no matter what!
As I made my final preparations to leave for the museum, I was checking things off in my head one line at a time. Once I got the natural things checked off, I went back through my spiritual list of things to check off. One thing that I always told people is that it’s never too late to back out of a marriage BEFORE you say, ‘I Do’, but once you say it, it’s time to go through it until the end of your days. That can be easier said than done for some people. I checked myself one last time before making this lifetime commitment. I knew this was the woman that God had for me. I knew I wanted to be with this woman for the rest of my life. I knew I found my “good thing” as stated in Proverbs 18:22. What I wanted to make sure was that I fully examined myself and was certain that I was not doing anything that would be detrimental to Faith if we were to become husband and wife.
What I found when I checked myself was that not only was I 1000% certain that God had led me to the right one, but we completed each other in areas that we did not know or realize that we needed completing in. For so long we both had trials and tests that challenged our faith in God from time to time. These tests helped us become the people that we are today. We never knew why we went through some of the things that we went through (some were self-inflicted), but in the end, we were being fashioned by the Master Potter to be displayed for all to see. Our wedding day would be the display case for His marvelous work in our lives.
Once we got to the museum and were preparing for the wedding, I made final checks within myself and with the day of wedding coordinators. No matter what, this wedding was going to go off on time and on schedule. Once the music started, it was game time. All joking was put aside and time for me to take my bride and make her my wife and partner for life. I had already told her father that he wasn’t getting her back (and I still tell him that to this day), but today was the day that all my words would line up with my actions and I would pledge my love and devotion to Faith in front of God, family and friends.
Once the ceremony started and everything started working like a Swiss-made watch, I could see the pressure lift off from Faith’s face as she realized that this wasn’t a dream and she wouldn’t wake up back in her apartment alone. Her face radiated all the love, passion and trust that she demonstrated all during our courtship and now it was coming to fruition that we were actually going through with what we planned. As the Rude Boys said, “It’s written all over your face, you don’t have to say a word.”
When it was all over, we were now Mr. and Mrs. A. Terry Bryant. After pictures and the reception, I looked forward to one thing: getting out of that rented tuxedo and getting some sleep. Unbeknownst to Faith, I spent the last several days praying late at night about our new blended family and our future together. I was tired from all the planning, phone calls, emails, moving and everything that needed to take place to make the transition from one household to another as stress free as possible for Faith. The one thing that we had established was a relationship based on prayer. We prayed together, and I wanted to ensure that the foundation to our marriage would continue to have prayer as a major component.
I can truly say looking back on that day that I would only change one thing: less cake. I am thankful that God has blessed me with a beautiful wife, helpmate, friend, queen and prayer partner. This first year has been great, but I look forward to the next 40+ years with this wonderful woman that I love and call my wife, Mrs. Faith Y. Bryant.