Monday, February 14, 2011

Reliving Our Wedding Day

My husband and I had a truly memorable evening this Valentine's Day. There were no roses or boxes of candy. After a homemade meal and what should have been an illegal chocolate dessert, we snuggled up on the couch and popped in a very special DVD - the recording of our wedding. Our videographer - a friend who has been busy getting a job, moving, and planning his own wedding - just finally sent the DVD to us last week (over six months after our wedding), and we mustered up enough self-control to keep from watching it until Valentine's Day.

So many things about watching the DVD made me nervous. Since we didn't have a professional videographer, I was worried about the quality of the recording. I was anxious to see myself on camera, knowing I was a little too intoxicated at the reception and mixed up some of the words to the song I sang for my husband and his mom's first dance. But it turns out I had nothing to be nervous about.

Watching that DVD was the most beautiful way we could have chosen to spend Valentine's Day. I heard and saw things for what they were, instead of from the eyes of a bride who is waiting for the next thing to happen or praying for an impeccable day. I got to see the smile plastered on my husband's face throughout the ceremony, and the way we were looking at and holding each other during our first dance brought me to tears. Sure, the DVD wasn't in HD or taken from multiple angles or without a few bumps and jiggles, but it was us with all the raw emotions and intimate moments and even mistakes that made our wedding day ours.

My husband and I watched the DVD through the eyes of our kids who will probably one day want to watch it. My heart melted as I thought of the sacrifices our wedding party made to be with us that day and how our kids would marvel at how young our bridesmaids and groomsmen - their future aunts and uncles - would look to them. We groaned at our best man and maid of honor terrible jokes during their speeches. We thought about how we could introduce our kids to so many memories from our past through the faces in the crowd. We grinned as we realized our kids could watch their grandparents boogie down on the dance floor. And a peace came over me as I saw that no matter what happens to us, our kids will always have evidence of how deeply their parents loved each other.

Brides, no matter what, get a recording of your wedding! If you can't afford a videographer, ask a friend to do it. (See "How Your Talented Friends Can Cut Your Wedding Costs.") Our friend was no professional, but he was able to capture the true essence of our day, and now we can continue reliving the excitement on Valentine's Days or anniversaries or whatever days we choose for years to come.

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