Column for The Chatham Record, 10/27 (thanks for the picture, Sarah!)

meanddad2 Originally uploaded by caramaria.

The forecast was rain.

“Drenching rain,” to be specific.

“Really?” I asked my father as he read me the details from Thursday’s Washington Post, two days before the wedding. “Drenching rain?”

The prediction rang true the next morning. The rain poured, the front yard flooded, and that weather became part of the memories.

It didn’t matter.

The rain fostered moments that were, quite honestly, some of the happiest of my life.

Naturally, getting married to Justin was the big one. We fumbled through the steps a few times. We sang hymns I’d picked hastily with the organist just a few days before, catching eyes with our friends and laughing.

But before getting to that point, I spent the rainy day inside my parent’s house with eight girls, every gossip magazine in existence and an impressive array of candy. While our hair was styled we questioned celebrity romances.

My brother appeared in a tuxedo and suddenly realized I might not be spending every Christmas at home with the family anymore. He said he might object during the ceremony.

When we’d donned the dresses and double-checked the make up and forced on the shoes, my parents, bridesmaids and I sat looking out the window at the muddy driveway.

After filling plastic cups with white wine and after my mother helped me get my all-the-way-to-the-floor veil under control we were ready.

We didn’t talk about the weightiness of the situation as we waited for transportation to the church to arrive.

Instead, we tried to remember all the verses to Roger Miller’s “King of the Road.”

That’s what my father and I would dance to later at the reception.

We belted out the first verse: “Trailer for sale or rent, rooms to rent fifty cents!”

Subsequent attempts ended in mumbled words and peals of laughter.

Once the cars arrived, we were hurried along. We reached Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church after all the guests were seated. Everything was quiet except the violin music that ushered the mothers and bridesmaids to the front of the church.

My father and I were last to leave the car. When we were beckoned, we scurried across the brick pathway leading to the open door, an umbrella overhead. We ducked inside out of the drenching rain and into the cozy church filled with what seemed like everyone I knew and loved.

I wanted to say hello and tell them how happy I was to see them, but that would have to wait.

My father reminded me to “walk slowly” and then it was our turn.