Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chapter 60

Sorry that it's been so long, but life has gotten in the way. I'm going to be really busy for the next little while, but I'll try to update all of my stories when I can. Thanks for the patience! And no, this isn't the end of this story. There are a few more chapters left, but it is coming to an end soon. Thanks for following this and all the support!

I stared at the checklist in front of me and felt my stomach knotting up. Seriously? There were this many things that had to be done just so someone could get married? This was ridiculous. No wonder I’d never fantasized about what my wedding would be like. What a joke.

“Everything okay?” Grace asked from her seat on the armchair. She continued to flip through the bridal magazine even as she looked up at me.

“Can you explain to me why for my own wedding I have to do so much? Why can’t people just show up someplace, have someone announce Sidney and I husband and wife, and we can all be done with it?” I asked.

“Are you kidding, Tanner? Planning your wedding should be fun!” she argued.

I looked back down at the checklist. Well, it was more like five checklists all on one page. I mean, how could a category like flowers have 12 different things that needed to be checked off before complete? Didn’t you just order a bunch of them and have them show up to the right location on time?

“I don’t even know where to begin,” I groaned, letting my head fall onto my knees.

“Most people start with a date,” Grace suggested. Oh yeah. That might be a good idea.

“Well, it has to be the summer sometime because of hockey. And if we want a honeymoon, it has to be fairly early in the summer. End of June or beginning of July? A weekend obviously,” I thought out loud.

“See, you’re already getting the hang of this.” I rolled my eyes at Grace’s sarcasm. Could someone please explain to me why I thought she’d be a good maid of honor?

“Obviously I have to confer with my fiancĂ© on the date,” I shot back. She just shrugged and looked back down at her magazine.

“What kind of dress are you thinking of?” she asked.

“Dress?” She nearly dropped the magazine as her jaw fell almost to the floor at my response. I let out a loud whine and fell back on the sofa.

“How do you not have a clue what you want your dress to look like?!” she exclaimed.

“I don’t know. I just never thought about it.”

Now that she’d brought it up though, I began to think about it. Unfortunately my brain had little to reference and all I could think of was poufy prom dresses in white. What had I gotten myself into? Two weeks later the girls, my mom, and Delia all gathered in my hotel room in Manhattan and we headed out to go wedding dress shopping.

They chatted away excitedly while I fought a migraine. I didn’t have the slightest clue what I wanted my dress to look like. Everyone kept telling me not to worry, because when I tried the right dress on I would just know. What exactly did that mean? Was I going to hear wedding bells and birds chirping when I saw my reflection in the mirror or would I just realize that no other dress had looked as good and I was too tired to try anything else on?

“And your fiancĂ©’s name?” the woman at the store asked. I hesitated slightly, but at the reassuring nods from everyone, I responded.

“Sidney Crosby,” I answered. The woman’s head jerked up in surprise. Obviously she knew who he was.

“Okay, follow me,” she told me with an enormous smile.

We all followed her back to a private room where we were given flutes of champagne. I’d noticed other groups of girls on the way back and not one of them had a flute of any kind of drink with them. While slightly uncomfortable with the obvious special treatment, I downed my glass happily.

I talked with a consultant for a while and once she realized I had absolutely no idea what I was looking for and everyone else had an opinion, she went off on her own to search for some dresses. I tried on the first few and there were no bells or whistles or birds chirping. They were beautiful dresses, but nothing really made me feel like it was the one.

On my sixth dress I was frustrated and wondered how anyone could possibly have any fun doing this. Every dress had been amazing in its own way, but nothing stood out. My group argued amongst themselves on what had looked best on me so far. I was on the verge of losing it and just calling it quits.

“That’s it, I’m eloping!” I exclaimed as I listened to the critiques of the seventh dress.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” my mother responded.

“Oh, I’m not. I’m serious. I’m getting married in jeans and a t-shirt in a drive-thru chapel in Vegas,” I announced.

The six of them looked at me blankly for a moment before jumping right back into their debate on what dress they’d liked best so far. I let out a growl before turning to head back into the dressing room. I didn’t even want to try on the ninth dress that was brought out to me, but I did, just to humor my friends and family. Even so, I was drawing the line at 10 dresses. After the tenth one, we were out of here.

The consultant zipped the dress up in the back and I turned to look at my reflection in the mirror expecting to see more of the same. Instead I nearly lost my breath. I froze in place as my eyes gazed up and down at my reflection, taking in every detail of the dress I had on. I caught sight of the consultant’s smile in the mirror.

I walked out of the dressing room, biting my lip nervously, and into the area where everyone was waiting. All conversation stopped the second I turned the corner. I heard someone gasp and watched as my mother put a hand to her mouth. That reaction was enough for me. They hadn’t shut up all day until now. I glanced at myself in the mirror again, unnecessarily. This was the one.

As I looked at myself, tears filled my eyes. Suddenly all these feelings rushed into my brain. I now understood what people meant when they said you just knew when you had on the right dress. I also now understood what it was like to be so excited to plan a wedding.

Seeing myself in that dress jump started the wedding planning. I pulled out the checklist for the first time since that day I’d talked to Grace about how overwhelming it all seemed. Every free moment I had was spent planning the wedding, and I loved every moment of it. Of course it was stressful, but it was fun at the same time. I became that girl.

Sidney was involved to an extent in the planning, but he just wanted me to be happy. Only once did he veto an idea I had, and I realized he was right when he told me that the ice sculptures were a little over the top. Every time I checked something off my list I felt a sense of accomplishment.

The media went crazy with the news that Sidney Crosby was getting married. Most were congratulatory, but some questioned it. He was too young, he had too much on his shoulders to be worrying about a marriage, I wasn’t the right person. It didn’t matter to us. We knew that it was the right thing.

Before I knew it, it was the night before the wedding and the rehearsal dinner was just ending. I’d never known I was a traditionalist until it came to this wedding. There was absolutely no way I could be convinced to spend the night with Sidney, or even see him after the dinner was over until I was walking down the aisle.

“Are you nervous?” he asked me as we walked out of dinner holding hands.

“A little bit,” I replied. He lifted his eyebrows.

“Really?” I nodded.

“A lot of people are going to be staring at me tomorrow. What if I trip? What if I forget my vows? What if I’m just a sobbing mess?” He laughed and pulled me into a hug.

“I know exactly what you mean,” he whispered.

“Tanner, the car’s here!” Grace called out. I pulled back from Sidney a little and looked up into his face.

“I guess it’s time to go,” I said.

“I guess so.” He placed a kiss on my forehead, and then on the tip of my nose, and then on my lips.

“I’ll see you tomorrow?” I asked, backing away from him, our hands slowly sliding apart.

“Count on it. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

We both walked in different directions, but kept looking back at each other with goofy grins on our faces until we were in the cars. Sidney was off to his parents’ house while I headed to our house. I lay awake in bed that night, unable to fall right to sleep. Images of the next day kept flashing through my brain as I rehearsed my vows over and over again in my head. I eventually fell asleep for a couple of hours until the alarm woke me up the next morning.

The girls made sure I had everything I needed, including the traditional something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Butterflies took over my stomach as Hailey did my hair, Kelly did my make-up, Lisa helped me into my dress, and Grace made sure everything was ready to go.

When it was time my father came and got me. He walked me down the aisle and gave me a kiss on the cheek before handing me off to Sidney. I’m sure the lake in the background with the sun shining brightly on it was a beautiful sight, but I couldn’t honestly tell you. I was too busy looking at Sidney to notice anything else.

My heart thundered in my chest throughout the entire ceremony. I managed to keep the tears at bay up until the moment Sidney said his vows. His words brought them forward no matter how much I tried to hold them back. Nothing would ever sound so amazing to my ears for the rest of my life.

My smile somehow managed to grow even bigger when we were pronounced husband and wife. His lips met mine and when we pulled apart he rested his forehead against mine, my hands still in his. Our eyes locked and more tears fell when I saw that his eyes were filling with them as well.

“I’m lucky to have you as my wife,” he whispered.

“I’m lucky to have you as my husband,” I returned.

We turned and beamed out at the guests who were clapping for us. The rest of the night felt like a blur as we waited to thank everyone who stopped to congratulate us. We were then whisked off for the wedding photos. The reception was next and we had the time of our lives. It was a night I'd never forget.