After running around all morning gathering all the men together, we hit a hotel where the tuxes were waiting. We threw them on and then I had to swing over and grab the girls to head out to the location while the men took a limo there. I was the one giving my sister away, as our father is non-existent in our lives. The trials and tribulations my sister had gone through for the past year getting everything set for this day had finally come to an end.
I stood waiting in my assigned position for the limo to pull up to the grass next to an outdoor gazebo where the ceremony was being held. The door opened and I helped my niece get out and then her bridesmaid. Then sitting there was an amazing looking woman in a beautiful white dress. I don't think I've ever seen her looking so beautiful.
"How does he look?" she whispered to me . I peered over the top of the limo and saw the groom shuffling around a little, but in general he looked in a fine mood though a little nervous.
"He looks fine" I said.
I helped her out, arranged her train and took her arm before the limo pulled away. It slowly rolled away as the wedding march began. I had no nervousness up until this point, but felt butterflies as we started forward towards the aisle.
I whispered "slow, slow" as we approached and she whispered back "I'm just following you". I realized then that she mentally wasn't there as some emotions had taken over, though she wasn't crying or anything. She seemed more in a daze then anything. We walked forward slowly down the aisle, flashbulbs blasting. We stopped next to my mother's position and they kissed. The groom at this point turned to walk down and meet us and receive her.
He turned and came towards us and I was shocked. Between the time I'd looked over the limo at him and the time we had walked the aisle he had turned into a bubbling mass of emotions. His eyes were red with tears and he later told me the look on my face was priceless as if I had eaten something bad and was trying not to spit it out. My emotions at that point were running rampant and though I didn't cry it was hard to hold it back.
This guy, whom had picked me up in Silicon Valley 8 years ago so that I could meet my sister's new boyfriend, had become almost a brother to me over the years. We had played video games together all night long. We had caused each other to laugh uncontrollably on so many occasions that I couldn't count them if I tried. Just a week or so earlier we had been swimming in Lake Ontario and laughing so hard at each other's ridiculousness that we almost drowned. Now he was walking towards us with tears streaming down his face.
We walked forward and I shook his hand, turned to lift my sister's veil and gave her a kiss. Finally I put her hand in his and backed away. I took my seat and the rest of the ceremony went smooth. He had regained his composure relatively quickly. They said their vows and then brought her kids over. He was saying vows to them and that's when I lost it. Emotions racked me as I watched this grown man pledging his devotion to the kids and breaking into tears. I sobbed for a couple of minutes and even went as far as trying to think of my latest contract and do some computer programming in my head to blot out the emotional events from my mind in order to regain my composure. I finally did.
The ceremony ended and the reception began. The day went well and after chicken dances, the hokey pokey's, some whiskey sours and meeting countless relatives that started their introduction with "I remember when you were this small..." things wound down. Everyone had a good time and the day went well. The rain, which we had all feared because of the outdoor ceremony, didn't materialize until the very end of the reception and even then was a simple drop here and there.
I spent some time with them after the wedding at their place and we laughed and had a good time. I departed early so they could get some sleep, they had to catch an early plane to Jamaica in the morning for their honeymoon.
Although they'll probably never read this I truly wish them the best of luck and that they'll remain together forever. I do love them both and never figured I'd have such a great brother-in-law.