Article by Megan Carpenter, Navy Spouse
I had planned every single detail of this wedding. I had twelve spreadsheets with information and had equipped all of my bridesmaids with emergency details. My biggest fear for the day was that the weather was going to be bad…you know, the one thing I couldn’t control.
I woke up at 9 a.m. on May 4, 2013 and the West Virginia sun was shining. ‘YES! This is going to be the most picture perfect day ever’, I thought to myself.
I spent the morning with the women in my life getting the venue ready. Cakes (yes plural, I had 15 of them) on tables? Check. One thousand hand strung paper cranes hung? Check. The vision was coming together and I couldn’t be happier.
At 3:30, I had thirty minutes before walking down the aisle. I suddenly felt my first butterflies of the day, and request a glass of white wine (don’t worry, I layered myself in many napkin bibs to prevent spillage). I finished the glass, gave one last glance in the mirror, took my daddy’s arm, and walked outside.
There’s nothing more I can say about our ceremony than that it was perfect. We laughed. We exchanged our vows. We kissed. We wed. Perfect.
I finally started to relax and soak in the day…
…and someone ran to me and told me the groom was upstairs throwing up. Throwing up you say? “If he’s had too much to drink I’m going to [insert choice words here]”, I said. Sure enough, I find the groom doubled over a trash can.
“Ben, how much have you had to drink”, I say, hands on hips.
“Uhhhhh…I’m sick”, he responds, with his head half in a trash can.
It turns out his half glass of wine was not the culprit. The flu was.
Admittedly, the first thing that ran through my mind was ‘in sickness and in health…dammit!’ I didn’t want to leave my reception; all of my hard work and spreadsheets down the drain (or in this case, down the toilet…and garbage can). But he was my husband. The man I loved more than anyone in the world. What is my wedding reception if he’s not there to enjoy it?
I put Ben’s arm over my shoulders and walked him to my car. I drove him back to our hotel. I laid him down on our bed and sat next to him while he was sick. ‘In sickness and in health. In sickness and in health’, I told myself. I spent our wedding reception holding a trash can. In my wedding dress.
Was it the wedding I had dreamed of? No. But at the end of the day, I was married. And the day taught me my first lesson as a military wife: you can have multiple spreadsheets with every detail planned, but you always have to expect the unexpected. Plans don’t always work out. Life isn’t perfect. But if you honor your vows and make sacrifices, you will lead a life full of love and joy. And you might even have a funny story to tell at the end of the day.