When my wife and I married 12 years ago, I never gave much thought to weddings in the future.
Our children were teenagers and the notion of one of them getting marriage seemed far off in the future.
A year ago, the young man who is now my son-in-law came to see us. He was going to ask our daughter, Beth, to marry him and he wanted our blessing.
That won me over. They had been dating for a while and he treated her kindly. A few days later, she called us excited she was going to be a future bride.
Weddings are a big deal, especially if you’re the parents of a young lady. You have to find a date on the calendar that works for everybody. You also have to find a venue.
If your daughter wants to get married next year, you need to be looking for a place to have it. They fill up fast.
When it was time to decide who was going to be in the wedding party, I pretty much assumed I would be sitting on the pew next to her mother. I was, after all, the stepfather. Her father was out of the picture early on and her grandfather filled in. Then, about 19 years ago, her mother and I began dating and later married.
She told me that she wanted me and her grandfather to take her down the aisle. I was flattered.
A couple of movies have been made about fathers of the bride. The story involves the father getting left in the dust by all the hullabaloo surrounding the wedding.
I don’t know if people actually say hullabaloo anymore, but it was just fun to write it.
I was involved in hauling a lot of stuff, like ferns. We bought some really big ferns to decorate the church. I don’t know who decided ferns were the official decorative greenery for weddings, but I hope it goes out of style before the next wedding in our household.
Regardless of my newfound disdain for ferns, the church and reception were beautiful.
Somewhere along the way, we decided the aisle of the church would not accommodate the bride sandwiched between her grandfather and me. Instead, he brought her down to the pew where her mother and I were standing. He dropped back and I took her the rest of the way. That was a fitting scenario.
Loving someone else’s children is not an instant thing. I cared about them and wanted the best for them. But at some point you lose the "step" part. They are your children and you’re the daddy. They are not kids anymore, but I love them all. I may not have been there from birth, but when they hurt, I hurt too.
That also means you get to celebrate the good times. I got to escort her on her final steps of single life. After telling the preacher her grandparents, her mother and I were offering her to be married, I placed her hand in the hand of her now-husband.
Marriage is not a place of perfection and I know there will be bumps in the road. The wedding day, however, is the day of magic. It is when a girl gets to live the life of a princess.
I don’t know if that makes me a king, but I sure felt like one as we negotiated the steps leading to the altar of marriage.
While our household is now a bit smaller, our family has grown by one. I welcome my new son-in law to our clan.
Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on gainesvilletimes.com/harris.