Your wedding day is supposed to be magical, romantic and the most memorable day of your life. You are excited and can’t sleep the night before. You and your bridesmaids sit up all night talking. Every bride wants it to be perfect, right? Nothing can go wrong.
For my friend, things were working out perfect. The wedding date was set. We had gone together to pick out her wedding dress. Oh, it was beautiful and she couldn’t have looked more beautiful wearing it. I helped her with invitations and picking out the wedding cake. She and the groom met with the pastor at her church.
No, nothing could go wrong.
Then it happened. She woke up in the morning of her wedding day in pain. Not a small pain but an I want to scream pain. Her jaw was swollen and throbbing. It radiated up the side of your face to your head. The gum which had been a little sore the past few days was now throbbing. It felt as if every tooth in her head was in protest. “How can this be happening?” she cried. “I’m getting married today.”
This was happening to my friend. Yes, she had an impacted wisdom tooth. “We aren’t going to panic,” her mother calmly said. “I’ll find a dentist. Everything will be fine.” She gazed at her daughter’s swollen jaw. “Everything will be fine.”
Her mother found a dentist who would see her. They rushed off leaving us bridesmaids waiting in limbo. Would the wedding go on? It had too. How do you tell over a hundred guest the wedding is postponed? I called the groom to let him know. I felt he should. I then found myself calming him down. “It will be fine. I’m sure the dentist will know what to do.”
A few hours passed. The bride was home wisdom tooth in place and two prescriptions; a bottle of antibiotics and another filled with pain pills. The wedding was in two hours. We began the process of getting her to the church to prepare for the big moment. We all prayed nothing would go wrong.
Now to say the bride was happy would be an understatement. The pain medication made her giddy, well drunk would be a better word. She couldn’t even put on her underwear and hose. Her mother and I, the maid of honor had to do it all. I fixed her hair and applied her makeup. When we were done, she was beautiful even if her smile was a little crooked. She stood at the mirror admiring her image. “I look pretty good,” she said and staggered a bit. I took a deep breath and blew it out slowly. “I hope she can walk,” I whispered to her mother. The wedding was a few minutes away.
The wedding began. The groom his best man and groomsmen waited at the altar. The groom was nervous. Everyone could see it, but few knew there was an underlining tension he held buried inside. Although he hadn’t seen his bride, he knew the her condition. He prayed silently nothing would go wrong. He and his groomsmen watched with smiles as the bridesmaids walked up the aisle in rhythm to the music.
The bridesmaids and I stepped up to the altar. The groom glanced over at me. “Is she okay?” he whispered. I gave him a nod.
The wedding march began. I jumped nervously and turned to wait for the bride to enter. Family and guests turned in their seats waiting to view the bride. The air was filled with magical anticipation.
On her father’s arm the lovely bride appeared. Her white veil covered her face. Her father wore a pride, but nervous smile on his. She appeared composed as they walked up the aisle together. No one would ever know she was high. No one would ever know just hours before she was in excruciating pain. The groom stepped down to meet her. I held my breath for a moment and let it out slowly when everything moved as planned. Her father gave her hand to the groom and he escorted her to stand before the pastor.
“Dearly beloved we are gathered here…”
All was going well.
The vows began. The bride pronounced each word, each vow with preciseness and didn’t stumble once. The groom was smiling happily down at her. She looked so beautiful. Soon they would be married. Nothing could go wrong.
“May I have the rings?” The pastor asked. He held up the two rings. “In ancient Rome it was believed that the vein in the fourth finger of the left hand ran directly to the heart. It became a tradition that wedding rings should be worn on this finger as a pledge of love and a life together. As all rings they are a circle. What might be the significance in this? Your lives together seem to go out into the future in a straight line. In the end that line meets at home and in the heart. These rings represent your journey in life together.” He handed the rings to the groom and bride. The tension grew for everyone who knew her condition. Would she drop the ring or say something wrong? She placed the groom’s ring on his finger and repeated, “I give you this ring as a token and pledge of our constant faith and abiding love.” She placed it on his finger. I think you could hear the sighs of relief.
The groom held out her ring and waited for her to hold out her hand.
Then it happened. Her drugged state of mind took everyone by surprise. Instead of holding out her left hand for the ring, she presented the groom with her right. He gazed at it for a moment and whispered. “Give me your left hand.”
She gave him a confused look and jabbed her right hand at him.
She shook her right hand at him giving him an angry stare and blurted out for all to hear, “Put the ring on Jay.”
Not even the pastor could hold back his laughter.