Friends had told me that our wedding day would leave us feeling exhausted by the end. I think that thought was in the back of my mind the entire time we were planning the day. It is the reason that the ceremony, lunch and reception were scheduled to last only four hours and that the picture-taking was scheduled for only an hour and a half. And just as we had planned, we were completely done with everything by 3:30.
The car took us by our house so we could change and pick up our bags. Our family (who had already cleaned everything from the ballroom) were there so we got to get in one more goodbye before we left.
We grabbed our suitcases (all four of them) and loaded ourselves back into the car. We didn’t have far to go as our first evening was being spent at the Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria, VA.
We chose Old Town because it is a quaint part of the area and it offers unique shops, great restaurants and four-star hotels. It’s a great place to walk around and check out the locals. It’s also a great place to relax. It would be the perfect place to start our much-anticipated honeymoon.
Our driver helped us out of the car and we made it into the hotel (no easy task when you’re carrying four huge bags). We were then checked into our room and whisked upstairs. The bags were dumped on the floor, the bellhop was given his customary tip as he closed the door softly behind him, and then all was quiet. The CPA and I just looked at each other.
And it finally sunk in - we were married. Truly and officially married. Same last name, same family, same bills, same everything.
And suddenly, I was exhausted.
Mentally, physically, and even emotionally drained. It was a good kind-of exhaustion, but exhaustion nonetheless. I realized that all of our careful planning to avoid being tired or worn out had apparently been pointless. I felt like I had been running on borrowed energy for weeks, scrambling to get everything finished and ready in time for this day and now that it was done, there was no energy left.
But the evening was young, and we had celebrating to do. Of course after the day we had, we didn’t feel up to doing much celebrating or anything that required a lot of thought. And it was only 5:00 so we didn’t want to stay in all night. We just wanted to do something relaxing.
Thankfully the hotel was in a great location and right around the corner was one of our favorite Indian restaurants, Taj Palace.
There was no wait, which was nice, and we were seated immediately. We ordered samosas to get us started (after all, I had hardly eaten all day) and then we just stared at each other. We couldn’t wipe the grins off of our faces. Not to mention our constant glances at our respective ring fingers. The light in the restaurant was perfect for reflecting the light of the shiny new diamonds.
The conversation was easy and comfortable as we discussed our day and how well everything had turned out. It was fun to go over the details and relive the experience again. We must have sat in that restaurant for a good hour and a half just enjoying our meal and basking in the glow of our new marital status.
We finally pulled ourselves out of our comfortable chairs while feeling full and satisfied. But we still weren’t ready to go back so we headed to the Old Town Theater to see the Matt Damon movie Bourne Ultimatum. What a great movie! It was the perfect way to end the day as we were able to sit in the dark theater, hold hands, and not do anything but enjoy the evening.
After the movie finished and we took a walk around the area, we finally returned to the hotel for a little sleep (wink). The hotel, being the classy establishment that it is, had left a bottle of sparkling cider and a bowl of strawberries for us.
But it wasn’t the spread that got my attention, it was the “Mr. and Mrs. ________” written on the card (the name has been removed to protect the innocent). It was just one more reminder of what this day had represented. We had actually done it – we had gotten married! Not that I was surprised really, it’s just that so much planning goes into the details of this one day, that it’s easy to lose sight of what the whole thing means. The reality is that behind all of the fancy clothes, candles and flowers, we were there to pledge our love and devotion for each other and to commit to our new life together.
That’s when it hit me – I was alone with my husband. My husband. I really liked the sound of that. I was a happy woman. I mean, I was a happy wife.