Fifteen years ago today I was the princess bride with the white dress and a halo of midsummer flowers, in lieu of a lace veil, crowning my black curls. Planning my wedding took all of 4 phone calls/in person visits. I'd known for most of my life where I wanted the service and where I wanted the reception. My Mom picked a wedding cake, and my sister went with me to pick the flowers. Bold colors - red and blue. I couldn't tell you any names beyond roses and star-gazer lilies, but the florist still remembers us!! The weather cooperated if you call sunny, humid and 95F agreeable.

Now I see that planning a wedding is an exercise in compromise; the most important skill in my married life. Each day I find that I am still giving and taking. The gift registry? Very practical - just as we live today - dishes that are fine for every day and fancy use. Even planning daily dinners - "who likes potatoes and who wants pasta?" uses the same skills as picking what we would serve the guests. There's always a skeptic: There's a famous line from my mother that went something like this, "well, no matter where we have the reception the food won't be as good as mine." The compromise there? Have the out-of-town guests back to the house for her Italian food - caponatina and sausage and peppers. I'm sure it wasn't what my in-laws were used to, but that's what marriage is - a melding of two people from different homes to create a new home. Pasta AND potatoes! Everyone's happy!

Yes, there have been plenty of tears and difficult times. Marriage hasn't always been easy for me. I am sure we will continue to struggle at times. There are plenty of things we'd like to change about each other. There is a symbolic value in the location of our reception - hills and valleys in every direction.

But I still remember it as the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to, and I still think I had the prettiest dress of anyone I know. My husband is still a handsome catch and our children are beyond our wildest dreams. As I watch my husband cut our suburban lawn this sunny afternoon I wonder: How many young brides feel this way after 15 years?


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