As if you didn’t notice, this month’s issue is all about weddings – and may I say it’s been a tremendous pleasure working with some of Jackson’s most talented planners in preparation for this issue. What’s been even more fun is discovering all the creative ways that couples express their love for one another and commemorate their special day. Weddings are so much more than just ceremonious unions. Today, when well documented, they’re like visual storyboards, highlighting the nature of the relationship, representing the personalities of the couple and symbolizing all that’s important to them.
Our editor spent face-to-face time with nearly every couple featured inside for a peek into their extraordinary relationships. I think it safe to say, it’s been her favorite assignment so far – and the best parts, for her, were the stories of the proposals. All of them are special, and all seemed to share a unique moment when there was an undeniable presence of pure magic. It made me think back on my own.
It was my birthday. As we did almost every Friday night, we were meeting friends at a local restaurant. It was our favorite place to have dinner, and I rushed home that evening from work knowing we had an early reservation.
My (then) boyfriend was an avid golfer and somehow managed to squeeze in 18-holes most every Friday afternoon of our entire courtship. This day was no different – except for the fact that he left his watch at the golf course. Well, technically, he left it on the golf course – on the number three tee box.
I said, “What do you mean you left your watch on the golf course? Who takes their watch off and lays it on the green?” Well, evidently he did – and we were driving back out there to get it. It was going to make us late for dinner. Awesome.
About halfway there, though, the thought occurred to me that this could actually be an elaborate cover-up for a surprise birthday party. I instantly got butterflies in my stomach and sat a little straighter as we approached the street where the clubhouse was located. It was an absolutely brilliant plan.
But as we turned away from the clubhouse, in the entirely opposite direction, my heart sank. And it had started to drizzle – right along with my mood.
Next thing you know we were pulling into someone’s driveway. I said, “Now what are we doing?” to which he replied, “Borrowing a golf cart. It’s the only way to get out to the green.” I was speechless. This was so not where I wanted to be.
“Well I’m not getting in some golf cart in this mess to go find your watch. I’ll just wait.” Rain had started to streak down the windshield.
Now for those of you who know my mild-mannered man, you’ll quickly recognize the epic behavioral shift when he leaned down, and with a low guttural sound I had never heard before, said, “Get – in – the golf cart.” He enunciated his T’s in a way that left no question of his seriousness.
So off we went, in complete silence, in the cold and drizzly November rain. It was my birthday, and I was as foul as a fifty-cent spark-plug. I could feel every hair on my head frizzing. I would look like a poodle in no time flat. Stupid watch.
It was pitch-black dark – and quiet. The only sound was of the water squishing under tire every time we ventured off the path. I’m not even sure how he saw to drive, and I had no way of telling where we were. Way off in the distance, though, I could see lights flickering – and as we drew near I realized . . . they were from outdoor torches. I thought, “Who burns tiki torches in the rain, for crying out loud?" So dumb.
But the closer we got, the better I could see. There was a table, set for two, with candles, wine and steaming hot plates under a 9’ umbrella. The torches were for us and timing had been critical. Kirby turned to me with a ring box in his hand. I immediately burst into tears – thrilled that this wonderful person wanted to spend the rest of his life with me – and utterly horrified after I’d behaved so badly all the way there.
And then, as if on cue, it stopped raining. Time stood still. We had dinner and toasted to our future. I remember every detail. Turns out, we were in the backyard of the home of some of our closest friends and they, along with others, had gathered there to help us celebrate our special night. It was undeniably . . . magical.
Fifteen years later, I think back on that special night and realize that people thread the things that are most important to them into the events that are most important to them, as they should. It’s a beautiful expression of love when someone works so hard to create a memory. What a gift.
So, here’s wishing you God’s blessings on your special day. May He always be the heart of your marriage, the light of your home and the ever-present partner in your lives together.
Thank you for reading this month’s issue of VIP Jackson Magazine. Enjoy.