It was a beautiful, beautiful wedding. As the mother of the groom, I may be a bit biased, of course. But I know that everyone who was there was in full agreement.

My son got married last weekend, in an outdoor ceremony on a sunny, gorgeous day. The reception was both rustic and elegant, although it doesn’t seem as though those two words would ever go together.

There were some lovely touches I didn’t expect, like the sign near the entryway that said, “We know that you’d be here today if heaven weren’t so far away.” Naturally, I teared up as I thought of my dad and sister, who passed away several years ago, and my mom, who died when I was eighteen and never had a chance to meet any of her sons-in-law, let alone her grandchildren. Yet I thought of her being here in spirit, smiling down from heaven at the occasion.

The mother of the bride and I were informed before the ceremony that we each had our own personal  box of tissues, which would be waiting for us as we were seated after being walked down the aisle ahead of the bridal party. She and I joked about seeing who would use up their box of tissues first. I’m pretty sure she won.

Later on, at the reception, I was telling the best man – who’s been my son’s friend since high school and who was indirectly responsible for my son and new daughter-in-law meeting each other – how touched I was by his thoughtful tribute to my son during the speech he gave at the start of the dinner. When I told him I got a bit misty-eyed as he was talking, he said, “Well, if I made you tear up a bit, I’m honored. But let’s be honest, it doesn’t take much to make you tear up.”

Not only does he know my son very well, he knows me pretty well, too.

Now that the wedding is over, I can reflect on some of the things that don’t fully register in the midst of all the festivities, or in the time preparing for and leading up to the wedding. One is the joy I feel in having my son’s bride as a new member of our family, as well as the addition of her family to ours. We’ve all enjoyed getting to know each other better, and I know that my son’s new in-laws love him as much as we love their daughter. It’s the same way we feel about our daughter’s husband and his family, and I feel extremely blessed that both of my kids have wonderful spouses, and loving “new” families in addition to our own.

Family is really what life is all about, if you ask me. The families we’re born into, the families that are joined together when two people get married, and the new families that form as they start having children of their own. That’s further down the road, of course, but I’ll be looking forward to it whenever it happens for either of my children.

When it does, you can be sure you’ll hear about it here.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on July 21, 2016.
©Betty Liedtke, 2016

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