I was torn. I definitely wanted my parents to be there, but I also wanted my close girlfriends to be a part of it. They were there for me through the hardest parts, inviting me on their date nights, ditching the guys for frequent girls' nights, listening to me bitch and moan through frustration of not having him here, and even wiping my tears when it all got to be too much. They were right there when I needed them. I wanted them there for the best part as well.
"This will all be worth it one day," they'd always say to cheer me up, and then pour me another glass of wine. Well, one day was just around the corner, and it wouldn't be the same without them.
"Yes, I want you and Dad there," I said to Mom. "But I think I want some close friends there, too. How many people am I allowed to bring with me?"
"Good question," Mom said with a shrug.
"And LeeAnne! Do you think there's any way to fly LeeAnne in from St. Louis?"
When we were younger, LeeAnne and I made a pact that we'd be in each others' weddings. She asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding last year, and it meant the world to me. Fortunately for her, she realized her Prince Charming wasn't all that charming and called off the wedding before she turned into a pumpkin. That's how the story goes, right?
She had yet to meet my Prince Charming. Of course, she'd heard all about him, and she'd begged me to let her come down and visit while he was in town, but I'd been selfish. When he came to visit, I only had so many days alone with him, and I cherished those days. If LeeAnn came to visit, I'd temporarily forget Cayden was there. My lifelong best friend and I had a lot of catching up to do.
"Man, I wish we could just have a party in the backyard and call Marvin Matthews over to marry us," I said, staring out the window watching the wind blow ripples across the pool.
Mom followed my gaze. We both sat there picturing it. Just a small gathering of my family and close friends. Me in my Mom's dress. Cayden in linen pants and a breezy white cotton shirt. Everyone in flip flops with beer in their hands. Everyone lifts their glasses and says "cheers" as we say 'I do.' And Marvin would sing. My eyes welled up with tears just thinking about Marvin singing as Cayden and I had our first dance and husband and wife.
I caught my mom looking at me with a big smile on her face.
"Let's do it," she said with a mischievous look.
"Huh?" I asked, blinking to absorb my tears and regain a sense of reality.
"Well, why not? It's exactly what you want, right?" Her eyes lit up with the prospect of a new project. "Come here." I nearly had to chase her out the back door.
"Just picture it," she said. "It will be sunset. We put the chairs here, and you and Cayden and Marvin will stand right here, under the tree by the pool."
"And we can wrap the trees in twinkle lights," I said.
"And put floating tealights in the pool," Mom said.
"And we can order Chick-fil-A!"
We both cracked up at the thought of it. The first time Cayden tried a Chick-fil-A chicken nugget he told me that's all he wanted at our wedding. He was dead serious. I called him crazy. But now it couldn't be more perfect. What Texas backyard wedding would be complete without a Chick-fil-A Party Tray?
"So, we're doing this?" I asked with hopeful eyes.
"We're doing this," Mom said, nodding her head in excitement.
"Holy shit," I said. "I'm getting married."
Now I just had to tell Cayden.