As a person that has never really understood or, dare I say, even liked weddings, I wasn't particularly jazzed about the whole thing. But, once the ceremony started I loved it. From my unique vantage point at the front of the ceremony I could see the looks on everyone's faces, including those of my parents. I got to watch my mom wait for the cue to stand up, my dad walk my sister down the aisle, and my entire family smile once the vows began.
It was so special to see my mom, who had been a bit stressed beforehand, sitting calmly with a bittersweet smile on her face. Leading up to that moment was anything but serene, but I got to see the moment when what was happening in front of her took over, and it was lovely. My dad is a very strong person and had a quiet smile on his face the whole time.
My brother was smiling too, even though he was wearing the tightest pants he has ever worn in his life. (The groom has an affinity for skinny pants, so with my brother's "tree trunk" legs this made for quite the entertaining first "try on" of his groomsman outfit.) My grandparents are all so sweet, and Grace had a lovely picture of Papa at the front with a candle beside it. It was all very special.
My husband and I eloped in August. My family has been really supportive about it, even amidst the planning of my sister's wedding. What I realized at the end of the weekend was that I wasn't wishing I "had" all of this at my little ceremony, but I was thankful I got to experience my sister's wedding from the point of view as the matron of honor. The things I got to see were so meaningful. Now that I am experiencing my parents as people instead of parents, seeing the feelings on their faces was way better than just about anything else I can imagine, including a wedding of my own.