My son wed his long time sweetheart, Amy Carlie, a few days after Christmas. My daughter married Bryant Scott yesterday, May 20th. I felt a lot more relaxed on the day that Alan walked the aisle, but found it harder to give Annie away. A father feels a protective attachment to his daughter.
I spent the morning of the wedding beset with dull anxiety. I kept mostly to myself and said the least amount possible. When I saw Annie in full wedding regalia a few minutes before the ceremony I had to catch myself. She looked stunning in her gown and with her hair swept up. I knew that if I was going to break down it would be at that moment.
She looked nervous but happy and a little tearful. She had been afraid that she would cry through the ceremony, so I told her a joke. That didn’t work, so I deadpanned, “I hate you. I wish you’d never been born.” She picked up on her cue and said something about hating me too and that I had been a horrible father. We meant the opposite, of course, but our declarations of mock disdain cut through the welling emotions that threatened to turn our walk down the aisle into a Dad/Daughter weepy fest.
We made it. I shook Bryant’s hand, hugged Annie, took her hand and placed it in his. I sat down next to my wife. The ceremony was brief but funny, sweet, and touching. Their ring bearers were the couple’s two dogs. The officiant, a friend of the groom, declared the official words of union saying, “By the powers invested in me by the internet and a quasi-religious cult, I pronounce you husband and wife.”
Several hours later my wife and I drove home. I sighed with contentment and relief that all had gone well and that my daughter had married a man who loves her deeply. A feeling of gratitude replaced the odd sense of loss that had been plaguing me for several days. I was happy that I had been given a chance to be my daughter’s father.