Saying ‘‘I do’’ in the new normal
So! You’re getting married?
PURPLE SHADES - Letty Jacinto-Lopez (The Philippine Star) - July 26, 2020 - 12:00am

The massive door opened and I saw the bride, her silhouette against the fading sunset moving gracefully down the aisle.

This is the moment when the waterworks begin — for the parents, the sponsors, the bridesmaids and anyone else who was moved by this fairytale-like moment. Cellphone cameras flashed repeatedly and every guest seemed to have turned into a paparazzo.

Finally, the bride reached the foot of the altar and I saw her break into that familiar smile sending a clear message that “This is it! It’s not a dream anymore.”

The groom had this to say: “I’m a pretty tough guy and I don’t think in the four years that I knew my wife before we got married, she ever saw me cry. But, when the doors of the church opened and I saw her take the walk, I felt my eyes get wet and I had to seriously figure out a way to hold back the tears.”

Pinching the mother of the bride, I whispered, “Could you get any more romantic than this?” She nodded and finished off by letting out a big, deep and long sigh. It was a mixture of pure delight, anxiety and relief.

The godmother was equally entranced. “Do you know that I couldn’t give a letter I wrote to the bride? I meant it to accompany my gift to her.” It read:

“Carita, linda mia,

“Well, you did it again. You made me a Ninang (godmother), affirming my fear that I am indeed old enough to stand as witness to your wedding vows. I was happy to do it for my sweet  inaanak sa binyag (god-daughter) who chose to bravely go down this path. I hope you got that streak of chutzpah from your Ninang. What’s more, you made it a ‘double first’ for our family — the first to take the plunge, and if we follow the Hebrew Year, the first to ‘widen your mouth in wisdom’ (and not zip it shut).

“I waited until after the ceremony to write you because I want to congratulate you for the time and effort that went into making it a truly memorable occasion for you and your new hubby. Everything was impeccable.

“I could see that you are both good and sensible; you know what priorities to take in order for your union to start off well. Keep this up. There’s nothing more I can add, except,

“Make your marriage a ménage a trois meaning a union between three:  You, your hubby and Jesus. Turn to Jesus always for anything, whether for temporary needs, spiritual enlightenment, courage, patience or to celebrate a special moment, joy and triumph. With Jesus, anything is possible. You will see how much more meaningful your relationship will be if you keep him always within the loop of your lives, together. Jesus will make it a glimpse of heaven on earth, each time.

“Of course, there’ll be heartaches, arguments, misunderstandings, and quarrels, but you know that marriage cannot do away with these unsettling times brought about by human frailties. With the love and respect you have for each other, Jesus will give you the strength and the resolve to weather them all.

“Turn to Mama Mary for her intercession that never fails. Ask her to bless your first home and every home you will eventually make.

“Enclosed is a pair earrings that I’ve kept for you as part of your wedding trousseau. Ruby is the birthstone for July. It represents love, health and wisdom. Wearing a fine ruby bestows good fortune to its owner. I had no idea that it was your favorite stone. Wear this in good health and with my fervent wish for a blessed life. Remember that pieces of jewelry are meant to honor your past, to cherish in the present and to bequeath or pass on in the future. May you be spared from difficult times that would force you to part with them, or worse, lose them.

“May God bless you with just the right number of children that you can raise and love confidently and gratefully. Remember that you got married because you both wanted to have a better life than what your parents had been privileged to give you. Strive to pass on to your children the values that your parents tried very hard to instill in you.

“Thank and show gratitude to your Mom and Dad not only on this momentous occasion but every chance you get. They tried to make you happy this day and every day of your life. That’s what Love is all about.

“As I raise my glass to celebrate and praise you, I pray that may your once upon a time truly bring you to many happily ever afters, starting right now.”

* * *

COVID-19 drastically changed whatever visions we had of dream weddings.

In the new normal, everything must be kept muted, doing away with frills and grandiosity.

Only the bride and groom with one set of sponsors and the immediate family will be allowed inside the church.

Facemasks must be worn by all, as well as the frequent use of hand sanitizer/alcohol.

No one must exhibit a temperature of 37.6 Celsius and above.

Social distancing (1.5m) must be strictly observed.

What will you find unusual that will take some time to get used to?  Happy smiles obscured by facemasks. The love is still there, bursting in the heart. Look closely.

MARRIED
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