I saw love’s face on a perfect December afternoon in a small garden in front of a white gazebo on the west side of Miami. I wept openly at the site of her. She was beyond beautiful and everything I thought she would be; compassionate, caring, graceful and unconditional. I had seen her before, but never like this: so powerful, raw and awe-inspiring. The experience changed me forever.
I’m not sure why, as I had seen love many times before in my life. Especially in my relationships (marriage, motherhood, parents and friends,) but watching my good friends, Jessie and Jesse (the universe wasn’t messing around when it came to pairing these two) get married under a perfect blue sky, with the people they loved most surrounding them, was undeniably one of the most moving experiences of my life. I had never afforded myself such an opportunity.
The first time I got married, I eloped with a man almost twice my age. We ran away to Corpus Christi, Texas and found a small, quaint chapel by the sea to exchange vows. My mother begged me not to do it and honestly, it’s probably why I went through with it. I rebelled against her because I didn’t want to end up like her, but my decision itself was a complete incarnation of her life. She, too, had married early and found out too late she had made a mistake. Nonetheless…
I wore a pretty short, white summer dress with a high collar and a lace back. I paired it with a string of fake pearls and delicate, white strappy sandals. My brother, who found out about my not-so-secret elopement, showed up at the last minute to walk me down the aisle. My parents were right behind him; making me unspeakably mad. I hated everyone for crashing my party of independence, but looking back at it now, I realize it’s because they loved me.
Read the rest of my “Layers of Love” journey at www.wsvn.com or shop the looks…
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