Most of my memories about the week before the wedding involve laughing—which I suppose is a lot better than crying or stressing or having a total breakdown.
At the end of April, I moved my belongings out of my home of 5 years and into Rama’s apartment. Then, I packed a suitcase and went to my parents’ house for one last family hurrah. My brothers Tom and Ricky, their girlfriends Darcy and Brooke and my cousin Marybeth and Uncle Boy came from Holland, Seattle and the Philippines, respectively. Together, we had one big week-long party. Good food + good laughs = good times.
Where was Rama this whole time? The poor dear had to work up until the day before the wedding, so he was at home living the vida solo. The big joke (that some took more seriously than others) was that Rama and I weren’t allowed to be alone together before the wedding. “In the Philippines,” my mom would say, “the bride wasn’t allowed to see the groom at the week before the wedding.” But, I kept laughing to myself, that was in the Philppines. In the ’60s. Before I was even born.
Nevertheless, Marybeth was named our official chaperone, accompanying me and Rama on all our little errands and helping us with those last-minute tasks. This involved a lot of driving to and from LA, which made time for a lot of tsis-mis and kwento.
By Wednesday, I’d gotten most of the last-minute tasks done. By Thursday, I was checking into the hotel. By Friday, my biggest concern was looking pretty for Saturday.
Throughout the week, everyone kept remarking how calm I was. Am I really calm, I’d wonder, or am I just pretending to be?
I really was calm, though. I found some strength and wisdom inside myself that I wish I always had handy. It was the acceptance that I had done everything I could. It was time to let go of my grand plans and let it all unfold. If I tripped down the aisle or I forgot my vows, if a heat wave or Storm Watch 2006 suddenly hit, if the flowers wilted and the cupcake tower tumbled to the floor, it would still be okay. At least it would make a good story. And at the end of the day, Rama and I would still be married.