25, 30 and secret obsessions

by Leila


I don’t know what it is… I suppose it could be the 25 plus saved episodes of Say Yes to the Dress that I’ve been watching over the last two weeks, my boss telling me he was approached by Top Chef to renew his vows for the show but his partner was out of town so they had to turn down and then mainly my baby sister having a surprise renewal of vows last weekend to celebrate the 25 years she’s been married to the love of her life.

I have a secret obsession, well it’s not super secret but it is one that my husband does not understand at all. I am a sucker for weddings. Wedding shows, wedding dresses, wedding vows, wedding rings, wedding ideas, the whole wedding shebang, I love it all.  The dreaming behind it, the beauty before it, the story inside of it and the family, friends and love that bind it all together.

I started watching wedding shows many years ago, back then it was the ones that showed the planning to fruition of the big day. The ideal weddings little and big. A day to celebrate two becoming one, family extending, growing and moving forward in the great big world. Back then I was pretty enamored with the idea of ‘Fairy Tale Weddings’ simply because it brought two of my favorite things together, the ‘Magic’ of that ‘Land’ and the joy of ‘That’ day!


Remarkably we have recently been invited to one! Bill’s warmhearted cousin who I consider a kindred was kind enough to include us in the invites to her sweet daughter’s wedding at Disney. Being unaware of my secret obsession, I am sure they most likely assumed that the West Coast cousins would not take such great pains to make the trip for a young lady they’ve not even met. Hah, you can bet I’ve done all in my power to celebrate this long distance family affair with them face to face. As well as with Mickey and his dear Minnie! This could actually be the fourth reason for my recent dreaming… Looking forward to this special event that I am delighted that we get to attend.


So thirty, what a landmark that is in life don’t you think? Turning 30 years old, a crosspoint of making it through the last three decades and heading forward to adulthood regardless if we are ready for it or not.  Yet with marriage it’s twenty-five, it’s such a great thing to reach when it comes to a holy union. My parents had a lovely 25th Wedding Anniversary Celebration. I remember it so well, it was a beautiful day filled with much laughter, love, tears and an amazing cake. Then my Sis this weekend, I wasn’t there but thanks to FB I was able to absorb the same things as I witnessed at my Mom and Dad’s Celebration. The emotion, the thanks, the pride and love that they shared that day warmed my soul. I’m so happy for them and her dress was amazing, she looked stunning.

With all this surrounding a wee pang came. Bill and I shared it together actually. With my secret obsession, I’d always dreamed of our 25th. We’ve been the loves of each others life from the day we met, we share true love, romantic love, great friendship, we have fun together, we are entirely committed to this thing that’s given us a life that we can not even believe at times and a family that we are so proud to call our own. When we got engaged after the 6 weeks of dating, we were warned of the probability that our relationship most likely would not succeed. There were many that were not thrilled about our upcoming nuptials in the least bit. Yet with the unyielding Grace of God and a uniting of two individuals deeply committed to the love that they know, we’ve done well.

If anyone ever wanted to renew her vows after 25 years, by golly it was me. I began the planning, I was even able to secure the Pastor who’d married us way back when to officiate our ceremony once again. That was back in 2011 and sadly someone significant couldn’t make it and I felt I needed to let it go. So I did, it broke my heart and again this week I am feeling that buried little hurt that we did not get to re-live that joyous occasion for a second time.


Henceforth my dilemma. Is it realistic to reach for that dream day again? To celebrate three decades of married life together, so full, so well and so blessed? Nobody does 30, it’s 25 that’s the real deal. Although… The traditional for 30th Anniversary being pearl, the modern is diamond. Such significant messages don’t you agree? Being cultured, molded and created over time into perfect beauty and the rock, stronger and more beautiful than any other. Sigh….. the loveliness.

As for that dream. It’d be beachy, somehow, someway there would be water involved. (You grow up on a boat & water it brings something.. life, peace, serenity..)

The dining would be like this because there is nothing more perfect than everyone gathered around a long Tuscan Style table sharing fantastic food and wine together.


Our girls would attend me and our boys would attend Bill. I’d probably have one more by my side but I’ll keep that one in my heart for now. Bill would be dressed in a fitted linen suite and the boys in khaki and white. As for my girls, I think blush would be involved.

Bill would love me to wear something like this I am certain. I admit it’s quite perfect.


Although he tends to forget my age, my short stature and that in reality I can’t pull this off. This however would be the dress I’d say yes too, sans veil completely. Flowy, simple and flawless.


and my shoes.


So many more details for dreaming… I suppose the healthy thing to do is to stop recording Say Yes to the Dress, to be happy for all the weddings I’ve been able to attend and be a part of and dream about the future of people coming together and hope and dream that their lives will be as wonderful as my last 28.5 years have been.

Okay yes I always say my husband is a dreamer, maybe he’s not the only one…


Lastly for your pleasure, a classically quintessential wedding photo, Bill’s grandparents. Anthony and Francis Chiaravalle. So enchanting.


I will close with the most romantic song ever, just because it’s so good. https://vimeo.com/25559229