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The bride wore white and walked down the aisle of the church on her father’s arm. The groom stood at the alter with a look so pure I could hardly take my eyes off him.

The vows were traditional and simple. I love personal vows but there’s also something so beautifully touching about hearing the old-fashioned words uttered in such a place.

To love, honour and cherish.

From this day forward.

As long as we both shall live.

The bride and I have been friends for years, after having worked together over a decade ago. We now live in different cities and see each other rarely but she thought enough of our friendship to invite me to this day.

And I thought enough of our friendship to know that I wouldn’t miss it.

I have been to my share of weddings and while some people dread them, the pomp, the expense, the time, I honestly love them. I love to see the ways that two people choose to show their love to each other and in this world where hate all too often gets all the attention. I love to see a celebration of all that is good and simple and hopeful.

Others may remember the dress or the food or the music, but I always remember the moments. The ones that made me laugh, or cry, or ache with love for the two people whose day we are celebrating.

From this past weekend I will remember how her mom stopped to compose herself before being escorted down the aisle to take her place, tears glistening in her eyes.

I will remember how my friend took deep breaths and clutched her bouquet tightly as she turned the corner, down the aisle toward her groom.

I will remember how the photographer almost knocked over a flower arrangement while the couple exchanged rings.

I will remember the feeling of the groom’s heartfelt, eloquent, laughter- and tear-filled speech long after I forget the actual words he spoke.

I will remember the dance shared by the bride and her father, as he mouthed along to the words of the song and she smiled and hugged him close.

I hold on to these moments, file them away to be pulled out on the grey days when nothing makes sense. Because on that day, in those moments, all that mattered were those two people, and the honour I felt in being asked to share in their love.

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