Down The Aisle

When we first met with our DJ, we spent 10 minutes going over our likes and dislikes for the playlist, and the rest of the hour trying to determine what we would do for the grand entrance portion of the evening.

You see, we had long since decided the traditional zaffe or any offshoot of it was just not our thing and had no place in our wedding. I did not want any weird dance troupe jumping in front of us or bastardizing some sort of Arabic traditional tune that we already didn’t like. We wanted something personal and representative.

Of course, we had no frame of reference. All the weddings we had been to went down that road and the internet was not giving us any helpful suggestions. Or when it did, and we discussed these ideas with those closest to us, they gave us quizzical looks. Even the DJ back then was trying to convince me to walk down the aisle to some generic tune from one of the Buddha Bar CDs because it had an oriental theme without being too obvious.

But in the back of my mind, there was one way I could do this- and one way only. The only way I could be true to myself and happy was in the form of these three words, Truly Madly Deeply.

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To those who know me, they know that the popular 1997 Savage Garden song and I go hand-in-hand. When I purposely left it off our wedding mix-tape, one of my best friends messaged me wondering if I had gone mad. How would I forget to include my favorite song?

Growing up unpopular and no one’s first choice for a crush, I obsessed over the song that oozed cheesy romance and gestures. I would fall asleep listening to Darren Hayes croon the lyrics, wondering if anyone would ever love me as much as the words suggested. I so badly wanted to go to Paris, where the video clip was filmed so I could walk in the band’s footsteps and hum the song to myself.

Simply put, everywhere I went, Truly Madly Deeply went. Everything I did, I did to Truly Madly Deeply.

I grew up, but the song never really left me. It was not in my musical circulation as much, but I always felt happy when it came on- and I always felt it would be part of my wedding, whenever that was going to happen.

When the time came though, I went back and forth, refusing at first to follow my heart and do what I really wanted in favor of making everyone else happy. But as the date approached, and anxiety struck, I said to myself, this is what I had to do. It couldn’t be our first dance because we already shared a special song, but it surely had a place.

And in retrospect, I couldn’t be happier we went with it. Because the track was so familiar and comforting, I did not get the typical jitters brides describe as they are walking towards their grooms. I felt confident, I felt happy, I felt very much in love- and I had the most ridiculous smile on my face.

It didn’t matter then and there that I was practically rushing to make my cue. That while Ahmad was making his entrance, I sneaked from the back and descended what seemed like a couple of billion of steps with my dress lifted up to my knees while my heart was racing, scared I would take a nasty spill at any moment.

Because I had this one moment during the wedding all for myself even though my dad was by my side, the nieces in front as my flower girls, my husband waiting at the end of the aisle, and  100 onlookers.

It was a moment no one could take away from me, from us, one that completely set the tone for the great evening that was just about to start.

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