A couple nights ago, a Sports Illustrated writer posted a question on Twitter. He asked his followers, "How many of you have a photograph of the single best moment of your life?" His followers answered the call, and the pictures came rolling in.
I stumbled across a Buzzfeed article showing the best pictures he collected, and I started thinking about my moment, and whether I have a picture of it.
And it turns out, I do.
A lot of people love their wedding days. They relish the hair and makeup, getting dressed, being surrounded by friends and family, and the spotlight.
I was not one of those people.
My wedding day was marked by anxiety. Not anxiety about getting married. In that, I was perfectly calm. But rather anxiety about being in the center of attention. About being required to talk to the 200 people who had traveled from all over the country and all over the world to be in Pittsburgh on that Sunday afternoon. I don't do well with crowds, and I don't like being in the spotlight, which is problematic on your wedding day, when the biggest spotlight of all is cast directly on your face.
I spent much of the morning and early afternoon of that day wishing it was Monday morning and that I was already married. During the different parts of the ceremony that mark an orthodox Jewish wedding, I could feel 400 eyes trained directly on me, and I had to force myself not to start fidgeting.
And then, something happened.
The second part of the Jewish wedding ceremony under the chuppah is called nissuin, literally meaning "nuptuals," and is marked by the recitation of seven blessings, or sheva brachot. It is customary for family members and close friends to join the couple under the chuppah to recite these blessings, and the people who will be reciting the blessings are told ahead of time, so they know when they will be called up, and what they are supposed to say.
Well, there was a bit of a miscommunication before our wedding, so for the fourth blessing, the person who was supposed to say the fifth blessing was called up, and he had no idea what to do. No one knew what to say, or how to fix it, everyone was whispering and trying to make sense of the mistake, and our chuppah descended into hilarious chaos.
And for the first time all day, I relaxed. For the first time all day, I was in the moment instead of floating somewhere above, watching it all happen.
And our brilliant photographer caught that moment on film. My happiest moment.
The moment where everything was chaos, no one knew what to do, and David and I were standing under the chuppah, hand-in-hand, laughing at it all.