Lessons from a Photo Album

Today is a special day for me. It’s my 18th wedding anniversary. I looked through my wedding album, trying to find a photo to share, and I noticed how many things have changed.

Corey and Staci

Definitely my appearance. And my husband’s. Everyone’s, really.

And I have to say fashion has improved. As have hair styles.

I remember when I was planning my wedding. Nothing ended up being the way I expected. I didn’t like my gown. I let my bridesmaids choose their gowns, as I wouldn’t have to wear them. I didn’t like their choice, either. I did like the flowers I chose, but the florist got the order wrong, so I didn’t have what I wanted. The hotel was good, but way overpriced. Thankfully my parents covered the reception, because we invited far more people than I wanted. Between my husband’s family and mine, I think the whole town was there. (Italian weddings are known for being big, but 500 people on the invitation list? Crazy.) The DJ played some music that I hated. Forget about giving a play list… I should have given him a don’t play list. The videographer was terrible, but the photographer was good, though, and you can’t tell things weren’t what I wanted.

Why do I remember all this?

Actually, usually I don’t.

What I typically remember is being surrounded by family and friends who loved us, who celebrated with us. Joyously.

Looking back, it doesn’t matter that plans fell apart. (tweet this)

It isn’t important that the material things were wrong. (tweet this)

What matters is that I married a man I loved with all my heart and soul. A man I love today even more.

Looking through the album is bittersweet. Some of the pictures are poignant because of who wasn’t in them—the beloved family members who had passed on before our wedding. Some pictures remind me of the people who were there that we since have lost. Then there are the nieces and nephews who were tiny children then… the same ones who are now adults.

Time marches on. Someday some family member will be looking through his or her album and remembering when my hair was long (and brown), or when my husband had hair (I sure hope he keeps his), or when my kids were still in school. I hope they can look at their albums then the way I look at mine now—not disappointed over the breakdown of plans, but with fondness. Happy because they married their soul mate, because their loved ones were there to celebrate with them, because life is good even when plans go awry.

Eighteen years ago I married a man who I thought I couldn’t love any more than I did at that very moment.

And eighteen years later I laugh at how naïve I was. My love for him has grown exponentially with each passing day. And I imagine will continue to do so.

So today, I’m not going to offer writing advice. I’m not going to recommend any books to purchase. I’m not going to talk about the importance of social media.

I’m certainly not going to obsess over the things that went wrong.

I’m simply going to enjoy my family, and suggest you try and do the same.

12 thoughts on “Lessons from a Photo Album

  1. Nice post Staci and congratulations on eighteen years. I remember my wedding with fondest of memories as well (another large Italian wedding). I was fortunate last year to celeberate twenty-five years with my husband. I love looking at my wedding pictures, they remind me of how lucky we were to celebrate our love for each other with family and friends (some who are no longer with us). Many things have changed in my life, but the one thing that remains constant is the love that I share with my husband, childen, family and friends. One small piece of advice: All good things take hard work, so never give up.


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