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The wedding Day Through A Father’s Eyes
For years, I could not sit through the charming family movie Father of the Bride. Despite its warmth and humor, I would actually leave the room whenever it came on television. I suppose the story of a loving father who did not wish to face his daughter’s impending marriage hit a little too close to home.
On May 28, 2010, my desire to run away from the thought that my little girl would someday get married came to a screeching halt when a young man named Eduardo met with my wife Juliana and me to ask our blessing to marry Persephone. And, as tempted as I used to be to behave like Steve Martin, I knew he was the one.
Two years of engagement and preparation flew by astonishingly fast. Here’s what was going through my mind throughout the method:
While Looking for the Gown
Everyone knows that the ladies plan the marriage, so I didn’t expect to be consulted on much beyond the budget. Yet to my delight and shock, Persephone actually asked me to accompany her dress shopping!
“I am sure whenever you see the suitable dress, you may understand it,” I assured her on a gorgeous Saturday in August, as we strolled through midtown Manhattan.
She looked at me with her big brown eyes, squeezed my hand and answered, “Doodle, I am going to know when I’ve found the best dress, because I’ll see it in your face.” And sure enough, there was one particular gown that brought us both to tears that afternoon. I still couldn’t believe I was there to share the moment when she said yes to the dress.
A few weeks later, she brought me a thank-you gift. It was linen handkerchief, embroidered with these words: “Doodle, you will always be the primary man I ever loved. Thanks for being there for me every step of the way. Love, Persephone.”
The Morning of the marriage
On the morning of the large day, Persephone asked Juliana and me to affix her for breakfast. The serene joy in her demeanor calmed the flurry of emotions in my soul. In typical Persephone-style, she thanked us for our support and gave us each a very thoughtful gift and a card. Folded in the card was a copy of a letter she’d written for the Father’s Day issue of a magazine. It was entitled “My Chief Daddy Officer,” a play on the title of my book CDO Chief Daddy Officer: The Business of Fatherhood which, to a large degree, describes my raising of Persephone from the age of seven to adulthood as a single dad. Read her full letter here!
The first Moment I Saw Her in Her Wedding Gown
Before I could catch my breath, it was time. I walked into the suite to escort my little girl to the ceremony but couldn’t see her. Her bridesmaids had formed a semicircle around her, obstructing my view of her to heighten the surprise — and that they did. After they parted, I saw the most beautiful young woman wearing a radiance and joy I had never seen before. Flooding my mind were pictures of the little girl I’d help dress in the morning, the one I drove to high school, the girl that went to the prom, the one that graduated college… where did the time go I do not remember what I said to her. I know I told her she looked beautiful, but I used to be trying to hold it together for both of us so that she would not get teary and mess up her makeup — girls’ dads know that. So, I just stood there for a short while, holding her hand and taking all of it in under the loving gaze of Juliana and her bridesmaids.
I’ve had many profound and meaningful experiences in my life, but none of them compared to this moment.
Related: Our favourite Father/Daughter Moments
The Walk Down the Aisle
As we walked down that aisle together, I felt like I was reliving every minute we had ever shared suddenly. I had dreaded that moment for years, but now that it had arrived, it was perfect. I kissed her and gave her hand to the man who moments later became her husband. She kissed me on the cheek after which kissed my hand, the last word gesture of respect for somebody in the Greek culture. The ceremony started, they read their vows, and I used to be daydreaming feeling very proud and thankful for the girl I raised to the woman she had become. I assumed that it’s true indeed, that respect begets respect, honor begets honor, and sowing care, consideration and purpose into others — especially your child — will cause you to reap the identical. And that i had. A tear left my right eye, Juliana squeezed my left hand, and my mom gave us both an approving look.
When She Was First Announced as a Mrs.
Pictures and cocktails followed, and time came to make the entrance into the reception hall where, for the first time, she’d be announced as Mrs. She called me to an anteroom to ask me how she looked. She wanted to read my face. “How do I look, Doodle ” she said. “You are a tremendous person,” I told her, “And I love you for it.” I gave her a kiss. The photographer captured the moment.
They were soon announced to the guests as Mr. and Mrs. Maglaya. It sounded foreign and it sounded right. She is Eddie’s wife. She is my daughter. It was all true, just, normal and natural. Perfect!
Related: Sweet Father/Son Wedding-Day Moments
In the course of the Father-Daughter Dance
Another moment we both dreaded was the father-daughter dance — too somber, too definitive, too final. So, if you don’t like the beat of the drum, create considered one of your individual. And so we did. We created a four-minute medley of Sinatra, Wonder, Richie, Usher and the Temptations. Every song meant something to us, and we were in a position to offload the emotion and replace it with fun. We started with “My Way,” peaked with “Yeah,” and finished with “My Girl.”
Photo Credit: Unique Design Studios
Related: Father/Daughter Dance Songs You may Both Love
Preparing to Make a Toast
Two days before the wedding, I spent 90 minutes writing my remarks to the new couple. Read them once. Liked them. Then I started reading them aloud. Choked. I might choke each time I read them for the next 48 hours, till I decided that somehow I might get through it. I figured I’d use some humor. Perhaps borrow from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was funny, but I still choked. Then the moment came for the father of the bride to make his remarks to the new couple. This is what I said to them.
“Welcome to every one in all you to My Big Fat Greco-Filipino Wedding…
Juliana and that i, along with Ed and Mila, wish to thanks all for joining us as we celebrate the marriage of our children Persephone and Eduardo. texture powder A special “thanks” to those who have traveled from the Philippines, France and Greece to be with us today.
The love affair of Eddie and Persephone started a bit over four years ago. On May 27, 2008, (Memorial Day weekend) I met Eddie for the first time, and I was immediately impressed by four things about him: His footwear (white moccasins), his hairstyle (a mohawk), his self-confidence that said, “I am totally comfortable in my own skin,” and the way in which he checked out my Persephone.
An appropriately emotional but highly composed Eddie asked to satisfy with Juliana and me to ask for our blessing to marry Persephone. This was two years ago, on Memorial Day weekend, May 28, 2010 at 6:27 p.m… and 23 seconds.
Two years later, on Memorial Day weekend today, they exchanged their vows. Coincidence, Fate, Kismet You be the judge.
Persephone, there is not an individual in this room that doesn’t understand how I feel about you and what you mean to me, so as the father of the bride, I’m breaking with tradition. And rather than talking to all of you about my daughter, I will talk to you about Eddie instead.
Thank you, Eddie, for becoming the President and Chief Cheerleader of the “Persephone Fan Club” and screaming it from the rooftops. Thank you in your kind heart, generous soul, intuitive spirit, absolute selflessness, and your willingness to put Persephone’s wellbeing ahead of almost anything. Thanks for always being willing to do what is correct, good, and nurturing to her soul. Thanks for always doing that without ever having to be asked. Thank you for the respect, support and encouragement you show her in everything and anything she wants to do. Thanks for being you.
Two years ago, when Eddie came to ask for our blessing to marry Persephone, I told him that the appropriate man to marry Persephone had not been born yet and doubtless never will be, but that he was as near that man as I had ever seen walking this planet.
I was wrong. That man had been born to Ed and Mila and was standing before me. That man is now my Persephone’s husband and our son-in-law. That man, I’m honored to call my friend.
Persephone and Eddie, as you begin a lifetime of togetherness my wish for you is to…
Never take the other for granted.
Fuel the romance to continue through your lives.
Always stand together facing the world.
Form a circle of love that gathers in the entire family.
Don’t look for perfection in one another.
Be flexible, patient, understanding.
Have the capacity to forgive and forget.
Remember that independence is equal, dependence is mutual, and obligation is reciprocal.
Remember to always have a sense of humor.
You’ve got married the appropriate partner. Now continue your life together being the fitting partner. And while you choose that the time is right, my wish for you is that you just be blessed with children who’re exactly such as you.