Wedding Do Over

As I was putting laundry away, I heard Stuart playing a few of his favorite songs. (He just figured out how to bluetooth his phone to a speaker!) I recognized all of them and sung along while taking care of the mundane. I heard an unfamiliar song and the more I listened the more my soul was stirred. I stopped and just listened. It wasn’t long before I was wiping tears from my face. Click here to listen to the song that stirred my soul.

I’m not sure why he chose this particular song. Maybe he was missing his little girl, now married with a life of her own. Maybe it was just a YouTube suggestion and he gave it a go. Even if the reason were the latter, he listened to the whole thing.

I am so thankful that Stuart and Casey danced at her wedding. “She Thinks We’re Just Fishing.”  I swear, Trace Adkins recorded that song with Casey’s wedding in mind. It couldn’t have been more perfect. 22815409_10203735347259657_2633316363149552529_n

Ole Trace stirred up some more stuff in my soul.  As I fondly remembered the night Stuart and Casey shared their daddy daughter dance, in that little barn on that cold October night, memories from my wedding emerged. There was no stopping them.

As I little girl I never really dreamed of my wedding day. I didn’t give it much thought, ever. It seems that I’ve spent more time thinking about it as an old married gal. Much time spent thinking of how I wish it would have been.

There was already going to be a dark cloud hanging over my wedding regardless of the  circumstances. My parents divorced when I was a teenager. The split was less than amicable.

When my mother found out that I was pregnant, she told me that I didn’t deserve  a wedding. I was in such a bad place that I didn’t fight her.

One day during her lunch break, my mom went to Foley’s at Baybrook Mall and bought my wedding dress.  She brought it home and handed it to me. Plain, an Easter dress that was marked down. I was not part of the process. There was no sayin’ yes to the dress. IMG_2857

Looking back on that day in 1993, I realize I have more regrets than just those concerning my wedding dress.

Stuart’s side of the sanctuary was full. His family was plentiful. Mom, dad and sister. Aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. My side, scant to say the least. I’m so thankful for those that were in attendance. Stacy, April, Christy, Sherrye and Brandon. IMG_2855

Remember that ‘ole black cloud of a divorce hanging around? The storm was most prevalent this day more than any other. You see, my mom made it clear to me that my dad wasn’t welcome. Her reasoning, it would be too hard for her. That also meant, no Granny, no Mary Beth and no Uncle Lloyd.

Honestly, I don’t even remember if anyone walked me down the aisle. Truth be told, my dad should have. IMG_2856

I have other regrets as well. There was no dancing. No father daughter dance. No first dance for Stuart and I.

As I was finishing up with the laundry, Stuart was listening to another song. I still don’t know why he was listening to sappy ‘ole love songs that morning and I didn’t ask for fear of ruining the moment. What was coming from that bluetooth speaker took me back 25 years. Oh, how I wish he and I would have danced.

Dance, like you’ve never been hurt, like you’ve never been sad, baby
Dance, like this beautiful moment is all that’s you have
Don’t be afraid all your waitin’ is over
Just look in my eyes and not over your shoulder
Don’t let one memory get in your way
Baby, dance like there’s no yesterday. (Mark Wills – Dance)

I cried a lot at my wedding. More than the usual. I’ve often wondered why I cried so much. Did I think I was making a mistake? Was I scared? Mistake, no. Scared, hell yes. I was 19 years old and pregnant. I’ve since realized there was more to my tears.

An entire chunk of my heart was absent on that day. Walking down the aisle arm in arm with my dad. Looking over seeing my Granny and Grandaddy in the front row along with Stuart’s grandparents. Afterwards, dancing! Lots of dancing. And yes, me wearing the dress of my dreams. Shallow maybe, but I think about that “dress” often.

I doubt I will ever have a wedding do over. It seems foolish at this stage of the game. It doesn’t mean a girl can’t dream.

My perfect wedding would be on a beach. Shocker!  I would  either be barefoot or wearing flip flops with a flowy, not too fancy dress.

Something like this!

Stuart would be wearing khaki shorts and a white Magellan fishing shirt. Shoes optional. There would be sunflowers! Lots of sunflowers! bc33520e841b636aa2262638d86a25a7

As I looked out into the small crowd, I would see my dad and Barbara, my granny, Mary Beth and her family. Lloyd and his crew. Stuarts immediate family. My sister and all of her kids and my closest friends. The ceremony would be short and sweet. And then, Stuart and I would dance. We would dance to that Mark Wills song that started my trip down memory lane, while I was doing the laundry. Dance – by Mark Wills










  1. You were beautiful- God has made you even more beautiful through the years! How nice your daughter was blessed with that dance ❤️
    How is your mom since you went to see her st the hospital?

    • So glad they had that dance also.❤️ My mom has been moved to a long term facility for up to 14 days. I’ve not spoke to her. I have however tried to get in touch with case worker to no avail. She can only have visitors for one hour in the evening. I’ve been told by her daughter in law that they are going to release her to go home at the end of the 14 days. Sadly, she will try to end her life again. It’s not a matter of if but when. I’m hoping to talk to the case worker to see if there is another facility that she can go to for more treatment. She had an extended stay at a state hospital and the results were very encouraging. Thanks so much for asking. It’s just so heartbreaking and makes me angry all at the same time.

  2. What a blessing you and your story are! It touches my heart for all the things you have endured and missed, but oh how God has brought you through! 💜💜

    • Thanks for saying that Kim. He has surely been good to me even when I was being a creep! So thankful for his grace and mercy!

  3. I have a friend who renewed her vows with her husband on their 25th and they did the whole thing. They had their kids walk down one at a time and someone announced them and their birthdays and their spouces. It was really cool…

  4. This touched my heat Julie. In moments of I think of shock, I freeze. And I was in a surreal / shock state, maybe the entire day. The questions you had because of the tears, I had them too. I was 24 and I had stopped working to take care of my daughter full time – then 2 1/2 years old, and my parents paid for the wedding. My soon to be husband also my daughters father, was going through financial troubles and couldn’t afford to help monetary wise. Did I mention my in laws and I were at odds?! Yes, they wanting to dictate how the wedding was going to be :: insert eye roll :: The fact that my parents were paying for it and them not having much to begin with, stayed in my mind during the entire process. So much so, I even wanted to ex out the reception. However a family friend offered her home and she hosted the reception. My dress, I paid more attention to the price than the dress – again because my parents were paying for it, it ended up being a white bridesmaid dress for about $200.
    I love when I see brides having the whole ‘wedding’ experience, the lovely dress, picking out the reception location, picking the music, etc. I feel like I gave up planning my wedding, due to the circumstances that I had at that time.
    Yes, wedding do over – yes please!

    • Again, so many similarities between us. C r a z! I think it’s awesome that you were sympathetic to the fact that your parents were where they were financially. That being said, I hope that you get a do over one day!!

      • Haha! I know, I saw the title of your post and though! Yes! I need a do over. Thank you. That consoles me, whenever I see a wedding on tv or one I’ve attendees and thoughts of my own wedding come over, I think of how considerate I was towards my parents. As a parent now myself, I think it’d be frustrating for me as well, if I had the limited means to give my daughter not have any means to gift my daughter her wedding. It’d be even more heartbreaking if she wasn’t sympathetic to that. However, I’m so thankful I didn’t give my parents a headache about that and they gave me as beautiful of a wedding as they could have. And that’s all I can ask for. Maybe our 10 year anniversary?! Next year, eek! Wow! Time flies. 😊🙏🏽

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