Father of the Bride

by Jul 9, 2013

I never used to cry at movies. This all changed in 1992 when my first born, Ashley, was less than a year old. My wife, Candy, brought home a VHS (remember those?) movie rental with the title, Father of the Bride. I thought nothing of it and prepared myself for another “chick flick” movie night with my wife. I was wrong. So wrong because I failed to notice the subtitle that says it is a “comedy of letting go.”

Steve Martin is the main character who plays George Banks, a father going through all the drama and emotions of his firstborn daughter getting married: Is she “old enough” to be getting married? She is still a little girl! I’m not old enough to be the father of a bride! Where did the time go?

As I watched this movie, I kept looking at my little baby girl sound asleep next to us. I began thinking, “This will be me in the future!” Logic overcame these thoughts and soon turned to,”But that is soooo many years away from today.”

Then in one scene late into the movie, unexpected emotions hit me and hit me hard. George Banks couldn’t sleep the night before the wedding and he began replaying in his mind his little girl growing up before him: her as an infant, her first day of school, riding a bike, shooting baskets in the backyard, junior high braces, high school graduation, and then her coming home from college. It all happened so fast and tears were streaming down my face! I couldn’t believe this little girl could have gripped my heart in such a short amount of time that the thought of letting her go was difficult to imagine.

So here I am, twenty-one years later, a real life George Banks and a Father of the Bride. Ashley is getting married in a few weeks to a godly young man named Nathan. I still remember the day she told me, “Dad, I think he is the one.” Now that movie rental didn’t seem that long ago.

For the past few months, our home has been in wedding planning mode. Going through picture after picture in preparation for the ceremony slide show has triggered emotions from memories such as: bringing her home from the hospital, her first day of school, teaching her to ride a bike, goofing around, junior high braces, high school graduation, and then meeting Nathan for the first time. Yes, where has the time gone?

Ever since she was a little girl, Ashley would come home with a new dress or outfit and asked, “Daddy, do you want to see it?” I would always oblige and she would run to her room to try it on. Today she put on another dress for me to see. I came upstairs and there she was, in her wedding dress. Wow! There was my little girl all grown up and she looked absolutely incredibly beautiful.

Ashley will always be my little girl but in 18 days, she will become a bride and a wife to one very lucky young man.  And I will be a Father of the Bride to one incredible woman. It will be a day to remember, a day to celebrate, and a day about letting go.


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