What It’s Like to Watch Your Mom Get Married

This past weekend, I watched my mom get married while standing by her side as a bridesmaid. At 19 years old, I was a part of this experience that I thought I would hate with all of my being, but I found myself crying tears of joy, not of sadness.

Anyone who has experienced his or her parents getting a divorce later in their childhood will also have experienced the ups and downs that follow. My parents got divorced when I was 13, so the majority of my childhood was spent watching them in a seemingly perfect relationship. Because of this, it was difficult watching both my mom and dad date other people.

When my mom sat me and my sister down one day to tell us that she was going to get engaged, we weren’t excited for her. We were angry. I was selfish and only concerned about how this would affect my home, my holidays and my family.

As the big day approached, I felt less angry, but I was still not happy about it. Watching my mom try on wedding dresses was a moment when my perspective started to slightly change. She walked out of the dressing room in one of my picks, and I couldn’t help but tear up as she did so.

That’s when I decided that she deserved this. Since the divorce, I saw her shed one too many tears, put me and my sister before herself and not act like the genuinely happy mom I knew for most of my life.

Since I still wasn’t ecstatic when it was time to go home to attend my mom’s wedding, I had no idea that I would have the experience that I did.

I had never seen anyone look as radiant as my mom did when I walked into her hotel room just an hour before the ceremony. Growing up, people always told me that I looked just like her, and I never saw it before, but in that moment, I realized that it was the best compliment I could receive.
I helped her touch-up her makeup and fix her hair. As I zipped up her wedding dress and gave her a hug, I couldn’t help but cry because she looked so beautiful and because I could tell that she was genuinely happy – and that wasn’t the only time I’d cry that day.

The wedding was small, intimate and on the beach. “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri played as we walked down the sandy aisle, and despite it being extremely windy, the atmosphere couldn’t have been more perfect.

The song switched to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” as my mom walked down the aisle, and I realized how happy I was for her.

Watching her fiancé cry before her from just seeing her made me know that she was in good hands. He could barely say his vows because he was choking back tears.

I learned a lot of things that day. First, our parents are real people with lives of their own. While it was easier to get mad at my mom for making a decision that would alter our family dynamic, I realized after the wedding that she deserves to do what makes her happy first and foremost, especially because my sister and I are both adults living the majority of our life away from home. My mom put us first for all of her life, so it was about time that she made a decision that was solely for her happiness.

Next, it’s never too late to seek out that happiness. My mom admitted that she thought she’d never remarry, but she found someone who gave her all the love she deserves, so she changed her original notions of what she thought the rest of her life would look like.

Finally, I learned that my mom is one of the strongest people I know. She has been through so much, and somehow she is still so selfless. I look up to her more now than I ever did growing up because I just recently realized the extent of everything she has done for me. If I turn out to be half the person she is, I will have done pretty well with my life.

So if you find yourself in a similar situation as mine – not wanting to let your divorced parents date or remarry – remember all that they have done for you and all that they deserve, and you just might have a change of heart like me.