No “Here Comes the Bride.” No sappy ballad from the 1970s. Emily wants the music of the evil galactic empire—killer of Jedi, maimer of ewoks—to bounce through the church as she enters into her new life.
I have several questions about this musical selection: Am I supposed to be Darth Vader in this scenario? And if so, should I wear a mask? Is she Darth Vader, and thus giving her soon-to-be-husband a warning that, if he displeases her, he should expect psychic choke-holds? Does she just like music with a lot of dramatic downbeats? If she goes through with it, will I have to pay John Williams royalty fees?
I would ask her these questions, but she flees whenever I seem about ready to mention anything. She’s never been big on conflict, my daughter. Which makes her choice of music all the more ironic, I suppose.
But the whole thing has left me feeling a little … perplexed. I understand on some level that it’s her big day, and so she should be able to do what she wants. But heck, it’s kind of a landmark day both me and my bank account, too. Seems like that earns me at least a little say in the proceedings, if not a big ol’ veto stamp. And frankly, I don’t want “BOM-BOM-BOM-BUUM-BA-BOM-BUUM-BA-BOM ” be the lingering memory of my daughter’s wedding. I’m pretty sure that any court in the Galactic Empire would side with me legally.
But then I hear stories of parents who made their kids’ wedding their wedding. I hear about families who suffered some serious relational setbacks because of decisions—or non-decisions—made for that small little ceremony. I remember that, generally, I don’t even like weddings that much. Am I being selfish?
When my wife and I got married, she was pregnant and we were both in college, dirt poor. We got married in her parents’ back yard on a shoestring budget. It was the most stressful period of my life—a time when I felt so confused and guilty and scared of what the future might hold for the both of us.
Turns out, thanks to God’s wonderfully undeserved blessings, the future held some pretty fantastic things—a son and a daughter and good jobs and a great, great life. My daughter fell in love with a pretty neat guy. Both are deeply committed to God and both are heading into this marriage on a great trajectory—steering clear of the mistakes I made and beginning their lives together with confidence and love.
What else could a father ask for? Is it selfish for me to want the wedding to feel more traditional—more like the wedding I never really had? Yeah, I think maybe it is. Maybe it is selfish. Emily’s turned out to be such a witty, worthy, wonderful daughter. She’s become everything I could’ve ever hoped she would be. And now I want her to play my music, too?
When the big day comes, I’ll walk Emily down the aisle with whatever music she wants (if she wants me in that aisle at all). I’ll wear a mask if she wants me to. She’s given me so many wonderful days. I can give her just one.