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Father Of The Bride

September 18, 2015

Tonight is the last night that our house will be her house. Just yesterday she was playing dress up in her mom’s shoes and having tea parties with her dolls. 
Oh, who am I kidding? She never enjoyed dress up. She was more likely to be playing with trucks and army men than dolls. But, it is true that she’s leaving us. Tomorrow, she’ll enter a Mormon temple with young man she’s in love with. She’ll go in with my name and come out with his. 

I should be happy. This is the day you try to prepare them for. Last spring she graduated from Utah State University with a degree in pre-veterinary science, a commission in the United States Army Reserves, no student debt and a fiance. 

One of my favorite movies is Steve Martin’s “Father Of The Bride.” He plays a man who is not quite ready for his daughter to get married. The movie gives a comedic sounding board for my own experience. I’ve decided the movie writers were way off base. 

Steve Martin has a lot of time to sit around and angst over the prospect of losing his daughter/gaining a son. There’s one particularly poignant scene where he and his daughter play a game of late night basketball; sort of a nostalgic last bit of childhood moment. It’s a beautiful scene. I have no idea how the bride or the father of the bride has time for it. 

I’m not even doing the bulk of the work and I don’t have time for all the tasks. I guess one of the differences is that Steve Martin paid a caterer. We are the caterer. In addition to the tables I built, we have spent the last two days buying and preparing food. 
The tables were built earlier this week. 

The wedding is tomorrow morning and the reception is tomorrow night and 80 miiles from our house. The goal is to get the tables, food and kids there with only two car trips. Given the frenzy of activities that surround a wedding, we are prepared to have to make multiple 160 mph round trips. 

Having the full schedule is a curse and a blessing. It keeps me from spending too long dwelling on the implications. I’m happy my daughter has found a man whom she wants to share her life with. And he’s a great guy. But, the relationship between fathers and daughters is special. I realize I’m no longer the most important man in her life. That’s a not a bad thing, but it is a different thing. 

I think every father views their daughter’s wedding as both a beginning and an ending. Even though she’s 22 years old, tomorrow, her childhood ends and the next stage  of her life begins. No doubt I’ll cry a little at both. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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