File this one under “Posts I NEVER thought I’d write, but thank God I’m able to.”

Last week, I made the second biggest decision in my life…outside of accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior. I joined the ranks of the married. Leading up to the day, I received tons of practical advice about preparing for the moment and just as much advice about building a marriage AFTER all the music stopped. But there were some things not even the wisest person could have prepared me for.

1. For the briefest of moments, you feel like you’re literally the most important person in the world. For those of you who know me outside of the realm of social networking, you know that I generally hate being the “center of attention.” I’m the kind of person who credits higher ups for their “leadership”, even when it’s my time and sweat that makes something happen. I respond to a person’s compliments by finding something about them to compliment. I downplay some of my biggest achievements, and rarely try to focus on them. I’m the guy whose name would show up in the fine print as “The Behind-the-Scenes Dude.” So, it was surreal, and a bit overwhelming, to be the focus of so many people. People taking pictures. Smiling at us. Hugging us. Shaking our hands. In fact, it wasn’t until our guests were distracted by food and drinks did I feel like every move we made wasn’t being thoroughly examined and Instragrammed. Maybe I’m being a bit hyperbolic by saying so, but I felt like I experienced a taste – albeit a bite-sized taste – of what celebs go through each day of their life.

2. OK, so I lied. Contrary to what I just said, I learned that nobody gives a hoot about the groom. It’s all about the bride. There’s a reason why Andrea got an entrance song all to herself. There’s a reason why nobody noticed the crappy shoes I wore. The bride was indeed the center of the universe at that moment. I’m convinced I could have passed out at the altar and nobody would’ve noticed. Let’s face it fellas, James Brown was wrong. When it comes to weddings, it’s a woman’s world. 😉

3. Affirming the corollary to the previous point, Andrea handled the entire situation like a true champ. People noticed me for a total of four seconds, and yet I was up front sweating like a pig. But even with all eyes were on her, she was still able to effortlessly get down the aisle. Oh, to have THAT kind of composure. I like to think I’m a pretty cool customer. At the altar? Not so much.

4. My brother/best man rocks. Seeing that I was clearly a nervous wreck, he uttered a couple of simple words to me that still resonate. Paraphrasing, he said “I’m right behind you. And I’m proud of you big brother.” Dang it! Who’s chopping those doggone onions on my desk?!

5. You should count on hitting up Mickey D’s before and/or after a wedding. You won’t be eating. Andrea must’ve studied up on the fine art of Jedi mind tricks because she was able to elude the rush of the crowd just long enough to secure herself a plate. Even then, she wasn’t able to eat more than a bite and a half. But I wasn’t even that fortunate.

6. It’s important to find something – anything – that makes your special day even more special. This is one of many reasons why my wife rocks. She came up with the idea to invite as many people as possible to a late night trip to the movies after the ceremony. Here’s the kicker, she wanted to do it WHILE we were all still wearing our wedding attire. Admittedly, I protested the idea at first. But in hindsight, it was awesome! And, I tell you what, it was a moment unlike anything else I had ever experienced. The actual movie sucked. But the concept was brilliant and will most likely last in my mind forever. This was way cooler than having a dance that I would’ve more than likely screwed up. *Don’t believe the hype: not all black folks can dance.*

7. In a word, marrying your best friend is AMAZING. I think what makes us work so well is that we have history. Tons of it. Every embarrassing secret, we know. Every mistake we made, we know. There is nothing to hide, nothing that shocks us, nothing to be ashamed of. From experience, the process of dating a new person is riddled with stress; from meeting the family and friends to learning about one’s habits and behaviors. But when you marry someone who knows you like the back of their hand? There’s something magical about that. Scratch that. There’s something GODLY about it.

8. In addition to standing side-by-side with your best friend at the altar, it’s even cooler to do it in front of your closest family and friends. Initially, we planned on keeping our wedding small and low-key. But after considering all the special folks in our life, it was unanimously decided that we HAD to include our people. And, boy, they didn’t disappoint. It was such an awesome feeling seeing our families and friends come together; some from other states, some with whom we interact on a limited basis. But all united in sharing in the celebration. People say funerals are what usually bring people together the most. Maybe that’s true. But our wedding did that just as well.

9. Did I mention how it’s all about the bride?

As a side note, thanks to each and every one of you for making our day so special! I can’t express enough how important you are to us! May God bless and keep you.

– ACL