Here’s our wedding video! No one has seen this before except for my mom. I think. Plus, a journal entry that I wrote a coupla years ago about our marriage.
WATCH!WATCH!WATCH! Wedding of Guy C. Maggio and Martha C. King
January 1, 1999. I am sitting on a bench outside Bally Casino’s Celebration Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, NV. We just rode the monorail over to Bally’s from MGM Grand (where we’re staying) and proceeded to pump $120 into a slot machine to be rewarded by $100 payout of quarters. $20 for an hour’s worth of fun. That is Vegas; bright lights and manufactured fun, where paying a slot machine for your brief entertainment is completely logical and intentional. I don’t mind because the excitement and experience is welcome. This time is about fun. Or at least the appearance of fun. I’m 25 and have left the state of Missouri only a handful of times.
Guy and I are dressed in our wedding clothes and patiently waiting to be married. The entrance to the chapel looks like any storefront at any mall. We could just as well be
at a Gap. And I love that. What appear to be teenagers walk by and point and smile.
Are they getting married?
That’s so cool.
Guy and I look at each other and laugh. We ARE getting married. We must be eager because we arrived at the chapel over an hour early. We didn’t want to be late. We flew from KC, stayed up most of the night and primped for hours to be ready for this special moment.
We are alone. No relatives, no photographers, no wedding planners, just us two. We both accept that our lives will be dedicated to each other, not to 200 onlookers and well-wishers. Our marriage will be the two of us relying on each other, so our ceremony should reflect that. Also, my mother was not getting on a plane and we couldn’t afford to fly our friends to Vegas.
Vegas was a grand adventure as we hoped our marriage would be. They are ready for us. I think we have a short rehearsal and explanation of the ceremony, but I honestly
don’t remember. I am whisked away to a small room with a large mirror. It could be the backstage lighted mirrored make-up table in any theatre. And I love that.
I was given my bouquet and briefed on my entrance. I sat for a few moments trying to focus on the reason for all the preparation, but my efforts to center myself were elusive. I want to cry, I’m overwhelmed by emotion, but I do not want to mess up my makeup! At best, I can simply enjoy what is happening to me and remember, I love this man.
They come for me, tell me everything is ready and I follow their directions. I am walking down the aisle. They are taking pictures. They are filming. I am smiling. I am following my Guy. If I could run gracefully, I would, right down to the alter and spike the bouquet! I take my place and brace for the fun.
Our minister surprises me. He is well-spoken, gentle, meaningful, but quick. He talks about values and ideals of marriage and reminds me of the commitment I am making. He talks generically talks about love and commitment, but even 15 years later the words ring true and his voice renews our vows as I hear it again on tape. God knew what we needed to hear and knew what we were promising to each other, even if we didn’t fully understand ourselves. Guy sweetly and eloquently makes his vow and I sniffle and whimper mine to him. I mean, seriously, I shoulda brought a hankie. What was I thinking.
We pray together. For the first time. Then it’s over. So fast. Kisses. Pictures. Exit stage left.
I am happy, but I am completely terrified. We ride the blinding-white monorail back to MGM and we are quiet. I have a fistful of flowers and I’m dressed in a smart-white suit. I try not to make eye contact with other passengers. I don’t want the attention of inquisitive ride-sharers. We should have taken a taxi perhaps.
We make it back to MGM without many questions and we race up to our suite. This is the time of my life and I hope that I have made it through the tragic parts of my childhood. I hope that this is my magical ending. But it’s only the beginning.
15 years of marriage to the only person I have ever loved. It has not been magical, it has been rough. Mainly because I am a demanding neurotic with deep vulnerability coupled with a terribly wounded pride and ego and the fragility of a snowflake. I have just been recently diagnosed with PTSD. I’ve been sick the last 10 years. I should say it has been magical though.
I was anticipating a romp through the magical forest of love on fat horses with flowery braided tails. But what I am given, what I so undeservedly receive, is the magic of love to bind my wounds, heal past hurts and strengthen my weaknesses. To love through the worst and hope for the best. Real, mature love that lasts for a lifetime. Love on an epic scale. Love that conquers all, including my insurmountable pride. Love that wipes the sweaty brow of insecurity and illness and makes everything all right.
And I love that!