I’m waiting outside for Joey to come out of his own dressing room. I should be sitting on the bench with my parents but I can’t seem to sit still. Joey and I decided to get ready separately since we have the option at our courthouse. We figure we could at least preserve a little bit of tradition and avoid seeing each other until the last second. And now I‘m regretting every second. I want him with me.
I turn as I hear footsteps coming up behind me. Turning, I hope I see Joey coming. But it’s only Lucas. I feel a little guilt for not being excited to see my best friend, but I need Joey.
“Where is he,” I snap at Lucas.
“Relax. He’ll be here. He said he just needed a minute alone.”
“Why? What’s wrong?”
Lucas smiles and me and walks over to put a hand on my shoulder. “Nothing is wrong. I think he just wants a moment before he gets married.”
“But he’s okay?”
“Of course. Why wouldn’t he be?”
“I don’t know,” I say, looking down at my shaking hands.
“Relax,” Lucas comforted, patting my shoulder again. “Everything’s good. And soon enough he’ll be yours.”
That makes me smile as I hear another set of footsteps coming our way. My smile gets even bigger as I see my Joey round the corner. He looks so good, dressed in his new tailored suit, the red rose standing out against the black material. But when he looks me in the eye, my heart skips a beat. He’s so perfect.
I try to come up with something say, but words escape me. So instead, I just look at him, hoping the love in my eyes in shining through. The way he smiles at me tells me it is.
“Matheson and Rogers wedding.”
With one last smile, I turn and look at the small woman who came out of the judge’s chambers. She’s dressed in a business suit, implying she’s the judge’s assistant.
“Here,” Joey says, walking up and taking my hand in his. I squeeze his hand tight.
“Great. The judge is ready for you.”
Joey and I walk into the office, hand in hand, the others trailing behind. But as much as I love Lucas and my parents, I only have eyes for Joey.
We head into a beautiful office, with hardwood floors, bookshelves lining every wall and a mahogany desk in the middle of the space. An elder gentleman dressed in judge’s robes met us, hand outstretched.
“Good afternoon, gentleman. My name is Judge Robert Simmons.”
We all shake hands with him and extend our own greetings.
“Is everyone here,” the judge asks.
Joey and I nod.
“Then let’s begin.”
The judge tells everyone where to stand so they can see. Joey and I, still holding hands, stand right in front of the desk.
“Dearly beloved,” the Judge began. “We’re gathered here today to join Steven Rogers and Joseph Matheson in matrimony.”
I smile at my man as the Judge starts what will be the most important speech I’ve ever heard. Joey smiles back.
I barely process the words, as the Judge starts talking. All I can do is watch my Joey. How beautiful he is. How perfect he is. How he is mine.
“Steven, would you like to say your vows to Joseph?”
I start when I hear my name, but I’m able to quickly remember the small speech I memorized.
“Joey. I’m thankful everyday that Lucas forced me to meet you. Ever since that day you have been my rock. You helped get me through med school with shoulder rubs and hot tea. You were there to comfort me when I had a bad day. We’ve built a home together that we can be proud of. And I can live the rest of my days in happiness because I know you’re going to be by my side. I promise I will always be there for you the way you have been there for me, in good times and in bad, standing by you as your husband forever.”
I see tears welling up in Joey’s eyes and he smiles at me.
“Joey, would you like to say your vows to Steve?”
Joey nods. “Steve. For years now, you’ve been my everything. I spent years of my life thinking that I would be alone. I was never outgoing enough to go out and find a man. But somehow, someway, I found you. And I’m thankful everyday for that. I promise I will do everything in my power to be worthy of the love you have given me. For richer or poorer, for better or for worse, I promise to stand by you as long as we live.”
I feel a swelling in my heart as I hear Joey’s words. And I know without a shadow of a doubt that he loves me just as much as I love him.
“Do you Steven Matheson take Joey Rogers to be your lawfully wedded husband for as long as you both shall live?”
“I do,” I say with a smile.
“And do you Joey Rogers take Steven Matheson to be your lawfully wedded husband for as long as you both shall live?”
“Do you have the rings?”
Lucas walks up, holding the rings we chose in his hand. Joey and I release hands long enough to take the rings from him.
Once I have the ring, I take Joey’s hand in mine and slip the sterling silver ring on his left ring finger.
“Joey, I give you this ring as a symbol of my commitment and love.
Joey smiles as he glances down at the ring. He takes my hand and slips the other ring on my finger, repeating the words I just said.
“Now that you have joined yourselves formally in matrimony, may you strive all of your lives to meet this contract with the same sense of love and commitment. Together may you dream, and may you stumble, may you restore each other, and share all things, serving each other and humanity. Cherish, respect, comfort and encourage each other as long as you both shall live. It is now with great pleasure that I pronounce you spouses for life. You may kiss.”
And with those words, I grab Joey and kiss him with everything I got. After all, my husband doesn’t deserve any less.
So our boys are married! Check part next week for the last part of the wedding arch.