Just Let Love Rule


Eight years ago this month, my husband Rick and I were married in Key West, Florida. The ceremony was small – just my husband, his best man, my mother, my matron of honor and me … and a half dozen or so drunks who happened to be passed out on the beach nearby.

The humidity that day was about 120 percent. My hair was a wreck, there was no music. The officiant got the time wrong, and the ceremony almost happened in a tiny closet-sized room in the court house downtown. My groom and I had hopped off a cruise ship and had less than three hours to get our marriage license, meet up with our wedding party, get to the beach and get hitched.

I sort of had a meltdown, and could not remember my address or any other personal information, so my true love ended up filling out all of the paperwork, while I tried to collect myself.

When the ceremony was over, my new husband and I got back on the cruise ship. Within a few hours, he was deathly ill – food poisoning from the restaurant where we had grabbed lunch after the ceremony.

Nothing about that day went quite as planned; but I can still honestly say that March 10, 2008 was the most perfect day of my life. No matter how sweaty, frustrated, sick or frazzled we were when we left that beach, Rick Toldo and I were married … and that was really all that mattered.

Although we had originally planned for just the two of us to be there, I cannot imagine that day without my grandmother, who was my matron of honor, standing beside me in almost the same spot where she and my grandfather had spoken their vows over 60 years prior.

Just before my soon-to-be-violently-ill groom and I re-boarded our cruise ship, my grandmother grabbed my hand and gave it a squeeze, “Thank you, Les, for doing this. I was afraid I would never make it down this way again.”

Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

So, whether you are married in your backyard or a banquet hall, with your whole family or a bunch of passed-out strangers just feet away as you take those sacred vows (personally written, or stolen from the Internet), the only thing you have to get absolutely “right” on your Big Day is the love you pledge as you join hearts and hands.

The hands you hold, to quote a favorite wedding reading, “are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours; still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”


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