Or, an open letter to my sister, who is getting married tomorrow.

When my wife and I got married, it was a sweltering summer day. All we wanted was an outdoor wedding and we got just that. Everyone sweated profusely. Sorry!

As I watched friends and family members fan themselves in the beautiful garden area, my godfather, who presided over the ceremony, revealed to me that he was packing heat. He pulled his suit coat back and showed me his gun.

When I asked why he had that, he half-jokingly said, “In case Carrie changes her mind.”

To my left, one of our ushers pulled back his suit coat and revealed a flask. He gave me a swig of Jack Daniels. I needed it.

An hour prior to that moment, I was in the passenger seat of our photographer’s car, rushing to the venue. His gas tank indicator was on E. I begged him to push through and keep driving. We were stuck in traffic and on the verge of being late. Perhaps I struck a nerve because all of his photos were blurry and he left halfway through the wedding.

We made it there. Barely. Many others were stuck in traffic. Some did not make it at all.

After a sip of Tennessee Whiskey, the wedding started. My beautiful bride walked down the aisle to the wrong song. When it came time to put the rings on, we put them on the wrong hands. Later, we ran into mishaps with the music at the reception. An employee stalked my newly minted wife (there’s got to be a better way to say that) and our friend, Zach, had to be called in to tell her off. We did not get a bite to eat of our food and the only cake Carrie tasted was the piece I smashed into her face.

I’m awesome like that.

After telling some musically-inclined relatives that they could not sing at our wedding, one was sent up to the front of the dining room to sing without my knowledge. It was beautiful but the aforementioned relatives glared at me. I smiled awkwardly and shrugged my shoulders.

We were stressed and frustrated. Every little mishap added up. It felt like a huge disaster.

It wasn’t. The truth was that in no way, shape, or form was there anything wrong with our wedding. As a matter of fact, we were the only ones to notice any of the issues. To everyone else, it was a wonderful testament to our love.

Now, we have funny stories to tell. We have a collage of unique moments that we get to call our own and lovingly look back on nearly a decade later.

It does not matter what goes wrong and what goes right. It doesn’t matter if it rains or the thermostat hits triple digits or everyone fails to show up. All that matters is you and your spouse. This is your day. Do not fret over forgotten items, superstitions or anything of that nature.

Instead, soak up the moment, gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes and be proud and honored to have each other. You matter the most to each other. Never lose focus of that. Never.