I know I’m (supposedly) planning a wedding right now, but for the most part, I’m not a huge fan. I tend to declare that I won’t attend a wedding unless I’m in it. This usually keeps me relatively uninvolved, but this year both Sars and Shleisel got married. Both of them tied the knot in remote countryside locations, which involved lots of driving and an almost certainty that I’d never actually make it there alive.
I was about 15 minutes into my 45-minute drive to Sars’ wedding location when my phone rang. It was Peeves.
“Hey,” she said. “What are you doing?”
“Oh. Well… I’d planned on riding with you. I just forgot to tell you about it.”
I turned back for her, which is probably the only reason I ever actually ended up at the wedding. Once there, we were tasked with all manner of Bridesmaid-y sorts of tasks, including the monumentally challenging task of arranging chairs in a circle so the couple could get married whilst surrounded by people they love. This all sounded great in theory, but it was actually like an adult version of one of those horrifying math problems:
“If you have 240 chairs and 14 of them are stacked in a place you won’t notice until you’ve already made a circle, how wide should the aisle be?”
“How many 20-somethings does it take to figure out that when one half of the circle has 30 chairs, and the other half has 22 it is because the circle is lopsided?”
There was a lot of debate on the best approach, with half a dozen women in long maxi dresses pouring over calculations and trying to use long division. Eventually my voice of reason won out, as I repeatedly insisted, “MATH IS THE WORST” and “STONEHENGE WAS BUILT WITHOUT IPHONES, LET’S BE LIKE STONEHENGE.”
Sars was the ultimate Type-B bride, which meant that every time we consulted her on how she wanted something, her response was “follow your heart.” This is why we are besties.
Everyone kept telling me to “take notes” for my own future nuptials. I’m pretty sure the most important thing I learned was a confirmation that I do, in fact, need there to be a lot of alcohol involved in the moments leading up to the ceremony.
Peeves is with-child, which meant she couldn’t partake and was resigned to sticking her nose in the glass and moaning.
“I detect a faint hint of oak. It is pleasant. Oh yes.”
Eventually all the women ended up in a bathroom, hiding from the groom and waiting for the action to begin. Then the Mother of the Bride rushed in with a sack full of glass bottles.
“I found the goods!”
It was the leftover booze from the bachelorette party.
When it came time to actually walk down the aisle, I could feel The Ugly Cry coming on. I may not attend a lot of weddings, but when I do, I Ugly Cry my heart out. Even when I’m a +1 and don’t know the couple, my face is distorted in a quiet sob from the moment the music begins.
Thankfully a huge bumblebee decided to pollenate my bouquet just as we headed down the aisle, which meant I spent the entire time saying “Oh my God, go away, WTF, stop it,” which was like a throwback to my reaction when Alex popped the question.
But The Ugly Cry was not done with me—especially when they began reciting their vows. They’d been together for about a year and a half, after meeting at her sister’s wedding across the country. Sars had flown in from China to attend and only had a few days to get to know this tall bearded fellow. Shortly afterwards she flew back out of the country. A few months later he left his job and booked a flight to China because he had a funny feeling that she was the one for him. Everyone waited with optimism, trying not to imagine how awkward it would be if it didn’t work out.
As he described their crazy love, the Ugly Cry was briefly kept at bay when the Matron of Honor turned around to ask the other nine bridesmaids “Where’s the ring? Where’s the ring? Do you have the ring?”
She skipped off to retrieve it, while I tried to figure out how I might MacGyver a temporary replacement out of bits of hair and flower stems. Thankfully this proved unnecessary.
The after party was a delicious infusion of wine, beer, cheese, lamb stew, and cinnamon rolls and the first dance was a perfectly choreographed rendition of “Love is an Open Door” from Frozen. Alex and I watched from a distance, huddled around a fire pit, where unsupervised children defaulted to us as the authority on whether or not they could get away with throwing dried lily pads into the fire or letting their marshmallows go out in a blaze of wildly waving glory.
“Yes, children. By all means, catch things on fire. This is a time for passion and love.”
They had more guests than I have Facebook friends, which is no surprise, since they’re the sort of people that love well. Speaking of love—I made them play an awkward game at their couple’s shower, wherein they had to guess at Sars’ favorite part of his body.
SHE NAILED IT.
Clearly they’re headed in the right direction. It’s weird to look back at the friends who’ve been through such epic sloughs of shite with me and see how we’ve still managed to stay together. That might have made a really great basis for a toast, but I decided to spare everyone, even though Sars kind of deserved it. At Peeves’ wedding several years ago, Sars and I both gave toasts– mine had something to do with a late night arrest and true love, but Sars’ was more like this: “I can’t believe I’m in your wedding, because I used to not like you at all. And I was in love with your fiance and knew him before you ever came along. So this is kind of unbelievable.”
How’s that for a fairytale ending.
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