Two weeks ago today my best friend got married. SHE GOT MARRIED. I meant to say something sooner, mostly so that my blog didn’t greet newcomers with that Sad Panda Surprise post. To be honest, my thoughts haven’t really progressed much from, “!!!!”
Let me just say, before you go any further, that this post title is a warning. If you continue, you are doing so at the risk of your own comfort and understanding that there is a certain shamelessness that accompanies being a personal blogger. </warning>
Friday night we rehearsed. People showed up early to help decorate, though I was a straggler in that respect because my parents flew into town for the wedding. (My mom made her veil!) When I did finally show up to cut flowers and put together centerpieces with the other girls, the HEY THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING feeling hit me. I couldn’t stop saying, “They’re getting married,” every 42 seconds. Fortunately, it wasn’t just me. “Can you pass me the scissors. Also: they’re getting married.”
The bridesmaids all spent the night with her. We had adorable slumber party times, complete with painting our nails. She gave us adorable bracelets and tried and failed to remember what she wanted to say (wings beneath my… feet… wind… wait, what?).
I got to be the one to take her out to where she got her hair done in the morning. “Got to” because there were a few other names being thrown out their for this job. It was like at elementary school birthday parties when you will legitimately fight someone for the right to sit next to the birthday kid.
We drove out to Box Canyon and swapped stories about the many times and reasons we had been on that freeway, listening to our favorite high school songs. Even though I probably shouldn’t have been the one to go, as I would realize later, I am so incredibly glad I did. I watched her magical Disney Princess braid come to life and claim my own selfish little slice of her day.
I appreciated it that much more when I missed large chunks of the next couple hours because it took an army of bridesmaids to make my hair cooperate in the semi-braided-mostly-curled thing we had going on. This story is about to take a turn for the feminine TMI, so consider yourself warned and handle it accordingly (leave, never return, unsubscribe, look at me funny the next time we meet). In addition to my strugglebus hair, my uterus decided it would be hilarious to send forth an unthinkable amount of blood all in one day and make me think I was probably maybe dying. Fun!
With my hair only about 80% done, we went to the park up the street to take pictures. This was absolutely a moment in which I was thrilled that nobody would be looking at me, but also terribly anxious because nobody wants to be the person who looks distractingly awful. “Hi, sorry I ruined your wedding photos with my mental patient hair and stained dress! CAN WE STILL BE BESTIES?”
(Yes, I know, I know, I have quickly turned someone else’s big day into being something all about me because I am a self-absorbed twenty-something with a blog.)
I teared up for the first time when we got to the park. I have never cried at a wedding before, and I never thought of myself as a happy crier, but this whole view on myself was quickly changed. They did a first look before the wedding, hence the pre-wedding photos, and standing there with a gaggle of bridesmaids watching them was more than my FEELS could really take. It was odd but beautiful because it’s this very intimate moment, except for the audience. Or maybe not except because that audience consisted of their wedding party and immediate families. I’m not sure. Watching them both tear up with joy did me in. I think I’m a contagious crier. I feel everyone else’s feels.
But alas! My aforementioned uterus has an amazing sense of humor so this was the ideal time for my vagina situation to get out of hand. The photographers started with the groomsmen photos, so I had about ten minutes to run back down the hill to where we parked (obviously the large group of girls in nice dresses and heels complained loudly about the steep-hill voyage) grab some new underwear and change in the awesomely KLASSY park bathroom. It was about as fun and wonderful as you would imagine. I’m not good at public feelings, but I cried pretty heavily in that bathroom.
I got back just in time and we started with bridesmaid one-on-one photos, so between my anxiety, uterus, and feeling other people’s feels, watching her take pictures with her sisters in her wedding dress caused the next round of tears. We did one normal, smiling picture, and then we were each supposed to choose some sort of posed thing. I was so incapacitated by the feels that our exchange was kind of like a shy kindergartner asking the teacher for permission to get a new box of crayons. I was mumbling and she totally got her soothing elementary school teacher voice out. This, ladies and gentlemen, is part of why I love her so much. She took everything in such remarkable stride and as her bridesmaids were all weeping messes, she was the one coddling us.
From that point on, I realized that the only way I was getting through the pictures without ruining the makeup was to not ever look her in the eye. Without fail, that was usually what made me start crying, because those were the moments where she went from being this gorgeous bride to being the girl who sat in my garage with me in the 8th grade and made Junior Achievement marketing reports or drove across the country with me in high school. And here she was, getting married, and she looked perfect and everything was perfect and oh my god yes, happy things really DO make me cry because I am so overwhelmed with emotion that my emotions must liquify and leak out of my eyes.
This is about the end of my clear memories of the day. I know they finished curling my hair and we waited in a room until it was time to line up and I know we did line up, but I don’t remember that. I remember being on stage and crying because I could see him crying and then we were off the stage even though I was pretty sure we had just gone on the stage. They took family photos and that was probably my most intense bout of sobbing. My little sister was there at this time and because she is evil, she chose that moment to start snapping four hundred million pictures of me.
There was a reception in which there were tearful speeches (his best man gave the best speech in the history of wedding speeches) and dancing and jumping that I felt sore from for days.
Three of us were upstairs cleaning the room where we got ready when the bouquet toss happened. We heard it start and looked at each other panicked before we threw the stuff we had in our hands off to the side and ran downstairs, tripping over our floor-length dresses. We walked in just as they moved on to the garter which, for lack of a better word, sucked. But then we resumed the dancing and jumping and belting the words to pop songs and all was right in the world again.
And then I was standing in a church parking lot with a hundred other people all holding bubbles to send them off and I was crying again as I watched all the bubbles float away.
After we had finished the last of the clean-up, it was down to the maids-of-honor trio (FLUFFY. WE ARE FLUFFY.), the coordinator, and a few other friends. Another third of Fluffy mentioned that we missed the bouquet toss and so it was decided that the few remaining friends would reenact it for us. They tossed one of our bouquets and the soon-to-be-married coordinator caught it. We chased her around the room until we collapsed from laughing too hard, expelling the last of the intense, overwhelming emotions of the day.
I did one more round of cry-hugs and drove off to meet my parents at their hotel and change out of my muddy-hemmed, stained dress. (Yes, blood stained! I didn’t know this until the following morning, though everyone swears it wasn’t like that during the ceremony. I am choosing to believe them because it’s easier than obsessing over a thing I can no longer change. Nor could I have done anything about it then.)
It had been a long, intense week, but it ended on such a wonderful note. Continuing the theme of selfishly making the events of this day all about me, watching my best friend get married was probably the best possible way to follow-up a loss. I’d make some sort of circle-of-life love-and-loss comment now, but I’m not good at that sort of thing.
Having now hung out with them as actual married people, my epic feels are still best described as: !!!!!