As a young girl, I never fantasized much about my wedding (although when I mentioned this to my mother, she said I was a liar and that I used to say that I would have a big, big fancy wedding and ask if she would pay for it). I was a flower girl when I was eight, and pretty much hated the burgundy, long sleeved velvet dress I had to wear. It was stuffy and everyone told me to smile too much.
Then I didn't go to a wedding until I was in my early 20's, whereas my best friends (one dating older dudes; one who is Indian) seemed to go to 10 a year. As a FRIENDS fan, when Monica finds out how much Chandler has saved in the bank and says that the amount is exactly what they need for her Option A Dream wedding, I hissed at the TV and was outraged that she would think that spending his years of financial hard work on ONE day was sane.
So I didn't really have... perspective, shall we say, of what a wedding could be. What a wedding is.
It turns out that it is more than just the one day...that what it represents lives in the breaths and smiles and foundation of how much everyone supports you and your new husband.
It is the moments when your best friends in the world gather on your parents' front lawn to recreate Prom for your stag; it is when they remind you of stories of you when you were single and dumb; it is when your future husband secretly rides into Richmond on his motorcycle just to hand off a card before your stag ; it is in the intimacy of a tea party where you can relax and not worry about planning for the first time in weeks; it is in sisters and mothers who are stoked for you, even when you thought they thought weddings are slightly facetious; it is in becoming a Chinese Martha Stewart, churning out wedding details like a (begrudging, but detail-oriented) boss.
|Sis and my favourite part is Dad creepin' in the back.|
|Responsible, educated alumni of McNair, class of 2002.|
|Surprise! Bouquet of lilies because of that time he asked what my favourite flowers were, and I said lilies because it sounded nice but couldn't remember what they look or smell like.|
|I'm starting to get to the point in my life where I don't clench my teeth when my name is spelled wrong. Progress!|
|Such a lovely day.|
|Highly recommend The Urban Tea Merchant.|
|Lavender and tall grass boutonnieres for the gentlemen, c/o yours truly.|
It is in the week leading up to the wedding, when it's just you and your man on Saturna and the tent people show up at 6am to set up; it is the arrival, day by day, of so many of your favorite people in the world and watching as they collide; it is in reconnecting with old family and new; it is in the popping up of camping tents and witnessing the hum of new rhythms in the Meadow; it is morning meditations down by the water, and seeing other people do their own spiritual homages, whether that is a morning dip in the sea or a cup of coffee. It is in all the hugs and words of wisdom and helping hands that we will never, ever, ever be able to pay back.
|Magic on the island.|
|Love these Green men.|
|Collision in the best possible way! The original Thursday gang.|
|The joy of meeting new family members.|
|The day the sea felt like bathwater.|
|Mike rounding up his minions to forage for stinging nettle to fry up. Fingers tingling for days.|
|The ladies taking an estrogen breather to walk back to camp.|
|My favorite spot on the island.|
|Time to greet people at the ferry with our best host faces.|
|The Lermittes and Lacroixs show up!|
|Scott insisting on taking our picture; turns out there was really some wicked light. Thanks buddy.|
|Friday night Pub social; walking in as last night as fiancées.|
|Probably something inappropriate was said, judging by the cast of characters.|
|I post this picture so you can (sort of ) see the stick that Eddie whittled over the course of a couple days. He was proud.|
|Punk rock daddy-o.|
|Blair's new ink.|
|Morning of D-Day. Lots of activity at the Shorehouse.|
|Boys getting the canoe bar ready.|
|Time to primp and preen.|
So if there any future brides or grooms out there who are tentative or ambivalent about all the hubbub that surrounds weddings, I guess I'm here to tell you that, ultimately, all the stupid planning and stupid excel spreadsheets and stupid decisions you make will be more than worth it-- because it's about more than just one day: it is your bright shiny past & your bright shiny future.
See you next time for a tale that ends with husband and wife.