Tag Archives: weddings

How We Met

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We’ll both tell different stories. He remembers meeting me in a computer lab when I left my school ID card on his desk so I could check out a robot kit the way one might check out a book. He knew me as the theater girl he had seen in a play his sophomore year. I didn’t know him from Adam’s housecat. That is, until he introduced himself.

That’s his story. I don’t remember this encounter.

What I remember is sitting backstage during a large campus production. I was sitting by myself, surrounded by a crowd of other actors, pretending to do homework. I started humming “Memory,” my favorite showtune. This fellow beside me said, “Hey, I know that song! Isn’t that from Cats? I think we’ve met before…?”

I was dating. He wasn’t. We chalked each other up as “unattainable” and moved on.

Fast forward to the following semester. I was now a junior, and he was a senior. I was no longer dating. He was.

At least, for about a month. He and his girlfriend amicably parted ways. Then I got a phone call.

“Hello?” I said into the receiver. Who calls a dorm phone the day we’re all leaving for Thanksgiving Break, I wondered.

It was him.

“I was wondering if you’d like to go to It’s a Wonderful Life with me.” The show would be playing on campus the week after Thanksgiving. I really wanted to go, but as far as I knew, he was still dating.

“Uh…sure. Sure, that sounds great.”

“Great! What day?”

“The third?”

“December third?”

“Yes, that third.”

“Wonderful. I’ll get the tickets, then. Have a great Thanksgiving!”

Click.

Apparently he isn’t dating anymore, I thought.

The play was fun. So were the Tuesday night coffee dates. So were Thursday lunches. So were the other campus plays we attended. So was the art show. So was dinner at Cracker Barrel. So was our mission trip to Croatia. So were all the little walks we’d take on empty afternoons.

We’ve not stopped doing fun things together since December 3rd, 2012.

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Bridezillas

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Reality TV kind of outdid itself with Bridezillas–or, as I like to call it Pre-Divorce Court. Surely the whole thing was scripted, frame by frame. Call me naive, but I find it hard to believe that any human being could be that awful.

Well…maybe not.

In this show screaming, highly censored women rail their way through the wedding process. Most of the time they bicker with their grooms. They insist that the wedding is all about them. They reign as supreme dictator of the bridal party, the in-laws, her future husband, and her family. They throw things and break things and cry and wail and make women everywhere lose faith in their gender, and possibly even humanity.

The worst thing about these women is their selfishness. Their insistence that the wedding day is all about them. They demand to be the center of everyone’s attention. Their anger when they perceive that focus has been removed, even for a moment.

And all of them claim to be the kind of women who “always get their way.”

But at what a cost. Alienating their friends, their families, and the men they’re about to marry.

I watch these video clips in terror. I am taking notes about what not to do. Under any circumstances. At all.

I know that I will probably have a moment. One moment. One moment where something doesn’t go according to plan on the days leading up to the wedding and I will panic. And possibly cry.

This moment will happen in private and will last five minutes. Not a soul needs to find out about it as far as I’m concerned.

The day is not about me.

It’s about him, me, God, and the miracle of love.

I am human. But I will not devolve into a monster.

Nope.

Engaged

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“Engaged” has got to be the most ironic term ever.

Yes, I am engaged. I am very engaged. I am engaged to my Adventure Buddy, my other half, my favorite minion, the handsomest man I’ve ever seen. I have gestured almost exclusively with my left hand for the last two days. I’ve told the engagement story fifty times or more and I keep waiting for the next time I can tell it.

More on that later.

I’m a live wire. I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve. I’m as happy as an angel. I’m as giddy as a drunken man. I’m as merry as–well, you get the picture. (Name that quote.)

I am bursting at the seams.

And I can’t think about anything else.

I can’t think about literary theory. I can’t think about the history of English. I can’t even think about Shakespeare. I love Shakespeare. But not nearly as much as I love AB, wherein lies the difficulty in focusing.

I may be engaged, but I’m totally not engaged in anything else.

I was going to write another flight of fiction tonight, but it’s been a long day after little sleep, which will come back to bite me if I don’t do something about it tonight. After all, reality has become better than my dreams, and is much more fun to write about at the moment. Even more fun than writing about my beloved characters.

I know I’ll have to come down off of cloud 9 and focus on school and wedding planning. But allow me two days, maybe three, of complete and unquenchable happiness before I plunge into seriousness and stress for the next three months.

Maybe a week.

Hullabaloo

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The wedding is tomorrow. Let the panicking commence.

(For those of you who just tuned in, the tomorrow’s wedding is not mine. Believe me, if I were the one getting married tomorrow, this post would be shorter. And more frantic. And I would’ve mentioned the wedding in about every post for every day for about a year in advance. No, tomorrow’s wedding is my childhood friend’s. I’m playing the violin in her wedding. That is the extent of things.)

There’s a lot involved in weddings that’s awfully superfluous. I know that’s a strange thing to hear a woman say, but it’s true. A wedding is about two people vowing to love only each other for the rest of their lives. There’s more to it than signing a contract, but signing the contract and saying the vows in the presence of witnesses is all that’s legally and spiritually necessary.

But humans are humans, therefore there are traditions. Wedding cakes. Special wedding clothes. Catering. Decorations. Flowers. Long guest lists. Photographers. Bridal parties. Groomsmen. Flower girls. Ringbearers (you’d better believe mine will be barefoot and wearing trousers with suspenders). Toasts to the couple. Receiving lines. Musicians. Gifts for the bridal party. Guestbook attendants. Wedding favors. Tensions, tension, tension.
Believe me, I understand why all of the trapping exist. A wedding happens once. True love is a big, hairy deal that comes around once in a lifetime and deserves to be celebrated. I mean, think about it. Two people find each other—miraculously, considering the amount of humans on the planet. They get along. They overcome each other’s differences. They make each other better people. They have fun together. They know how to work as a team. They fit. Getting two people to fit is a supernatural occurrence. Getting two people to commit to each other, given the human aversion to commitment of any kind, is nothing short of miraculous. So the vows are a big deal. Love should be a celebrated thing, since there is so little of it in the world.

However, the trappings are frustrating. Lovely. Unique. Fun, even, once they’re done. But frustrating. And, because so much importance has been attached to the trimmings, they can be divisive as well.
I know my day will come, and I’ll want the trimmings. I’ll want unique decorations and special music and a pretty dress. I’ll want a cake (who doesn’t want cake?) and bridesmaids and a guestbook and most of the usual wedding things (though certainly not all of them). But I’d like the extra to serve the necessities: I want the guests to notice the God of love more than the wildflowers I’m holding or the way my hair is done. I want things to look nice and run well because I want people to know that God made love, that God is love, and that God gave me someone to love who loves me, too.

All you need is love, folks.

But a celebration is a celebration. And I’ve got a lot of celebrating to do over the next few days. My friend’s wedding is going to be beautiful. She’s beautiful, her groom is handsome, and their love is a beautiful, beautiful God-given thing. And in the end, that’s what will shine through.

So Many Commencements

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You know what’s weird? Watching your childhood friends getting married, that’s what’s weird.

It’s one thing when it’s a friend of your mothers or a cousin you only see once a year. It’s another thing entirely when it’s a girl you’ve known since grade school.

Imagine—her birthday was two days before yours, so you’d celebrate together. You went to her birthday party every year. She went to yours. She left her DVD collection of Gilligan’s Island at your house on accident and you watched episode after episode while you were recovering from a bug you picked up at the party. The two of you collaborated on a comic strip which carried on for volumes. She had this thing for finches, and she gave several to a friend of yours. She was weird. You were weird. You were mutually weird, and it made 6th grade bearable.

You were in the same section in orchestra together in high school. You watched her progression of boyfriends. You watched her freak out over a stuffed penguin he bought her. You saw her blossom into a slender, stylish young lady.

Then all of a sudden, there she is at the end of an aisle, gorgeous and dressed in white, hitched to some dude you barely know.

It came as a bit of a shock.

Don’t jump to conclusions on me, now. They’re an adorable couple. From what I understand, they’re made for each other. It was a beautiful wedding, intimate and centered on them and their families instead of on unnecessary fanfare. The groom cried. The bride cried. I may have even sniffled. Their groom’s cake was peanut butter and chocolate. It was great.

But the adultness of it all…the sudden and irrevocable change in her from Miss to Mrs. … the inability to reconcile my mental image of her as a little girl with the image of her as a bride, kissing this boy…the knowledge that all I’ll have to do is blink and they’ll have mini versions of them running around…blink again and the bambinos will be my age, and repeating the cycle with spouses of their own. Their children and my children may even be friends.

One summer wedding down. Two more to go. What other reflections are in store?

And Then There Were Three

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There’s a group of ladies that I spend a lot of time bragging on with this blog. They’re my “sisters.” They’re not technically my sisters. We share no relatives. We just share years of common joys. We’ve got a history. We’ve loved each other unconditionally for what feels like forever.

We’re also growing up. One of The Fabulous Five got married over Christmas. Now another is engaged—as of yesterday.

She’s our princess. She’s the second oldest—born in October, while the rest of us followed in November, March, and April. But she’s physically the smallest, and therefore the rest of us have taken on the role of her four protectors since junior high. Especially me.

Now she has a new protector. A very sweet, hardworking, wonderful guy has swooped into her life and done what all swooping men tend to do—swept her off her feet. Suddenly her happily-ever-after has gone from dream to near reality.

This is all very exciting.

And bewildering.

The three of us that remain unattached can only look on in quiet wonder as these events unfold. How many nights did we stay up late into the night, talking to each other from our sleeping bags, wondering what They would be like. Them. Those men we’d read about in books but hadn’t met yet. Those men we knew we’d eventually walk down aisles with. Them. At the time it was all innocent girlish talk—mere fantasy, and not to be taken seriously. But now two of us are sporting diamond rings. It’s real.

Isn’t the world full of wonderful things?

So she’s engaged. The rest of us are reeling from shock and we feel utterly ecstatic—and of course asking questions about wedding colors and what the dresses will look like.  

Time marches on. What a story this is! What a book! As I turn the pages, I see increasingly wonderful things.

Regardless—I’m still keeping a box of tissues handy.

 

Now I Can get Sick

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Any college student will tell you that for the entire semester, his biggest wish is not just to get good grades and maintain a decent social life. Oh, no. His wish is to not get sick. In the Jenga game of student life, our health is the one pesky wooden block that, if pulled from the pile, will cause everything else to come crashing down. School is hard enough as it is without having to battle sickness.

Unfortunately, most of us, at some point or another, must face the dark and slippery uphill battle of being both a students and sick at the same time. Few college professors are nice about deadlines, and rarely take illness as an excuse for lateness. Whether it’s a trifling cold or a knock-down, drag out bought with pneumonia, being sick during school just doesn’t make life any easier.

My mother told me one that every year, without fail, she’d return home at the end of a semester and have to deal with sickness for the entire break. She could force her immune system so far, but it would break down as soon as she knew she was done with a semester.

In the past few weeks, everyone I know has gotten sick. Both roommates were sick. My lunch buddies got sick. Several girls on my hall in the dorms got sick. A few of my closest friends got the sniffles. In short, just about everyone I’ve given a hug to in the past month has contracted some form of the Plague. And I’ve been waiting to catch something. Anything. With this much interaction with sick people, it was bound to happen.

Normally, it’s safe to say “I can get sick as soon as exams are over.” This was not the case for me this year, as I was going to be an attendant at a close friend’s wedding.

By some act of divine intervention, I did not get sick and made it safely through the wedding today. I started coughing the moment I got home after tonight’s festivities. But it’s okay. The semester’s over. The wedding’s over. Now  I can get sick.

Many Meetings

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There are few greater joys than reconnecting with old friends. Combine that reunion with good food and a common cause (i.e., a best friend’s wedding) and you’re bound for an evening of hilarity.

There is an initial awkwardness to be expected. At first, not everyone will be on the same page, simply because everyone will have undergone some form of change.

There are always, of course, the superficial changes. Some of the group will be heavier or lighter than they were in the past. Others will be taller. Hair color may have changed, or style of dress. The guys will have beards that weren’t there in the past, and girls’ hair is always subject to an infinite variety of changes in shape or shade.

Everyone in the group will have their own histories separate from your own, especially if they’ve gone to colleges far from home or have been on adventures that involved no other members of the party. College itself changes people. A few of you will be in relationships that you weren’t in before—and a few of you will have been freed from relationships that everyone knew about but was not aware of their terminations. A few years of separation, and you’ll discover how some people’s ideologies have shifted—perhaps negatively, perhaps positively. Goals that a person may have had in the past may have shifted to something entirely unexpected, such as someone who for years had been bent on world domination deciding he wants to be a missionary. At such reunions, expect curve balls.

However, the threads of your shared histories will re-entwine, and all of you will be able to—as the saying goes—“pick up where you left off.”

And the hilarity will begin.

The World is Not Kind to Bridesmaids

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Weddings. Weddings are lovely events. Beautiful people. Good food. Nice music. Pageantry. People wearing white. Families gathered in support of two people vowing to love, cherish, obey, etc. Pretty brides. Handsome grooms. Happily every afters. Really, weddings are lovely things.

However, comma, there’s a lot of messy prep work that goes into making sure that the spotlight is appropriately fixed on the happy couple. Part of that prep is making sure that the bridesmaids are clothed in something that matches the wedding colors. Or at least in something pretty close.

Trouble is, the options for bridesmaids are pretty scanty, and it is nigh unto impossible to find anything flattering that isn’t so flattering that it draws attention away from the bride.

I have the incredible blessing (no sarcasm intended—I am honored to be part of my friend’s wedding party) of being a bridesmaid in a wedding coming up on December 18th of this year. I am perusing the selection offered at David’s Bridal and am slightly appalled at the assumptions made by modern dress designers.

Assumption 1: Strapless dresses work well on just about anyone. This assumption is wrong on so many levels. Unless you happen to be a super model or a store mannequin, there is no way in heaven or earth that a strapless dress will stay up comfortably for longer than five minutes without the help of tape and/or black magic. Even then, you will either be unable to breathe or you will look like a muffin, depending on how you are built. (Because of my mixed readership, that is all I will say on the matter. Thank you.)

Assumption 2: One wide strap over one shoulder looks classy. Wrong. Unless, of course, you are part of a Flintstones-themed wedding and are going for the cavewoman look.

Assumption 3: Bridesmaids dresses should be short. Okay. Shorter than the bridal gown, yes. But dresses that cut off mid-thigh are no longer dresses. Those are glorified tank tops. End of story. Most girls look better in longer skirts anyway.

Assumption 4: If a bridesmaids dress is longer, the neckline must therefore plunge to her bellybutton. No. No. NO. Good grief, people, what do you have against girls covering up?

Assumption 5: Bridesmaids dresses must never, ever, EVER have sleeves. Why not? Sleeves hold things up. Sleeves look good on just about everyone. Sleeves make up for a multitude of figure differences between women. Considering the goal of a bridesmaid’s dress is to get four or five women to look more or less identical for the course of the ceremony, shouldn’t we be striving do make dresses that fit the best on the greatest number of women? Why make things hard by making dresses that only fit well on girls who NEVER EAT?

I love being a bridesmaid. I love being there for my friend on her special day. I love celebrating and supporting my friends’ decision to spend the rest of their lives together. But the fashion industry could make it a lot easier on us bridesmaids if they would just figure out that we’re only human. And we’re human on s budget. And humans that like to eat occasionally.