After a short night of sleep the night before, 3 of us girls piled out of the same bed and the 4 other room mates got up as well. The nice thing about going to bed at 2am and showering just before you crawl in your bed is the fact that you don’t need a shower a mere 5 hours later when the alarm goes off. It’s like a glorified nap. We saved water and time that way although we did lose sleep using this sleep vs. shower method.
A short hour and 45 minutes later found a whole passle of smiling, giggling girls spilling out of the same hotel room and bustling down to a waiting, shiny limo. A couple of us weighed our options and opted for coffee instead of a limo ride. Yeah, that's how important coffee can be to a person: instead of taking your first limo ride ever, you’d settle for coffee instead. I almost felt
Arriving at the church we immediately plugged in irons, set up ironing boards, began fixing hair and spraying perfume. I personally became heavily intoxicated with the cloud of hair spray and perfume and nail polish that filled the room we were in but hey, at least we all looked nice and smelled good too.
After getting my hair done, I began to prepare for putting on my dress. The Dress. That bridesmaid dress I had slaved over along with my kind sister-in-law who had finished it up for me and made it fit perfect.
As I went to get my hand picked undergarments that I needed before putting the dress on, I found that they were no where. I looked everywhere I knew I had put them and they were entirely missing. I ran out to the limo that had just arrived with the male wedding attendants and interrogated the driver about the location of my clothing. The petrified driver kindly assured me my clothes were not in the luggage area
I called a family member still at the hotel asking them to please check the room my clothes were last in. The clothes were gone. I just knew they were probably sitting in the corner of an elevator or laying strewn on a parking lot somewhere getting black tire marks on my much
I was desperate and really needed to be dressed and practicing the piano instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off in search of lingerie. I finally decided to just go to the bathroom and think. While in my perfume intoxicated state of mind and feeling dizzy from all the smells and lack of fresh air, I found in that hazy bathroom that the clothes I needed were already where they were supposed to be: on me. I was so relieved that the embarrassment of the whole ordeal did nothing to keep me from relieving the worried bride and my fellow bridesmaids that this matron of honor had indeed accounted for everything she needed for this day. I was met with scoffing laughter instead of sighs of relief.
And I don't understand why.
Anyway, now the dress. The Moment had come. I put it on, stepped out of the bathroom for inspection. I was met with yeah-it’s-okay-but-are-you-sure-you-can’t-tighten-your-bra-straps type of reaction. Not the type of response a maiden of honor expects. Or appreciates.
I decided to try on a different dress. So, I grabbed another one laying over the back of a chair. That one was too tight.
I slipped out one last time, hoping I hadn’t lost/gained too much weight over the course of time that had lapsed since my dress was sewn and grabbed the next dress I could find. Finally, it fit. I am making a mental note to personalize matching dresses I make from now on in order to save on time and the embarrassment of trying on every pink dress I could lay my hands on. Bare in mind that this is moving closely to about an hour before the beginning of the wedding and I still needed to practice the piano –before guests arrived—and do the finishing touches on myself.
I zipped into the still empty sanctuary and ran to the piano, relieved I was alone to practice the song assigned to me by the bride for her special day. I began to play and suddenly out of no where, people dressed in black began flashing lights at me, zooming in on my playing and taking in the piano from different angles. That was an excellent practice set up because it made me feel like I was seriously performing and definitely on display. It was realistically intimidating which was what I needed to live in the moment of performance without actually performing.
My fingers glided perfectly and as the damper peddle faded the song at the end, the photographer began to tell me how much he liked that song and the arrangement he heard and how he had it on his Ipod and perhaps I could listen to it later on that day. It was the inspiration I needed and appreciated but didn’t expect.
Doing the finishing touches on myself, opening bridal attendant gifts and then racing to the kitchen to get a bite to eat in order to help eliminate a sure tendency of fainting, I realized this was it. The groom was visiting with his attendants and looked out-of-the-ordinarily sober and serious. I felt an advantage on my sister (the bride) because I got to talk to the groom and see him on HER wedding day before she did. HA! Wait! That was the point… duh.
Teetering on the gold, pointy heeled sandals strapped to my feet, I attempted to gracefully flit around and make sure everything was in line that I was in charge of: flower girl, ring bearers, husband-of-the-matron-of-honor, etc. I found myself happily accepting the steady strong arm of the brother-of-the-bride who also happened to be my brother too. Those darling sandals were for looks, not for wearing. But, if you had a handsome soldier to escort you around, you knew exactly how Cinderella must’ve felt.
Helping the bride put on her beautiful gown, I couldn't believe the miracle that takes place in a girl when she becomes a bride in that one single moment. It’s a transformation. The point in time when she enters that portal between single hood and marriage. The radiant beauty the dress inspires in the girl that is now The Bride is heavenly. It was HER day. And she looked every bit of it too.
The moment came for us to line up in the order of our attendant positions. And then the tears of happiness came. I have never in my life had obvious tears on my eyes because I was happy. I was petrified my make-up would run and began receiving directions from all kinds of friendly people on how to dab one's eyes when you wear the kind of make-up you are not used to wearing. The rest of the people I was with told me to just quit crying because if I cried, then they would cry too. I felt so responsible in my out of character state of my mind and quickly controlled my tears. And that make-up.
The music started. The Grandmothers were seated. It was too late now to do anything else. Everything had to be ready. The first attendants entered the church. And then the next. And then the next and so on and so forth until it was my turn.
I stepped out on the white runner with my sparkly, tipsy sandals while taking hold of the strong arm of the attendant I was attending with. Thankfully, he had a much more substantial base than I had and it allowed me to thrive in the moment of dainty heels, shimmering dress, climaxing processional music and the fact that my sister was getting married. Immediately, I felt all the excitement and emotion of such a special day and my smile felt like my face would break. I was so happy.
I remembered back a few years when I walked down the same aisle on the arm of my father to the smiling groom waiting for me at the front of the church. I looked over to where that groom sat watching me and saw that same smile and that darling wink. I was so happy.
This was Brittney's day. The day she had waited for. Her groom had a very pleased smile on his face when we met eyes and I could tell he partook of the same joy I had for Britt only his was deeper. He had so much love for her in his eyes. This man that had won my sister's heart was worthy of her affection. He was so happy and I could see in his eyes what a million words could never say: she's all mine now and I will cherish her forever.
In a shower of pink petals and bright, giggly smiles, the flower girl and ring bearer put on a delightful show of sprinkling flowers down the aisle runner. They were perfect. I had no idea those children could possess such perfection. Anyone could tell they delighted in the participation they had in their Aunt Beemoo's day and the joy they had was evident in the pink cloud of petals they were all the way down the aisle.
And then the bride. She was beautiful. Her hair was perfect. Her dress sparkled like a ray of sunshine. Her smile, her confidence, her happiness, her composure, her love... all were as evident as the sun was outside. She didn't take her eyes off her groom the whole way down the aisle. She was radiant. This was the moment of her life and she celebrated every minute of it. I was so happy.
The ceremony, special music and vows were all perfect. Nothing went wrong. The first kiss was beautiful and the smiles and peace the couple had together was so inspiring to watch. They were definitely on a good start to a great marriage.
I never knew a day could be so perfect. But it was. And I was so happy but even happier that the happiness didn't end when the last notes of the recessional died down. A good marriage is sure to follow this happy wedding and I look forward to at last having a married sibling and settling down to life as young married couples together.
As hard as it is to believe, I have an idea I'm not half as happy as Andy and Britt are though. And for some reason, that makes me real happy.
I would post a picture from the wedding but due to previously committed-to requests, I was unable to photograph any part of the wedding. I guess that's part of being IN the wedding: you can't take pictures OF the wedding yourself. So, I captured it the best I could in words although I do realize that a single picture is worth a thousand words.