I’ve always loved weddings – other people’s – because after all the planning, on your “special” day something inevitably goes awry – someone’s late, food doesn’t arrive, the soloist sings off key while the pipe organ plays “Groovy Kind of Love” and your bridesmaids run out into the entrance not fully dressed dodging arriving guests. And as a guest, I’ve always felt I had free reign to laugh. I’ve been shushed, elbowed, threatened and mostly to no avail; I love a good wedding.
My wedding had its own curveballs. First, there was the battle of the cake topper – my mother-in-law thought we should have one of those Precious Moments figurines that her granddaughter had mis-painted; I loathe Precious Moments – their too round heads and big eyes – they scream, “use our bits to make pastel mosaic tiles – end our misery.” Then there were the hot pink tulle bows, the plant holder-styrofoam-moss headed decorations that were supposed to represent the wedding party at the rehearsal dinner and the pep talk I had to give myself during the meal “you will not throw up, this food is cooked, you will not throw up.” The best-man backed out the night before the wedding after being told that he was expected to pick up the tux we had selected – it wasn’t a wear what you want kind of affair and so he showed us by announcing he wasn’t coming. Then, the day of the wedding, I thought it would be nice if my bridesmaids and I had our hair and make-up done beforehand. It’s your “special” day and in my mind, at that time, magic happens and you emerge looking radiant, beautiful and I was secretly hoping for stunning – you know, a miracle given my looks. The call I got at the beauty shop that day from my soon to be ex-husband (err… husband) went something like, “I just saw your maid of honor and you better not come to the wedding looking like a whore.” In his “gentle” way he had reduced her to tears and make-up remover. A real charmer, he was. When I emerged from the salon I looked less like “a whore” and more like the twin of Maleficent, the Disney nemesis of Sleeping Beauty with eyebrows plucked to a harsh point and purple eye shadow that extended from my nose to my hairline. The face only your parents could love.
As I stood before the pastor making one of the biggest mistakes of my life, I did the one thing I do best. I busted out laughing. It didn’t help that the pastor, a man I’m convinced later led his church to a small island and convinced them to drink the magic Kool-Aid, was carrying on ad nauseum about how I should serve my husband and how the rules on how I should serve him were all laid out in a special book, the Bible. (A moment that caused several of my bridesmaids to make faces and turn around to share those faces with the guests and groomsmen.) Then to top it all off, he turned around and faced the garden and sang a cappella. Another long awkward moment that caused my guest’s to whisper about later.
It was a bad day. A day I knew I’d made a huge mistake. A day I knew would later involve lawyers, but I smiled for the guests while wondering how long it would take before my eyebrows returned.
… and it was ultimately all worth it, because I met Jay, my partner, my best friend – the best person I know. Thank you for the past 7+ years.