And then there was the wedding.
I had never been in a wedding party before and there were many things that I felt a little out of the loop on. For example, there was the issue of timing. Time to do fun girlie things the day before, time to rehearse and meet everyone, time to get hair and makeup done, time to sit around while everyone else had their hair and makeup done, time to worry that you didn't look as nice in the dress as the other two bridesmaids, time to worry about falling down the stairs, time to make sure you smiled for the camera, time to dance, time to not look like a fool since your name was announced by the DJ and everyone knows who you are, etc.
I didn't realize just quite how long it would take for someone to do my hair or makeup, and I couldn't understand for the life of me why someone would want to attach fake eyelashes over my own. I was shocked at how many hours I had to sit around barely moving before my finished look was available to the world, and it was kind of odd that there wasn't any time for lunch or snacks. I believe the poor bride was so shocked at the timing for for her own hair that once finished, she promptly drank a Corona faster than anyone I had ever seen.
More drinking was to take place even when we were fully dressed and supposed to be ready for pictures. Wine was brought to our changing room, which was a shame since I was so worried about walking down stairs in heels, that I hardly touched mine. The bride however, drank hers, mine and another glass, along with a gooey chocolate chip cookie in order to calm the fuck down. I don't blame her. Still, my feeling was that I'd be ready for the drinking after I got down those stairs.
The ceremony worried me intensely because I felt like I was a floor model for this event. My sole purpose in this wedding was to look good. I was to look good walking down stairs, sitting with a candle in my hand and a rose bouquet in my lap, and walking back up the stairs, and then back down for the party. Oh my god was I nervous. I insanely checked for bunchy sections in my pantyhose and ways to stand so my arms looked thinner. Damn you fucking triceps!
The weird thing about three women wearing the exact same dress is that while everyone looked nice in them individually, standing next to each other you can see what's what. I was next to a lanky but beautiful 16 year old, and an absolutely gorgeous petite size 4. This made me terribly self conscious, a thought which hadn't really occurred to me until we were in that dressing room. All of a sudden, the dress that I helped pick out seemed completely unflattering on me. Sitting down was worse because it rode way up and nearly all of my legs were exposed. Thank god they're probably my best feature.
It was a strange experience all around for me. I didn't feel like I was particularly involved in any way shape or form, other than standing around looking pretty. I worried that I didn't do enough but also didn't know what else to do. The bride previously asked me to help her pick out music, but all I did was call and belt out: When A Man Loves A Woman or And I've Had The Time of My Life, clearly not taking the request seriously. One time I even texted her that Aerosmith song: And I Don't Want To Miss A Thing! I am a terrible friend.
The Maid of Honor decided that to be more involved, all three of us bridesmaids would stand up and say a few nice words speaking from the heart to the bride and groom. We were not asked to make a speech, but we felt it was the right thing to do. Clearly the right thing to do is to prepare what you're going to say ahead of time but oh well. Somehow, the Maid of Honor pulled out a beautiful story of their childhood growing up together and how she is so glad they still have each other. When she said that the bride made her a better friend and a better mother and so on, she started to choke, AND THEN SHE HANDED THE MIC TO ME.
What did I say about timing? Oh right. Timing was the problem. I started to choke as well right as she was saying those beautiful things. My brain had told me that when it was my turn, I would say these things:
The day before we were picking up the cake for the rehearsal dinner and the bride asked me what we should have them write on top of it. I suggested Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, which we didn't go with, but what a lovely thought to stay with us throughout the day. We're all here to celebrate love. In a conversation I had recently with the bride, she told me that if everything was all right at home and in their relationship, than everything else would be alright too. I admire the courage and commitment that love brings us to. Now that they have everything they need within each other, I want to wish them a lifetime of happiness. And so, I just want to say as a blessing from my culture: To the bride and groom, To Life! L'Chaim!
INSTEAD, my mouth said this:
Love is a hhhhhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuuuu many uuuuuuuuuu splendored thing......and it is. She told meeeeee........hhhhhhhh snifle snifle snifle that if everything is good at home everything hhhhhhhhhh sniffle (breathe out) would be fine. And now (look over at them making a ridiculous face at me) they have everything they need becauuuuuse they havvvve each other. (raise empty water glass) Aaaaaand so, I just want to say To Life, L'Chaim.
And I shoved the mic at her sister.
Oh my god the humiliation. I profusely apologized for this episode, but what's done was done. I normally do not ever get shy about speaking in front of a crowd, nor do I remember ever getting so emotional in front of that many people. I wish I could tell you that it was because of all the wine I drank, but no. I only had that half glass before the ceremony.
Not wanting to make a further spectacle of myself, I barely drank or danced that whole evening. I mostly ate strawberries off their beautiful edible center pieces. Luckily there was a photo booth that brought endless smiles and hilarity.
Normally my favorite part of any wedding is the dancing, but I can't say that I missed out too much. A year ago at the bride's brother's wedding, Uncle Alfredo had spun me around too much. She insisted that he is harmless, and while I admit that he was an excellent dancer, I was good to remain seated this time. Uncle Alfredo told my date that he has competition, and to check out the chi chis on the bartender.
It all went by too fast in my opinion because the food was marvelous, the place was beautiful, and they had the richest to die for cheesecake for desert. I'm glad I got to take part in this, and I hope I did a good job. There is more to this floor model thing than I realized.