Anatomy of a Wedding

My BFF Vicki got married on April 2. I hadn’t been a bridesmaid for some years, and there I was, a matron of honor for the first time (I strongly disapprove of the term “matron”, by the way. Sounds so old, so fuddy-duddy. I’m officially petitioning for the title to be changed to “Woman of Honor.” But I digress). It truly was an honor to be a part of my best girl’s special day.

Wise men and women say two things: 1) The day will not be perfect. Something WILL go wrong. 2) That’s okay. It will be beautiful anyway. Just enjoy the moments!

From the humorous to the harrowing to the “hallelujah” moments, here are the highlights (you know you love all that alliteration! ):

Harrowing: I picked Vicki up around 7:45 am and took her to Macy’s to get her makeup done at 8 am. After waiting for 45 minutes we came up with a plan B for makeup and headed out the door. We were in the car and about to drive away when the lady walked up. Apparently there was a marathon going on around the mall and she couldn’t get through! The makeup turned out beautifully and lasted all day. Hallelujah!

Humorous: Once we arrived at the church, the bride’s room (which was a nursery- show of hands, how many of you ladies have been set up in a nursery for a wedding?) became a scene of feverish activity. There were several bridesmaid dress mishaps. First and worst, I had gone on vacation the week before and had eaten a lot of rolls and ice cream; therefore, I didn’t really fit into my dress. I put my hands on my hips, sucked in with all the strength I had, and the dress just zipped up- thank you, Wallisha, for taking on that task. It was terribly uncomfortable. It wasn’t until later that I realized it had gouged holes in my back. Literally, I had scabs. Then Shuree got something on her dress, so we doused her with water and used the steamer to dry it. Then suddenly I had a huge stain across the front of my dress- I still don’t know how it happened- and they did the same for me but it didn’t work. Oh well, nobody noticed! Hallelujah!

Hallelujah!: Vicki was the eye of the storm. She simply put on her dress and sat in a child-sized chair as we all whirled around her. In addition to us bridesmaids running around doing hair and makeup and burning ourselves with the steamer, there were children under foot, hostesses  trying to find ties and guest books, and family members constantly taking selfies. Despite the chaos, we were able to find time to pray for the bride. Gathering around her to speak a blessing over her wedding was a beautiful moment.

Harrowing: The wedding was supposed to start at noon. Again, I see Vicki in my mind’s eye, sitting calmly and saying something to the effect of, “I’m ready to get married. What’s the hold up?”  We finally headed to the sanctuary around 12:30. I think that starting late was really a blessing because when it did start just about everyone was there-  A couple hundred people gathered together for this awesome occasion. Hallelujah!

Humorous: I’ll just say one word: aunties. Aunties were in full effect at this wedding. Towards the beginning of the ceremony there was an aunty in a large hat taking pictures front and center, but Thank God she sat down. I thought I was going to have to send a bridesmaid to confront her, or do it myself (okay, not really). After the ceremony, there was a group of aunties up on the sanctuary platform taking pics. They kept backing into the shots the professional photographer was trying to take of the bride and groom down front. He sort of just looked at them until someone shouted them down. We got some good belly laughs on that one!

Hallelujah!: The ceremony was beautiful. It was amazing to watch Vicki walk down the aisle, and just as she came to the end the music swelled and the song hit its dramatic high point and it couldn’t have been any better if it had been a movie. The whole thing was a perfect mix of music, heart, humor, and the Word of God, all capped off by a lovely kiss. Sigh!

Humorous: Their first dance was so cute. James did this move when he would spin Vicki where he would put his arm out like a ballroom dancer. Hilariously precious. I wish I had a video of it. Watch this bald guy when he puts his arm out- it was kinda like that except not quite as graceful. James, all you need is a little training!

Hallelujah!: Food: delicious. Cake: delicious. ‘Nuff said.

Harrowing: It turned out to be very difficult to get a piece of cake, though. There were so many people, and it was served later in the reception, so people were moving around a lot. I stalked servers. I went to the door of the kitchen. A  group of us gathered around the cake table like sharks as they were putting the last layers away. Please don’t put it away! I want more cake!

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All of these moments made for a wonderful day that went by too fast for me. As we were talking about it a week or two afterwards, Vicki noted that people had been telling her how her wedding had blessed them. It’s easy to get caught up in what doesn’t go as planned, but here’s the bottom line: friends, family, and loved ones gathered to see this woman marry a wonderful man. Her family and cultural traditions were honored, and most importantly, God was honored.

Here’s to you, Mr. and Mrs. Walker, and the many happy years you will share together! And seriously, James, I see ballroom dancing in your future…

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