I love weddings. I love the beauty of the sanctuary, the candles, the flowers, the dress-up clothes. I’d say I love the hats, but that was only true of The Royal Wedding, and not weddings in the American South.
I love the bridesmaids’ dresses that will never be worn again and probably do not look good on every body. The up-dos and the make-up. The elegant bride.
I love the awkward parts. The ringbearer who refused to walk the entire length of the aisle! The sudden cloudburst that sent the bride, groom and priest dashing for shelter under a tree, while the guests charged back to the reception tent. The long veil that snagged on the corner of a kneeling rail, yanking the bride’s head back and tethering her to the altar until she was released!
But these days, the best part of weddings—now that I’m not fantasizing that a handsome groomsman will turn into my prince—is that the friends and family of the bride or groom who sit in the pews near me include people whose weddings I celebrated. People who participated in my wedding day. Friends I met in my early 20s, who had children about the same time I did, and who now come together to celebrate this rite of passage for the next generation.
On my wedding day, I promised ’til death do us part, but I was way more concerned about what the humidity was doing to my hair and the groomsmen’s threat to skip the reception in favor of the football game.
I didn’t have any idea that the years would bring this kind of pay-off.