View from the other side

The Summer of Weddings has officially begun! And you know what makes it amazing? I’M NOT ONE OF THE MARRYING! Instead, three of my closest friends are (plus a whole bunch of you!), and I just get to do all the fun stuff: I’m a bridesmaid in one, a coordinator at another, the planner of the bachelorette (or stagette as we refer to them here in Canada-land) for two, and the supportive friend at all.

And now that I’m on the other side, I know how to do that well. I know how overwhelming it can be, how hard it is to be the host, and how all you want is for people to read your mind – how freaken hard is that?!? One of my favourite people at our wedding was my friend who had gotten married the summer before. Her and her husband knew exactly what we were going through. Examples of the wiseness: immediately after the ceremony they brought us drinks while we were too busy hugging people to get such things and throughout the family pictures they kept catching our eye with knowing looks to make us smile. (At their wedding I was a useless tit.) And then of course there was my MC friend who took on the role of Schedule Bitch to keep things running, thus sparing me that role, and I never even had to ask. I want to be that for my friends.

It’s also nice to see things from the point of view of the guest now that I’m a wisened graduate. Firstly, I know I’ll appreciate the wedding on a whole new level because I understand the work that went into every detail. And secondly, I finally get the whole ‘your wedding is not an imposition’ thing that Meg is always drilling into our heads. I wanted to believe her at the time but deep down I just couldn’t quite be convinced; whenever my friends said “I’m so excited for your wedding!” I kept thinking they are just saying that to be nice, and worrying that I was going to let them down with a lame-ass wedding. But now that I’m living it, I really get it: I’M SO EXCITED TO SEE MY BEST FRIENDS GET MARRIED. And I have no doubt that their weddings are going to be seriously fun, because 1. weddings are fun, 2. my friends are fun, and 3. it is not my wedding.

Oh thank god it is not my wedding! I believe the purest joy I experienced on my wedding day was relief when it was all done. That might sound like I didn’t enjoy my wedding – don’t worry, I did and it was undeniably a great party – but I bet my guests enjoyed it even more. I learned I simply can’t handle that kind of hosting pressure. But I’ve now got some left-over wedding joy in me that I plan to bring out at my friends’ weddings when no one is staring at me.

The only slight wrinkle I see on the flower and tulle-dotted horizon is the potential of my silly brain to jump in with all its toxic over analyzing and comparing. So with the blog world as my witness, I thereby swear NOT to make unhealthy and silly comparisons between my wedding and those of my friends. Their weddings will be lovely in all kinds of ways that are perfect for them, just as our wedding was lovely in different ways that were perfect for us.

Ok so it’s easier said than done, but I can at least try right? And hey, somehow writing about my toxic thoughts seemed to clear them out last time so maybe that’ll happen again. And if not, I’m pretty sure a couple of drinks combined with a good song will quickly focus my attention on the much more pressing matter of dancing my ass off.

Have you gone to weddings since your own? And if so, was it just so freaken fun to be able to rip it up without worrying whether you’ve talked to your great-aunt enough?

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Posted on July 14, 2011, in Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Hello Nina, and yeah totally. Just 2 weeks ago we were to the wedding of some close friends, and it was our first wedding after our own. I must say that yes, after your wedding you appreciate to the maximum all the little things. Even Mark was telling me “look take pictures of all the details” (flowers, ribbons hanging from the trees, etc—), to that point the planning oversensitizes you to these things. Me who is not so crafty, but does love the pretty little things.
    More importantly, like you mention, we were in a way “worried” about the couple… I kept asking the bride if she had eaten and drunk (we had a stand-up reception, no dinner and we both forgot to eat for most of the time… I almost had a melt down because of it).
    But what stood out for me the most, was the ceremony, it was like you fully understand every word, i got a little bit emotional, and I am not the kind to cry. I do feel things, it just does not come out that way. It all felt very deep, and we were extremely happy to be with them, to “understand” from the other side, like you put it so well.

    • Yes, I am really looking forward to the ceremony as well, as I suspect I might have the same reaction as you. I don’t normally get teary at wedding ceremonies, not even my own, but I think now that I’ve been there it will feel that much more meaningful.

      And that’s so cute about your husband taking pictures of the details!

  2. yes, other peoples weddings are so much more fun and meaningful now than they ever were before. I’ve only been to 3 since our wedding over a year ago, and 2 of them were mostly full of people I didn’t know. I definitely felt strangely protective over the couple, especially the 1st wedding after ours, which happened to be my husband’s best man’s wedding. I also almost died of delight when I noticed they had gotten an idea for something from our wedding. made my whole year.

    I have to repeat those toxic thoughts to myself before pretty much every wedding. I can’t help it, I love my wedding the best of all (since I knew and loved basically every single person there, for one thing), and it’s hard not to compare. But it’s so true that there can be no comparison, all weddings are fun and joyous when the couple is fun and joyful, and the rest just doesn’t matter.

    • Yes! I know some people out in WIC-land might find it horrifying if someone you know uses an idea from your wedding, but I think it’s fantastic. A couple of my friends loved our photobooth and totally want to do it as well so I think we’ll help them set it up! It’s totally a compliment of the best kind.

  3. UM, YEAH.

    haha although my brother says the worst part about attending a wedding once you’re married is that he’s not allowed to go for the garter toss anymore. he’s one of *those guys* at weddings – the sweaty ones that dance nonstop.

    • oh yeah, the garter/bouquet toss! I didn’t even think about that. I am SO GLAD to be spared from it – I once got practically mauled for that bouquet!

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