6.16.2011

Why a wedding is more than 6 hours in an arboretum.

The shower with my lovely bridesmaids.
Here's the truth about having a wedding: it's only 50% about the wedding day. At least, that's how it feels to me. Because in the ten months leading up to The Wedding, an event which will start at 5pm and end around 11pm, there are a billion little events and moments that count just as much.

A former boss (and someone I am honored to call my friend) happened to be in New York last weekend. She lives in Luxembourg and for a bunch of reasons, isn't going to be able to make it to our wedding in August. And so we spent three hours together at a Le Pain Quotidian in midtown last Saturday, talking about the best marriages she knows, the reasons I love Chris and the differences between French and American weddings.

"Should we take a walk?" she asked after we had paid the check. And so we walked down 3rd avenue a bit while I talked about not yet having sandals for the wedding.

"Let's go into that shoe store!" she said and because she has insanely classy style, I listened to her. Thus ensued 30 minutes of trying on various sandals and shoes and I walked out with a pair that were on super-super-sale and that will allow me to dance all night long. The sandals are great-looking. But the memory of purchasing them with a dear friend who won't be there on The Wedding Day is priceless to me.

There are hundreds of other examples. Dinner last weekend with two friends who have volunteered to handle picking fresh flowers and arranging them in centerpieces the morning of the wedding. Dinner last night with old friends who, amid great conversation about innovation and art history and musical performances, volunteered to loan us a sound system for the reception and DRIVE THERE TO SET IT UP THEMSELVES. I sent an email last week to our whole company asking if anyone ate Bonne Maman jam and would they save their empty jars for us. A co-worker that I barely know showed up the next morning with 20 jars.

When you let people in, when you invite them to participate in the joyful moments of your life, I promise that you'll be blown away.

A college friend wrote me a 3 page email suggesting places that we should stop as we drive down the Pacific Coast on our honeymoon (including places to sleep, eat and take random beach walks). We'll be spending the 4th of July in Madison, where I'll meet Chris' extended family and spend a few days with the Sarahs, a visit we have wanted to take for a while, now prompted and expedited because of The Wedding Day. These are examples of the tiny branches that grew out of planning this event, but branches that I did not anticipate, branches that make our wedding tree fuller and stronger and more meaningful than the 6 hours on August 13 we are excitedly waiting for.

I picked up my wedding dress on Sunday morning. It was shiny and new and so much whiter than the one I'd tried on in the shop. My Mom came down to the West Village and so did one of my bridesmaids, Katherine, who brought the veil she wore in her wedding, when I was one of her bridesmaids. I'll be wearing her veil; it matched the dress perfectly. I love that my Mom is getting to spend more time with my friends, getting to know them through this process of planning and parties and pretty dresses.

I know I'm going to cry my face off at our wedding. Part of it has to do with this insanely grateful feeling I have when I think about the man I'm marrying. I did good to wait for him. I'm going to have a great life, and a huge part of that is because he's going to be the one next to me.

But another reason for the tears will be the culmination of these wonderfully intimate moments among the people in our lives. It means so much when people reach out and are there to celebrate with you, regardless of whether they can make it to the actual day or not. That feeling, the feeling of us being loved and respected, is really just the best in the world.

3 comments:

Mer said...

voodoo donuts in Portland...i'm sure you will be in Portland :)

i'm very happy and excited for you - looking forward to seeing some photos of the big day!

Californienne Parisienne said...

Lovely, lovely post! Gros bisous, Blythe xx

Anonymous said...

I know we're behind in saying so, but Skersh and I are REALLY looking forward to your visit! (Also, I'm curious, would you and Chris ride bikes if the weather was nice?)
- SNiebler