Two of my daughter’s school friends got married on Saturday. They were just slightly older than the age that DH and I were when we got married. So it was a pretty special reminder for us. We’ve known the bride since kindergarten and we’ve known the groom since late primary school.
DD was a bridesmaid so we had a special window into the preparations. We’ve shared a few ups and downs and had a pretty good look into what it is like to be on the other side, the parent side of a young wedding. I shed some tears when the bride walked up the aisle. I’m sure it will be even more emotional when it is our own children getting married.
The groom and groomsmen looked very smart, handsome, even. The bridesmaids were all gorgeous. The bride was beautiful! Her shoes were to die for. OK the dress was amazing but so were the shoes. I love shoes.
One incredibly neat thing was that the girls made up their own bouquets – the flowers were bought from a wholesaler but the girls chose the blooms and greenery that they wanted and made up their individual bouquet. They also did their own hair and the bride did their makeup and they worked together and got themselves all ready. And they looked beautiful. Don’t you think?
And that was the thing about this whole wedding. It was gorgeous, professional, delightful. But it was mostly put together by the family and friends. The reception was held in the groom’s family’s hay barn. The families and bridal party had worked so hard to carpet the ground (no floor, just carpet on top of the ground), to string fairy lights all around, to make decorations for the tables. The minister was the bride’s uncle, the (funky and talented) band was the bride’s brother’s band, the (incredibly detailed and gorgeous) cake was made by a friend. The parents of the bride and groom were running around all day making sure we had drinks, food, plates, cake. It was all so beautiful but all so full of love, full of family, full of community.
I’ve been to weddings where the stress of making the wedding a perfect day has been so full-on that no one enjoyed the day – the joy was lost in the pursuit of perfection. This wedding was not perfect but it was so full of joy, so beautiful. I am sure that everyone there enjoyed it. The bride and groom certainly did. It was a memorable celebration of a life-long commitment. A joining of two families. A day to remember.
I have to say, one slight imperfection of the day was that the reception venue was filled with wasps. Everywhere. The family had been laying wasp traps and each trap I saw contained about 100 wasps, but there would not have been enough traps in the world to get rid of the swarm that joined in with the festivities. Someone found the nest while we were waiting for the bridal party to finish their photo shoot but that was a little too late to help us.
The little boys were chasing the wasps around with bits of wood and trying to stomp on them, and one little toddler was trying to catch them like they were butterflies until her mother said something to the effect of, ‘Darling! Come over here, sweetheart! Leave them alone.’ through clenched teeth, trying not to let her panic show.
We could not eat without waving a couple of wasps off our plates between mouthfuls, and DS had to poke a couple off his plate with a knife because they were stubborn and didn’t want to leave. Once we had stopped fighting the wasps for our food it was actually quite interesting and informative to watch them chop bits of meat off the scraps on the plates and carry them away. To see whether they had bitten off more than they could carry or not. The fun of fighting with wasps stopped me from having seconds of the most excellent food but I would say that the wasp diet is not highly recommended…
As far as I know, no-one got stung, so that was good. Almost miraculous, considering the amount of wasps present as uninvited guests.
The party finished with some pretty amazing dancing, including all the bridesmaids spontaneously performing the whole ‘Thriller’ dance (with the brides mother!) and some sitting around a campfire chatting. It was a long day and we were all exhausted by the end of it but it was wonderful. A joyous celebration. Reminded me of our own special day. I hope we can make our kids weddings just as beautiful and joyful.
Before the wedding I had a quick chat with the bride about the stress and frustrations of wedding preparation. She asked me about our wedding: ‘was it a good day?’ I told her, ‘it was the best day of my life.’ It was! I’ve had brilliant days since but our wedding day still is at the top of the list. I was hoping and praying for the same sort of day for Saturday’s bride and therefore I was totally thrilled to hear in her speech, ‘Today has been the best day of my life!’ I know that this is just a milestone along the journey of their lives together. It is not the beginning, just a step along the way, but I’m so glad it came off well in the end, that it was a joyous and love-filled day and I pray for them both a joyous and love-filled long life together.