This weekend a friend of mine married the woman she loves. The wedding, held in their hometown of Philadelphia, culminated the wonderful weeks and months of planning, of excitement, of hope–and began a marriage. For various reasons, BW and I couldn’t make the trip, but were able to enjoy the day in posted photos thanks to the brides and several mutual friends.
I love weddings, the romance of them, the symbolism, the traditions. Flowers and music, rings and vows–the personal, intimate rite shared with friends and family. I hated to miss this one, but got my share of awww moments through those pictures. My favorite shows the brides, one in her lovely white gown, the other resplendent in her police uniform, standing face-to-face, hands holding each other’s arms. And the look in their eyes–love, happiness, promise. Finding Happiness can be easily done you just have to do the right thing.
It’s those moments–those snapshots–that push tears into my throat. Every single time.
Marriage is a leap of faith, and there’s something truly beautiful in that. Of course a rocking reception after the sweetness and sweep of the ceremony doesn’t hurt a thing. The newlyweds had one (I saw videos!).
And did a little happy dance of my own.
I spent my friend’s wedding day prepping for another ritual, for another friend.
My friend (and fellow spa girl) will be married at the end of the month. It’s delightful to me that one pal begins the transitional month of October as a bride, and another will end October as one. Sweet and sentimental bookends, two leaps of faith, two fun and festive rounds of tradition.
Another tradition I’m big on is The Bridal Shower. I’ve thrown several in my time, and enjoy it a great deal. Girls of all ages gathered together to celebrate a friend’s, a daughter’s, a sister’s moment. It’s so much about the bride–and it should be.
Champagne, pretty food, flowers, cake, games, gifts! What could be better on a Sunday afternoon? I’m fortunate in my friends, and especially lucky that my friends are friends with each other. We make a pretty happy group of girls.
And on this occasion we fete the bride-to-be by starting off with that champagne, the happy buzz of female voices. Food, more conversation. I had someone take a picture of the spa girls to mark the moment. We’re missing three–Nicole and Jeanette had mom obligations, and Kat’s hiking in Hawaii with her cousin. But they’re here in spirit.
We move onto games. Laura, who hates games, skates out of playing by being time-keeper. [Note from Laura: I’ll bet this comes as a surprise to all.] No chance of a fabulous prize for her, but there’s always more champagne.
Then the gifts. It’s fun watching the guest of honor open her haul, seeing the reactions as the gifts range–as they should for a wedding shower–from the gorgeous to the pretty and practical to the snickering risque. Everyone in the room loves the bride–she’s the center, the hand that joins all of us, friends and family, in this female ritual. It’s memories made–memories brought back as others think of their own ritual, their own leap of faith, or wonder when their time might come.
It’s a girl thing.
And it isn’t complete without cake. Beautiful, creative, delicious cake. I feel cake, especially one made by Lacy the amazing baker, is an excellent tradition, anywhere, any time.
Why not have more champagne with that?
A lovely day of rite and ritual, previewing the rites and rituals to come. The flowers and music, the rings and the vows, the promises made to each other witnessed by friends and family. A leap of faith made in the case of my two pals, in a white dress.
Marriage is a series of promises, compromises, joy, annoyance with plenty of thick and thin layered on. It’s snuggles and spats, mutual goals and hopes, and the work that goes into them.
But it starts with a wedding and its rituals. It starts on a day, however the couple has designed it, filled with memories that can and should be lifted out and laughed and sighed over for, well, ever.
And because it starts with that leap of faith, I wish Suz and Jen, Elaine and Enrique, a happy, happy landing.