One of my favorite things to do in this world is go to a wedding. Nothing excites me more than an evening of drinking, dinner and dancing all for free. Last night I got to indulge in my favorite pastime and went to my BFF Ashley's mom's wedding. Ashley had planned most of the wedding and had decorated everything. It was beautiful, she did an amazing job. It took place in a gazebo overlooking a lake just as the sun had set. Christmas lights were strung everywhere and tiki torches lit the path. It was outside, but you didn't even notice the cold weather because it was so serene. Afterwards, we went inside for hot chocolate, dinner and of course cake. As the dance floor heated up there was even some really awesome dancers strutting some funky moves (oh wait that was Ashley and me). What more could you ask for?
Even as a child I loved weddings. As young as 1st grade I would have my mom buy wedding magazines and I would cut out pictures of wedding items and collect them in a book. I called it "My Wedding Album" - I know, I have always had a knack with creative titles. Back then my taste leaned a little more towards the Civil War era as most of my gowns sported big hoop skirts and large, floppy hats with enormous bows. Some might call this behavior a little odd, but I prefer to call myself "gifted" in the ways of wedding coordination. Beethoven had his piano, I had my wedding knowledge. As I got older my fascination with weddings did not end. I only made my dreams bigger. I even had a subscription to Modern Bride for many years - LONG before I even had a engagement ring.
So, all this talk of weddings got me thinking about what it is that I love so much about weddings. Could it be all the love in the air or the vision of happily ever after? I did mention the free dinner, dancing and drinks, but I think it is more than that. Since my first grade wedding album I have had the pleasure of going to numerous weddings and even having the honor of being in the wedding party of several. At one point, we literally had a wedding if not two or three to attend every weekend. It was great! At all of these weddings the memories of the ceremony and reception are kind of a blur but what I always remember the most are the times outside of these events, like the rehearsal dinner, or going out for the after party. The wedding itself is only part of the equation, the real event is everything but the wedding.
Many people will probably disagree with me and trust me I am not saying the ceremony and reception are not important (trust me I spent enough on mine that it better be important). But, when I look back on our wedding weekend what I remember most is the day before the wedding. I woke up sick with worry and my closest friends Darby and Kristen took me to the mall for an Aquamassage, oh yes, we went all out. Then we had my bridal luncheon in our very own private room at Maggiano's where I could look out and see all the most special women in my life all in one place. Afterwards, we continued the party at Elizabeth Arden getting our nails done. That night, after the rehearsal and dinner everyone gathered at a friend's apartment where we had a huge party. Everyone was relaxed and I even had time to sit down unlike my real reception. So, when I think of weddings I do enjoy attending the wedding itself but I really love everything else even more. I wish I had really thought about all of this before I spent so much time worrying about every little detail of my wedding. If people only knew the stress and anxiety I had leading up to the big day, everyone would vote to have me committed to an institution right away. In the end no one remembers what they ate, or what my flowers looked like, they remember all the fun we had spending time with each other.
You are probably asking yourself where the fish factors into a discussion on weddings. Well, my party favor from the wedding is a new fish. BFF Ashley had put Beta fish in all the flower vases, sixteen to be exact! Little Ashley has been wanting a new pet fish ever since we killed her last ones, so we gladly took one. FiFi, is now resting peacefully in her bowl. May she live longer than the three days Bella and Madeline lived.