My best friend got married this weekend in Ohio. In a barn. At the county fairgrounds. It was beautiful, not nearly as hillbilly as it sounds, and pretty much her Pinterest board come to life.
I was talking to one of my best friend’s parents sometime between ceremony and dinner about how extra special it seemed to be a part of a wedding after having hosted your own. Like cheering for a marathon after having run one yourself. Knowing all of the hours of planning, worrying, and dreaming, mixed with months of appointments, envelope stuffing, guest list managing, DIY projects, cake tasting… all culminating into one final day. Planning a wedding might be slightly less physical work, but is definitely just as mentally challenging and time-consuming as training for a marathon.
And on the big day your feet probably hurt just the same.
Having that insider’s perspective, I watched Lauren extra closely all weekend to see if I could find anything going on under the surface that might need attention or that might just be extra heart-warming. (Sorry Lauren, if reading this makes you feel like a microspcoped lab bride.) I saw an ever-so-slightly nervous and overwhelmed version at venue set up; a distant and tunnel-visioned version at rehearsal; a so-filled-with-love-it’s-bursting-out-her-eyeballs version at breakfast; and a calm-before-the-storm anticipation as she got her makeup done. I prayed she wouldn’t notice the backed up line at the bar or find out the caterer forgot the vegetarian options. I watched her smile at her groom as they exchanged their vows like they were the only people in the room, and hug her guests with a genuine gratefulness that they were there to celebrate with them. I watched her laugh to tears on the dance floor late into the night and curse her dress while hovering over the toilet in a bathroom stall.
All things that are pretty standard, but on the other side of the wedding-planning veteran fence get magnified by a billion.
eagerly waiting for her appearance down the aisle – imagining the last quiet moment her and her dad are having
Weddings are such a blur of loud white noise and nonstop chaos, and it can so easily fly by without hardly a chance to acknowledge the grandness of the day, let alone all the extra special little moments. It took this secondhand spectator experience to realize just how much I missed out on during my own.
The things you risk missing : the sky clearing after a day of rain just in time, and the metaphysical horse head at the barn party
As I told this to my friend’s parents this – a little less eloquently as the beer was flowing pretty heavily by then – I realized something. A real philosophical “what is the meaning of life” moment right there in the bar line in that Corntown barn.
“It’s the same for life, huh? When you’re ‘OMG SO BUSY’ and everything is flying by a million miles an hour, you’re going to look back one day and realize you missed a killer party. Need to slow down and soak in those little moments, man.”
“You’ve been in California too long, sweetie.”
Maybe. But whether we’re talking about weddings, marathons, or life, you know it’s about enjoying the journey, not just crossing the finish line.
*wrote this on my tablet, sorry if the format is wonky or spellcheck furloughed.