We’ve been gone for a month through Germany and Italy. Along with gaining at least five pounds, I’ve also gained some perspective on the Rogue Wedding.
It was F-ing Fantastic.
Amazeballs. “Perfect” would not be too strong a word.
I had my best friends around me – not just my four brilliant bridesmaids, and my mom, but Christie O, for a whole weekend. Seeing Christie for the first time in person felt like we’d known each other forever. She floored me with her capability, and my entire family is still talking about how when she entered a room, everything just calmed down and worked. And, it must be said, she was exhausted for at least a week afterward. Day-of Coordinating is like running a marathon, and my depth of appreciation knows no bounds for her willing self-sacrifice.
Elisa Suter, of Events by Elisa, also volunteered her time – and her sweet husband’s time – to helping set up the wedding props, which was amazing (my Moroccan lanterns were in good hands!) and it was so cool to have them as guests. They’re adorable on the dance floor too. Let it be known: Weddings are better when Elisa is involved.
Feels like I’m giving an Academy Awards speech with all these thanks, but bear with me, because weddings don’t happen without a lot of helping hands. My aunts were tireless and dauntless. My cousin Gigi whipped up professional-level bridesmaids bouquets as if they were nothing – and used the leftover flowers to create mini-bouquets for the little girls in attendance. Cat – my downtown LA sherpa – not only got up at the crack of dawn to acquire those bouquet flowers, but hauled them down on Saturday, and then hauled my bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere down Sunday as well.
Friends flew in from Tokyo, Oxford, Indiana, and Korea. My Maid of Honor managed to stay at the wedding just long enough to see me down the aisle and have dinner before needing to jump on a plane to have brunch with more than a few world leaders in Washington DC (she handed her MoH speech to my Tokyo bridesmaid, who delivered it on her behalf unbelievably well – I had no idea she was such a talented public speaker).
We didn’t have our photographer signed up to take “getting ready photos” – because I have long said those are Stuff I Don’t Need – but San Francisco Bridesmaid’s girlfriend volunteered her wicked skills with a camera and took pictures of everything, without being asked. My mother doing my hair. Bridesmaids and bride putting on our makeup. Bridesmaids and mom helping me into my dress (quite a process) and touching up hair. She caught it all. And then she went up to the guy’s room to get them on record.
And people, I cried like a baby. Jesus Christ. I was holding it together really well while walking down the aisle, but Carmel Bridesmaid started crying in the middle of her reading of Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road” and that was it. All over. Tears everywhere and I had one Kleenex stuffed down my bodice for emergencies.
So picture this. Rogue Groom and I are standing at the alter, halfway through the ceremony (more on the ceremony in a bit, because wowsers), and Carmel Bridesmaid’s voice starts shaking so much from emotion that I doubt people in the front row can make out what part of the poem she’s reading. She starts crying. I start crying. There’s one kleenex stuffed between my boobs and I whip it out and hand it to her.
One of the best moments of the wedding. Hilarious. Really touching. Unforgettable.
What I wanted, originally, for my wedding was something I didn’t think I could have. A community pulling together to take part in our commitment. I didn’t think that could happen for a million good reasons – our friends and family are far-flung, and my relationship with my family is complicated to say the least. But, that’s exactly what happened. I still can’t believe the generosity we experienced. The care our friends took for us. What a tremendous outpouring of giving.