You know about the clothing agony. How I hate to shop. I hate to wear "real" shoes. I'm not overly fond of makeup (though I do wear it some). I haven't a clue as to what to do with my hair. The things I'll do for love.
And I love the people I work with. The mother of the bride has been there even longer than I have, and I felt honored that she included me in her family's celebration. So off to shop I went. I didn't want to stand out too much - after all, this was her family's day - not mine.
So I go to the church and as I walk in, people turn to look at me. An usher approached, asked which side and escorted me towards the bride's side. We were stopped by a photographer, then continued until I was placed next to a lovely lady in red. I have to say, the people at this wedding were the most beautifully dressed people I think I have ever seen. White chiffon. Red taffeta. Gold lame. Silver sequins. Large flowers and bright suits. I still felt a little dowdy, but was pretty happy with my own efforts. So why were all these people looking? Other than one older man (married to a sister), mine was the only white face there. Having grown up in the south, it wasn't unusual to find a dark face in a crowd of light ones, but here we had the reverse and I got to see what it was like. It was very strange.
The ceremony was conducted by the groom's father. He was great. Very relaxed and able to make this wedding very personal as it was his son and his soon-to-be daughter. I wish they had mic'd him, though. It was very hard to hear him. The music was nice, the ceremony was beautiful. The bride was awesome! I first met her when she was around 4. And she grew up into a truly lovely woman.
Afterwards, we went to the University Ballroom for the reception. This was around 4pm. I found the other co-worker who came and we sat at our table and talked about the wedding and had hors de vours and punch while waiting for the bridal party to arrive. It was kind of dark and we were feeling a little sleepy. Finally, the rest arrived and the party got underway in earnest.
Lots of eating, lots of toasts, lots of dancing. The bride and groom came by the table to visit. I am so in awe of what a poised young lady she is. She and her husband are planning to become undertakers and run a funeral home. I think she will be very good at that!
But what got me was the toast by the mother of the bride. I know she doesn't care for children much. They're messy and loud. Her husband's granddaughter came to stay with them for the wedding and she was horrified by the little girl's dreadlocks and stained clothing. Grandpa soaked all the clothes, while the girl was hauled off to the hairdresser to see if anything could be done about her hair. Personally, I like well-kept dreadlocks, but these apparently hadn't been tended to in a very long time. So with this girl in the wedding (flower girl), something had to be done. My friend did it, but wasn't happy about having to pick up the girl's mother's slack. But my friend loved her girl. The bride was an only child and her mother's best friend. They would take trips together, go shopping, have lunch. And now, they had to say good bye. The bride and groom are moving to Miami - far away from north Florida. And it seemed that during her toast, the mother suddenly realized what had just happened. Her baby had grown up and was flying away. She said to her new son-in-law, "I have given you the best part of me," and started crying. Along with the rest of us.
Near 8pm, I was ready to go. I'd been partying long enough and was tired. I think they were just getting started....
And as I walked to my car, on the far side of the parking lot, I realized something. My feet didn't hurt.