Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sunday, Part III: making it official

Say cheese...and do it fast!
The minute the entire bridal party was at the beach, we were engulfed by the photo process. The wedding was already late and the goal was not to make it too much later by egregious and unnecessary photo ops.

We’d taken pictures of Lucy and the bridal shower on the beach outside of her hotel room while Chet resolved his pants dilemma, so pictures of the groom and his groomsmen (one of which, ironically, was a girl) and the entire wedding party were priority.

We made good, and fast, of it. Nothing too incredibly posed, mostly just us mugging together for the camera in front of a gorgeously azure Lake Huron and an equally stunning blue sky. The most difficult part was coordinating the holding-hands-and-walking shots which, just looking at the few my dad snapped as he stood behind the photographer, turned out really cute.

Family shots were taken as fast and as furiously as the bridal party pictures. Immediately at the conclusion of the photo session, guests took their seats; we lined up inside the tent.

A special touch I shouldn’t forget
One of Chet’s groomsmen was a female friend of his. I loved that.

But I also didn’t have to walk down the aisle with a chick.

At last!
Earlier in the day, Chet had been on the phone with the DJ and asked Lucy what song she’d like the processional to be to.

She yelled to me in the next room. “What song should we use for the walk?”

I borrowed the last word of her sentence, finishing mine with “Like an Egyptian!”

She loved the idea.

Lucy loves quirky.

And so did the guests. The smiles and the laughs that “Walk Like an Egyptian” encouraged were priceless. It set the tone for the wedding ceremony, one which was wrapped thickly in fun and sparingly in tradition.

After the bridesmaids and the groomsmen were standing alongside the huppah, Chet and Lucy walked down the aisle, together, to Etta James’ “At Last.”

I didn’t expect to, but I cried.

I’ve never seen her so happy.

I was in charge of the ring bearer.

I was always in charge of the ring bearer, despite the fact that his flower girl was 24 years old (with no little girls in her life, Lucy added on an extra friend, with the stipulation that this friend would actually be the overgrown flower girl, after it was decided that she’d like her nephew in the wedding). The flower girl is afraid of little kids.

I am not.

He stood in front of me during the ceremony. I kept my hand protectively on his shoulder.

He’s an observant little guy. Not one minute after he finished his walk up the aisle, he spotted the vases sitting at the front two posts of the huppah. The vases were filled with water that had candles floating at the top. The bottom of the vases were filled with decorative stones.

The ring bearer saw those stones and a little light went off in his cute little blonde head. “Look! Rocks! I can put rocks in there, too!”

And so he bent down and started picking rocks out of the sand and dropping them into the vase.

His mom whispered to him from the front row with no avail. He grinned and dropped another rock inside.

Bridesmaid of the Year, who is also Babysitter of the Year, who is also me, swooped down and picked up the vase, setting it behind her. It was a seamless motion the almost nobody even noticed. And as soon as that vase was out of his sight, it was out of his mind.


He was good for the rest of the ceremony, less a 10 second spastic attack that caused him to kick sand at the bride. I, of course, calmed him immediately.

If there is ever a show that’s a cross of Whose Wedding is it Anyway? and Nanny 911, I’ll be the star.

They do
The ceremony itself was fairly quick and fairly simple. Neighbors to Lucy’s aunt and uncle’s beach house stood on their porches to watch, which was a simple and sweet addition to the invited guest list.

One neighbor took it upon himself to scream encouragements for both Lucy and Chet after they said their vows. It was a surprisingly welcome addition.

My heart swelled with more pride for Lucy than I had expected to feel. My eyes were tearier than I had anticipated. Lucy and Chet both emanated a calm that reassured any doubts before I could even have them.

The ceremony was perfect.

Not for everyone, of course. I cannot imagine having a wedding featuring “Walk Like an Egyptian” or a hollering neighbor. For Lucy and Chet, though, it was perfect.

We walked back up the aisle to Dave Matthews Band’s “Ants Marching.”

And that was perfect, too.

An unspoken title
Perhaps this is proving my naivety, but I did not realize that I was the maid of honor until Lucy pulled me into the house to sign her marriage license.

I mean, yeah, I was standing closest to her during the wedding. And I did give that toast at the brunch. But there was never a conversation where Lucy said, “will you be my maid of honor?” and I accepted.

I just assumed that I was equal to the rest when, in reality, I wasn’t.

I never assume that I would ever be considered special.

I doubt that I will ever be able to communicate to Lucy how incredibly special it was to be her simple witness on that legal document.

My heart was so full of love and honor that it felt broken.


Anonymous said...

It sounds (and looks) like a beautiful wedding. I agree, it is such an honor to be in a wedding (and sign the marriage license). I LOVE those bridesmaid dresses!

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