I spent this weekend in Two Harbors, MN at a wedding. This time, it was two of Geo’s friends from college who took the plunge. The setting was beautiful, they said their vows at this incredible lodge overlooking Lake Superior. The bride looked spectacular, the groom was dapper and composed, the food was delicious, the music was great, and overall it was an awesome wedding (sure, we sat at dinner with Geo‘s pregnant ex-girlfriend, her new husband, and her father, but all‘s well that ends well).
I’ve been to a lot of weddings. A lot. Four just for my brothers and sisters alone. There have been traditional weddings, untraditional weddings, destination weddings, and weddings that involved pull tabs. This wedding, though, was the first one I attended as simply Guest. Now don’t hate me if I’ve been in your wedding or was the primary name on the invitation, but It. Was. Awesome. It was like I was the one with the veil on, and sister, let me tell you the view was fantastic.
I know the bride and groom a little bit, and I knew about a half dozen people there. But outside of that, I was on my own. I wasn't busy taking pictures or navigating my way through throngs of family or friends, so I actually got to look around and enjoy the little details without having intimate knowledge of why they chose white napkins over pink, how much the centerpieces cost, or whether or not the music started on time. I think this was the first wedding that I actually saw the cake. I wasn’t responsible for making sure my date was not left by himself and I didn’t have to introduce him to anyone who’s name I can’t remember. I just got to drink some free beer, dance my booty off, and drink the free beer. Yeah, the drinking beer is on there twice for a reason…
To be fair though, there are moments at the wedding of a close friend or family member when you see him/her all dressed up, and it brings you to tears. You know these people are in love and choosing to be together forever, and you get choked up when they walk down the aisle as husband and wife because you are a part of that. Yeah, for the first time I wasn’t exactly a part of it. I just kept hoping I wasn’t sweating through my dress and checking out people’s shoes. My life is much the same today as it was yesterday. And it was tough not dancing the special dances, or understanding the inside jokes, and I don’t have anyone new in my family. Sure it can be stressful and expensive to be close to the bride and groom, but at the end of it all, your life is a little bit different. It’s a little bit better having that kind of love so close to you.
So there are pros and cons. But I guess what I know now is that on my wedding day, someone will take the time to appreciate the cover of the guest book, and they won‘t know or care that I went with chocolate instead of red velvet cake because it was cheaper. And I probably won’t even know who that person is. They’ll be Guest.