Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The wedding weekend, part 2: The wedding.
My mostly reliable GPS got us all the way to Burlington, Vermont, early in the cloudy Friday afternoon. This didn't bode well for the impending outdoor rehearsal BBQ.
We took some time to relax at the hotel. Then, after a short phone conversation with my dear friend, the somewhat frazzled groom, we set out again.
The rehearsal dinner was really nice (Though a bit damp and crowded under the party tent). I got a kick out of being introduced as "Kristen the Reverend" to family members. Other old college friends had also made the trip. We fell back into familiar banters as if the last 8 years had been no more than a summer break.
The actual rehearsal was quick, smooth and in no way settled the nerves that had been creeping up in the back of my mind for the last few weeks. It had seemed like such a fun thing to perform a friend's wedding. I knew how important it was, but not how nervous I would be when the time came. I walked off later on to give myself an internal pep talk, but was interrupted by the groom ... he had left his wedding suit in Boston.
The poor man had to run off to the mall and pick up a replacement. I suppose if one of the couple HAD to forget the outfit they needed to wear ... it's better off being the groom.
The next morning we woke at the ungodly hour of 7:00 a.m. (Did I mention I don't even wake up for WORK until 11 a.m.? I don't know how most of the working population does this on a regular basis.) I broke out the three-piece suit I bought to perform the ceremony ... which is pretty fantastic. All I needed was a tommy gun to round out the look. After a few deep breaths, I corralled my travel companions into the car and headed to a beautiful park on Lake Champlain, where the wedding was set to take place.
NERVOUS NERVOUS NERVOUS. I helped set up chairs, met with the bridesmaids, groomsmen and musicians to plan out the cues. I finalized my speech and tried my best not to puke.
We were just slightly off schedule, which is to be expected. Still, everything started smoothly, just as we planned. Then right before I had to begin speaking, my hands and knees start shaking uncontrollably. It was HORRIBLE!! Do you know what it's like to have absolutely no control over your body? After the ceremony, one of the groomsmen said he thought I was going to fall backwards and roll into the lake.
Fortunately, my voice didn't shake much, and only the wedding party really saw the jittering. After a minute or two, I was at ease. The best man had the rings, the groom was wearing a suit, the bride was beautiful, and the vows they wrote were touching. I delivered the ceremony with a respectable amount of authority and only choked up the end, when I had the honor of pronouncing two people I love so much "husband and wife."
A couple weeks ago a friend of mine (who seriously wants to be referred to on this blog as "MacGyver") asked me if participating in this wedding would make me feel sad or lonely over being single. So, MacGyver ... the answer is no. I was so happy for them. So honored to be a part of their day. But, more importantly, so relieved I neither puked, nor fell into a lake.