A Wedding, In Pieces

{by Lindsey from I Digress:  Tales from a Baby-Starved Wingnut}

We are in a house of windows. In a glass house, which is ironic if you’ve been with me for the past 72 hours. Storms are rolling in back to back, rain is coming down in hard sheets. The wedding is outside. Or was supposed to be. Our host has an 80′s love music compilation CD playing in a house-wide stereo system. The bride stands at the window just outside of the yellow lamp light and watches the rain while REO Speedwagon plays in the background. I am oddly reminded of the movie Forces of Nature, where the bride waits in the hurricane for her groom.

It has been a long road to this day. The family is held together by gossamer threads of duty. The grandmother might not come, people are not speaking.

I don’t fit in with these girls. Of all the bridesmaids I am the only one that only knows the bride through the groom. I gravitate to the mother of the bride. Something about the entire day makes me need a mother.


I am getting my makeup done. The artist asks if I have babies. I say no, and don’t offer any explanation. When she asks me what I want my eyes to look like, I say dark and heavy.


I am getting my hair done. The hairdresser asks me if I have babies. I offer a slightly more hopeful answer than I gave the makeup artist and say, not yet! She does big, loopy curls in my hair while she eats a sandwich and I try not to worry about her dripping mayo on my back. She says her GPS brought her here, she has never been so far out in the country. I laugh. She says, seriously . . . where are we? I tell her the honest answer, that I don’t know. I am just as lost as she is.


Every hour the tension increases. The bride is screechy and stressed, her sisters hate her behind her back. Our host, her aunt, gives us a talk about Jesus Christ and His Plan. If His Plan is for rain on your wedding day, you accept it. She says: You have to bend to his will. Submit. What he wants is what you get. I think: Jesus sounds like an angry toddler. She says that one year her husband and her decided to celebrate their anniversary with Jesus. Her husband got her a card that said: Happy Anniversary to you, me and JC! The bride sets her plate down and walks out of the room.


The Aunt’s job is to be the time enforcer. In the last 15 minutes she yells the time left before we have to leave every minute. TEN MINUTES, she screams. Peter Cetera sings in the background. NINE MINUTES. My bag is packed by the front door, I stand there with my dress over my arm, it’s making sweaty creases in my skin. EIGHT MINUTES. When it gets down to the last two minutes the bride begins the epic meltdown. She is screaming at everyone except me, because I haven’t even gone near her in the last 2 hours.


I am in the backseat of the car on the way to the ceremony. I hate the backseat, I get carsick. The maid of honor is driving. The bride is rocking back and forth with her veil neatly tucked in her stiff hair, chanting something about hating everyone. Her little sister is in the back with me. We are both texting people about how badly we want to be somewhere (anywhere) else. Her sister says: I swear, she is normally a nice person.


We use umbrellas to shield her on the way in, because the groom is in the parking lot. When it’s time to put on her dress and its not fitting she screams and tells everyone to get away from her. The rain stops long enough to get our pictures taken outside. All of our heels sink into the mud. We forget that we are supposed to have bouquets. We are unhappy and tired but we smile radiantly any time someone raises a camera. I see B across the way, in his tux, and my eyes water. It’s the first thing that’s moved me all day.


The DJ is a large man in all black that sweats constantly. Not beads of sweat, rows of it, running down his face. He stands too close, always out of breath. He asks questions like: Are you family of the bride? Would you be willing to get up and tell that story? Do you, he says, mopping his face, have children? Do you like love songs?

No, no, no. Is there any other kind?


I am sitting in my dress, in my muddy heels, with my dark eyes and my loose curls. The bride is raging around, she is sick of waiting, she hates the flowers, let’s go let’s go let’s go. I think of my wedding day, of the calm I felt all day, like an answer. This is the answer. I am walking towards the answer.

I want to tell her to shut up. I want to tell her that she still can believe in miracles, like babies. She could still be that person that gets pregnant on her honeymoon. I want to tell her that this silly little day is nothing about what marriage is, that marriage is more about holding hands in the tax office than the hue of your Gerber Daises. And I want to fucking tell her that she is saying Gerber wrong. Every. Fucking. Time. She. Says. It.


I take two Advil and an Ativan, and wash it down with champagne. The wedding planner brought it to us to toast with, and I’ve been trying to get everyone to shut up and sit down and toast and nobody does. I toast to myself, that this day is almost over and that I will never do this again.


I am to walk down the aisle with B. I see him across the way and he smiles at me. I am filled with peace. I want to have twenty of his babies. I want to be barefoot and pregnant and baking and even poor. All these things, I think, I will sacrifice, for that one thing.


I did not think I would cry, but when I see the groom see the bride, I know that he loves her. Standing behind him is B, stoic as ever. He won’t look at me because we pledged not to make each other laugh. Whatever happens, we said, we will not be the ruin of this wedding. Crazy in-laws, Bridezilla moments, wrong flowers, or JC’s rain: it doesn’t matter, as long as it isn’t us laughing.


The reception is rushed, like an event with stations that must be attended. A girl that hasn’t seen us in a long time asks us both: When are you two having babies? We make eye contact, sigh. Let’s do the routine. Soon, I say. We are working on it! She elbows B and says: Oh, that’s the fun part, huh? He says: It’s the part I like best!

It is an empty lie, he delivers it with no conviction. She is too drunk to notice.

I am hollowed by it.


We drive home. I haven’t been able to feel my feet in hours. The car is strewn with flowers and favors and pieces of tux. The CD we had is skipping, so B turns on the radio. I am so tired that I am in that strange world between sleep and wakefulness, watching lights stream by on a highway that is empty. It seems like we are going too fast. Terrible songs are on the radio, and I am too tired to change it. Poison comes on, Every Rose Has It’s Thorn. And when he says, “I know I could have saved our love that night, if I had known what to say”, I am wrecked. By a Poison song! Fighting tears. He could have saved the love! He just didn’t know what to say!


Taking the dress off is always the best part of these events. Every girl knows this. We have been running for two days straight, and there is more tomorrow. But taking that dress off, taking a hot bath, getting into clean sheets, it is a beautiful thing.

Read the original post from Lindsey at her blog, I Digress:  Tales from a Baby-Starved Wingnut
Follow her on Twitter @mrslswan

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7 Comments to “A Wedding, In Pieces”

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