One of my bestest friends in the world got married this weekend! Wow, what a ride. I remember back when I first moved in with my dear Elizabeth, it was but a few months later she developed a crush on a cute redheaded chap and our talks started to figure him prominently. Nearly three years later and I was privileged to sign their marriage certificate.
It was a crazy weekend, in the best of ways. I had Friday off in case anything was needed of me, though I really was just able to use it to run some important errands, grab Thai food for lunch with Dad, grab a textbook from the college for Christian, drop off paperwork to the insurance company, and whatever else I realized needed to be done. But 4:30 saw me at the church helping to decorate the sanctuary for the wedding, and then we had the rehearsal.
It should be noted that Elizabeth chose some of my closest friends for her bridal party, and even the bridesmaids I didn’t know as well were so sweet and so fun that we all got along so well and had so much fun over the whole weekend.
The rehearsal dinner was wonderfully done. We all congregated on Elizabeth’s future in-law’s deck, ate fantastic BBQ (Blues, for those of you in the Billings area who know how good that is) and there was an open mic for toasts. The things that were said were so sweet and humorous and so perfect for the occasion. I didn’t have to say anything at that time (Because my Maid of Honor speech was being saved for the wedding the next day. Eek! The nerves) and I instantly knew I would be unable to beat what was already being said. Elizabeth and Clark are so blessed with the friends and family they have around them.
I was called into the living room to help teach the Bride and her father how to dance. They had not had much chance to practice, and were wanting some help before their big moment in the spotlight the next day. I and the very talented Hannah showed them some basic spins and a dip, and they picked it up very easily. It doesn’t perhaps sound very exciting, but it was a very special moment for me. Father/Daughter dances always tug at my heart strings, though.
Some people were courageous enough to go dancing that night, but I had a headache (emotion induced. Bleh. I need to find some coping mechanisms for that). A good night’s sleep helped me get rid of most of that, and it’s really a God thing that the headache didn’t come back with all the emotions and everything happening on the wedding day.
Camelot Ranch was the venue where the reception was going to be held. There is an amazing loft for the bridal party to get ready in, with a line of mirrors and hairdressers chairs to get ready at, and a fridge and a shower if you happen to need one of those I guess. And an amazing, amazing, mirror. I’d call it floor length, but it’s much taller than a typical ceiling. Such fun for modeling in front of. A balcony looks out upon the reception room. A beautiful location for a beautiful day.
Kayla had volunteered to do my makeup and hair, and being much more talented than I (And more than the average woman as well. Dang that girl can do anything with a makeup brush and a curling iron) I had the fun of being dolled up as if it was my own special day. We all had fun hanging out getting ready, munching on White Cheddar Cheez-its, grapes, cheese, and nuts. We had beautiful Malibu blue dresses (from David’s Bridal, for those who want to use the color as a reference there) which are so elegant and fun, yet also excitingly practical. It’s nice to have a dress I feel like I can actually wear again. We all looked so beautiful. Elizabeth has great taste in dresses and colors.
Pictures were done before the ceremony (A practice I fully support. It’s so nice to not have to worry about squeezing them in between wedding and reception). We had so much fun. The photographer was Simply Sara Photography. All the final photos haven’t been seen yet (obviously) but what I have seen are beautiful. And Sara was wonderful to work with. If I was getting married anytime soon I would be getting her to do my wedding. I would post the few photos I do have that she’s taken, but I try not to post pics with other people in them just in case people don’t want personal stuff like that shared here (My family doesn’t have a choice, however, and that’s why you’ll see theirs on here. Or Amy, because I know Amy doesn’t care).
And suddenly it was time for a wedding! We drove over to the church, and waited in the nursery for the ceremony to begin. An adorable moment for the day was Elizabeth pretending to eat the “food” that her future niece/flower girl brought to her as we waited. We had a moment of prayer, and then the walks up the isle began.
The ceremony itself was beautiful. I’ve used the word beautiful too much already in this blog post. I don’t know what else to do. The day was beautiful, the people were beautiful, Elizabeth was especially beautiful, the very idea of marriage is beautiful. I can’t escape the word. Also I’m a bit gushy today. I have a lot of happy memories to spill onto the page and they’re coming out in a rush and a ramble, and I’m afraid I don’t care.
We signed the marriage certificate to make it government official, and then the party began. Dinner was delicious, either roast beef or chicken with mashed potatoes and dinner rolls the size of an open hand. I don’t remember the name of the caterer, unfortunately, but they also handled the floral arraignments, which were also, you guessed it, beautiful.
I gave my speech at this point. I was a bit shaky at first, but thankfully high school speech class training kicked in to give me some confidence. I told some anecdotes about living with Elizabeth, especially a memory I have of where she took offence at incorrect medical practices in Dracula and how we had a long conversation about blood transfusions and the effect vampires would have on the spread of diseases. I worked hard on the speech, and I think it payed off. It was personal, and I hope fun. The best advice I got while writing it was from Kayla. I asked what my speech should focus on, and she suggested my relationship with Elizabeth and how it would translate with he relationship with Clark. It helped give me some direction and made sense in the whole personal stories and why I’m telling them. So, if you have a speech to write in the future, think of that. She also said that the best speech is the one with the most toasts in it, because more drinking is better, obviously. So there’s that to dwell on too.
We danced. We danced and danced. I danced swing with Christian and I made Dad dance a slow dance with me, I danced freestyle with the girls and then when we sent the married couple off into the night we all cleaned up and then went dancing out at Daisy Dukes to celebrate just a little more. The night ended at one when we finally all felt the tiredness of the day.
The next day I had to run up to the airport with Kayla to grab the newlywed’s car and the wedding dress. Elizabeth and Clark still had the happiest smiles on their faces. I’m so excited for this new chapter for them. It was kinda sad when she first got engaged, and I was thinking off all the changes that would make to our friendship, the biggest of which was that I lost a roommate and had to get a new place, obviously, but also all the fears of would we hang out as much? Would our friendship be the same? Changes are scary times. But it’s such a good thing. They’re so perfect for each other. And our friendship will be just fine, we’ll just need to find a new balance.
It was a perfect wedding, and I’m so glad I was blessed to be a part of it.
A special shout out goes to Kathy, who spent most of Sunday curled up in a pile of blankets on the floor, eating Chinese food and ice cream while marathoning Netflix. It was the recoup I needed after the exciting and sleep deprived weekend.