Part of our trip back to Ohio in July was so we could participate in and attend Rachel & Imran’s wedding. I performed Matron of Honor duties and Bryan performed the ceremony for this super special couple. It was one of the best days of my life. I was so glad that I got to be there, and not only that, but I got to play a role in the day.
You see, Rachel and I have known each other for a while. We were roommates in college and best buddies in general. We spent so many hours, hours and hours and hours, talking about our weddings. 6 years ago, when I got married, Rachel was my Maid of Honor. And I think that ever since that experience, I was planning for the day I would be hers. It was presumptuous of me, but it worked out in the end. When I heard she was engaged, I was so excited. SO, so excited. And, in true Genevieve form, I went into planning mode. Planning all the awesome things I could do for her, the heartfelt and lovely things I would say to her through the process, and the endearing and maybe embarrassing things I would share with the guests at her wedding. My plans changed and evolved into a personal shower I hosted the day prior to her wedding and a speech I gave at her reception. Through out the process, I had nothing but positive feelings about all of it. I loved Rachel. I loved Imran. I loved their families and I was just so excited.
I woke up the day of her wedding still full of all this love and excitement. But the reality of the day began to dawn on me pretty early on. This speech I had been planning, memorizing and practicing for months would have its first and last performance today. All the awesome and exciting things we were doing together in preparation for the day involved lots of other people. It wasn’t going to be just me and her. It was also her mom and her family and all the other important people in her life, as it should be. And so, whenever I saw the opportunity to, I would step back. I let other people fix her veil and help her with her shoes. My job was to support her and love her and be there for her. And this was what felt right. But I was surprised by the reality of it. I had forgotten about this part of it all. And even though we were still in the middle of her wedding day, there were times where I was sad it already felt like it was over. It was a weird and unexpected feeling. I was completed unprepared for it. But I had a wonderful time, I showered my friend with love and I took the opportunity to dance and celebrate with my husband on a night without kids. And so it was really magical in a lot of ways.
As the night came to an end, I watched my best friend dance with her husband. Her husband, you guys. Rachel was married!! And I was filled with this sense of fullness, this sense of accomplishment, this sense of pride. Pride is not usually an emotion I associate with friends or weddings. I thought you felt pride when you saw your family members earn degrees, run races, perform bravely. I did not expect to feel so proud of my friend, to be able to look at these two awesome people come together and be proud for them and of them for all the things that they had accomplished. Because putting a life together, making a commitment, and then sharing it with all your loved ones is certainly an accomplishment. And I am not sure how I missed that before that night.
It is rare that I look back on my wedding and consider getting married an accomplishment. I always thought a wedding was just a party and that the staying married part was the accomplishment. I still feel that way very much. But I forgot all the time, all the effort, all the life that goes into the process of getting married part. And there it was right before me.