My cousin Samantha got married last weekend, in Ohio. We brought Tucker home from the hospital on Wednesday, and he had just enough time to take a nap before we boarded a plane to head to our favorite state in the midwest.
Samantha asked me months ago to be her Wedding Coordinator, and I said yes without question. After all, I have been in a dozen or more of them, including my very own - I know weddings. Or so I thought. But you know what? There is really a LOT to a wedding. There's just a LOT. There's a reason why it's a billion dollar industry in our country. There's just a lot to it.
I know what I have seen and experienced at the weddings I have attended and participated in, but it turns out that there are many things that happened when I wasn't in the room or simply wasn't watching closely enough. I should have been watching more closely, to every single detail at every single wedding I have ever attended, all in anticipation of this one. Because I was the Go-To-Girl. And people thought I knew all the answers. After all, I was the Wedding Coordinator. You have questions? Need details? Come to me. I'm the girl for the job. I am administrative at my core, and I can make lists to keep up with anybody. Bring it.
But I confess: I didn't have the full picture of my duties in my mind. I pictured myself helping the bride into her dress, watching the clock, maintaining the schedule, making sure the candles are lit, and standing at the back of the church to signal each bridesmaid to walk down the aisle. I can do that. Who can't do that??
But there were a few things I didn't think of, remember, or imagine in the job description. There were small details, like knowing which grandparents belong to whom and when they should be seated and in which row and at what time. (Okay, that's a big detail, especially in the mind of those said grandparents.)
There are a few other details that escaped me...
... melting the bottom of the candles to secure them into candlestick holders that are too small, only to end up purchasing new candlestick holders on the morning of the wedding so the whole place doesn't burn down, all in the name of the unity candle.
... wrapping 250 homemade and hand-decorated cookies into darling little bags with beautiful little ribbons. They were delicious and decadent, and if you were here, I would share one with you. No, wait. They're all gone. And they're that good.
... sewing a button on to the groom's tuxedo jacket.
... sewing padded bra cups into the dresses of two bridesmaids. While they were wearing the dresses. That's an intimate moment, let me tell you. I had my hands on or near the breasts of many women this weekend. I definitely did not realize that was part of the job description. (Sidenote: I have poor depth perception. It is seriously risky to hand a needle and thread to a girl who can't really tell how close she is to, well, you know. But hey, no blood, no foul. And all the padding did a very nice job for all the pictures, if I do say so myself.)
... turning down the advances of a groomsman who apparently found my adminstrative and organizational skills to be very attractive. "No, I cannot dance with you. I'm going to save the slow ones for my husband. No, I still cannot, even though he has left to get our children. Sorry. How 'bout you dance with your wife??"
... serving as liaison between the lovely bride and the very large and very grouchy owner of the reception hall. I won him over in the end, with my charm and promises that nobody - 'til death do they part - would blow bubbles in his precious building. I promised.
... missing the wedding ceremony because I needed to meet with the cake decorator who had been called in to fix the cake that did not at all look like the one the bride had asked for. (The matron of honor is a cake decorator, for heaven's sake. She knows the difference between fondant and butter cream. We're gonna need you to fix it.)
My favorite part of the day? When I sat down at the wedding reception, realizing they were married and I could relax. And I could eat. And I could dance. (Oh, and as we danced and partied late into the night, it was a relief to realize that I do, in fact, still know every single word to Baby Got Back. Good to know those lyrics are stored safely in my mind. Classy.)
I have to say, it went very smoothly over all. And in the end, Samantha and Chris are married and off to Mexico. Well done. I'd do it all again, for that bride whom I love.
In the meantime, I will hold tightly to my teaching certificate. That's the job I was meant to do.