Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Wedding of the Century

No, I'm not talking about Kate and Will or Kim and Kris. This was a different wedding. And I do mean different.

Take a stroll with me down memory lane.

You might want to grab a glass of wine and get comfy. This is a bit of a long story.

The year was 2002. I was working at a firm in Boston and I loved my job. I was making some new friends and loving life. One of my coworkers, we'll call her "Nadine", was getting married. Now, she was in the close knit circle of friends that I had, but she didn't totally fit in. She had a bit of a chip on her shoulder and she was always negative. We didn't love that about her.

Nadine and her fiancee were young, in their 20's. They were also from another country. They had both been here for many years and had completely adapted to the American lifestyle.

The invitation:

One day, I came into work to find a wedding invitation in my inbox. Yes, my inbox. I thought, "Hmmm, that's curious. Don't people usually mail those?"

When I opened the invitation I noticed that there was no stamp on the reply card. My friend Shannon had a great idea. She said, "Let's leave the reply envelopes in HER inbox." Brilliant. Just brilliant. That Shannon is always thinking.

The days leading up to the wedding Nadine kept asking me if I'd like to bring a date to the wedding, even a friend. I told her that it wasn't necessary, I'd go with our coworkers. She told me again, two days before the wedding that I was welcome to bring anyone that I want. I asked her if that would screw up her head count. She said, "No, my uncle is making all the food. It's fine."

The church:

The day of the wedding was a hot summer day. My friends and I got to the church a few minutes before the ceremony was set to start. We took our seats and waited. And waited. And waited. The bride was an HOUR late getting to her own wedding. Thanks to the church with no air conditioning, I sweat through my silk dress. I was looking (and feeling) great.

She looked stunning in her white dress. Her bridesmaids and maid of honor walked down the aisle. Then it was time for the bride and her dad to make their way down the aisle. He walked her to the end of the aisle, where her groom was waiting. Then, as is almost always the case, her dad kissed her. This was no ordinary kiss though. This kiss went on. And on. And on. Several uncomfortable seconds ticked by. My friends and I started shifting in our seats. We exchanged horrified looks with each other. The kiss was STILL going on. The horrified looks turned to nervous giggles. We were sure that we weren't seeing what we were seeing. In fact, we were.

The reception:

After telling my friends that the food was going to be homemade, we decided to stop at Wendy's on our way from the church to the reception. We were so glad we did.

When we got to the reception hall we looked for place cards that would tell us what table we were at. Someone in the wedding party saw us lingering at the entrance and said, "Just sit anywhere you'd like." Huh? Isn't this a wedding?

After getting settled in our seats, we noticed that the toasts were about to start. One of the bridesmaids started handing out white styrofoam cups for us to toast with. Another bridesmaid came behind her and put a splash of wine in our new coffee cups, oops, I mean wine glasses.

Apparently it is tradition in their culture to have every person in the wedding party, plus parents give a toast. That's a lot of people.

When everyone was done speaking, it was chow time. We lined up at the buffet table, grabbed our paper plate (I kid you not), and walked through the buffet line, where the bridesmaids served the food. There they were, in their long, formal(ish) dresses serving food to the guests.

After dinner it was time to dance. Unfortunately, we couldn't understand the music. It was really loud and it didn't have any words to it, just a lot of yelling.

After the reception, my friends and I looked at each other as if to say, "Uh, who's taking that centerpiece home?" I believe that I called "not it" first. Not that it was a bad centerpiece. Okay, it was. It was this statue type thing. It had these birds and mirrors on it and it was just awful.
In the end, Kim (clearly the nicest of the group) took it home.

You're probably wondering what happened with Nadine and her husband. Well, they got divorced a few years later. And we phased her out of our group. I hear she's remarried with a couple of kids.

It's all good though. We'll always have the memory of that day.

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