This past weekend, Brittany and Eric got married. The entire wedding itself was a blur. They go really fast, so enjoy every moment before the wedding, because you won’t remember it at all.
The night before
The night before, Britt and Eric rented out Jersey Shore BBQ for their rehearsal dinner. It was really great. The entire restaurant was filled with their friends and family, and JSBQQ served each table family style. Mark and I were sitting at a small table with dad, and we had: Salad, ribs, mac and cheese, kielbasa, pulled pork, brisket, pork belly bites, and berry cobbler. That’s at least what I can remember them passing out. Definitely worth it if anyone ever needs a catered dinner! BYOB and it was ~30 a head. I would do that for like my next birthday. And the staff was awesome as always.
The day of
Britt and I stayed in the hotel together the night before, and then we had a very early morning wake up call. Her bridesmaids, mom and dina all spent the morning and afternoon drinking mimosas and munching on cold cuts and fruit as we had our hair and makeup done.
By 3 we headed out to the venue and took pictures. At 5PM we were getting ready for the wedding itself, and that’s when someone hit fast forward.
Weddings are too fast to comprehend
Suddenly, we were lined up outside the ceremony door. I forgot Brittany’s handkerchief but couldn’t run upstairs. The maître d’ was instructing us, you go – wait – now you go – wait. Within what felt like 5 seconds, I was the last one to walk down the aisle. I smiled and didn’t look at anyone, and I don’t even know if I walked too fast but I think I did.
Eric’s abuela was in the front row, crying hysterically. Hayley, who I never expected to get emotional, started crying next to me – and then I started crying. As Brittany walked down the aisle I tried to take it in, but it was just so much at once! She was beautiful, look at my dad, DON’T LOOK AT ABUELA, take her flowers, pass them down, fluff the veil, get the flowers back, stand still, are you smiling? – don’t cry.
It sounds silly, but honestly so much was just happening at once.
Then, it was over. It was a really nice ceremony, it was quick, it was sweet, and then the pressure was off. They walked down the aisle, lalala, John and I grabbed arms and we all made our way to the cocktail hour. Then someone pressed fast forward again.
Cocktail hour minute
It’s really hard to be at a wedding where you virtually know every single person there. My family on both sides, all of Brittany and Eric’s friends (many of which are also mine)… it was hard to eat. It was hard to walk 5 feet without being stopped, or making eye contact and needing to stop. It went really really fast, but I was able to grab one plate before it was over. Mark was able to find a table of our friends to sit with, and I found refuge there for 10 minutes before being pulled away to prepare for the entrance
The entrance and the speech
All the guests were ushered into the reception room, and we were pulled some where else. The lovely maître d’ brought in a plate of food for Eric and Brittany, since they hadn’t eaten at the cocktail hour.
Then, we were lined up again. John and I were last to enter so we didn’t see anyone else’s entrance, but we were told Mark and Marissa’s was the best, and we were second best? I’m just glad we didn’t look like idiots – those entrances can be awful.
At this point, everyone in the bridal party was done. Nothing left to do but eat and drink. Except for me and John. Now we were really sweating because it was immediately time for speeches. Oh God dammit, that speech!
I had worked on mine for the last month. I practiced it for Mark once and he gave me a lot of notes. Basically he told me to remove or fix every joke I made. So I did, and I practiced the new speech every day in my car on the way to and from work. I had it memorized, but I was so nervous I would get stage fright and forget it once I was up there.
- First, my dad gave his speech. And he did forget it in the beginning… it was a little rough but then it was sweet, and he cried, and everyone in the room cried, and everyone commended him.
- Second, Che goes. Che has to follow her crying dad. When I first went up there, I was still crying so I had to give myself a moment. Then – I went into public speaking mode and it was pretty great. I didn’t miss a beat, and everyone “aww’d” at the right moments and laughed at my new jokes. I’m definitely self centered because now I can’t stop reciting my speech. I really liked it and I like the attention, and I liked all the compliments. I’m a monster. I know this. Mark gave me such a sweet kiss afterward. He was so proud of me and was absolutely more nervous than I was, which is wonderful of him
- Third, John goes. And it’s hilarious. My cheeks hurt from laughing so hard.
And then it was over. I danced, I ate (the prime rib was ACTUALLY DELICIOUS and wedding food is never good), I drank, I tried to spend time with everyone. I went to each table I knew and talked for a bit, and I feel like I didn’t spend much time with anyone at all.
It really was a very very fun night, but it was also an amazing view into what my own wedding will be like.
The wedding is about you and the person you love vowing to spend your lives together. Then, its about celebrating with your closest friends and family, and the obligatory people you also need to invite. As such:
- There is no need to spend $30,000 or put yourself in a financial hole. It is one day of your life and you will barely remember it or get to enjoy all the things you spent so much money on.
- Remember what is important – marrying the person you love. Don’t fight with your friends or family beforehand. Do not become a bitch or a crazy person. Those things you let upset you now will not matter at all in the end.
Mark and I have talked about having a destination wedding, and my biggest concern has always been that not everyone would come. And I still don’t like that part of it. But now that I’ve been through this, I have some new ideas I never expected to have.
- I kind of love the idea of a destination wedding. Just me, Mark, our immediate family, and the few friends who can afford to come. I mainly love the idea of being married outside in Hawaii where he took me 3 years ago. Oahu. Just a beautiful, non conventional (no banquet hall bullshit) and meaningful to us moment. It has so much meaning to Mark’s life and is a part of our relationship. Chi-chi’s on the beach! A traditional Hawaiian ceremony. A pig roast and conch call. Seriously.
- I also really like the idea of not having a bridal party. Just Brittany and Hayley on my side, and maybe Brendan and Eric on Mark’s. I have a lot of friends I absolutely adore and would love for everyone to stand beside me, but not everyone can. And in the end, no one is more important than my 2 sisters. And Eric is now Mark’s brother, and Brendan is his closest friend. I think that’s perfect. Forget the madness of everything else.
Of course the downside to all of this is money. We would have a very small wedding count so we wouldn’t get many gifts. And I would need to help my sisters throw my shower because it would be too expensive for just the two of them (though I am happy to just throw it in my dad’s back yard). And of course, we would need to help some family who must be there fly out, because they certainly couldn’t afford it on their own.
But, if they aren’t helping us pay, they can take that money toward the traveling expenses. And if we aren’t throwing a huge 150-200 person wedding, we wouldn’t need to make a ton of money back, so the gifts wouldn’t really matter.
And at the end of the day, it would be what we wanted, nothing more or less. And that is what a wedding should be.
- I also sometimes like the idea of getting married at town hall and then just throwing a huge party, but I don’t know if I would actually like that once it happened. Unless the court was filled with friends and family, then it could be awesome.