Here's how it went; the short version...
- We went to a Seattle bar that was decorated with pinball machines (awesome) and clowns (terrifying).
- Staying at a hotel west of the train track means you wait for a lot of trains to pass before going anywhere in Seattle.
- Yes, I was very nervous for the wedding.
- When you ask for "big hair," think twice. Have it put up. Big hair falls flat and then you're nowhere.
- I did bring a flask. But I shared it around and only got a couple sips myself.
- I threw up twice before the wedding.
- The ceremony could not have been in a more beautiful setting.
- Everyone was very complimentary about my speech and such and I am deeply gratified for it. And pleased with how it went.
- I have wonderful friends and cannot adequately express in words how much I love them and enjoyed their company this weekend.
- I am immensely happy for my friends, the newlyweds.
The long version...
We all trickled into the wonderful city of Seattle last week - most of us on Thursday with some having arrived the day before or coming the day after - for a beautiful and joyous wedding that took place on Friday evening.
I was happy to be in early on Thursday, even though getting up at 4am was a bitch and a half. We wasted very little time at the hotel and went right to the Pike Place Market, which I absolutely love. I imagine if I ever lived in Seattle and had the financial means and choice of jobs, I'd choose to be near it and spend a lot of time there. We also discovered the most delightful little tea and crumpets shop where I enjoyed delicious earl grey and a strange-but-yummy crumpet topped with orange marmalade and bleu cheese. One of my friends had hot chocolate that was basically the best hot chocolate in the history of the world.
Thursday night was the rehearsal and a traditional dinner following. It was a real landmark for me in my life. I mean, it really got real that night. We were all lined up and going through the motions, and that was some wedding realness there, but what really drove it home was sitting around a table afterward, with the grooms, Maid of Honor and Best Man, signing documents and filling out paperwork. And there it was - my name and "Minister." My signature on a government paper that signified the marriage of two dear friends. Two male friends who did not even have the legal right to this privelege a couple years ago. I must admit I fought off tears a couple times, if not a queasy stomach. The weight of what I was doing really affected me in a way I did not anticipate. But I think that's good. I think this should be a thing that does weigh on a person. And I think it makes me even more proud they asked me to take on this role.
Friday was the day, of course. We began with hair and makeup appointments. I really enjoyed that, too. I enjoyed the girl time and gabbing with my friends, talking about our dresses and our ridiculous shoes and how we'd all brought Toms or flats as back-ups. Bitching about Spanx. The day went by very quickly, though. Very soon we were dressed and in a suite taking photos. Frantically trying to pour every ounce of excitement and happiness into the experience (or down our throats with Veuve or vodka).
At some point in the suite, a wave of performance anxiety came over me. And as everyone moved upstairs to a ballroom, I had to sneak away to throw up. That was the first of two times I did that, I'm afraid. And then I had to call my mom who lovingly talked me off the ledge. It's not that I didn't want to perform the ceremony and it's certainly not that I've never spoken in front of a crowd before. But what can I say - I got very nervous about doing this in front of friends. Strangers might judge me and I could give a shit, but these are people I see all the time, some whom I worry do not like me all the time as it is. And even though this ceremony was for my friends, I'd bared a little of my own soul in creating it and I felt really vulnerable. And I simultaneously felt guilty about making any part of this day about me (hence my trying to sneak away and relieve myself when I could).
But in any case, after the wedding party photos, including some really lovely ones by the harbor, we moved the brigade to the wedding site.
The ceremony is a blur to me. It's a fuzzy memory in my head right now. I remember and am grateful that people laughed at the parts that were supposed to be funny. And I am glad my poem was well-received. Also, I am really relieved I did not fall over in my heels, which were not too terrible to stand in but certainly not as comfortable as the Toms I wore the rest of the night were. The whole thing lasted all of 27 minutes which felt both too quick and too long.
And similarly, the reception, which was actually a few hours, also felt too quick and too long.
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to revisit the EMP Museum, which I loved even more the second time around, and along with six friends, enjoyed one of the best meals I've ever had that night (more on that in a seperate post later). Sunday, many of us got together across town from the hotel to enjoy a brunch and drag queen variety show that was completely fabulous and highly recommend.
I guess, yet again, I must say that this whole trip felt like a whirlwind and at the same time, felt like it went on for an eternity. I guess that's what happens with the most meaningful experiences. They tug at your heart so longingly, it makes time soar. And they wrap themselves around you so tightly, it feels rather epic. Whatever the case, the love and friendship I have felt and benefitted from throughout this process means a great deal to me and I am so thankful. And I must congratulate my friends once more on their marriage. I wrote them a sonnet and read it aloud in the ceremony but I feel like it should not be shared here. It was for them; special for the ocassion. But I'll close with a quote from the 1967 movie Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, which I recited just before the grooms exhancged rings and cemented their bond.
“In the final analysis, the only thing that matters is what you feel. There will be 100 million people right here in this country who will be shocked and offended and appalled, and the two of you will just have to ride that out, maybe every day for the rest of your lives. You could try to ignore those people, or you could feel sorry for them and for their prejudice and their bigotry and their blind hatred and stupid fears, but where necessary you'll just have to cling tight to each other and say ‘screw all those people!’ …You're two wonderful people who happened to fall in love… and I think that now, no matter what kind of a case someone could make against your getting married, there would be only one thing worse, and that would be if - knowing who you two are and knowing what you two have and knowing what you two feel- you didn't get married.”