Last weekend, I worked as a hired bridesmaid for two weddings in two different states.
On my way to wedding number two, the Amtrak train I was on, caught on fire, causing us to arrive three hours later than expected. I somehow made it to her wedding only one minute late, but not without one hundred minutes of sheer panic and nervous thoughts that I’d be so late for the wedding that I’d bust through the ceremony doors right as the priest was asking if anyone had any objections.
When I finally made it back home after the weekend of wedding ended, I cried. I cried so hard that I went into the other room and shut the door so that nobody could hear me or feel the wild burst of emotions that was suddenly, all at once.
I don’t just put on a fluffy dress and drink champagne and flirt with suited-up groomsmen. I deal with sheer chaos, unresolved drama, emotional baggage, tiny things going ginormously wrong, and people…well, people, just being people.
There’s also the added layer that I‘m not who I say I am to the people I meet at these weddings. I’m the bride’s friend from [Insert: yoga class, high-school, grad-school, a past job, etc.] so the people I meet and adore and get to know so well at these weddings are not people I can keep in touch with. And that, that right there, might be the hardest part of it all.
So I cried, partially because of immense exhaustion and partially because I dearly missed so many people I met over the weekend that I knew I couldn’t see or speak to again and partially because even thought I’ve been hired many many many times before, every wedding makes me remember that this whole thing started off as a funky idea that I believed in. That I refused to give up on. That I knew could change people’s with.
I just didn’t realize how much they’d change my life.