My youngest sister got married the other day. To say that we haven’t had the best relationship is an understatement, but the impending event has thankfully almost forced us to build some bridges over the last few months. I was anxious – I had only met her husband twice briefly since their relationship began and was feeling completely out of my comfort zone, but after months of stressing about imaginary scenarios and potential altercations I decided to simply buck up and get on with it.
I play in a string quartet and as a result have participated in hundreds of weddings over the years, but this one was organised better than any I have ever seen, to the point where the military could have learned a thing or two. By the time mum and I arrived at my sister’s house everything was almost finished – the hairdresser had done all the girls hair and was waiting for us, the bridesmaids were ready, the flowers and photographer had arrived and all my sister had to do was put on her dress, which was stunning. I lent her our grandmother’s eternity ring – she passed away a few years before my sister was born and this is the only thing that we have left of them. I had bought a beautiful new dress that flattered my figure and hid my various lumps and bumps. However, what I hadn’t taken into account were the tights that I had bought to wear underneath. Despite the fact that I had picked a size that I assumed would be more than comfortable, upon taking them out of the packet I realised they would be more suitable for an eight year old child, and the subsequent battle to squeeze myself into them has now made me consider a potential career change and become a contortionist. After much wrangling, sweating and swearing I emerged victorious, only to discover that I couldn’t breathe. I decided to keep them on as the dress looked beautiful – and who needs oxygen when a dress looks that good???
I sat through the service with my other sister’s new boyfriend, who I had met for the first time that day. I was impressed – he’s a lovely bloke who obviously dotes on my sister, he has a great job and was flying out the following morning to Madagascar, where he is spending six weeks doing marine biology (as you do), and I was really pleased with the effort that he made with the family, who can be extremely overwhelming for newcomers.
The service was lovely. I took the opportunity to take some photographs as my mum started to walk my sister down the aisle (who looked absolutely stunning) but then I turned my attention to the groom. The expression on his face was just wonderful – while I can’t claim to know him at all, by all accounts he’s a nice man, and that one look showed me everything I needed to know – he loves her, and she was so happy it almost appeared that she had to stop herself from grabbing him and jumping up and down there and then. The photographs afterwards were done quickly (again, with almost military precision) and the bridal party and groomsmen jumped into a minibus to go to the reception.
This was the part I had been dreading for the last eighteen months.
It was being held at a small venue where my sisters and I grew up. We spent our childhood walking the dog and playing in the fields surrounding it, referring to it as ‘The White House’ because of the colour of the building, and I haven’t been there since 2002. Circumstances meant that my mother moved away from the family home when I was at University, and so I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye – it’s been something that has plagued me ever since. Upon arrival it was the strangest feeling – everything was so familiar and instantly brought back a million memories. I broke down, just as the bride and groom were arriving in their beautiful Rolls Royce. Being the classy person that I am, I went and hid in a large patch of shrubbery and smoked a few cigarettes in my dress and heels until I had calmed down so they wouldn’t see me.
I got over myself and went inside. The reception was full of people that I hadn’t seen in years, namely my sister’s school friends and their families. It was surreal – the once rather loud children that I knew were now beautiful adults, with careers and some had families of their own.
It was one of the best receptions I have ever attended. The decor, the food, the atmosphere and the speeches were brilliant, and my sister had even organised a photo booth and a ferris wheel of sweets (candy for you non-Brits) for the guests. My sister and her new husband moved around the room and welcomed everyone, and I took the opportunity to get to know my new family-in-law a little. I was particularly enamoured with the groom’s nieces, who at the ages of 12 and 9 were two of the most intelligent and well-mannered little girls I’d ever met.
By 10.30pm I had eaten and drank my own body weight to the point where my dress had appeared to have shrunk, my feet hurt and I was tired, so my mother and I left. I had a huge sense of relief – relief that it had gone so well for them, that I had a lovely time, and relief that I could get out of my stupid tights, change into my jammies and actually breathe again.
It was certainly a day to remember, and it’s taught me a few things:
1. I need to stop worrying about potential scenarios and start living in the present a little more.
2. I need to move on and start getting to know the sister that I have now rather than the one I knew.
3. I need to stop underestimating exactly how large my bottom is when I am purchasing tights in the future.
I hope they had a good day and that they’re happy, and if the way that they looked at each other throughout the day is symbolic of the rest of their lives, I know they’re going to have a wonderful time…
What about you guys? Have you any funny wedding stories that you want to share?
You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog
This is the most honest and refreshing post I’ve read in a long time- (at least since my last nap)- I can see that you are one of the (rare) intelligent ones if your species! I’m glad you could see the love those two have fur each other- and that you’ve decided to love the “sister you have now”- I’m PURRoud of you! And concatulations! Glad you can breathe again! 😺
Thank you my lovely! I certainly won’t be buying tights again anytime soon!
MOL! That’s exactly what the human said when her daughter got married a year ago- she was miserable the whole time- the tights were miserable (and it was hot)- and the high heels she wore were killing her knees and feet- but the wedding was lovely!
what a great post- great day and great lessons. Wonderful that even though you entered out of your comfort zone, you finished the day with such positive thoughts. And the tights made for a good laugh I will say! 🙂
Haha! Thank you! It’s made me feel much more positive about the future!
I greatly enjoyed this. Was a very nice story for today. Thank you for sharing it. And a great message as well.
Thanks Ron! I’m really pleased you enjoyed it!
Being a “guest” at the wedding of a close family member can bring up all kinds of stressful memories. So glad for you that you had a wonderful time. You will all be able to look back on this day with a wonderful sense of family and love and friendship.
And I love your sense of humor. I would never have mentioned the stockings that didn’t fit. Course, I wouldn’t have worn them either!!
If I’m honest I’ve been changing my mind for months about whether to attend or not, but I’m so glad I went, and I’m pleased that it was a positive experience! Thanks Sharon, as always!
I love your three take-aways at the end! I don’t have a funny memory, but a very happy one came to mind. One of my 3 younger sisters died several years ago after living with ALS for 10 years. Diane was in her 50s; she had 2 young adult sons and a daughter. One of her biggest hopes was that she would survive long enough to see her daughter marry. So here came Diane in her wheelchair, her husband pushing her down to the front row. He turned Diane’s wheelchair so she was facing the far end of the aisle. Then he returned to the rear and escorted their daughter down the aisle–with Diane beaming at them. She looked absolutely as radiant as her daughter. I was weeping like a baby! As were plenty of others gathered for this historic event. One of the happiest wedding memories I think I’ll ever have! (Weeping right now as I right this….)
I’m so sorry for your loss – the Ice Bucket Challenge has made me far more aware of how awful ALS is and I’m sorry that your sister had to go through that… I’m so glad she was able to see her daughter married – a beautiful memory for you to cherish xx
Sorry. “as I write this…”!
Great read, Suzie. Loved it. Number 3 was a great twist. 🙂
Haha! Thank you!
I’ve only been to one wedding besides my own, and even then I eloped.
The clerk had my named spelled wrong on the marriage certificate; that should have been a sign, right? 🙂
I am so glad the wedding went off beautifully and you were able to enjoy the occasion.
Thank you my lovely – I’m sorry you had a bad experience at your own… How are you?
Suzie, interesting post. I suggest you read this book: “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. It’ll help you on your journey, especially regarding Point number 1 on your list 🙂
Thanks – I’ll check it out!
The registrar mispronounced my name, my husband-to-be parroted it and me? I started to laugh, everyone joined in my merriment except the groom …
Fair dues to you for getting through it so well. Lovely pic.
Weddings are challenging, to say the least. Being a wedding-phobe, I barely went to my own and had no family present as we were in a foreign country, a ferry, ferry long time ago, pre-Ryanair. (UK)!
I imagine now that one is given a script. ‘Wedding Guest’ or ‘Bridal Party Member’ … and the contract is to show up punctually, in nice clothes, mingle, smile, admire, eat, dance and make it as nice as possible for the couple!
Now, without expectations, I quite enjoy weddings. Just don’t tell anyone.
Thanks my lovely! Every Christian or non-faith wedding I have ever attended does indeed have that contract. However, I went to an amazing Sikh wedding that was totally different – incredible! I’m glad you were able to laugh at your own wedding merriment!
(*Grins*) I’m glad everything went so beautifully. My youngest sister got married last November (first anniversary is right around the corner now) and I remember the hustle and bustle to get everything ready, but it was all worth it.
Although the ring bearer (our second youngest nephew at 5 years of age) kept telling our bishop (Who was performing the ceremony) that he had ‘five more minutes’ before the ring bearer was out of there because he had important things to do.
Haha! Aww – I normally hate kids at weddings but my now brother-in-law’s nieces were fabulous, and one of my sisters oldest friends brought her toddler, who was unbelievably cute!
Aye, toddlers are always really cute aren’t they? I’m glad you have some awesome nieces now.
Well said Suzie, an interesting read and I hope its a new start for you and your sister. re stockings – I always buy for a taller rounder person than myself and usually just fit into them. I think they may be all made in Asia where the biggest Asian lady is only a size 6!!!
Thank you! I definitely need to make better choices when buying stockings in the future!
Haha! It certainly does!
I’ve learned that we can’t hold on to grudges for too long because we me never know how long we have the people in (or out) of our lives here with us. Don’t ever want to regret something like that especially with family.
My funny wedding story was our wedding. We were leaving the reception on our way to our hotel for the night before our early morning flight. My brother was outside taking pictures of us, saying goodbye but I didn’t really see my sister mom or day. I knew his wife wouldn’t be out there cause she was pretty pregnant and ready to pop. Well the story we heard is that my pregnant sister in law almost got caught in elevator doors along with my sister. (There are rumors that our place of reception is haunted). Anyway shortly after getting out of the elevator she starts going into labor. And where was her husband? Well, outside saying goodbye and taking pictures as we drove off. Poor guy, he caught some slack because of that. Of course we didn’t hear about it till we returned from our honeymoon. We did however get a voicemail when we landed in Hawaii that our baby niece was born that next day. :]
Aww! What a lovely story!
Suzie thank you for such a honest account of a situation that many people agonize over. Weddings can be such stressful moments but even more so for the situation that you found yourself in, good on you for making the decision to mend fences with your sister and getting to know your new family. I doubt many others would have had the same courage!
Thank you Suzie for another fabulous read! I think we are all guilty of playing scenarios in our head from time to time ~ when we really had nothing to sweat! No funny wedding stories on this end ,:).
Have. a happy week!
My husband and I are notorious for not staying through wedding receptions. We simply hate them. Our son and his wife-to-be were worried that we wouldn’t make it through theirs, but it was delightful. I’m glad yours had a happy ending, too. And regarding those tights, all of them are made for young girls. I know that once you finally get them on, it doesn’t seem worth the effort to sweat them off again. On the bright side, you could lose 5 pounds of fluid in the process of getting in and out of them.
What a beautiful post to remember a beautiful day! I especially love your three takeaways.
My wedding memory? My husband was finishing up his PhD thesis, and my mother had offered to type it. (Yes, we’re THAT old!) While there, I told her that we were going to go down to the courthouse and get married. I showed her a rose-colored cocktail dress I’d bought from a vintage shop for the occasion. Too late! I recognized my mistake as soon as I saw her eyes narrow. I didn’t even need to hear her muttering about my “old pink dress” and “no daughter of mine”.
By the time we came back two weeks later to proofread the typed thesis, she’d taken my younger sister shopping for a properly pouffy eighties wedding dress that looked like a giant cupcake. Another sister made a veil, while yet others (yes, I have seven younger sisters, so she could tap into a large workforce supply) were on flower, invitation, and cake details. She flew in my uncle, an army chaplain, to perform the ceremony.
Of course, the first order of business was proofreading the dissertation, so as soon as he arrived my uncle was handed a couple of chapters and told to get busy. Everyone had pages of mathematical notations to read over in addition to their assigned wedding roles. My husband-to-be would check over the corrected pages, while muttering about how he just wouldn’t be able to get married if the dissertation wasn’t finished. Every time he heard that, my poor father would turn around and go back to the garage to “work” on the cars. At the ceremony, my uncle talked about how “Life is like a dissertation”, while my maid-of-honor sister pointed to the vintage rose-colored cocktail dress she was wearing and mouthed “Mine”.
It must have worked, because we’ve been married for over 30 years. And my sister still won’t give me back that rose dress.
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I haven’t been to a wedding since my own, 4 years ago. I’m glad that the experience was better than you were anticipating, excepting the torture device known as tights.
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