(Please do not mainpage) Finally, the Wedding Saga is over. My friend's circus of a wedding was this past Friday. It was... an event, let me tell you. The bride was late to her own ceremony and the maid of honor FINALLY got what was coming to her.
Thursday night was the rehearsal dinner. Before that, of course, was the church rehearsal. I was surprised to learn it was a Catholic church. I have no idea how the bride got though all those classes without revealing she's nearly five months pregnant. The priest was actually a Franciscan monk so I couldn't stop imagining they were being married by Friar Tuck.
My friend Laura and I were tasked with doing the readings. I have a feeling we were picked because we are the most articulate people the bride knows. I was definitely uncomfortable with it since I am not religious in the least. I was raised Roman Catholic but consider myself agnostic. Really showy displays of religion kind of creep me out. Either way, I went along with the show and took my reading and didn't say how I felt like I was going to burst into flames when I went up to the alter to talk about love and god.
Friar Tuck asked the bride if they were doing a full nuptial mass. Despite the fact the invitations did NOT say it would be a mass, she nodded and said yes. So we're on the hook for a full hour or so of religion. Fun times. We practice how to walk down the aisles, where to sit, what order to be in, who brings up sacraments, etc. There are four groomsmen for eight bridesmaids, so my friend Laura and I are dragged back up the aisle by one of the groomsmen who kept making jokes about getting two girls and offering to trade us around. Ick.
We end the church part and go to the rehearsal dinner. Now, I don't know if this is a Thing or not, but there were only 20 people or so at the church rehearsal but more than 50 at the dinner. I had no idea who any of those people were and no one made any effort to introduce us, so my friend and I just sat at the bridal party table and felt completely isolated. Thankfully we had been seated with some of the bridesmaids who were more friendly to us. The menu was prix fixe and none of the options were very appealing. We were also eating incredibly late (we didn't get our entrées until 10pm) so no one ate very much.
The maid of honor was being an annoying terror during all of this, complaining about the food and being a general pain in the ass. The flower girl (who was a total brat) and her mother were also exceptionally annoying. The mother sat the flower girl next to the bride, forcing the bride's mother to sit at another table. The flower girl was allowed to run wild while the mother paid no attention. When she did pay attention, she thought her antics were "cute".
(Here's a very nice moment in the evening, though. My birthday is in the summer and the bride missed the get together we had for it, so she took time out of HER rehearsal dinner to give me the presents she had been keeping in her car for the past few months. That was really sweet of her).
The rehearsal dinner ended with the bridal party getting their bridal gifts. These were all really nice things. The bride loves to be over the top, so it was a whole big presentation. The bridesmaids received a monogrammed robe to wear the next day, a white shawl, a white feathered hairclip for the wedding, earrings (hilariously, she managed to find matching clip on earrings for me), a small bottle of perfume, false eyelashes, lipstick and a very sweet card with a broach. It was a really nice gift. There was also a schedule for the next day and we had times for hair and makeup. The bride's mothers gift to us was paying to have our eye makeup done. Despite the fact the wedding was at four, my friend and I had the first two eye makeup appointments, bright and early at 9am.
We get home sometime after midnight and are up at 6am, showering and gathering all our stuff. The reception hall was forty minutes away from my friend's house and we arrived there at ten to nine. The bride is perpetually late to EVERYTHING so we didn't expect her to be there, but we thought at least one or two other girls would be there. Nope! We were all alone. The wedding coordinator assigned to us by the hall showed us where we could put our things and we waited for others to show up. We explored the reception halls as we did.
I have to say, that place was STUNNINGLY gorgeous and probably cost a small fortune. Everything was marble, there were giant chandeliers and tons of mirrors. Multiple grand staircases. The bridal suites were beautiful and came with bathrooms bigger than my own bedroom. It was like some miniature Versailles. As we wandered around we stumbled upon a lost woman lugging a bunch of bags. We asked if she was the makeup artist and she was so relieved she had found us, since the bride had given her NO instruction on where to go and set up. We helped her carry her bags into the bridal suite and helped her set up. She realized she had left a bag with her brushes in her car and I volunteered to run and get it with her while my friend went and got her coffee.
The makeup lady was so thankful for our help that she did our whole faces, even though she was only supposed to be doing eyes. I tried to get out of wearing the false eyelashes (I had never worn them before and they freaked me out a little) but she graciously gave us a crash course in their usage and applied them expertly. She made us both look just flawless. I couldn't thank her enough.
The bride and her entourage arrived an hour and forty five minutes late. It was nearly 11am. The bride and the maid of honor hadn't even showered! The maid of honor took over the bathroom (it had a huge marble shower with one of those fancy raining shower heads) and the bride ran around DECORATING the bridal suit. She put framed pictures of her and her fiancée everywhere, pulled out some of the decorations from the Marie Antoinette bridal shower, propped up "just married!" signs and generally ran around like a crazy person. The wedding coordinator was staring at her like "wtf are you doing?".
My friend asked one of the other bridesmaids to help her put curlers in her hair, as I was grabbed by the two hair stylists. The whole room was chaotic. Bridesmaids shouting and laughing, the flower girl running around and screeching and crying. It was a madhouse. I had signed up to get my hair blown out but we couldn't find anywhere to wet my hair because the maid of honor was in the bathroom. They settled on straightening and curling my hair instead, which cost me $75 instead of the $50 I thought I would be paying. Despite this, the hair stylists were insanely nice women. They complimented me on my hair and did a fabulous job, leaving me with big, soft curls. I felt like a Hollywood starlet and took approximately six billion selfies of myself. Man, I will NEVER look that pretty again.
The maid of honor finally gets out of the shower, bitching about the lack of towels and how they didn't have any shampoo (it's a reception hall not a hotel, what were you expecting?). The bride hurries to take her shower. Time is getting away from us. The make up artist is quickly going through the other girls while the hair stylists are working as fast as they can. The flower girl freaks out about the make up artist trying to put some pink glitter eye shadow on her and runs around screaming. Then she wouldn't sit still to get her hair done. It was chaos in that room.
The bride comes out and starts doing hair. She has no idea what style she wants and shows the flummoxed stylists twenty different pictures on her phone. The stylist starts doing an updo, which the bride soon is yelling that she hates. Then she starts to curl it, which the bride also shrieks about. The bride decides to get her make up done and think about her hair and is soon giving the poor make up woman grief. Everyone else is either getting their hair done or lounging around in their robes. No one has starting getting into their dresses yet.
The wedding is supposed to start at 4pm. At 3pm, the bride decides she doesn't have enough hair extensions and orders one of the hair stylists to go get her more. The hair stylist runs out to get them, leaving just one stylist to finish up all the other girls.
Around this time everyone starts freaking out and trying to cram themselves into dresses, stockings and shoes. I sneak into the bathroom with my dress and stockings to try and get a modicum of privacy while I change. I'm not even in there for five seconds by myself before the maid of honor and three bridesmaids storm in to change. I'm mortified. The maid of honor announces she has to pee before she gets dressed. I start to gather my clothes, thinking I'll change elsewhere, but she just drops her panties and goes right there, will all of us in there! I'm shocked and my brain is screaming "what's happening? What's going on?! What do I do with my eyes?!". The other girls are just striping, flinging off bras and pulling on tights and I'm huddling in a corner trying to be invisible while I change. It was one of the more awkward moments of my life.
Finally I'm dressed and one of the girls zips me into the dress and I'm done. I FLEE that bathroom so fast. In the bridal suite, the bride is having more extensions put in as the make up artist tries to work on her. The flower girl is sobbing and screaming because her dress is itchy. I find another corner to witness all this insanity from and finish getting ready.
4pm comes around and the bride still isn't ready. She is still getting her hair done, her mother is trying to get her to change. Massive chaos. Her father comes in and tries to start herding some of the bridal party down to the lobby and the awaiting limo. The bride gets her hair finished, veil on, and goes into the bathroom with the maid of honor and another bridesmaid to change into her bridal underthings.
Fifteen minutes later and the bride comes out, and she's trying to get the dress on. It takes three people to get it on. It was a stunning dress and it completely masked all signs of pregnancy because it had a high waist and tons of foofy material. It also had a bustle and a legit hoop skirt.
Another fifteen minutes and myself and the other bridesmaids are waiting in the lobby for her. Her father is screaming up the stairs at her to get ready. The wedding coordinator passes out our bouquets. Finally the bride comes down and we go. She rides with her parents in a Rolls Royce, the bridesmaids pile into a limo. We get on the road and we hit traffic. We finally get to the church a little after 5pm. A WHOLE HOUR LATE. I always knew the bride would be late to her own wedding but DAMN.
The church part goes as planned. No one falls down. The flower girl is blissfully quiet. My friend and I do our readings and manage to not mangle a single word. Friar Tuck gives an incredibly long speech about the important of love, forgiveness and faith. I have to keep myself from giggling during the nuptial mass because all I can think about is an Eddie Izzard sketch about religion.
Afterwards, the bridal party huddles outside in the cold, waiting for the bride and groom to complete their receiving line and come out. We're holding very long sparklers for when they walk out. We're out there for nearly a half hour. Finally they walk out, everyone cheers, and we try to go back into the church for pictures.
Friar Tuck stops us and says we can't take pictures in the church. Since the bride was an hour late, they have to get the building ready for evening services. The maid of honor throws an absolute FIT and some of the bridesmaids distract Friar Tuck so the bride, groom and a photographer can sneak into the building and take a few pictures. Once they're done, we pile back into the limo and return to the reception hall for the cocktail hour.
The entire way back, the maid of honor is being a total pill. She complains about having to be in the limo with everyone, she complains that she's riding backwards, she yells at the limo driver because we're stuck in traffic. She almost wiped the bride's iPhone too! She kept thinking it was her work phone and kept trying to unlock it with the wrong code. Finally we convinced her it was the bride's phone (for fuck's sake, it had the case I had given her for her birthday on it!) and to leave it alone before she hit ten wrong guesses and the phone wiped itself.
Once back at the reception hall, we're told to all stay together but of course most of the bridal party ignores this. Some go to the cocktail hour, some go to the bridal suit to fix their make up or hair. There was also a cocktail hour set up for the bridal party, but the food was cold and there was no liquor (the hell kind of cocktail hour has no liquor?) so no one stayed there for long. My friend and I go to the real cocktail hour for a few brief moments before we're pulled out for pictures. The cocktail hour had a pianist and a woman drawing portraits.
We do pictures. They had two photographers and a videographer, so we're being taped and photographed from all angles. The mother of the flower girl butts in and demands some pictures of the bride with her precious little daughter. It's basically chaos and one of the photographers kind of gives up and sits down to watch it all unfold. The other photographer bravely soldiers on, trying to accommodate the bride as well as the bossy flower girl's mother. Literally, that woman derails pictures for a full ten or fifteen minutes, barking orders about how she wants pictures of her daughter with the bride to look. It is insanity.
Once pictures are thankfully done, we all line up to be announced into the reception room. We're again paired two girls to one guy and my friend and I are stuck with the douchebag from the church. We see the pianist and the portrait artist pack up and leave.
The reception room was deeply stunning. We walk in and the DJ makes a joke about how lucky the groomsmen are to have TWO ladies to escort, how they're "man enough" to handle two women "wink wink" (ick ick ick!!!). Besides the DJ, there is also a very pretty woman and another pianist. The woman is singing old Hollywood standards. A guy with bagpipes shows up as well, to play before the bride and groom get announced. The reception hall had a big balcony with a sweeping, Beauty and the Beast style stair case that lead up to the bridal suites. The bride and groom came down those stairs to great fanfare.
The singer sings for their first dance as husband and wife, as well as the dance with the bride and her father. Then she and the pianist pack up and leave. Okay then. The DJ takes over and the actual party starts. People are sitting at the tables or running up to a photo booth set up in one corner. There's an open bar (PRAISE ALL THE ELDER GODS) and some people are dancing. My friend Laura and I find the bridal party table, claim our seats and people watch.
Finally, my FAVORITE PART of the night happens. Time for speeches! The maid of honor told us in the limo that she hadn't written down anything for her speech. We tried to help her, but she ignored our help and said our ideas were stupid. We tried desperately to veto her joke idea but she insulted us and didn't listen. Fine, bitch, have it your way.
So she gets up there and says who she is. She says that she and the bride have a very special bond. They've known each other since they were baptized and they've been like sisters to each other. She said, and I quote, "we've shared everything, from boyfriends to panties!". Oh my god, it was so quiet in that room you could hear crickets. She hadn't started drinking yet and she sounded like she was wasted out of her mind. She rambled, stumbled, didn't finish her sentences, and basically gave the worst speech in all of human history. Apparently the groom actually leaned over and told her to shut up and sit down! She crashed and burned in the most SPECTACULAR way. It was glorious.
She came back to the bridal party table and shoved me aside so she could fit her massive dress into her chair, then started to scream and cry (a woman who is almost 30!) about how bad her speech was. It was the most blatant ploy for attention I have ever seen in my life. Her boyfriend came over to try and comfort her and she berated him and insulted him and flounced off to lock herself in the ladies room and sob. She spent the ENTIRE NIGHT pouting and crying. When she wasn't acting like a child, she was insulting the food (which was really pretty good), the music, everything. She was the worst.
The flower girl continued to be a terror. She wouldn't sit still to eat, her parents completely ignored her as she bothered the bride while she was eating, or bothered people on the dance floor. When it came time to throw the bouquet, she was front and center and actually bowled over two women to get it! The DJ told her what a good job she had done catching the bouquet but to give the flowers back to the bride so the adult ladies could get a chance. First she refused to give up the bouquet, then she raced onto the dance floor twice more to catch it! Just madness. The DJ, obviously exasperate with her, awarded the bouquet to another woman on the dance floor so she and her boyfriend (who caught the garter) could put the garter on her. You obviously can't put a garter on an eight year old! Her mother didn't stop her from any of this, of course.
During the meal, there was another performer that came out. This woman played a see through, light up violin and danced while she played. It was like something out of Cirque Du Soleil. I mean, it was completely awesome just very unexpected. You don't expect to see a woman doing ballet and playing violin as you pick at your meal.
And that's about it. The actual party was unremarkable apart from the horrendous speech the maid of honor gave. There was dancing and food. There was cake cutting. We stayed until about midnight, when most of the bridal party was starting to leave and then drove back to my friend's house.
The next day we both woke up with some minor form of plague. I had planned to spend the whole weekend with her, but I felt so sick I even spontaneously started to cry, so I apologized profusely and went home. I spent most of the weekend feeling like I had been hit by a truck. The clip on earrings have also left lasting marks of damage. Today is TUESDAY and my earlobes are still painful to the touch. They're terribly bruised and have a big welt on them from where the earrings had been. I have no idea what to do to heal them.
So, thus ends the Wedding Saga... it will be a cold day in Hell before I'm ever in a wedding again, I can tell you that much. I also realized something as I sat at the reception listening to the maid of honor cry. The bride had actually pulled off a very beautiful wedding and she looked stunning. The maid of honor was a hot mess and any event she planned was a stressful, horrible affair. So I blame all of my stress on the maid of honor, from her terribly thought out Marie Antoinette bridal shower, to her crude behavior at the wedding. What a basic, attention whoring crazy person.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put some more Neosporin on my earlobes and whimper in pain.