My Best Friend's Wedding
I'm writing this in bed, where I am laid in plaid PJ pants and a t-shirt which proudly declares me to be 'chief bridesmaid and which I own because my best friend got married last Friday.
That's right boys and girls, my best friend is a wife.
Although the wedding was last Friday, it was entirely possible when I woke for work on Monday morning that I was still, in fact, hungover - on Saturday following the wedding, I opened my eyes and wondered briefly if I had died, making my way down to breakfast where the Father of the Bride grinned at me and said 'I hope you feel as awful as you look' (I love that man) - if not still hungover by Monday then I was definitely still the kind of tired that you only ever are after a truly excellent night and too much alcohol. Even now I still feel like I could sleep for a week. We started on the fizzy stuff at around half past 10 on Friday morning, my glass wasn't empty until gone 1am Saturday and I may not be 100% sure where my dignity is. Probably on the dancefloor. There was a lot of dancing.
What I am 100% sure of is that Helen was the most beautiful bride I've ever seen and I was beyond honoured to stand by her side on her big day.
It was one of the best days of my life.
When you have a friend that's as excellent as Helen then you find yourself wanting, more than anything, for them to find true happiness. When they do, and you get to stand by their side and watch as they promise to try to be that happy for the rest of ever and always, well, it's a pretty fabulous feeling.
Helen and Dan just sort of....fit, and the look in his eyes when he married her on Friday kind of made me want to cry.
In fact, sack 'kind of made me want to' - I cried. I'm not ashamed to say it.
Helen was a remarkably chilled out bride, I feel you should know that. Not a hint of Bridezilla in sight, even for a second. Not all brides can claim that. If I ever get married I can only hope to be as chill as her.
One of the things she asked of me was to give a reading at the wedding. One I had written myself. She asked me after I'd had wine and I cried. My mum whispered in my ear 'you can do this' and I figured that yes, I could. I don't think I had quite grasped at that point that effectively I was writing a speech that I had to give in front of close to 100 people. Not that I regret it. Not a chance. I was petrified, to the point that I felt sick and my hands hurt but it never crossed my mind for a minute to say no, or to back out. Out of those 100 people she had asked me: I felt honoured. & I always have a lot to say - even if I do generally say it in writing rather than out loud. Writing it was easy, and reading it, once I was up there doing it was much less hard than I thought it would be. I almost cried, very nearly lost it twice, but I made it through. I think it was a success. I don't have a lot of money and was never going to be able to afford an expensive wedding gift; I kind of hope then, that my words last Friday let Helen know how much she matters to me, how much I love her, how truly happy I am that she has found Dan, and that I wish them the very happiest of lives together.
Helen was a beautiful bride; Dan a handsome groom. The venue was lovely, the whole place felt full of love and laughter and as I danced the night away in my bridesmaid dress, my shoes abandoned somewhere and wine glass in hand, I felt certain I was a part of something special. It was a day I know that I will always look back on with a smile and above all it was a day that marked the start of a brand new chapter for Helen and Dan.
It's where the fairytale always ends, the wedding, but I can't help think that ending, really, is just the beginning.
And they all lived happily ever after.