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Wedding Daze

Wedding daze

I love a good wedding, and I was at a great wedding on Saturday.

The bride, my cousin – who is stunning on a bad day – looked so beautiful she actually glowed. I’ve read about people “glowing” before and always thought it was hyperbole, but I can’t think of any other word to describe her when the fact is that she legitimately had a honey aura going on.

Although we’re cousins, we look nothing alike. She is the blue-eyed, rosy-cheeked, high-cheekboned, glamorous blonde to my hazel-eyed, dressed-in-the-dark, sallow-skinned brunette. As teenagers we would lie side by side on her bed, talking about boys and secrets and friends and life. Even though she’s a little younger than me, I’ve always looked up to her. She’s ambitious and determined, beautiful, strong-minded and incredibly talented. It doesn’t seem fair that one person managed to get all of those attributes, but here we are.

As a clear and timely example, let me tell you about her veil. If you tuned in (along with 2 billion others) to watch the last English royal wedding, you’ll have seen Carrickmacross lace before. It was all over Kate Middleton’s dress. Carrickmacross lace originates in County Monaghan, and involves a painstaking process of handstitching fabric to lace before cutting away the excess material. Consider that for a moment, and then consider the fact that my cousin decided – with all the ambition and determination and talent I outlined above – that she would make her own veil for her wedding day.

As you do.

I can’t imagine the patience it must have taken to make. If it had been me, I would have thrown it out the window after the first couple of months. Tulle and lace, needles and thread would all have gone sailing out onto the lawn in an unwittingly graceful show of frustration. My cousin being who she is though, she stuck with it; she found a teacher, learned the technique, and over many, many, many months… made her own veil.

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the veil

Even the most hamfisted, chronically unimpressed heathen would have to admit she did good. She did better than good. I mean, look at that. I don’t know anybody else on this earth who would take on that task on top of wedding planning and a full time job being the country’s best art teacher.

But that’s my cousin for you!

The day went off without a hitch. Everything was perfect. The cherry blossoms at the church, the incredible food, the heartfelt speeches from the wedding party, the cake that her mother made for the reception… In terms of talent and creativity, it’s a case of like mother, like daughter. As they say in the country, “She didn’t lick it off a stone!”

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the cake

So we danced, and we drank, and we toasted, and we talked, and we sang (not well), and we enjoyed ourselves. My cousin and her kind, loving gentleman of a husband (!) celebrated getting hitched and we were lucky enough to be witnesses.

After the meal, as I leaned back in my chair and wondered if I would ever need to eat again, I thought about growing up, and falling in love, and how complicated it is sometimes, and how simple it can seem from afar. It’s like an impressionist painting; from a distance it’s easy to think it’s a distinct scene painted in three or four colours, but once you really get up close and examine it, it’s so much messier than that. Every person lives in their own bubble, feeling things you can never know unless they tell you. Everybody has their own secret inner life, with their most personal dreams and hopes and memories and fears. It’s terrifying to trust someone enough to tell them all of that. It’s hard to let other people into your bubble.

And yet… we do it. We risk it. We feel passion, and loss, and love, and pain. We trust in people, even when we’ve been hurt before. We’re honest with people, even when we’re afraid they’ll throw it back in our faces. Over and over, we put our hearts on the line and we tell people the truth about how we feel, and sometimes it’s a disaster, and sometimes it’s magical. People have been doing this in all countries, in all cultures, again and again, over and over, since the dawn of time.

I can’t decide if it’s beautiful, or boneheaded.

Here’s what I do know though…

Life is hard sometimes. Nobody makes it through unscathed. With that in mind, it’s pretty amazing to find someone who you know has your back. I know that my cousin has found a guy who will go to bat for her everytime. If life was a zombie apocalypse, they would both be in the Winchester with her husband watching the door while my cousin came up with an elaborately detailed yet highly effective plan to get them to safety. They’ve got it on lock.

In the end, that’s what we all want, I guess. Somebody who will make the good stuff better and the bad stuff less bad. Somebody who you know is on your team, no matter the highs or the lows. Somebody who will keep the zombies of life distracted while you map out an escape plan using paperclips and toothpicks.

And vice versa.

 

 

 

 

 

37 thoughts on “Wedding Daze

    1. Well I just thought it and wrote it, but now thinking about it I guess anybody who’s seen Clueless will have heard a similar analogy used…

      Tai: Do you think sheโ€™s pretty?
      Cher: No, sheโ€™s a full-on Monet.
      Tai: Whatโ€™s a Monet?
      Cher: Itโ€™s like a painting, see? From far away itโ€™s okay, but up close, itโ€™s a big old mess.

        1. I wonder if I think about everything for long enough will I be able to pinpoint some sort of inspiration, or is inspiration just an amalgamation of thoughts and things you’ve seen and heard and experienced?

          My mother used to drag me to art museums until I was old enough to develop my own interest in art and exhibitions, so I have spent some time studying Monets and Pissarros.

    1. Sometimes my thoughts or feelings just flow out through my fingers, and all I can do is hope that other people make sense of what I’m rambling about…!

  1. In our country India , veil is required too , it’s of great importance.
    But That veil is handmade!!!! It’s sooo painstakingly beautiful.
    Nice article though, (Can’t take my eyes off of that cake).
    You are funny ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. Sounds like she’s got the patience of a saint. I’d given up . I’m more of a good person since at least one can eat after one cooks ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. I also enjoy making food – it’s so satisfying! Although sometimes I need to take a break because after making something and staring at it for so long, by the time it’s ready I don’t really feel like eating it anymore!

      Give me half an hour though…..!

      1. Hehehe it’s like when I make Pho or a noodle soup that takes the whole day to cook. I’m full just from inhaling it. The left overs are very nice the next day though.

  3. beautifully written! especially liked that part about the secret inner life we all have..glad I found your blog, your words seem to always hit home with me. I assume it’s because we are long lost sisters and we both have a half of the same necklace..

  4. Glad your cold was held at bay so you could attend the wedding. You get any ideas for your own?? Maybe trying your hand at making your own stunning veil too…? You already know how to make a fascinator… I feel like that lesson learned could come in handy.

  5. That is so adorably beautiful! And man that woman has got some talent and ambition. I would have tried and then just worn a white garbage bag over my head. But wistful, warm and beautifully written as usual.

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