I’ve been friends with EM since January of 1994-we were both exchange students in Urbino, Italy-so there was no way I was going to miss her wedding, no matter how far I had to travel. Never have I seen her so happy or so beautiful, and I was overwhelmed by it. I cried when her fiancé made a speech at the rehearsal dinner, I cried the entire ceremony, I cried at the speeches (even though I lost 5 euro in the betting), I got choked up during their first dance. I couldn’t help it–the waves of happiness emanating off the bride and the groom just pushed the tears right out of me.
On Thursday, before I went down to the rehearsal dinner, I’d had my usual moment of social anxiety: what if everyone thinks I’m stupid and tasteless? But out of my love and happiness for EM, I clipped on my pearls and headed down to the bar. Whatever was I worried about? Her and her fiancé’s family and friends are a wonderful circle of people, seemingly brought together because they all bring out the best in those around them. In ten minutes I’d made five new friends from all generations.
The wedding reception was no different–by the end of the night I’d danced with many fun and friendly guests, been induced to smoke a cigarette by a Catholic priest, and had issued open invitations to half a dozen of EM’s girlfriends to meet me in “the city” for shopping and cocktails.
Little did I know Irish weddings last all day and nearly all night. Had I been so inclined, I could have stayed up partying for 14 hours straight. That’s right–the cocktail hour started at 3 PM and I was told the last revelers packed it in around 5 AM. I swallowed my pride and limped home at 1 AM, but only after I’d toasted, ate, drank and danced as much as was offered.
EM’s crowd was so delightful, there was so much good will in the room that it was equally as enjoyable to lean back against the wall, wine glass in hand, and observe the party. Everyone was happy, smiling. Couples held each other while they moved around the dance floor, friends chatted with their heads tilted towards each other, the bride and groom danced, walked hand in hand, and shared an infinite number of secret glances. I felt lifted up by the love in the room; I was honored to be numbered among their friends.
Congratulations, EM & LS! I wish you many years of joy and ease together.