When I agreed to be part of the blog hop for The Ritual, I got excited to write about my experience in Taylor’s wedding…just in time for her first wedding anniversary! (Happy anniversary, love youse!)
Then I remembered I actually was a “junior bridesmaid” in my Aunt’s wedding in 2000.
Look at little me, in my junior bridesmaid glory.
My Aunt was– and is– the shit growing up. Even though my Mom was one of five kids and I have always had a lot of really rad aunts and uncles, she was the cool young Aunt, and she was always really close with me and my brother and sister. (They actually were her ring-bearer and flower girl in the wedding.) I remember excitedly saying yes when she asked if I would be a part of her wedding.
In the months that led up to her wedding, my Aunt was a pretty cool bride-to-be. She wanted all of the bridesmaids to wear black, floor length dresses. I remember taking monthly shopping trips for fittings for her, my mom and other aunt (her matrons of honor), and the dresses for me and my sister. I was only 10 at the time of her wedding, and I remember playing hide and seek in the racks of dresses at wedding boutiques with my then five-year-old sister. It was tough to find a dress that fit me, was elegant, and was appropriate for a ten-year-old. I was always a tall kid so I had the body of a 12 year old at the start of puberty.
In something that has stayed true with me to this very day, I found my perfect black dress at Macy’s. It came up to my neckline, and dipped low in the back, but not too low. The back trim dip thing had really beautiful beadwork, and I remember feeling really grown up at my Aunt’s wedding.
Fast forward to last year, and I was asked to be a bridesmaid in one of my best friends’ weddings.
Taylor nervously asked me to go for a walk with her, asked if she could buy me coffee, and I sort of thought she was about to profess her love for me. She essentially did, and I became part of The Wedding Party. While my Aunt’s wedding was technically the first wedding I was a bridesmaid in, Taylor’s was my first bridesmaid experience as an adult.
Taylor was the most relaxed bride ever. She never had a single bridezilla moment, and she only had a moment that required tequila. (Tequila supply was my official bridesmaid job.) As a bridesmaid, I was told to just get a strapless black dress that went to my knees, and to find strappy black heels. My height made it a bit difficult to find a strapless dress that went to my knees, but in the end I prevailed.
I think one of the most interesting parts of Taylor’s wedding was the emotions I felt at– and following– the ceremony. I was so extremely honored and proud to be part of Taylor’s special day, but I felt contemplative about being a part of it as well. It was weird to me as a 22 year old to be seeing someone my own age getting married and starting a future with someone as I, for the first time in a few years, embarked on a journey of grad school and just being me– and single– for awhile. I brought my dear friend, Dina, to the wedding as my date. Being the only two lesbians in Middle of Nowhere, Massachusetts, as well as Dina being the only person who wasn’t a pasty pale of ivory in town, led to a lot of conversations– and pondering– about gays going to weddings and celebrating the holy matrimony of their friends and loved ones while not being able to settle down and get married.
It’s something I find myself reflecting on, and smiling on, now that their first wedding anniversary has passed and same-sex marriage is actually being recognized in the United States.
A year ago, I found myself teary-eyed at the alter, and I had a lot of thoughts going through my head during the ceremony, most of which involved me being so overwhelmed by emotion, falling in love with the look of love Taylor & Mike had towards one another during the ceremony. Even though I was very much single, barely thinking about marriage, and a slight mixture of bitter and blissful, the nuptials of Taylor & Mike reminded me that love is beautiful. It made my heart beat again, and it reminded me that love is kind, unexpected, and perfect, complicated, and meant to be.
Taylor’s wedding helped me grow up, and accept the idea of marriage into my life.
Happy anniversary, Taylor and Mike. I love you both dearly, and I am so proud to have been part of your wedding day.
This post is the second in a series of guest blog posts for the documentary The Ritual. The film is expected to be released in 2014 and you can visit the website and read more about the film and filmmakers here: The Ritual