Over the course of the past five months, I’ve been perfecting my skills at being a Professional Wedding Guest. I have been to so many weddings this year that my husband and I have got it down to a fine art. We can wake up, pack up the kids and the car, eat our breakfast, and get on the road in two hours flat. The same conversation repeats itself every time: “Suit? Check. Dress? Check. Heels and dress shoes? Yes. Wedding gift and card? Check. Playpen, diapers, and clothes for the kids? Yep.” And off we go.
Inconveniently, all the weddings have been at least three hours away from home, which requires babysitting arrangements. (Thank god for my sister and brother-in-law in Toronto who have helped us out more times than I can count.) As much work as it is, trying to organize four people in order to attend these big-deal events, it’s also quite fun. Having the chance to glam myself up once in a while, drink more alcohol than I can justify on a regular basis, and flirt with my devastatingly handsome man is actually incredibly relaxing — and probably great for our relationship. Plus, we get to reconnect with lots of old friends whom we rarely see anymore, living in the boonies like we do.
This past Saturday marked the last wedding of 2012 – number six out of the eight we were invited to. (One was double-booked; the other, we were on vacation.) It was a fabulous way to end off the string of weddings — an energetic, joy-filled occasion that I’ll say more about later. For now, here’s a recap of my favourite aspects of each wedding, all so different and unique from each other, all really wonderful celebrations.
June 2, 2012 :: Gillian and JamieGillian is my cousin who is like a little sister to me. Jamie is her high school sweetheart whom I got to know when he spent a summer living with my parents. They’re both wonderful, warm, loving people. Their wedding was elegant and formal, with great live music and a staggering homemade dessert table. (See post here!)
June 16, 2012 :: Megi & Beni
This was the super-fun Albanian wedding that I wrote about, with a dance that I’ll never forget. My feet and face ached from so much dancing and smiling that night! Beni is a university friend of my husband’s and Megi is his beautiful new wife.
June 23, 2012 :: Cindy & Bryan
These two did the most incredible choreographed dance as they entered the reception. They had taken lessons and practiced for weeks, but it looked absolutely effortless. The effect was thoroughly impressive! Theirs was a fun Croatian-Canadian wedding, with delicious food. It was the only time I’ve ever won the centerpiece, but it was a fishbowl with guppies and I feared for their lives if the three-year-old ever got a hold of them, so sadly I gave them to someone else.
September 22, 2012 :: Cesar & Grace
I’ll never forget this wedding for the professional dancers from So You Think You Can Dance Canada who were hired to entertain and teach the wedding guests. (It was also my first introduction to Gangnam Style… Clearly I’ve been living under a rock.) They also served the best cheesecake lollipops I’ve ever had — what an awesome concept, dessert on sticks!
Will is my first cousin on my dad’s side. He and Jenn got married on Thanksgiving weekend, which was a wonderful way to start off a family-focused holiday. Unfortunately we missed the ceremony because of atrocious traffic and construction, but the reception more than made up for it. I ate the best prime rib ever and their DJ was really great, knowing how to get the party started. Combined with the romantic setting at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, their wedding had a very warm and cozy feel.
November 3, 2012 :: Chris & Kristin
(Kristin looked so much like Sybil from Downton Abbey that the resemblance was eery!) Chris was the first friend I ever made at university, in first year at our first History of the Americas class. He’s a great guy, a loyal friend, and I’m so happy he’s found someone as awesome as Kristin, who’s a dancer and philosophy student. Their traditional Ukrainian wedding — the one we went to on Saturday — was charged with positive energy. A friend who was there with me just sent a pic of their cupcake display, in place of a wedding cake.
Anyways, as fun as it is, it also feels good to reach the end of the wedding circuit. We need a few months to recoup and start saving up again for the next round of weddings in 2013. I guess we’re just at that age right now. But, as an elderly gentleman at church reminded me last week, it’s better to be at this stage than the one he’s at now! I wish all these couples the best in their exciting new lives together. Marriage rocks 🙂