So, as you guys know, The Bride recently did something rather incredible-she got hitched! And it was the wedding of a lifetime! A gorgeous manor that looked like something straight out of a period drama, so much good food that I felt like I'd eaten more than I'd had in weeks, she looked like a princess, he glowed with pride when he caught her eye, we all danced to a live band and I taught a bunch of people to headbang. It was lovely. And there were lots and lots of tears.
I cried watching her get into her dress, I cried when she couldn't help but kiss her soon-to-be husband as soon as she got down the aisle, I cried as they exchanged their vows and I cried during the speeches. I welled up giving her the book me and her other oldest friend had compiled for her, I shed a tear when we chased her bridal car down the road. Everyone cried at the groom's speech, and then again when we did the bridesmaids' speech. I couldn't express how happy I was without welling up.
So what is it about weddings that make us get misty eyed?
Well I've noticed the crying thing has only come about as I've got old enough for my friends to start getting married off. Now don't get me wrong, these aren't sad tears-nope, anything but! They're happy tears, proud tears, overwhelmed tears. They're tears which are hopeful for the couple but also hopeful for yourself.
The thing is, unless you're not a believer in marriage, the wedding day is like this really awesome chance to celebrate love. And what's so bad about that? You get to shout from the rooftops how important that person is to you. It's like saying to that person-'You are it. You're my best friend, my family and the person I want to share my bed with forever and a day.' And that's a huge deal. Marriage isn't something to be entered into lightly, you do it because you know that the person you're meeting at the end of the aisle is someone you don't only want in your life forever, but that you need. Which is why divorce is such a terribly sad thing.
Watching friends you've watched grow up get married is incredible. You see it all in your head-what they looked like when you were kids, arguing about who would get your period first, that time you designed your dream dresses (and laughing to yourself as you compare her incredibly stylish and elegant ivory gown with her old vision of a turquoise monstrosity with sequins and puffy sleeves, topped with a tiara...eight year old's visions of wedding dresses are fairly Big Fat Gypsy Wedding-esque), confiding in each other about your first kisses and talking about what you wanted to be when you grew up. You remember teenage angst, and worries over spots, greasy hair and the boys that didn't like you back, and you then you watch as it all melts away and your friend, that same one who used to wear owl-like glasses and play with furbies, turn into royalty. And it's not the dress that does it, it's not the big venue, the presents or throwing the bouquet. It's love. I've never seen The Bride look so beautiful as she did when she looked at her new husband, or glow quite so much as she did with pride when he gave his speech.
My tears were out of pure happiness-because the little girl I played Tomb Raider and hopscotch with was a woman. And that day, I saw her whole future in front of her-the ups, the downs, the laughter, the tears, the late nights and the early mornings. And I knew all of it would be ok, because she'd be doing it all with a partner in crime who knew her better than anyone, loved her more than anyone and wanted her happiness more than anyone. It's a weird sensation when you realise that you're not your oldest friend's port of call any more, but when you're handing over to someone who loves them that much, it's also one of the best feelings in the world.
So, to The Bride and her lovely new husband- with all my heart I wish you that long, wonderful future.(I promise next time I see you both I won't cry. Well, probably.)