We’ve all heard wedding horror stories. The bride – once your kind and considerate friend – becomes an unrecognizable monster, armed with planning notebooks, bridal magazines and swatches of silk fabric. The best man details the groom’s past exploits in his speech or forgets his lines. Bridesmaids endure garish, ill-fitting dresses in Easter-egg colors and lacey, poofy fabrics.
The nightmare wedding lore is even strong enough to merit television shows, like this horrible, reality-TV spot aptly named Bridezilla, and movies – 27 Dresses recently graced the box office with silk taffeta terrors, um, sorry, dresses.
So it was with some trepidation that I agreed, for the first time, to act as a bridesmaid this past weekend. My fears were unwarranted.
That’s not to say there weren’t some surprises. When we left the hair dresser about two hours before the wedding ceremony, the bride described her hairstyle as “circus-pony hair” and was yanking out bobby pins before we left the parking lot. We were locked out of the theater where the wedding was being held and did the quick-fix in a nearby hotel room. A rental agency never showed with the speakers and sound system for the event. Luckily, the groom — much to his bride’s usual dismay — owns a collection of stereo equipment that rivals a Radio Shack.
The ring bearer arrived in his tuxedo, Converse sneakers and a Mr. Potato Head-style, fake mustache. His reasoning: “I want to look like a man.” The bride and groom couldn’t say no to that, and our ring bearer had the crowd cracking up through the ceremony — especially, when he took a rather militant stance during a one-handed blessing. And there was the bride’s younger brother who enjoyed a few too many beverages at the reception.
I suspect, though, that these “mishaps” will account for most of the bride and groom’s favorite memories of the day. After all, the kinks and quirks are partly what took their wedding from just-another party to what it’s meant to be: a celebration of them as a couple — not always perfect, but secure enough to come smoothly through the bumps.
And, at least they didn’t end up like these pairs: a couple who was tasered for getting too out of control and a bride who didn’t make it through her reception without cheating.
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