I decide to stay awake, an easy decision when I remember that I still haven't tried Burger King's Bacon Gouda sandwich. It's a rarity to be awake during BK breakfast hours so I should take advantage. This is brave, considering I don't have a lot of aesthetic leeway right now. Adding a greasy face and salt bloat doesn't exactly scream FORMALWEAR!
The sandwich is okay. I see no evidence of gouda.
JCrew is getting her hair washed when I get to the salon. There are a few ways to approach her under these conditions: 1. tiptoeing and super casual, like it's a coincidence that you're at the same hair place on a Saturday morning. If she asks for a splash of mimosa, you say "How much booze, m'lady?", 2. Get right there in her face and say: "How you doing, Future Mrs. Seadawg?! Nervous, huh? Huh? Huh?" I choose the former.
"What are you looking at having done?" the stylist asks.
"Something like that," I say, indicating the head he's already working on. "Or a little loosey goosey, low bun. Maybe all pulled over the side, but not in a severe way."
"Okay, but that's actually three different ideas," he says.
"I know," I admit. "I was hoping you'd pull something you liked out of all of that."
There is a wind of hairspray. Tight curls. The deconstruction of false eyelashes. JCrew's makeup man invents a lip color for her, which must rank higher than having a signature drink. Her hair is down and wavy, with a braid for cinching her vail. With makeup, she looks like a 1960s starlet.
I hope with the intensity of the sun that the flower girl doesn't walk in while I'm slipping into my dress. I don't want to be the personification of this biology lesson about the pregnant female form. The fabric cannot contain evidence of my now outtie belly button.
There are photos taken in a big old fancy house filled with deep colors, paintings, crannies where one could easily get lost, a members only club that has to be haunted. I'll be reminded of this hours later when I am on the second floor retrieving my belongings and hear a woman singing. Chuck says it sounds like a TV has been left on; I prefer to think that it's something smoke-like that floats through the hallways. (Turns out it is an employee using a bathroom).
Two photographers tag team a shoot in a library area that feels like a cover shoot for Vogue.
The wedding is at a deconsecrated church. All the grandness of an old Catholic Church with none of the pesky judgments. There is a pipe organ, a trumpet player, an opera singer performing in Italian. A reading from the book of "Jane Eyre." A sermon by a paster who is also a regular on local stages. A handfasting ceremony.
It lasts the exact amount of time I can comfortably stand on 3-inch platform heels. My groom partner and I have barely hit the back row of seats afterward and I'm already carrying them. (Flip flops have been approved for the remainder of the day).
The party bus has neon lights, a speaker system and decorative bells. A groomsman has stocked a cooler with four brands of CabSav, which is served in plastic cups, and beer. The bride wants to decompress to some Iron & Wine or Bon Iver, neither of which screams "party bus." A few songs later and The Greeter has downloaded ABBA and is spinning "Mama Mia."
"Have you ever been on a party bus filled with people drinking wine out of keg cups?" I text Chuck.
"Have you ever gone to a wedding and then sat at a bar with two people you don't even know for two hours?" he responds.
We're taken to a remote location. A two-minute walk into the woods for photographs. Then down another path to a rocky area by the river. Then back to a scenic bridge. It's about 30 degrees and not quite not raining. It takes two people to carry the bride's dress over the bramble.
I wonder if I'm going to start crying, if the snot will freeze like icicles hanging from my nose.
The next day, one of the photographers will post a photograph from this expedition, proving that it was worth the hike. But damn was it cold at the time.
The mingling is fantastic. Oregon is in from Virginia with her husband (and gave us an adorable ironic onesie that says "Raised by Wolves" during the groom's dinner), Bri Guy is in from DC, our Unemployed Friend drove up from Des Moines and other assorted friends not seen in recent history are primed for the hugging. Not to mention that by the end of it, Chuck and I have hired a Norwegian nanny.
Dinner includes buttered crackers with horseradish and a pork loin with a fruity salsa. The cupcakes are pistachio or strawberry flavored, the cake is lavender honey. There is a candy bar complete with soft Irish candies and assorted other flavors.
Chuck and I wander off by ourselves to a lounge to sit quietly and not talk to anyone for about 15 minutes. We're just in time to catch the baby performing a floor routine in my belly.
There is a photo booth and we wander in in groups to take weird shots. BriGuy and I perform dueling pregnant Mick Jaggers.
The responsible people pack up, and those willing to contribute to the shit show remain. Groomsmen dance in a circle around JCrew. Tiny Dancer grabs her hands and hops around to the Jackson 5. Somewhere along the way she has learned how to dance Gangham Style.
Her high school guy friends have kicked off their shoes and replaced them with high heels.
Chuck and I slow dance clumsily and decide we should probably go home now. Hugs are re-administered.
We eat a frozen pizza, watch an episode of "Lost" and pass out.
I wake to a text from CHRISSIE recommending an Australian true crime movie she has billed as "Lifetime-y."
We spend the entire day in front of the TV.