Last night, I went to really nice wedding. There was a time, when I was in my twenties, that I was going to a LOT of weddings. I was also in a lot of them, as friends got married all around us. One fall, I remember looking at the calendar and having one every couple of weeks, and all I could think was that I could NOT afford all that dry cleaning. Fast forward ten years or so, and we just don’t have that many people going down the aisle. If anything, we’re doing baby showers, but even those have slowed down recently. Guess this is middle age, huh? So it’s always nice when we get invited to a wedding and get to dress up and go and watch people say their vows. I like weddings even more, actually, since I had to plan my own: I LOVE being part of a day and not having to do a single thing or make a single decision about it. Plus, I am a very good wedding guest. I always make a point to notice everything you know someone agonized over, like the napkins and the centerpieces.
This wedding was different, in some ways, because the folks getting married had both been down the aisle before. They’d done the Big Wedding Thing, and so they wanted to so something smaller, simpler, and more personal. So at sunset, we all walked out this little beach at Jordan Lake and stood there, as motorboats whizzed by in the distance, while they took their vows. Their dogs splashed in the water behind them the entire time. Then we had cupcakes (which were amazing) and toasted them with champagne before going back to their house for barbecue and hushpuppies. It was just perfect.
One thing they did I think should become wedding tradition. The bride knew that her dress was going to get muddy and trashed at the lake, and since she wasn’t overly attached to it, she decided that at the reception she’d cut off the bottom and make it a mini dress. Which became a ceremony all in itself: her standing there, her arms full of tulle and white satin, while her husband carefully cut around her, giving her a really cute little flouncy skirt. Now, I know this is not for everyone, especially if you spend a LOT on your dress or want to pass it on. But if you don’t, it’s just the coolest thing. Symbolic, I think, of moving past the pomp and circumstance of the wedding and into the marriage, shedding all the preparation to embrace the days that are ahead. I was so touched, I had to eat another cupcake. (I’m serious, they were, like, to die for. Whole Foods, how many reasons can you give me to love you?)
This was also move-in weekend at UNC, which meant town was packed. The summer has been so nice, I have to say. I’ve squeezed every bit out of it that I could, with beach trips and Cape Cod and everything else. I can’t complain that it’s ending, and there is that kind of excitement you can just feel when your town’s population increases by thousands over the course of two days. The public schools begin this week, as does UNC. There’s the tiniest hint that cooler weather might actually come sooner or later, and I’m starting to get excited about all the preparation for my new book, and some stuff I’ll be doing to promote and support it. So while I do hate to see summer end, I have to look at it as a moving on. Like cutting off the bottom of that dress, tossing the fabric aside, and preparing to rock my new look. Or try to, anyway.