Friday, January 6, 2017
Barely six days into the new year and it was snowing. I know, what?? Here in South Carolina it usually doesn’t snow until the first day of spring, months from now, and I was hoping it would do just that. No snow meant a sleepover, a wedding, and church but, as the snowfall piled higher and higher, everything was getting canceled. Having not been to a wedding in about three years, I hoped I’d be able to make it to Mike and Hope’s (no pun intended). Besides, I was looking forward to a reason to dress up.
Saturday, January 7, 2017
The sun (which appeared two hours earlier than forecasted) melted the snow on the roads a great deal. However, the little bit remaining prompted my dad to drive us girls to the wedding. Mom, Ansa, and I arrived at the church building 15 minutes beforehand since, apparently, coming early to a wedding is a way to honor the bride (I did not know that). Mom was escorted to our seats while Ansa and I followed.
I skimmed over my program before twisting my neck this way and that (in search of my best friend) until I spotted Noah (my best friend’s older brother) standing in the back of the lobby. A second scan confirmed his presence and that of Abi, my best friend. When they entered the auditorium with their mom, Abi spotted me and told Mrs. Rawlings (her mom) before their escort seated them across the room from my mom, Ansa, and me. Mr. Rawlings joined them seconds later. Oh, well. 😅 😅
On the way here, Dad jokingly told me, “Tristen, don’t you dare catch the bouquet. Just knock it towards Abi.” However, at the sight of Mike and Hope’s grandparents walking down the aisle, Mom told me to catch the bouquet so that I can marry before Grandpa passes on. I am sensing some contradiction. 😂 😂
All of the bridesmaids were beautiful, but it was Patricia (the bride’s youngest sister and a friend of our’s) who took me and Ansa’s breath away. As soon as the girl’s face was visible, we both exclaimed, “Aww! She’s so pretty!” Hope, of course, looked gorgeous as well. Beauty runs in their family.
The wedding was a lovely but bittersweet occasion. Mrs. Rita (the groom’s mom) was crying from the moment she set foot in the auditorium and Brittney (a bridesmaid) was in tears as Hope approached her groom. During her vows, the bride choked up to the point that her last couple of lines came out in whispers. While Mike and Hope lit candles, a video displaying pictures of the bride and groom from birth to an engaged couple began to play. What a cute idea! Abi later told me that this was a surprise for Mike which explains why it moved him to tears.
When the first notes of the recessional song (“I Do” by Colbie Caillet) reached my ears, I couldn’t help but sing along. I trilled quietly-ish. I hope no one heard me. 😳 😂
The reception was held in the Multi-Purpose Room where Abi and I met up and continued as if we had never been separated. In light of the New Year, we resolved to hang out more and take more pictures together (since our collection only contained about 20 photographs). Mrs. Rawlings took our picture. 😂 😂
After filling our plates with light refreshments, Abi and I moved to an empty table where we were soon joined by Ansa, an elderly couple, McKaela (a friend), and Madi (another friend). Said table was right next to the snack route at which I was gazing while Abi talked to me. Mr. Rawlings happened to be in the section of line I was staring at so, when he noticed me, he exclaimed, “Hi!” We exchanged the usual greetings before he said, “I like your dress.”
“Thanks!” I replied.
Abi must have given her father a weird look because Mr. Rawlings suddenly explained, “Because I know you two were texting back and forth about dresses.” Sometimes I forget that the Rawlings share an email address. 😂 😂
One item my best friend and I had forgotten to get were drinks. There were two punch options, both fruit flavored, but one was colored orange and the other sepia. “Why don’t we each get one?” Abi suggested, sharing my indecisiveness. “Not four. You get one, and I’ll get one.”
“And then we can taste test,” I said, taking the cup she held out for me before fumbling with the dispenser of the sepia drink.
“I’m winning!” Abi exclaimed, acknowledging the fact that her cup was closer to being filled than mine. I argued that a race was unfair since I had encountered a mind blank with the knob. Abi did not revoke her win.
Once our glass was full, we tried the concoction it contained before trading cups and tasting the other liquid. Abi gave me the opportunity to choose but I liked both beverages and honestly couldn’t pick. “Which do you like better?” I asked her.
“Well,” Abi thought. “I like them both but, if I had to decide…” She took the glass I held.
With snacks consumed, Abi, Ansa, and I headed toward the lobby where we found the bridal party exiting the auditorium (where formal pictures were being taken). I made a beeline for Patricia and delivered my compliment. Abi joined us as Patricia was passionately sharing, “When I get home I am going to burn these shoes!”
“No, don’t.” Abi protested. “They’re pretty.” 😂 😂
Patricia went on to explain that she had been in her pair of silver, sparkly heels since 9:00 this morning. Our conversation, however, was cut off by Brittney who told Abi and me that we weren’t allowed to be in the lobby at this time. My best friend and I retreated to the hall.
Later, Abi and I quietly watched Mike and Hope slice into their cake until each newlywed placed their piece neatly in the other’s mouth. My best friend and I agreed that, at our future weddings, we are going to rub the contents of our hands all over our husbands’ faces. You have been warned. 😂 😂
Although we were at the front of the dessert line, Abi graciously gave up our spot so that I could see Mike and Hope’s first dance. By the time we returned the line was long but not terrible since it moved quickly, so Abi and I were soon faced with the task of deciding what goodies to fill our plates with.
“Take some gummy worms!” Mr. Easton exclaimed.
“Braces,” Abi said, pointing to her mouth.
“Throw braces to the wind!” Mr. Easton replied. Abi shrugged and grabbed a handful of the advertised candy.
In the lobby, Abi gave Patricia the cannoli (yum!) the bridesmaid requested and then began to merge the contents of her two plates. Abi ended up putting several items on my dish, although she did ask. My best friend and I claimed seats after which Abi continued to consolidate her desserts.
“Here,” I said, returning Abi’s cannoli to its original home. “Just so you don’t forget that’s yours.”
“You can have it,” Abi said, putting the deliciousness back on my plate.
Mrs. Rawlings and Noah walked up. “He is your date.” Mrs. Rawlings told us, referring to her son. “Don’t leave him.” Noah moved to stand behind Abi and me while Mrs. Rawlings gave them a heads up that they would be leaving soon.
“Do you want this half-eaten donut hole?” I asked Abi, still reviewing what food on my plate was her’s.
“You can have it.” She replied.
“Okay,” I said and popped the treat in my mouth.
Including the Cuban Shuffle, Noah, Abi, and I danced to a few songs. I feel like I did better than usual but all Abi saw was a “dying Panda” (how my brother describes my dancing). To ensure the quality of my first dance, my best friend (aka my dance instructor) is now even more determined to improve my dancing skills before I marry. Patricia got the gist of this conflict and told me that I just need to feel the music and dance like no one’s watching. I do- when I’m alone or with my family. 😅 😅 Oh, well. Maybe one day I’ll get the hang of it.
The Rawlings family left a few minutes later, Abi’s food lay forgotten on her seat. I took care of it. 😂 😂 I feel like, in some weird way, Abi and I bonded over food today. I promise we are not your stereotypical teenage girls. 😂 😂
To conclude the wedding, all in attendance lined the sidewalk out front, lit sparklers in hand. Although everyone was unbelievably cold, we shivered through and managed to cheer when the bride and groom appeared in the doorway. Halfway to the car that would take her away, Hope stopped and reached back to take the hand of her youngest sister: a final goodbye before she left to begin her new life. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Nicosia! I wish you both a life full of happiness.