So Jemima got married and it was fantastic. No-one spilled anything, dropped anything, or spoke during the "speak now or forever hold your peace" bit. Although one of the guests did take a wrong turn on the way to the reception and get the windows of his mini-van shot out. But that's South Carolina for you---the gunman was probably just disappointed that it wasn't the Wal-Mart delivery van, bringing him bags full of bullets and Ho-Hos.
Since it was my first real wedding, I didn't have any particular expectations---it would have been enough for me if the minister had just said "asunder," WHICH HE TOTALLY DID---but the whole thing blew me away anyway. Apart from the bit where I met one of Jemima's friends who sometimes reads this blog and introduced myself by saying "hi, this dress makes me look like I have two sets of boobs, one on top of the other," before knowing who she was---excellent way to make a first impression, Holly!---it was just lovely. I cried during the toasts at the reception dinner---especially when Jemima's father quoted the E.E Cummings poem "I Carry Your Heart With Me" to her---and I cried during the ceremony when a friend of ours choked up in the middle of her reading. I cried when Jemima's father shook her fiance's hand before giving her away, and I cried when she said her vows in a tiny, sweet little whisper and he said "I will!" in a big, booming, excited voice. I even cried when the bagpiper played as she walked in, although Jemima's father had only five minutes ago referred to him as "a man in a skirt carrying a bag of squawking cats." Luckily, I had a very good waterproof mascara and two pints of Ben & Jerry's at home in the freezer. (It was Buy One, Get One Free. I wasn't that emotional.)
When I wasn't crying, I was sweating. It was over 90 degrees and the tiny 18th-century church was at the end of a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, and didn't have any air-conditioning. I was placing silent bets in my head that the men in tuxedos would strip down to their skivvies by the time we'd said the ninth "amen." I thought Sean would probably be the first.
Luckily, there was sangria at the reception and that softened the blow. Later, I bonded with Jemima in a way that will surely cement us for life, when I had to reach up under the back of her dress and lift 187 layers of taffeta for her so she could pee, while simultaneously running the water to decrease performance anxiety and shouting "I'm not looking! I swear I'm not looking!" as I covered my eyes. And there I was, thinking my duties as a bridesmaid would extend only as far as making sure the bride had enough to eat at the reception. Next time, someone needs to warn me about that. I mean, come on, I was only in it for the cake.