Welcome back to the next installment of my sister’s strange wedding story! If you haven’t read Part 1, do so here. To summarize— Anna fell in love with a bearded dude and agreed to renounce her family’s name in exchange for his.
And I was not at all bitter.
I will admit, I’d always imagined wedding planning would be a euphoric, dreamy affair. Cute giggles and twitterpated sighs as the bride-to-be floated from one task to the next, born up on the wings of her ephemeral love.
(Writing that sentence caused me physical pain.)
No one prepared me for the frenzy my family immediately descended into, or the lists upon lists of details ranging from seating accommodations to salt-and-pepper shakers to finding bride’s maid dresses that were slightly more substantial than the frilled equivalent of a bikini. Anna’s initial tactic to dealing with all of these unanticipated details was simple: Ignore all of it, and maybe it’ll go away!
On top of this, we had a few extra curveballs added to our situation. Jesse was Canadian, and international marriages were hard enough even BEFORE c*vid caused the Canadian government to hate our guts and close their borders to US citizens. Not to mention c*vid, period. (Yeah, him.) The hunt to find an appropriately sized venue went from difficult to nearly impossible due to capacity regulations.
In the midst of all of this, we were conducting a full-blown manhunt operation for a wedding-dress.
“I love it!” she said, “except it’s hideous.”
“I think this would really suit me, if I were the Gothic murdered bride of a plantation owner come back to haunt him.”
“This looks like that creepy lady from Great Expectations, who burnt herself up!”
We also discovered that she was not, in fact, Cinderella, and these shoes did not, in fact, fit her.
We resorted to buying a dress online.
Meanwhile, the venue search continued.
“See anything?” I asked.
“No, but I think someone’s in there!”
(I’ve been haunted ever since by the thought of that poor soul innocently looking up to see Anna’s gremlin face peering in at them through the window.)
Eventually, we determined that since Jesse’s 7 billion friends and relations wouldn’t be coming due to the closed border, we could probably manage to stuff everyone into our own (tiny) church basement for the reception, which took care of that problem, at least. So we moved on to the next catastrophe – the delicate art of bouquet building.
We were both so sure that deep down inside, we were florists.
In the meantime, Anna’s wedding-dress arrived. Upon trying it on, the first thing she did was flap her voluminous skirt like wings and go, “Hey look, Sarah, I’m a bat!!”
Ignore the pile of clutter on her chair. Brides-to-be don’t have time for trifles like that.
At long last, we managed to find bride’s-maid dresses that weren’t a vaguely skirted rendition of the Wonder Woman costume, and didn’t cost the price of a baby eagle. There was only one problem:
I had no idea I was that short. When all was said and done, we had to take eleven inches off the bottom of that dress.
As the wedding date approached, we moved into a new phase of chaos – bridal showers. We ended up having three. One with the extended family in Maryland, one with our church, and one that was put on by our coworkers from That Job who apparently missed Anna enough to make her brownies and give her money.
Something I’d never completely realized about bridal showers is that the maid-of-honor is expected to sit primly beside the bride and keep a record of the gifts and their givers. Which was fine, except that Anna does everything at the speed of light, and no sooner had I managed to write “dish clo” down than she’d already moved on from the dish cloths and was opening something else.
“But who was it from?” I whispered out the side of my mouth, trying not to look obvious as “oven mi” and “tea coz” joined dish clo on the list.
(I never did find out.)
You can see all light has vanished from my eyes.
“Wow, you’re a really slow writer!” Anna remarked later that night, perusing my patchy list.
She may or may not have gotten hit in the face with a dish clo.
Meanwhile, Mom discovered the panorama setting on her camera.
The deadline for people’s RSVPs came and went, and so far, only four people had actually responded. “Maybe no one wants to come!” I suggested, which earned me numerous wrathful glances. Thus, I was relegated to follow up on all 200+ invitations we’d sent and extract answers from these people by any means necessary. I felt like a vengeful vigilante RSPV bounty hunter, armed with my list of phone-numbers and email addresses; what followed was a carefully crafted
death-threat ransom note ominous warning polite follow-up query:
ARE YOU COMING OR NOT, YOU USELESS HUMAN BEING WHOM WE WASTED AN INVITATION ON???
My mother informed me this was “rude,” “completely inappropriate,” and “definitely very accurate.”
Nevertheless, I didn’t send that version.
See mom? I can be polite.
Little by little, the wedding date approached. Every day more details were nailed down, and before we knew it, we had only a few days to go before Jesse would exploit another loophole to fly across the border, where he would stay with us until the wedding. The realization that our time as a family was soon coming to a close hit quick and hard, and we entered into the final (and most difficult) phase of wedding prep:
The mourning phase.
The day before Jesse arrived, we went on one last excursion – just us, the four of us, doing stupid things and quoting too many movies and making slightly irrational choices about how to spend our time. We even took the last Chaotic selfie.
Correction: We took the last 20 Chaotic selfies.
It was good, and it was sad, and we got ice cream and that made it better.
The next day, the fiance arrived.
The next week, the wedding took place.
Stay tuned for Part 3!