I almost want to relive the day. Watching my cousin get married this past weekend from one of six of the best spots in the church was one of the highlights of my summer.
Weddings, in general, don’t make me cry. I almost wish they did. But there wasn’t a single wedding this summer that caused anything beyond a sentimental sigh. I haven’t gotten teary at a wedding since A and T’s wedding last summer, which I was watching from inside a crumbling relationship. But as my cousin came down the aisle and as I snuck a look at her groom’s expression, I’ll admit, my vision was swimming a little.
Likely, I wouldn’t have had the same reaction if I hadn’t been a bridesmaid. My cousin and I were like best friends when we were little. I remember playing with kittens in my grandparents’ hay mow and helping my grandma pick beans together. I remember putting on all the dresses and clothes my grandma had kept stored in a bin upstairs and playing dress-up. We were a team against the second cousins once removed at family reunions on both sides.
But then I hit my awkward stage that lasted through high school and maybe even into university. Suddenly, I didn’t know what we were supposed to talk about anymore, how we were supposed to interact. We were too old to play dress up and chase kittens in the barn. We were too old to have sleepovers at Grandma’s house.
I would say we’re still recovering from that stage, which is only natural, considering our changing lives allow us to see each other only once a year, if we’re lucky. When she told me she wanted to have a wedding party made up of family, I was honoured to accept her request to be a bridesmaid. In many ways, it felt like I was being given permission to continue being not only her cousin, but her friend, to honour the bond we had created in the hay mow and to let it continue into adulthood.
Congratulations Liz! You were a beautiful bride and I pray and trust that you and Andrew will have a long, happy life together!
(I’m aware that this post is full of sentimental drivel, but I’m not really sorry. If you can’t be sentimental about weddings and childhood friendships, what can you be sentimental about?)