What It Feels Like To Watch Your Best Friend Get Married
Dear Best Friend,
Today is the day you’ve been waiting for. How many early-morning cups of coffee, late-night glasses of wine, phone calls, text messages, emails, Pinterest boards have we shared getting ready for this day? It’s hard to imagine now that all that planning was for today, for this one day that we will both remember as the day you started forever... or whatever all of those general, cliché marriage cards say. But I think we get a pass on clichés today. Today can be the cheesiest, ooey-gooeyist, most over-the-top day that you’ve ever dreamed of because you look so beautiful and you are so in love and nothing else matters.
As your bestie, it’s my job to vet the person you’re committing to spending the rest of your life with, and right now, in the ninth hour, let me just take the moment to say you’ve picked a good one. Sure, maybe they don’t know the name of that stuffed pig you slept with every night until the end of tenth grade or the fact that your first crush accidentally gave you peanut butter and you were too embarrassed to say you were allergic.
And maybe they haven’t learned yet that the best way to wake you up in the morning isn’t actually with a cup of coffee but with a rousing edition of “We Are the Champions” by Queen because you will compulsively act out the drum solo, no matter how early it is. They haven’t spent years holding your hand over past breakups or squeezing into one dressing room instead of two or texting about how much you need to shave your legs but you Just. Don’t. Want To. But they’ve been there for almost everything that counts, and they’ve got plenty of time to figure out the rest. So, in case you cared, I think I can say I approve.
Now don’t hate me for this next part since I know from first-hand experience how much planning, thought, and time went into crafting every part of the way you look for this day, but hear me out: this isn’t when you are the most beautiful, at least not to the people who matter. Your fiancé (a word we can only keep using for the next couple of hours) fell in love with you long before today, in a moment probably so insignificant to you that you barely even noticed the way that their eyes changed.
Your fiancé knows what it’s like to find you curled up on the couch when you’re sick with a cold and wearing your college sweatshirt with red wine stains on the sleeves and none of that matters because when you see them walk into the room and smile, you are beautiful. Your fiancé has looked at you countless times when you were washing dishes or folding laundry or driving the car or staring off into space while the water boils for your tea and thought, “I am so incredibly lucky.” So when your mascara runs or when your hair won’t lie flat or when the shoes give you blisters or when the photographer is late or nowhere to be found, don’t worry. Today is magic, yes, but everything that makes it so is not temporary.
And that goes for the rest of the day too. As much work that went into preparing yourself for this day, I know ten times as much went into making it special for everyone else who is here. But please remember that today is about you, not them. We are gathered here today to witness you and your love in all of your glory, and I will speak for everyone when I say that we are grateful for your work and dedication that you have put into making this event as wonderful and memorable as you have. And when something goes wrong, as I hate to tell you, it probably will, I will squeeze your hand and stand in a moment of stillness and anxiety and silence with you, recognizing how much of yourself you are putting into this day. And then I will kiss your cheek and make you laugh and promise you that no one will remember that the crab puffs were cold or that the flower girl cried or that Aunt Ida is upset that she’s not sitting with Cousin Nick. Today is for you, my dearest sweetest friend, and it is you we are celebrating.
Okay, I know I just said it was about you, but I have to admit: I am just the tiniest bit sad today for the most illogical of reasons. I can only imagine that this is the same feeling I will have sending my first-born off to college: immense pride marred by just a smidge of loss.
You are stunning and strong and overwhelming enough, just as you are, just as you always have been. And if you see me crying today, which (let’s be honest) we both know is going to happen, please know that even with that tinge of loss, I am not losing anything and I am not crying from sadness. I am so incredibly proud of the person you are and for everything that I have witnessed that has brought you to this day. And while we will roll our eyes secretly at the outpouring of emotions from the acquaintances from college, the plus-ones of your sister’s best friends, the names that your mom added to the guest list when you weren’t looking, I hope later tonight when I hug you on the dance floor as the DJ puts on “We Are the Champions” and we scream-sing into each other’s ears, you know just how much I love you and how proud I am to call myself your best friend on your wedding day.
The “F” always stands for forever.
All my love,