In honor of the upcoming nuptials of several friends, this Casual Friday’s story is about the time we had a wedding in the living room of my childhood home.
I was probably about twelve when a family friend was getting married. We didn’t have hardly any family friends and I’d never attended a wedding before so this was a Pretty Big Deal(tm). I had a special dress bought for the occasion since I was the flower girl. I had decided that my gift to the happy couple would be troll dolls outfitted with a little tux and wedding dress, presented with a handmade pillow with interlocking rings hot glued on. I was committed to executing my role in the wedding with grace and class, just like every wedding I’d seen on TV or in movies.
The catch was that it was going to be in our formal living room. The bride and groom would take their solemn vows surrounded by their family, friends, our four Pomeranians, two plecostomus fish, and several overgrown house plants. I have no photos from the day, but I’m sure you can imagine its splendor.
The wedding day arrived and we were scrambling to get the house ready when the bride realized she’d neglected to contact a priest. Now, while this is usually a quintessential part of any wedding, this minor detail remained overlooked until just a few hours before the ceremony. Many calls were made to churches around the area. We weren’t religious and neither were they, but the situation was explained to a Christian minister who took pity on them, found his way to our house, and probably performed the strangest wedding of his life.
My attempt to be the ideal flower girl was also mired in awkwardness. I carried the peach colored rose petals in a white wicker basket as the wedding music played on my parent’s stereo. I’d take a step, my hand would throw petals, and I’d step again, all the while trying to march to the slow pace of the music. I’d then try to switch the basket in my hands. Then take another handful of petals with the opposite hand, attempting to evenly distribute them along the path between folding chairs. “Hurry UP.” my mother hissed. The hand switching and throwing became hurried and I’m sure painful to watch. But flower girls in movies switched hands… I thought? The petals had to be just perfect or surely the wedding would be ruined and it would be my fault. The memory is giving me anxious heartburn as I type this.
Soon the wedding was over. Kissing happened and everyone left to go celebrate in the backyard. I cleaned up the petals off our carpet. They weren’t pretty anymore. Just limp, broken, and bruised. No one shows you the aftermath of trampled flower girl petals in movies. I never realized that they could look so ugly. I collected them back in my basket before ripping them to pieces in my hands on our back porch; the smell of dying roses on my fingers, the significance of the moment totally lost on my young self.