At the end of September, Claire got married. It was hairspray and lip kits. It was spanks and strapless bras. It was candles, mood lighting, and a gaggle of women in robes with rollers in.
The world talks about weddings as the coming together of two people and two families. Two become one. But when you’re in someone’s wedding and, honestly, even in regards to my own wedding it’s mostly an experience surrounded by the amazing women in your life. It’s best friends and sisters, best friends who are sisters, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers. It’s women helping you adjust your breasts in your dress. It’s women standing at the door of a stall, chatting, while you pee. It’s shared joy in hummus dip, it’s delight over Fritos and knowing how to eat Doritos without messing up your expensive makeup. It’s someone who remembered to bring the straws for champagne and the perfect music playlists. It’s hours of sitting around half dressed, loving on each other, telling each other how beautiful you are because you are, and occasionally looking over to the bride in a communal sigh of can you believe it. It’s the silent side eyes, it’s the army of protection around the bride who needs a quiet minute to herself before she walks down the aisle. And I’m sorry to that random aunt who I barred from entering, but my job is to care about one person on that day and I’ve got her back more than I care about your feelings.
I was chatting with Claire’s little sister about what it’s like to watch your person get married. And I told her for me (for us) the emotion doesn’t come from the love between Claire and Lincoln. That is their experience. My emotion comes from watching one of the people I love most in the entire world take a leap. Watching Claire move through a major life milestone, take a risk, say the vows, move forward – that is why I cry. I cry because that’s my person up there. It matters because I love that she is happy, I love that she is living in this moment and I get to see it all unfold.
Weddings are, of course, about the two people promising their lives to each other, but they are also all about the community of women who have supported us, are supporting us, and will be there when you get back from your honeymoon. They will be there when you hate your partner and have left for a walk with just your cell phone and your house keys. They will be there when your partner is sick and when there are babies and when you need to go out in the world alone to remember who you are. And they are there for this one great moment that will define so much of your future.