Wednesday, 21 July 2010

My Close Friend's Wedding

This is a concurrent blog of my friend Faz made here, who I felt had too much mush and less peas!

It has been building up for over a year now; the tears, the tantrums, the trauma, the dress dilemma, the decor and all the details finally came to a crescendo 10 days ago when one of my closest friends got married.

The run-up was stressful (thankfully not for me!) as dates needed changing (much to her horror and my disappointment), venues needed re-booking, etc but she seemed to handle it well and not outwardly show any signs of stress or raging anger at people who let her down... unfortunately that rule never applied to me as I was one of the emotional punchbags used to vent her frustration.

I gained insight into how complicated the most simplest of tasks could be... having plenty of experience in project management, I am pretty good at organising and delivering a solution and having been shown the to-do list, I didn't think wedding planning was that difficult and as usual, she was making a mountain out of a goosebump!
One example was the wedding invitation cards... to me it's quite simple:

1. Look for companies
2. View the catalogues and choose a design
3. Approach companies and obtain quotes
4. Choose a company and get a draft, modify if necessary and repeat draft until you're happy
5. Print and send!

Yet I failed to acknowledge the international aspect and orders being lost in translation... countless communiqué were being fired back and forth across time zones and the 5-step approach lasted several weeks!
Thankfully the tasks delegated to me were not of high priority or responsibility so I didn't face such problems, except for getting called at 1.30 in the morning with a frantic woman shouting "take out the cake!". Understandably, having been awakened from a much needed sleep by an uninteligible ranting, I was neither in the land of the living nor available for any conversation for 5 minutes... which only made the situation worse as she got more and more frustrated to my neanderthal grunting replies and repeating the same words "cake? huh?" over and over again.

However I was amazed at how calm she was getting closer to the big day... problems no longer fazed her and one could tell she was just looking forward to the day, or more likely, looking forward to the end of it!

I arrived two days before the wedding and was at her mehndi event (before being thrown out by the women who wanted to throw shapes on the dancefloor ... and a choreographed performance by some of her close friends, which by all accounts, was a sight to see!) and you could tell at the event, that she was enjoying herself and not letting anything worry her. There was no sign of the shy and bashful bride, much to her friends amusement, and I think part of her giggling was due to the sugar rush she was getting after being fed pure sugar by over a 100 women... she must have brushed her teeth more than her normal 4 minutes that night!

The following day was relaxed at home whilst becoming a statue and mannequin during the henna application by a friend onto a very fussy bride. The evening consisted of a barbeque and unfortunately I made the mistake of leaving the women's marquee and heading over to where the men were - food was scarcer than water in Ethiopia! Somehow, when women are left on their own, they lose all inhibitions and become food addicts that would make an American blush - I have never seen platters of meat move in a constant stream and come back empty! Fear not, dear readers, I managed to get something an hour later! However I did not stay too long as I knew the following day would be an early start and so I left shortly after finally consuming my first and only meal of the day!

Saturday morning was an early start and for the first time in a very long time, I actually got out of bed on the sound of the alarm rather than pondering for 15minutes on the benefits of more shuteye. I left for the bride house and getting there at 7am but the bride had been awake several hours earlier as she needed to get beautified, yes, it took that long!

Soon after, I saw her for the first time in her wedding dress and I was speechless. If I was a woman, tears would definitely have been in my eyes but as I'm not, I stood there gormless and just thinking "wow" whilst my mouth decided to become a fly catcher. Stunning, beautiful and elegant are inadequate words to describe her.

The whirlwind of events that followed after were a blur and before I knew it, I was driving to the venue where time became slow and felt as if it would take forever to get there. She got moved into the bridal room where she had her last touches and waited for her time to walk through... and when she did, all eyes were upon the red-dressed glowing bride... the rest is history.

I knew from that moment that her life as I knew her had ended and she was embarking on another adventure. A hint of sadness mixed in the happiness but surprisingly, it made me want to get on that journey too ... I just hope it's not as chaotic in the preparation!

PS Like Faz, I met a lot of great people and had fun, so thanks and a hello to all my new found friends!

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