I finished dehydrating myself outside (less water retention begets more defined cheekbones begets better wedding photographs) and went to initiate my afternoon of preparations: find a date and get pretty. Lauren, my Jewboo, was, in fact, my date to the wedding because nothing says traditional, Southern wedding like a homo and a Hebrew. I needed to retrieve her and did not understand why she had not yet arrived at my parents' house. My questions were answered when I passed by the front door and saw her eating in the car with her driver (Tony…her friend from college and all around Libertarian idiot savant). Of course. I went outside to confront them with a hello and that we owned an entire kitchen, as well as a breakfast table for people to dine. Tony wanted to spend some alone time with Lauren in the car, thus the McDonald's to-go. "Lauren, when Tony releases you from his quarter pounder clutches, the guest room is ready for you. I'll be in the shower," I declared.
The remainder of the afternoon evinced quite smoothly, even with Trent's (my younger brother, the best man) hangover and Mama's lunch of wine and Fontina cheese cubes – oh the foreshadowing. Trent managed to not projectile vomit the entire day. However, as we hailed in Georgia, in the middle of July, and I bring bad karma everywhere, we noticed thunderstorm clouds beginning to roll into the open sky. Had we been in New Orleans, it would have been exactly like Katrina.
The country club executed a lovely scene of white and yellow ribbons around the terrace, where the ceremony would take place, overlooking the sweeping vistas of a golf course filled with sand traps and caddies. When my family arrived, we noticed the club's crew members scrambling to save the decorations that hadn't been washed away. My mom quickly stashed her travel-sized wine bottles into her makeup case and dashed toward the bridal suite to help comfort the bride, who was now crying due to the rain. Lauren followed her, probably wishing she was still in Tony's Toyota Cressida. The men (myself included…pause for laughter) ventured to the groom's suite to start drinking.
The ceremony proved as lovely as any I've witnessed in Georgia and New Jersey. The bridal party's silk flower bouquets added perfect pops of cerulean blue and canary yellow to the reception hall, the new site of the ceremony. Wedding guests sat themselves at the reception dining tables and corrected their chairs to face the "stage." I surveyed the crowd, marveling at the beauty of the smiling faces, the tear-stained cheeks and the bleach blonde bouffants deflated by the torrential monsoon rumbling outside; I chortled at myself for picking out all of the brilliantly bad facial hairstyles in my family; such shapes! I noted how well I wore the ill-fitting tux, repeating to myself: "just trust in your hair…the higher it stands, the less people will look at the too short sleeves;" and I thanked Jim Crow for not having to steer Granny down the aisle. However, no generic person or silk flower could compare to the genuine gazes of love and adoration between Justin and Jenna's faces.