Sunday, April 22, 2007

my best friend's wedding

Though I took 849 pictures (apparently more than her official photographer, who was my mother) at Edinburgh last night, I will only torture your internet connections with my favorites. Of course, this being my best friend's wedding, there are many favorites. Brace yourself. There are almost 150 of them here.

It's only real to me in bits and pieces: hearing Richard say, "I Richard, take you Kelly," while standing next to them, holding her boquet (of calla lilies--I had her florist secretly switch them to her favorite flower); watching her twirl around like a princess on the dance floor, all the little girls fascinated by her; when I called Kelly "your wife" to Richard and meant it.

And there are the things that should have made it sink in more but somehow seemed surreal: addressing envelopes, finding a bridesmaid dress, sending in my RSVP card, etc.

And memories from the night:

- my feet hurting so badly at the end of the ceremony that they had gone numb and realizing, "I'm concentrating too much on my feet, look at Kelly and Richard right. now."
- like pigeons, all of us, head bowed, searching the patio, the dressing rooms for Kelly's grandmother's wedding ring, which slipped off some time between the ceremony and the main course
- looking up from my maid of honor speech, after being petrified, to find Kelly crying, and hugging her tight, telling each other "I love you" and meaning it, fiercely, knowing all the things I could have said but didn't (because it's about her and Richard, not her and my friendship) and thinking, "Yes, this is the woman who I want to be my beacon, my sounding post, through all of my life, standing up with me as a forever friend, a sister, an aunt to my children, a light to keep me: warm, happy, safe"
- all the drama and the way Kelly held her head up high, determined to not let any of the sorrows or upsets of the day ruin this perfect moment
- Richard's impromptu speech, raw with sincerity and honest in his love for Kelly
- the rich flavors: raspberries and strawberries in my salad, champagne to toast, blue cheese, smoked cheddar, broccoli with parmesan cheese
- the scents, mostly me, of dancing all night and not realizing just how much a good deoderant is worth
- reading Neruda as the wind whipped around and the sun warmed my shoulders
- Kelly before, the expression on her face, her body quaking, knowing what came next
- rehearsing and me clowning around, entertained by Kelly's nephew, making his distracted way down the aisle, greeting everyone as he went
- Kelly looking like herself, yet not wholly herself, belonging to me, belonging to Richard and her family, belonging to herself and the woman she has become
- being so proud, heart swelling, and so happy that she is happy
- tears coming to my eyes, actually, as I look through these photos and actually see the expressions on their faces as they first saw each other, that pure intimacy, things I missed because I was too busy hopping around like a mad hatter (an amateur photographer takes off in flight, a whirling dervish), trying to get as many pictures as my two photocards would hold--the love that the emote, the quiet communication in the eyes, the clear thrill of what is to come

And a final thought: I need to learn some kind of digital photo program (Photoshop? Indesign?) to edit pictures. I like that my photos are raw, and I think it's more of a challenge to get a good picture from experience, and I avoid cropping when possible (none of these are cropped), but I think for occasions like this shouldn't just be left to chance.

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