My cousin Jen married her high school sweetheart in June and it was one of the biggest days of my life. After an almost two and a half year engagement, I had being the maid of honour down to a science. My patent leather Coach handbag was stuffed with spray deodorant, Hello Kitty tissues, mints (nobody should chew gum walking down the aisle), hair pins, safety pins, Advil, my camera, BlackBerry, hotel room key for my suite and the bridal suite, my speech (still makes me teary eyed when I think about it), Rescue Remedy spray in case any of us started having a breakdown and lip gloss. If you follow my blog, you know that earlier this summer I wrote a guest spot for an event favour site about being the best bridesmaid ever. Now, I don't think I'm the best MOH there ever was or ever will be, but I've got some experience.
As stressful as things were at times, I'm still a little bummed that it's all over. When I dropped the newlyweds off at the airport after the wedding, my duties were done. I took one last photo of the happy couple and thought about how much fun their wedding had been that weekend and how lucky I was to be a part of it. I don't consider myself very sappy, but I'm a hopeless romantic with a huge heart so my memories of this wedding still bring me to almost tears. This week I was driving home from work and something reminded me of my speech. I got choked up in the car. I was alone. It was a Wednesday and there was no reason to be crying. I need to get a life.
Jen and I are four months apart in age. I was born first, but she's already in the next stage of life. She has a house and a husband and a dog named Holly. I rent a condo, have a boyfriend and my furry baby, Gigi. She's a bit ahead of me in the game now, and this switch is something I mentioned when I spoke at the reception. I envy the life Jen has built for herself. When I look at her now with her sparkling diamond rings (three rings actually), sassy short hair (she chopped it off after the wedding) and grown-up lady handbags I still picture her as a little girl with lanky legs, freckled cheeks and sandy blonde hair. She's not much younger than I am, but we're so close and have been since the day she was born that I've always felt protective of her. In fact, it was at the point in my speech when I relinquished my responsibilities over to Stefan that I almost lost composure. My voice cracked and if Jen hadn't threatened my life earlier that afternoon when I started to tear up, I would have surely broken down at that point.
Jen and I are more than cousins. We're best friends. We're sisters. We're stand up comedians when we're together. We're most likely to call each other and not say anything while we blast Bryan Adams and Sporty Spice in to the phone. We're prone to laughing at the exact same lines in movies years after we've seen them for the first time..."I carried a watermelon." We've pulled hair. We've cried. We've laughed and we've grown up. Her wedding day was the biggest day of her life, but it was also one of the biggest days of mine. When I wear the white dress, she'll be there to fix my train and hold back tears as I warn her not to cry. She'll be giving a speech about me - note: our speeches were almost identical. I spoke about being older and protective. She spoke about being younger and looking up to me during hers - about all the crazy things we've done and all the ways I made her want to jump off a bridge during my engagement. She's up for the task, and besides she owes me.
I've been to a lot of weddings. Like A LOT of weddings. This one however will forever stick out and bring the fondest memories. She's a wife now, but she was my Jenny first <3