Tonight we're toasting the New Year with a table full of friends. Mellow, low-key, great food and drinks, and a whole lotta laughs. The perfect combination for me, really, and fitting for this moment in time.
Over the past few months (thanks, economy!), we've found ourselves contemplating eloping on a pretty regular basis. The benefits are obvious: saving money, being impulsive, getting married now, having a crazy story to laugh about, saving money... Yet I go back to the wedding weekend we've started planning every time; it keeps speaking to me as a worthwhile endeavor.
One of our friends eloped with his wife about ten years ago, and maintains that having that moment together, just the two of them, is an image and a feeling that carries them through the tough spots, and they wouldn't change a thing. The couple in question is fantastic together, but I don't think their wedding is right for us. I definitely don't have a problem skipping over a traditional ceremony, because for me it's certainly not about being "The Bride" (heck, I don't even like people looking at me). I have no worries that I wouldn't feel like I was really married if we ran away to Vegas, either; life goes on even without a walk down the aisle, after all, into the really good stuff - the life we're going to build together, and one day, the family we'll have. So no, the reason that eloping isn't for me isn't because I'm one of those girls who has to have the whole shebang. Maybe it's because of how we began this deal together, or because of the long-distance we put ourselves through, or because we live in a city far away from most of our friends, and all of our families, to begin with. Because here's the thing: what matters most to me about our wedding is the bringing-together of both our families and all our crazy friends in one place.
For one weekend, and one weekend only, I imagine, I'll be able to talk about a mutual favorite book with my oldest girlfriend and one of my newest at the same time; I'll be able to introduce my dear friend who'll marry us to my college girl who grew up nearby him; I'll be able to watch T's Wall Street friends figure out what to make of my lefty intellectual crowd; I'll watch our Dallas friends find random things in common with my hometown crew, or my college crew, or Trevor's college crew; I'll watch all the amazing folks in my life who've heard all the stories and shared all the twists and turns that got us here make fun of me all at once; I'll watch them make fun of Trevor, too; I'll watch them smile at us, and grin at how happy we are. Our wedding will be a fantastic jumble of crazy people who love us for entirely different reasons, and I will never again be able to orchestrate such a circus.
Some people do it for The Dress. Some people do it for The First Dance. Some people do it for The Tradition. Me? I think I'm doing it for The Circus.
So to the wonderful world of friendship - gathering tonight over champagne, tomorrow morning to gossip over breakfast about what happened tonight, tomorrow afternoon lounging together in front of football, and in May in honor two weirdos who found each other in dark corners and ended up being the lightest, brightest duo to ever make them roll their eyes... Cheers.
Happy New Year, everyone!