I went to a somewhat large and fancy wedding yesterday. It was the first wedding I've attended in years that I didn't have to photograph. While I no longer have to do nightmarish wedding photography to pay the bills - i generally will relent and take pictures for family and friends. That means every time someone I know got married, I had to work the wedding. And weddings are HARD work to photograph. Add on top of that my personal view on marriage as an archaic institution; a dinosaur of pomp, expense and patriarchal circumstance. Weddings. They bring out my inner uber bitch.
Typically, weddings take place in churches. I fiercely respect everyone's right to believe however they choose regarding matters of faith and spirituality. But face it. I'm not a christian, so I kinda stick out like a heathen thumb among the genuflecting, chorus singing masses. They really should have pagan pews set off to one side so all the nonconformists can huddle together. Or maybe not. Pew for one?
Usually, with camera in hand, I'm far too busy and focused on the task to reflect on the feelings of alienation and separation that bubble to the surface from being the lone silent voice in a room full of worshippers. Yesterday, as I watched and listened, and quite frankly enjoyed the ritualistic pageantry of the event, I had to reflect on how different I am from the majority of people I know, and wonder why that is. I'm quite lucky that I am welcomed with open arms by people whose beliefs are so different from mine. In another century I would probably be a social pariah.
I'm also quite lucky that I wasn't asked to be a bridesmaid. I've never had to endure the horror of being squeezed into pink taffeta. ~shuddering~ I know that the bride is supposed to be the most beautiful woman at her own wedding, but really... is it truly necessary to force your very plus sized bridesmaids into strapless, tight pink dresses? They weren't exactly...complimentary. The dress even looked awkward on the one, lone petite bridesmaid, buried in the overwhelming shadow of her counterparts. Is that like a diabolical weapon that brides consciously employ? I've never read the Bride Book of Helpful Hints, so I can only wonder at the evil genius of it.
The reception was quite a lot of fun. Even though there was no bar, which was a little startling. Hello. Wedding. Drinking. Drunk groomsmen chasing single women. Isn't that in the script somewhere? Beverages were sweet tea and water. Huh. Since I'm allergic to tea, I had water. That was different. No spiked punch even. The photo booth that was provided completely made up for the tragic oversight on the issue of liquor. It was amusing to see that, yes, you can fit six people into a tiny photo booth if you shove and push hard enough. Unless I'm in the booth. My hair took up two-thirds of the booth when I went in with one of my girlfriends. Ooops.
Since I left early (four hours later) I missed the wedding cake. It was somewhat liberating to be able to make my escape early. I've always been the last one to leave since my camera was required for the cake cutting, the bouquet tossing, the garter gnawing, the champagne...in this case was it sweet tea toasting?...and grand exit for the honeymoon in graffiti speckled chariot. Passing the table with the complimentary gifts for all the guests, I noted that the party favors were boxes of krispy creme donuts and a HUGE assortment of candies.
That explains the bridesmaids.