Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Unofficial member of the wedding party

Did I forget to mention that I caught the bouquet at Sarah's wedding? Well, I did.

This is my most hated part of a wedding reception. It's like those flowers make a B-line for my chest.

I caught my first bouquet at the tender age of 10. I was at the wedding of my dad's hair "stylist." I was wearing a pretty peach colored dress that had shiny hearts all over it. I was really excited that I caught it, but also a little embarrassed because everyone in the room looked at me and laughed.

The second one I caught was at a reception I crashed with some friends in college. I didn't know the bride, didn't know the groom, was there primarily for moral support of my friend who used to date the groom and was still not totally over him. When they made the announcement for all the single ladies to come up to the front of the room to catch the bouquet, I decided I'd just sit there because I didn't know anyone. My friend had other plans, she grabbed my hand with the grip of the incredible hulk and literally yanked me off my chair. I stood in the back with my arms crossed and waited for the fatalistic flowers to descend onto some poor fool. Well, the bride must have been a pitcher for the Yankees because those flowers torpedoed straight into my face. I think I actually scratched my cornea with a piece of babies’ breath.

My third brush with the symbol of impending nuptials was my favorite by far. I am not a jock. I am bad at sports and am proud to admit. My best friend in the whole world, Kathy, got married a year and a half ago. Her wedding was beautiful, small, on a quiet little lake in Washington. It was so intimate and personal. Everyone there felt special to have been invited. Well, the smallness of the wedding meant that when the time came to catch the bouquet there were only 3 of us in the requisite category of life: Me, her little sister (a collegiate basketball and volleyball athlete) and this stranger that Kathy's husband's cousin was dating. The three of us stood on the gravel drive below a beautiful wooden deck. Before the main event occurred, I turned to her sister and said, "look, we can't just let it fall to the ground because that would be tacky/bad luck so one of us has to catch it." She nodded in total agreement. We both slowly turned our heads up to see Kathy turning around for the backward hurl. As soon as the flowers left her hands, I could see that she hadn't given them enough gusto to really launch them all the way out to us. Kathy's sister wasn't making any effort to get it, and neither was the stranger, so I fully extended to get the flowers, slipping on the gravel and almost face planting with the entire wedding party watching.

On Friday I caught my fourth wedding bouquet. I was standing in the back again. Sarah threw it right in between Ja and I. We both moved away from the flying object of fate. I felt bad because there was no one behind us to catch it, so I reached out my hand and tipped it...making it mine. It fell to the floor, and I bent over to pick it up. I guess the entire room turned to the ear doctor to see his response. He turned bright red. The flowers were beautiful, so I really didn't mind too much catching it.

Now that I think about it I've caught the bouquets for my two best friends in the entire world. Even though I think "what it means" is kind of lame, I'm glad I got their flowers. I'll always remember the days they both were married and they'll have some pretty great memories of me.


katie said...

Ha! I love your descriptive writing. I am in the same boat. I have been a bridesmaid 5 times and have caught the bouquet about that many times. The term "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" is my life motto!

K Jones said...

I can just picture you leaping to catch the bouquet at the lake in Washington. That is a vivid picture that all should enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Sure you weren't knocking someone down to get it? lol

I've been shot twice in the chest by garters. Ughhh. Not fun. At my wedding I flipped a Irish 2 pence from my wife's shoe. I think the garter is barbaric unless shot at me in private by my wife! grin!

Maggie said...

I just helped my associate at work start up a blog for herself. She said it wouldn't be entertaining and if you wanted to be entertained to go to your blog. She likes it a lot.

girl from florida said...

I absolutely love your perspective on what many turn into a cheesy tradition. It made me smile to read your last paragraph. Your perspective on things like this is what makes you so amazing :)

Elle said...

I have always wanted to catch the bouqet and never have. :-(

megan said...

katie! clearly you need to stop standing in the back of the pack if you don't want to catch them! particularly when you know sarah has a strong arm and will throw her bouquet hard and far!

(that's why i stood in the front - and happily watched it sail over my head into your zone)

i learned the hard way at my best friends wedding in march that standing in the back (when the bride is an athlete) = catching the bouquet after it bounces off the wall/table/piano behind you, and you're the closest one in a 5 ft. radius to where it landed.

anyways, i'm glad you caught it. sarah told me at the reception (pre-bouquet toss) that she thought you and the ear doctor were next and just didn't know it yet... tee hee!