Where did I go? Well, this past weekend I went to California and married my cousin.
Not the sort of "married my cousin" that the less enlightened associate with the midwest (since we obviously live in the dark ages) but the sort where I got ordained on the internet (just call me Minister Emily) and conducted her marriage ceremony.
Behold minister Emily.
The never-been-married minister is obviously imparting a very important piece of marital advice.
The experience? It was awesome.
Oh I wasn't awesome. Not at all. I mean, between the shaking legs, and the fingers that couldn't even hold the rings steady when passing them off to my cousin and her new husband...sheesh...and don't even get me started on how lucky I was not to cry. Still, the ceremony was awesome. Some of the best weddings I've been to have been the ones where the couple is brave enough to tailor the ceremony to fit them like a glove (hello Vanessa and Gregg!!) Those ceremonies are always the most intimate and make every member of the audience feel like they know the couple well....even if you're only a close friend of the bride or the groom individually. This ceremony was like that. I'm pretty sure that if my cousin didn't get everything she wanted out of her wedding day, then 99% of her wishes came true. I was honored to be asked to conduct the ceremony and glad I could do my part - shaking legs and all.
Highlights? Well, my mother's camcorder refused to work for the duration of the ceremony, so unfortunately (fortunately?) there will be no footage on YouTube of the auspicious event. This was the first ceremony I've been to that began with a story that took place in a "galaxy far far away." The bride walked herself in and was struggling to contain her tears from the very beginning....as were her bridesmaids. The after party included Rock Band. And the cake? Um, it was made by one of my cousin's bridesmaids. From scratch. Even the cake topper. Wanna see?
Seriously. From scratch. The flowers? Made from scratch. Not plastic. The cupcakes? Made from scratch. Very cool, yes? In her own words, she "made some motherfucking cakes." :-)
Unfortunately, aside from giving me more ideas about how I want my (possible) future wedding to go, I have no new insights on marriage from this experience. I just know that I hope I'm as obviously filled with joy as my cousin was when she walked down the aisle.