Don't get me wrong, being asked by someone to marry them, to officiate their wedding, is an amazing, brilliant, probably once in a lifetime honor. I was beyond shocked when they asked me to do it and so terrified right away. No, seriously, since last June, I have been terrified for March 15th to come. There was NO way in hell I would ever say "no" to this for Mindy and Bo. None. The answer was an absolutely "YES" from the first second (maybe it was because they were buying me sushi. Don't judge me, it was incredible sushi). There were no second thoughts, but I was scared. This is a HUGE deal! Really, it is. This is a moment they will remember for the rest of their lives. If it goes awry, it would be a cringe-worthy memory instead of the thrilling one they are hoping for having. You may have noticed, but I am not the most confident crayon in the box. I was willing to do it, excited even, but completely confident only in that I would screw it up. The couple, on the other hand, was more than optimistic about the outcome of their day. I thought they were maniacal.
It was June when they asked. I know this because that is when I applied to be ordained through Universal Life Church Monasteries. I came home and applied that night. See? I was excited. I began thinking up my role that night. I got nowhere until the week of the wedding. However, from the comments I received at the wedding, I kicked ass. Never have I had so many random people I have never met come take my hand in theirs and hold it while telling me what an amazing job I had done. It was awkward and fabulous. This and the guy who, in the middle of the ceremony, randomly shouted out, "Best. Wedding. Ever!" I don't know who you are but I love you.
The absolute, without a doubt best part of this wedding though has to be the new friendships that were formed. Over the years, I have been in several weddings but I have never in my bridesmaid career met such an incredible, perfectly fitted, hilarious group of people. This feeling hit me the instant Jesiree walked into the airport and greeted me with the type of hug one gives a long lost friend. It was our first meeting. This was the feeling with everyone I met after that. Just about every one of us in the wedding cast just clicked. It was as if Bo and Mindy chose us so carefully to ensure this happened. When, in actuality, it was simply that those two just draw friends that happen to be some of the most wicked awesome people in the world. We all talked and laughed and even got tattoos together all while spending time together in a hotel room the night before the wedding. (Did we promise to not ever admit they were Dollar Tree glittery girly tattoos? I can't remember).
There are always people you meet that make you want to say "we should get together sometime" but in this case, I am so extremely hopeful that we make that happen. I have stalked them all on Facebook so that I don't lose them. In fact, since the wedding, I have been privileged to be part of conversations taking place in photo comments resulting in hilarious rantings and more comments a photo should ever have. Honestly, I feel that many of these friendships will be lifelong. Great Scott, I hope so.
Mindy and Bo also have this exceptionally fabulous framily circle. Yup, framily. If you are IN with Bo, Mindy or their parents then you are family. They honestly do not seem to have typical friends. This wedding felt like it was 225 members of their family. So, framily it is. I love them...all of them! They are all so sweet, caring, and intensely loving.
As promised, here is a basic transcript of the ceremony. It was changed a bit here and there and there was a bit of ad lib work happening but this is the gist of it all.
Above all, I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to do this for such fantastic people. I love Bo and Mindy so much, as does everyone else that meets them. This, to me, was a once in a lifetime chance even though my husband smiled and said to me at the end of the wedding, "I don't think this will be your last wedding gig".
There is no greater feeling than that of being loved. I believe I can speak for Mindy and Bo when I say, they can feel it right now. There are so many people that have come from so many places to be here. Along with their parents and families, Mindy and Bo would like to not only thank everyone for being here and sharing in the rhapsody of today but for being a part of their past, present and future.
The first impressions these two gave me years ago could not have been more opposite. It was a perfect, sunny day at Marsha Neal's wedding reception when Chris introduced me to Mindy and her amazing mom, Noel. We talked, laughed, drank and got along like we had always been friends. The moment she walked away, I turned to Chris and said, "I love her. We will be friends. Make it so." Mindy, in a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman.”
Bo, on the other hand was a tad more shaky. It was a late night at Brandon Gunnip's poker party. Alicia and I were standing alone talking in the kitchen when a dark-haired stranger walked in, stopped in front of us and just shrugged his shoulders with this look on his face as it to say "You are girls. Why are you here and what have you done with the men?". Alicia, the smarter of the two of us apparently, immediately directed him to the garage where we had stashed the men. My judgmental self, on the other hand, complained to Chris on the ride home about this rude guy that just came in without as much as a "hello". The shock and very defensive almost hurt tone in Chris' voice when he said "Are you talking about Bo? He was rude? He is never rude. He's just shy." should have told me I was completely wrong. I quickly learned that I could not have been more mistaken about Bo.
A few years later, in the same Gunnip kitchen at a different poker party, Alicia and I were having an argument about which of us had the bigger crush on Bo. It went on for a few drinks until we both realized that we were actually married and neither of us could technically have Bo. So a challenge was presented. Which of us could get our bonus sisters together with Bo first? Alicia would have Amanda to work with and I had Heather. The race was on. This battle raged for months and it was relentless! Apparently, though, neither of us had, in fact, told our bonus sisters or Bo about our plan but the race continued anyway. It came to an abrupt end in the arena of all epic battles, Facebook. I saw Bo and Mindy were in a relationship. My first thought was not of the challenge being lost but was that of "Oh, damn, that makes perfect sense. Why didn't I think of that?"
I knew, right there sitting in front of that Facebook page that this was it for them. These two together was just the perfect pairing. Everyone I talked to about it said the same thing. It just made sense. We all have genuinely enjoyed watching Mindy and Bo becoming who they are today, falling in love, and getting to this point.
Since he was not allowed to wear a flower girl dress, John Waltrip has been invited to grace us with a reading. *Reading by John Waltrip*
Much to the excitement and anticipation of many of us and the fear instilled in Bo, Mindy and Bo have written their own vows. *Vows and Rings*
Typically, I would ask Mindy and Bo a bunch of boring questions to which they will agree without even paying any attention. Today, however, we are switching it up. Today, they better pay attention because their parents are asking the questions. Bo's parents, Jan and Louie have prepared their own personal questions to ask Mindy while Mindy's parents, Noel and Tom (as long as Tom finished his homework) have their own to ask Bo. *Do You Questions*
Mindy and Bo not only do things for us, that make us want to do things for them. Sometimes we brave the cold and rain to go to a hockey themed bachelorette party. Sometimes the make us do girly things, sometimes they just inspire us to be better people. These two crazy kids are everything we want in friends. They are giving, caring, intelligent and so very funny. Unless Elijah Wood walks through the door, I don't think we need to ask if anyone can think of a reason these two should not be married. Instead, I am going to ask if anyone has any reason they SHOULD be. *guests speak*
Every single one of us in this room is here because Bo, Mindy, or, most likely, both, love each of us. WE are the most important people in their lives. I once heard a friend say that the way to determine a wedding invitation list was to make sure everyone on it was someone you would take and treat to dinner. This room, however is filled with people Bo and Mindy would not only buy dinner, but for whom they would do so much more. I can guarantee that everyone in this room can name at least one time either of these two did something exceptional for them or, just took them to dinner. Now it's our turn to pay them back and show our love for them. They have included us in their wedding not only as guests of the ceremony but as a part of their married lives. This is not a free ride though, it is a duty as their friends, as their family. Do you know the person sitting next to you? Maybe, maybe not, maybe you do but don't want to, either way, we are all connected. We are all part of this new family. It is our duty to help in this marriage, to support, encourage, and love them. It is our duty to be there for them for the ups and the downs. When they have a fight, we need to remind them of this day and why and how they got here. We also need to be strong and brave enough to let Mindy know that maybe this month food is more important than the $500 pair of shoes she found on sale. Maybe.
Mindy and Bo, you are loved more than you could ever know and you are not in this alone. Each of us is here to help and guide you. SO SAY WE ALL.
Would you like to update your Facebook statuses? *update Facebook*
I would love to now declare you husband and wife - Mr. and Mrs. Bo Nash.