My friend’s wedding day has finally come! She told me about the “big day” since January this year and about the date a few months ago. The invitation state reception at 6 pm, but since I worried about this city’s traffic, I decided to leave at 3 pm. Good choice? Not really, considering I have to wait for two hours by myself at the venue without knowing ANYONE else beside the bride. Yes, I always find myself in an awkward situation.
The reception was held at an event space called Alexandra’s House. It’s basically a house with a huge garden in the middle and pool in the back. I walked to the front door with dozens of people busy with the wedding’s preparation. I saw the flower guy, the food guy, and one woman inside the hall. I went in and she approached me with a confused look, thinking maybe I am lost. I told her I am here for the wedding and she just looked at me without words coming out from her mouth. I looked around and found someone who recognizes me because we have once met. She ushered me inside where long sofas are laid out and gave me a bottle of mineral water. She asked whether I wanted to meet the bride although is busy with make up. What am I suppose to say? I just smile and said don’t worry I’ll wait here.
I decided to look around after fifteen minutes of sofa-sitting. I went to the garden and looked at the decor: gorgeous wedding arch followed by ball lamps hanging in the middle. There is also a gazebo with the band preparing for a sound check. I just stood there, peeking from the side like a stray cat. Someone walked pass me and told me I can look around… as if I didn’t know that. I walked and walked and examined the rest of the venue until I found a sweet spot by the pool.
I sat there for an hour before the sky turned grey (I left to eat beforehand because I was so hungry). The wedding crew were getting anxious or happy, I couldn’t decide, and I took it as a signal to move my ass back inside. While I walked in, I saw the bride, my good friend, walking down the stairs in her wedding gown. She looked so happy and gave me tight hug. I followed her to the hall where she insisted to take a picture with me and her husband. I managed to give my best smile, hoping I turned out alright in the picture. She told me to stick around but I know my place – I slowly move away and roam around some more.
The guests have begun to show up and after a while I realised I didn’t know anyone. None. I thought I would meet some of our mutual friends, but I guess I was too early. At 7 pm, the bride and groom made their entrance to the garden followed by their families. I stood on the side but decided to make my way to the middle of the crowd to get a better look. My friend was all smile and looked so happy and I couldn’t help but felt happy for her too. We have been friends for five years and I know this is what she has always wanted. She is a successful and independent woman who eventually got married after years of marriage-cynicism. I remember our countless drunk nights where she complained and worried whether she will get married one day, but here I am on her wedding day. Life does get better and you will find someone.
After the MC asked us to congratulate the happy couple, I bumped into the girl who used to join our (the bride and I) club-hopping night. She didn’t recognize me at first because I looked “thinner” now. She came with her boyfriend and left him after we start chatting. She studied notary before but now she is in marketing. We reminiscence about our club days and remember it was over five years ago. She asked me whether I am still in the media and I said no, but I am looking for a job. She gave me two thumbs up and told me I will find one. We chatted for a bit after we congratulate the couple. She left and went to eat and I looked around for food without finding one that I liked.
It was almost 8 pm and I feel tired so I decided to leave. While I was walking out, the random girl who I first met asked where I am going? are you leaving, she said. I am not sure why I approached her, but I did and I lied saying I wanted to go outside. She might suspect this as weird because she informed me about the next wedding schedule. I chicken out and went back in just for a couple of minutes. I have spent four hours at this wedding and I think that’s more than enough, my friend would understand if I leave, right? I waited for a while to think of a plan and I got one. I chose to ‘pretend I have a phone call’ and left without looking back.
Note: I will never attend a wedding alone in the future, but again I can’t make any promises.