The Royal Wedding. It’s finally here. Doug and Heather are getting married!!! Besides the fact that they’ve been together for 12 years and this was a long time coming, it’s been even longer if you know Heather at all.
I remember being in ninth grade and Heather talking about her wedding. She wasn’t even with Doug yet, but she knew exactly what her wedding would be like. She had wedding magazines – I thought that was the weirdest thing.
One by one, our friends started getting married. But I don’t think any of them had been together as long as Doug and Heather. It was only a matter of time. And now that it’s really happening, it’s hard to believe it.
Obviously, I’m excited to be home. I start the morning with a trip to Wawa with Christine. Coffee and a Sizzli. Amazing. Then we get pedicures together. We start at the same time and somehow I’m done way faster than her. Where’s the leg massage? That’s half the reason I’m here. (Christine doesn’t tell me until weeks later that she knew, “oh yeah, your girl sucked.” Thanks, Chris.)
Chris drops me off at Images to get my hair cut. I mean, it’s cheaper to get my hair cut here than in California. Might as well. The girl cutting my hair went to West Deptford. Naturally. She is super, super young. I feel old. She’s “heard” of my twin sisters. I believe they were seniors when she was a freshman. Awesome.
Later, Schultz picks me up for the drive down to Atlantic City. I’m excited because now we’ll have an hour to catch up with each other. Schultz is funny talking about being a mom. She is constantly defending herself when she really doesn’t have to. Daycare is a hot topic. Schultz packs him food she knows he likes, because she wants to make sure he eats. This makes complete sense, but Schultz is convinced that the ladies at daycare are judging her by what food she sends in. Another funny story is one day when she came to pick up Ben, he had a bite mark on his arm. The ladies were so apologetic and were trying to figure out which kid did it based on the bite marks. Schultz was unphased as she watched Ben climb over top of a small child. “They’re babies. They don’t know what they’re doing.”
We arrive at the hotel – we’re all staying at the Tropicana – and head up to Kelly and Jenn’s room. Ahhhh! Hiiiiii! So good to see everyone…Christie is here, too. Jackie comes up later. I brought down a bottle of spicy tequila and crack that open to drink on the rocks. Jenn is a fan. That’s about it. Too spicy for the rest.
John arrives so I go down one floor to our room – I’m rooming with him, Mandy, and Mike. Drop off my stuff, pour John some spicy, and head back up to the room. Soon, we’re heading down to take the shuttle, which is a DeHart Yellow School Bus. I mean, I wouldn’t have it any other way. There were two shuttles. We’re taking the second one. Basically, everyone is taking the second one. There were about nine people on the first trip. Down here the masses are herding in and I get to see RJ and Phil. So long since I’ve seen them!
We all cram onto the bus. I snag the front seat with Jenn and Ronnie. They were clutch, bringing some beers for the road. Christie and Schultz sit on the other side of the aisle. I hand Christie a beer and share one with Schultz. There’s something about drinking on a bus. It’s fun. There are older people – relatives probably – who are standing. I should totally give up my seat for one of them. I don’t.
It seems like forever until we reach the Carriage House. And we’re late. The ceremony should already have started. Mr. Nocella is at the entrance looking tense. Hi Mr. Nocella! At this point he’s just pointing to where we need to be, hurrying us in. We take our seats on the Nocella side, but I like to think we all love Doug just as much! The programs are the best programs I’ve ever read. Doug and Heather each wrote things about the people in their bridal party and it’s hilarious. You can really hear their voices in everything they say about everyone and it’s so much fun to read.
It’s not long before they’re getting started. The bridesmaids dresses are a really pretty navy blue. The girls all look great with their hair and makeup done. Now we’re standing for the bride and the song changes. They hired this super talented piano player and she’s singing a slow version of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream as Heather walks down the aisle. Heather had told me about it and I absolutely love it. When I finally see her it almost takes my breath away. Her dress is just, so her. She looks phenomenal in it and I swear, I don’t know anyone else who could pull it off. It was meant for her. I’m even in awe of her veil, which looks gorgeous, and I don’t think I’ve ever thought that about a veil before.
She reaches the front and Tyler gets started. Tyler is friends with my little sisters. In fact, they go to his house every single Thursday night to hang out with him and his wife. I’ve never met him. Doug and Heather met him not too long ago, got drunk, thought he was hilarious, and found out he could marry people, so they asked him. He’s only done it once before, I believe. Suffice it to say, he’s pretty laid back during the ceremony. He’s great. He references Facebook a lot (which if I’m not mistaken, was Christine’s idea). Because Doug and Heather have the absolute funniest fb posts about each other, and being a couple, and living together, and getting married, and just their relationship in general. Very entertaining.
Let’s see, Doug almost passes out at one point, and Nick puts some smelling salts under his nose. Then he’s fine. It’s really funny when Doug has to repeat what Tyler is saying. Tyler says, “Take this ring.” Doug hesitates, then says, “Take THESE rings.” Everyone laughs. “She had to have two.” Kelly does a reading, and it’s not a typical boring reading from the Bible. It’s a poem about love and dogs. It’s really funny and sweet. There are a few times I get choked up and think I see Heather crying…I don’t know how Kelly doesn’t cry. She does a great job with it.
My only issue with Tyler, is that he never tells us to be seated. I wouldn’t mind standing if I could see over the heads in front of me to see Doug and Heather, but I can’t. Towards the end, he finally asks us to stand and realizes that we were standing the whole time. Good one, Tyler. Still, it was definitely the most entertaining wedding ceremony I’ve ever attended. When I meet him shortly after at cocktail hour next door, I give him shit for it. Like, I’ve just met the guy and I’m already making fun of him. What a brat. We get a picture together to send to the twins. Look, we’re hanging out!
At cocktail hour, I get started with chardonnay. Guess it’s going to be a wine night. Mike walks up to me and this is my first time seeing him all day. And he’s drunk. Why are you drunker than any of the other groomsmen? “They’re just as drunk. They’re just better at hiding it.” Sureeee they are. I talk with Tommy for a little bit, mostly trying to figure out how to say his girlfriend’s name. I never even get to meet her, but it’s always nice to catch up with Tommy. Nick walks over and picks me up in a bear hug – it’s customary at this point. We never get to see each other so when we do; bear hug. He gives the best hugs.
We move into the reception and I’m at a table with the groomsmen and their significant others. I sit next to Nikki and mostly just talk to her. But she’s pregnant and I’m getting progressively drunker as the night goes on while she sits quietly by being sober. I must be annoying. When the bridal party comes out, good Lord. My boyfriend. Well before him, most people come out normal, just sort of walking in together. Doug’s brothers are really funny…they have hockey jerseys on and sticks and come in hitting a puck back and forth between them. Heather’s sister, Kimmy, is between them. They lose the puck and start fighting on the dance floor…Kimmy breaks them up. It’s cute. Then comes Mike and Janene. Janene walks out ahead of Mike onto the dance floor. She spreads her legs, wearing her high heels, and faces Mike. He gets a running start and slides under her legs. I swear. Thank God he got through without touching her because he went so fast and could have taken her down so easily. But it all worked out and even looked good. He broke his watch doing it but I’m sure he thinks it was worth it. He loves putting on a show (we’re similar in that way).
Doug and Heather come in dancing to a Nicki Minaj song. Naturally. Heather looks like she’s having the best time. Shortly after that, rather than Heather’s sister – the Matron of Honor giving a speech – her daughter does. The flower girl, Gabbie. She reads it word for word, and I’m sure she had help writing it, but it’s the best speech I’ve ever heard from such a little girl. She’s very well spoken for an 8-year-old and doesn’t seem to get nervous at all. Obviously a Heather prodigy. It’s very funny and sweet, and if I didn’t have such high expectations from Nick for his best man speech, I would be nervous for him. But Nick doesn’t disappoint. As soon as that mic is in his hand he’s in his element. It’s funny, sentimental, timed well. He knows when to wait for the laughs to stop before moving forward but never lingers long enough for it to drag. Doug is the best man in Nick’s wedding this July – he has a lot to live up to. Don’t worry Doug, you’ll be fine.
The rest of the night is dancing. Non-stop. Heather and Doug are supposed to cut the cake. Nope. Heather tells them she’d rather dance. I’m surprised Heather doesn’t throw the bouquet because that has always been her favorite part of any wedding. She is that crazy girl who makes sure that she catches the bouquet. It’s insane. But tonight, no. She’s already married so who cares about the married-less girls? Let’s dance.
Then, instead of a photo booth, they have life-size cut-outs of Doug and Heather. Heather did not tell us about this, and it’s amazing. Probably my favorite part of the evening. Granted, we don’t start taking pictures with the cut-outs until we’re very intoxicated, but man is it a whole lot of fun. We take a bunch with “The Girls” and the Heather cut-out. Good thing, because Heather didn’t get an actual picture with all of us, which tends to be the thing we do at weddings now. They call all of us together to get a picture of The Girls. Maybe the photographer reminded Heather that she needed that picture still and Heather said, “No, let’s dance.”
Finally, it’s time to leave. Aw, man. There are cupcakes on our plates at each of our seats. I grab one because I’m drunk and hungry, but as I walk out into the lobby, there is a station with mini cheeseburgers. You have got to be kidding me. I toss the cupcake and eat two cheeseburgers. Delicious. Then it’s onto the bus. Such a long bus ride. I get so sleepy on the way back. Once we’re at the Tropicana, I tell Mandy, if we don’t go out right now, I’m going to bed. So we do. Down to Ri-Ra, the Irish bar downstairs. Before we go in, Mike’s FDU friends come running at us. Well not all of them, but Merritt literally runs at me. “Stetsssssss!” I have a plastic cup of spicy in my hand and it’s nearly full. Wait wait wait! He doesn’t. Scoops me up in his arms as spicy spills everywhere. He’s crazy. But I’m happy to see him and Pierson. So random that we were all here on the same night. I’m sure Mike is thrilled.
I finish my drink and head into the bar. A live band is playing. Everyone is here. Well, my friends, anyway. I get a blue moon and chat with some friends. Finally talk to Heather – I feel like I haven’t talked to her all night! I can’t believe I never got a picture with her. All I did was take pictures of her. Even still, at the bar, I just keep snapping shots. I think I do it even more because she doesn’t have the professional photographer here so I want to make sure I capture it all. Eventually I move towards the stage and realize how awesome this band is. They’re playing great songs and now Doug and Heather are on stage. And they stay on stage. Hold on, is this band here for Doug and Heather? No. But they’re really letting them just stay on stage and sing with them. I ask the singer to play the Lumineers. Doug and Heather love the Lumineers – Doug even tweeted them, asking them to play at the wedding. So I ask the guy, can you play anything by the Lumineers? Sure. I think he’s just yes-ing me, but would you believe it, the next song is the Lumineers. I can’t believe it. I throw a 5 dollar bill on the stage (because I have money to waste). When we finally close the bar, the singer walks up to me, thanking me but giving me the money back. “Really, thank you, but take this.” I try to give it to him, but he won’t. I’m so confused. Did Doug and Heather hire him? Or was he just that amazing? I think maybe he was just that amazing.
After that, I don’t remember this, but apparently, I discussed with friends going to gamble in the casino or hang out longer. Once I promised this, I literally ran away to the elevator and up to my room. This sounds like me. I like to drunkenly ninja my way out of social situations. Went back up to the room with Mike, John, and Mandy, where we were all drunk and starving. Mike finally orders Dominos pizza and lays flat on his back in bed with the phone on his head so that if he falls asleep when they call it will vibrate and wake him up. John ends up going down and meeting the pizza man. The next day I think we shared a pizza between the four of us. Alas, we shared two.
I can’t believe it’s over. We all had such a great time, and now it’s over. Doug and Heather are married. I’m actually a little sad. I’m sure it’s normal for the bride to feel like her wedding day goes by so fast and she just wants to hold onto it for a little longer, but not so normal for her friends to feel the same way.
So let’s raise a glass to the happy couple! Here’s to the Doug and Heather we love, here’s to the Doug and Heather who love us, if the Doug and Heather we love don’t love us, fuck Doug and Heather and here’s to us!
*Boyce Avenue (cover)