|Lovely Venue, Wonderful People|
My wedding experience was somewhat unique because Ze Newbs invited me to do a reading for him at the ceremony (bride had a friend of hers do a reading as well).
// Some backstory:
Ze Newbs and I go way, way back. Like 20+ years. I met him through Spud when they were still in high school. (Spud is awesome, btw - Hi Spud!), but we didn't become closer friends until after he had graduated from college. Anyway, we kept in touch over the years and visited now and again, usually with great fanfare. And by 'great fanfare' I mean that we occasionally drank to excess. And by 'occasionally' I mean 'always'. Yay for hangovers!
Not for nothing, but Ze Newbs znapped the current profile pic that I use here on the blogspace. It was on a train from Seville to Madrid. Because we went to Barcelona to have dinner, mixed in some other parts of Spain while we were there.
I hadn't had a chance to visit with the new Mrs. Ze Newbs since they got back together after not dating for several years. When they got engaged I called Ze Newbs and communicated how thrilled I was for him, because I always loved the future/current Mrz. Ze Newbs. She is a fantastic, joyful person and I was so happy that they had decided to spend their lives together. At the time things were difficult for me, and I hadn't seen or talked to anyone for a long while. Ze Newbs and I caught up like we always did, and he was himself, because he always is. That was late last year or thereabouts.
End backstory. //
Fast forward months and months to a couple weeks before the wedding, and Ze Newbs invited me to do the reading. I found the prospect intimidating but considered it a great honor so I accepted. Mainly I didn't want to screw it up. Public speaking is not easy for me, and the material was dense.
When he sent me the material he wrote, "the poem captures the impact of (future/current Mrz. Ze Newbs) joy, spirit and positivity on my life... It was important for me to have someone read it that sees those same things in her." I read the first sentence aloud during the ceremony to preface the reading because I thought it was beautiful.
I didn't read the second sentence because a) it wasn't germane to the ceremony itself and also b) I would have burst into tears, because it meant a lot to me to hear that from him. It means a lot to me now.
So: the reading. I printed a cheat sheet, broke the poem into manageable sentences with pauses in places that seemed to make good sense. I practiced it over and over again to try and find a good rhythm and inflection. I worked on a cadence that seemed to suit the structure. In short I worked very hard to do it right, to do my friend's request justice. It really, really stressed me out.
It went well. As far as I know I managed to do it without skipping any words and I know I didn't stutter or repeat any lines. I got a lot of compliments and kind words from the peeps but the most important thing, and the thing I'll never forget as long as I live, was when Ze Newbs walked up to me afterwards to give me a big hug and said, "That was perfect, man. Thank you so much. You nailed it. I knew you would." Well, I'm glad HE knew, because I wasn't so sure.
I am deeply grateful to have friends that trust me with that kind of responsibility, and immensely proud that it was a success. And also there was a wedding and a big party, and that went well, too.
Congrats to Mr. and Mrz. Ze Newbs. I love you both.
//Thanks for reading.