One of my best friends gets married in two weeks.

Considering the time, energy, and jaw-dropping amount of money that goes into a wedding, it’s understandable she wants every detail to be just right. Even though she swears she’s not stressed, I can hear her chanting the chakras under her breath.

I need to tell her: No matter how much you plan, pray, or meditate, something always goes wrong.

December 2004

“Girl,” Fancy said. “You’re so white you could go to your wedding naked.”

“It’s December,” I replied, covering myself with a fluffy alpaca throw. “I’m not supposed to be tan.”

“Don’t you and Barrett want to look your best for the photos?” Fancy asked, in a judgmental pitch. “I’m telling you – get some color.”

I nibbled at the skin at the top of my index finger. “A fake tan is tough to get right.”

“Yeah,” Fancy said. “That’s why you should get a spray tan. It’s the newest thing. Ten minutes and you’ll look like you’ve spent a week in St. Tropez.”

“Okay,” I sighed. “Worst case it washes off with a few showers, right?”

“Right,” Fancy said. “Just make sure you ask for the ‘triple tan’ when you go in. Trust me.”

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(The reason why 95% of our wedding photos are in black and white.)

Valerie,

It’s true: No matter how much you plan, pray, or meditate, something on your wedding day will go wrong.

The DJ will play the Hokey Pokey even though you asked him not to. (What says “romance” like putting your right foot in and shaking it all about?) The toddler you nanny will escape down the aisle and interrupt your wedding to tell you she has a “poopy diaper.” (I’m still mortified about that Jessica!)  That fresh lobster restaurant on the beach will make for an “explosive” wedding day. (Sunshine’s Seafood. . . Oh, no . . . I’ll be right back.) Or, despite days of showers and scrubbing, you and your groom could look like a mob of orange markers attacked you.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a perfect wedding.

A perfect wedding day is when you can stand across from the man you love knowing there is strength in your differences. Clear that you love him for who he is, and for who you are when you’re with him.

Later, there will be times when your tears of joy transform into tears of sorrow. But when those times come, remember your wedding day mess-ups. Because weddings are more than pretty dresses and rose petals. Just like true love is more than kisses and romance.

True love is about conquering the roughest rides, holding on, and moving forward together. And perfect weddings celebrate that kind of true love. Even with sweet potato tans.

Love you always and I can’t wait for your PERFECT wedding!

Natasha

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