Several years ago I stood beside my best friend as she said her vows to the love of her life on the dock of the ever-so-gorgeous Wind Mountain Ranch pond.
The morning drizzle burned off and the clouds were absolutely magical over the Columbia River Gorge that day as the sun peaked through.
As I held her bouquet and adjusted her flowing beaded train, I couldn’t be more relieved.
I’ll get to that point shortly.
But first I must tell you that my matron-of-honor duties started from the very beginning. From giving simple, straight-forward advice during random calls after work to attending all of the pre-wedding festivities, and planning the weekend-long bachelorette party, I couldn’t wait to watch her special day become a reality.
We had been best of friends since I was 11, she was 13. Our parents would meet half way so we could spend the weekend at one another’s houses. By the time we could drive, we quickly discovered all of the juvenile fun we could have without parental supervision. We had always lived in different places, went to different schools, had different jobs, but that never put a bind on our sisterhood. Between all of the ups and downs, the friends (or so you thought), the boyfriends, the family, the hobbies, the passions, the fears, we were there for each other for almost 16 years leading up to this day.
As cliché as it sounds, I was truly privileged to be standing by her side during this journey. She had it just about as rough as I could ever imagine for anyone in the few years leading up to this moment, and no one else in the world deserved a more beautiful day than she did.
So, you can imagine how honored I was when she asked me if I could be part of her wedding tradition. Well, yes, being in her wedding party of course. But, I’m talking about something else.
You know how the poem goes, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe (Although I have never known that last part up until today, isn’t that funny?! Sorry, I digress. Let’s continue).”
The history of the poem and long-standing wedding tradition is not well-known, but some people say it dates back to at least the 1800s. Each item represents a good-luck charm for the bride on her wedding day. Carrying all of the tokens is said to bring a happy marriage. “Something old” symbolizes continuity with the bride’s family and the past. “Something new” means optimism and hope for the bride’s new life ahead. “Something borrowed” is usually an item from a happily married friend or family member, whose good fortune in marriage is supposed to carry over to the new bride. “Something blue” is said to symbolize love, purity, and fidelity.
As superstitious as this tradition might sound, I immediately teared up when my best friend wanted to borrow the rhinestone hair pins that I wore on my wedding day. Out of all of the mothers, grandmothers, aunts and cousins in her life, and she asked me to fulfill this tradition. It was a beautiful moment for us.
Right away, while I was still talking to her on the phone, I found the pins, put them in a sealed bag and stored them for safe keeping so I would know exactly where they are.
Yes … that was the plan.
But the problem with planning is that you do it too far in advance sometimes.
Life happened. I was working, trying to learn how to be a wife myself and traveling to all of my bestie’s festivities.
Then, the days leading up to the wedding I began gathering everything I needed for this memorable day.
Oh, crap. Where are they?!
I panicked. I absolutely panicked. Like, sweaty palms and armpit panic.
I’m a pretty mellow and organized person, but I could not find those damn things anywhere.
I scoured every drawer, box, nook, and cranny, upstairs and downstairs.
I went to work with a stomach ache and sobbed my worrisome woes to my co-workers.
I could not let my best friend down.
I even came up with a plan to buy new ones that matched mine and pretend they were mine. How shallow is that?
No, I could not do that to her.
It was cutting it close to the day I was supposed to travel to the wedding. I began mentally preparing my speech to her that’s I’d have to do over the phone.
My stomach hurt worse.
Then, by the mercy of the light above, I grabbed a few more things from the bathroom and there they were in the same sealed bag that I put them in months before, sitting in the tin with all of my hair pins.
How in the world could I have been so dumb? So worked up? Why wouldn’t I have looked there in the first place?
Oh my goodness, that was a close call. (In fact, I’m having a hard time breathing just reliving this moment.)
What’s even worse about this story is that I can’t even remember if I told her what happened or not.
But, luckily we have friends and sisters to see us through.
And, with a little bit of luck and superstition, we have happy marriages, too.
Tell us, how will you incorporate something old, new, borrowed & blue into your wedding day?