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“You’d think the wedding planner wouldn’t be such a bitch,” she whispered to Alex while they watched Caroline getting her hair put in an up-do at the salon. “Like, sorry I’m better at doing my hair than whoever this Alexis girl is who probably just got done at the Aveda Institute or whatever.”
She sat with Alex in the corner drinking mimos while debating whether or not they should be the first ones to dive into the untouched buffet that the wedding planner had set out for them.
“I’m just, like, not hungry,” Alex explained with her eyes staring at the shrimp cocktail. “Besides, I barely fit into my dress as it is. I’m a freaking whale.”
The girls had arrived at the salon at 9 a.m. per the wedding planner’s request. Being New Year’s Eve, all of their boyfriends and husbands decided to meet at a local bar near the hotel where all the festivities would occur. “Don’t get too drunk watching football, Todd,” she texted him when he told her his plans for the day.
While Caroline sat in the salon chair, each girl did their absolute best to take photos with her while simultaneously taking Boomerangs of them cheersing their drinks for their Instagram stories. Katie, the co-Maid of Honor, found herself buddied up to the wedding planner while the rest of the girls were distracted with their faces buried into their phones between conversations.
“So,” Alex began, “Are you nervous for your speech?”
She turned her back away from Katie and explained that she had her speech written “months in advance,” when in all actuality, it remained unwritten just a week before.
“Tbh, I’m a little nervous, I haven’t spoken in front of this many people since rush senior year.”
“You’ll do fine,” Alex said in passing. “Just don’t drink too many mimosas beforehand.”
This immediately caused her to put her mimosa down and approach the wedding planner.
“Excuse me,” she asked. “What kind of sparkling water do you have for us here?”
The wedding planner paused and hesitated before explaining that they only had still.
“Wow, umm, okay,” she said. “I guess I’ll just have that then.”
Walking back towards Alex (again bypassing the buffet), she rolled her eyes. She began re-tying the monogrammed robes she had purchased for the rest of the bridesmaids while Caroline remained wearing the robe that Katie had purchased for her during her bachelorette party in Cabo.
“I hope the rest of this day goes better than this stupid salon,” she told Alex. “This is a mess – like, Caroline’s hair doesn’t even look that good.”
They both peered over and looked at her hair which could only be described as a “disaster” (because that’s how Alex actually described it). The stylist took her chair and turned it around to reveal her final look to the rest of the girls.
“Ta-da,” stylist Alexis said while Caroline’s eyes welled up as she looked at her bridesmaids.
Her bridesmaids quickly huddled around her and told her how good she looked despite Caroline holding back her tears, partially because she didn’t want to offend the hair stylist and partially because she didn’t want to ruin the eye make-up that had been put on her just an hour before.
Co-Maid of Honor Katie immediately asked the wedding planner if they had time to re-do it only to hear from the crowd of girls huddled around Caroline, “Don’t worry – as your Maid of Honor, I can re-do your hair and give you the look you want.” Katie filled with rage as she could see the rest of the girls attempting to save the day.
“Now do you have your phone on you?” she asked Caroline while Katie looked from afar. “I want to reference that Pinterest board you have.”
Nerves pulsed through her body. As she stood in the sanctuary of the church while the organ played, she took several deep breaths in an effort to calm herself down. The most important moment of the most important day of her life had finally come: she was going to walk down the aisle as a Maid of Honor in her best friend’s wedding.
She feared that Katie’s newfound friendship with the wedding planner would result in Katie walking down the aisle after her, thus putting her directly next to Caroline in all the photographs of the ceremony. But because of her assertiveness during the rehearsal the night before, she would maintain her post directly next to Caroline as she would say “I do” to John.
With her back straight and lips pursed, she attempted to nonchalantly look forward to Todd who stood positioned next to Katie. When she had seen him earlier prior to getting dressed, Todd’s eyes were slightly red with his skin a bit splotchy, but that wasn’t something she could worry about with all that was ahead of her.
Then it began.
Couple by couple, they made their way down the aisle. Trip with Victoria, Katie with Todd, and her with Finn. In her head, she repeated to herself, “Not too slow, not too fast. Smile. Wink when you pass your parents. Smile when you pass Todd’s parents. Be statuesque but not boring. This is your runway.”
As she stood at the altar and the congregation stood, she turned and looked toward the back of the church where Caroline stood with her father. Her hair and makeup were fixed, and it was the dream ceremony Caroline had envisioned since childhood.
While Caroline took her first steps down the aisle, Todd elbowed Finn and both looked at John, who did his best not to cry. Todd’s eyes then reverted to the bridesmaids, particularly the one closest to him – his girlfriend. Her eyes remained on Caroline who approaching as the center of attention. Todd couldn’t help but wonder what was going through her head while she stood stoically at the front of the church looking the most put together he had seen her in recent memory.
Todd’s eyes fixated on her; John’s eyes fixated on Caroline as she took a step up the steps and stood next to him. The four turned towards the minister.
“We are gathered here today…” .
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