I’m not going to lie, guys: I’m tired. It’s been one hell of a season thus far and quite honestly, I’m surprised we’re already at the halfway point. Time flies.
Wedding season? It’s a grind. Being in my late twenties, I find this part of my career to be both difficult and fulfilling. My endurance isn’t what it used to be, but situationally, I’m left with no option but to perform up to the best of my ability and leave it all on the dancefloor.
Some early season highlights.
May 16, 2015
North Austin, Texas
I packed the wrong suit and ended up wearing wool in grueling 95 degree Texas heat and humidity. I strategically placed myself in a breezy row during the ceremony doing everything in my power to avoid the sun, but once the first dance rolled in and I had to find my way to the al fresco dancefloor, I had to dig deep with everything I had left in the tank. Even as the sun went down and got out of my eyes, I still found myself struggling to keep it together amidst the sweat and dehydration that was setting in.
At that point, our only saving grace was my date feeding me double Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red Vodka & Sodas. The mixture of the high sugar content, 70 proof, and soda water was a perfectly intoxicating hydrator. At one point, she pulled me onto the dancefloor and people were handing me them in throwaway paper cups as if I was running a marathon, which I was. Luckily, I had been in a similar situation — Detroit, 2014 — and knew where to channel my energy in order to achieve my desired results.
When her sister drove us home and I was delirious in the backseat, I was handed an In-N-Out Double Double that ended up giving me heartburn before saving me from an awful hangover by soaking up all the grapefruit vodka I had ingested hours before. Everyone knows that in order to succeed, you need to get by with a little help from the warriors that surround you. They were champions that day, and playing alongside them was an honor. Some nights it’s all about The Team, The Team, The Team. This was one of those nights.
In the face of adversity, it’s not how far you’re willing to go, but how willing you are to go far. I wasn’t just trying to make a good impression on my date, but also on her friends and family. Head held high, I left that country club with a rejuvenated spirit knowing I left it all out there.
June 6, 2015
Harbor Springs, Michigan
Being the only wedding I’ll be in this season, I knew a lot of people relied on me to perform up to the standard I had set for myself leading up to game day. I really dug myself into a deep hole by talking a big game, so I was faced with no other option but to play my heart out for the full three-day weekend.
Upon our arrival to our rented cottage before the rehearsal dinner, I turned to old reliable — Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red Vodka. With an eye on my early season performance using the same spirit, no part of me thought it’d lead me astray. But this proved to be my — and my date’s — downfall.
Arriving to the rehearsal dinner, everything was going well. Too well. The head start we got lead to our eventual downfall that included one of us (read: me) claiming that “thick asparagus is for poors,” and neither of us fully remembering how we got back to our home base at the end of the night.
Needing sleep more than ever, I found myself scrambling to make my 6:15 a.m. tee time with the rest of the wedding party that proved to be the most hungover round ever played. While I didn’t leave any putts short that day, I shot the high round of the day and was lucky to get off the course in one piece.
Dehydrated and underfed, I was having a skinny day, but the high points ended there. Using a potentially lethal combination rosé and Absolut Citron as a means to get my head right before the ceremony, I stood tall and held back tears while watching two of my best friends commit to each other for the long haul. Unfortunately, the adrenaline hit me hard before the reception, and I found myself firing down cocktails out of excitement as if the open bar was closing before dinner.
By dinner, I was just purely going through the motions and relying on muscle memory. Between my date forcing water and coffee into my system and everyone’s eyes being on the happy couple, my struggle went relatively unnoticed. I maintained deep into the night with faint memories of dancing with every girl except the one I brought, spilling pinot on my white shirt, and retaining zero conversations I had with the parents of my lifelong friends.
It was a tough go, to say the least, but an experience that’s shaped the season thus far. While I got out alive, I can’t help but reflect on what could have been. Sure, everyone has off days, but this one stung.
And here we are in the first week of August with fall weddings still upon us. Does anything that’s happened up until this point matter? Nah, it’s in the past. Is it going to be easy? Certainly not. There’ll be peaks and valleys with few off-days to recover, but pressure creates diamonds, and there’s no time to rest on my laurels.
Vince Lombardi said, “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” It’s going to be a grind to achieve the type of success I expect from myself. No one said it was going to be easy. But rehearsal after rehearsal, dance floor after dance floor, open bar after open bar, I will endure. I will excel. I will succeed.
This weekend? Dallas. And to whom much is given, much is expected. Time saddle up to ride the wave. .
Image via Shutterstock