Weddings can be horrendous affairs, attended out of duty and obligation rather than any great desire to see the son of a distant relative’s next-door neighbour’s daughter hook up with some young one he came across while riding bareback across the Mojave desert. And then, on the other hand, some can be great craic altogether, where you wish you had an inexhaustible supply of energy that would carry you through till the early hours of the third morning after the celebrations had started. That was me, this weekend.
Burning the candle at both ends doesn’t even come close to describing how I was working under the misguided notion that I’m still 22 and don’t need my sleep. My mates K&R got married and despite months of watching K and her spreadsheets, all the time wondering why on earth she was bothering with such detail and taking on such organising, I can say now that it all paid off. In spades.
Probably for the first time ever, I realised what weddings are really about: an opportunity for two people to mix the product of their entire lives in one room and, in front of all of their friends – people who have in some way helped shape who they are – take that first step down a new path. To put faces to names that I’ve heard mention, to hear stories about both of them from days of yore, to see what an eclectic collection of friends they’ve amassed, and to be part of it all, was simply amazing.
That I’m as tired as I can ever remember being is no exaggeration but from the time it started on Friday at 6pm, till it finished early this morning at about 4am, it was worth every minute of it. As a favour for K&R, I made my debut as a tour guide on a double-decker tour bus specially hired for the occasion. I had two tours – my first and my last. It was quite the experience I tell you. What surprised me most, other than the miscellaneous facts I’d gleaned about Budapest in my frantic last-minute research on Friday afternoon, was how much I’ve come to regard this city as my own. As I spoke of architectural periods and construction dates, as I listed places I like to go and would recommend that the other wedding guests see too, as I recounted things that have happened to me here over the last few years, I got quite emotional.
It was an emotional weekend all round, really; a brilliant weekend and one of the best weddings I’ve been to. Now, please – don’t anyone else get married until I’ve had time to recover from this one. And, as I fight my way out of a coma-like stupor and try hard to focus on what needs doing this week, I’m grateful that every now and then, big romances happen in real life, not just in the movies. And I’m truly grateful that I had a tiny part to play in this one.
Note: For a reminder of what the Grateful series is about, check out Grateful 52