It was a day of special magnificence as Bilbo Baggins would so fondly say. Have you ever been in a movie before? I don’t mean acted in one or made one yourself, I mean actually lived one. I had never been in one myself, although I can think of a few moments in my life that felt rather cinematic, but this weekend I got to step briefly into a friend’s movie. Yesterday my friend Tiffany Coombs became Tiffany Martin, something that is going to take me a while to get used to. If you ever want to hear about a movie-esc life, just give Tiffany a call and ask her what she is up to.
I have known Tiffany since elementary school but did not really become close with her until the summer before my junior year of high school on a Europe trip. Right there, scene from movie. Nothing solidifies a friendship like skipping through picturesque towns in Switzerland, eating huge hunks of bread in Paris and being almost taken out by taxies in London. It was our first trip overseas, and as cliché as it is there is no better way to describe it than the start of a beautiful friendship.
Since then Tiff and I have had the most fun together. We survived high school and certain people’s bitchy ways (although I had to leave her for her last year due to the fact that I was a year ahead), as well as making it through many a band and color guard function with most of our sanity intact. Tiff and I both share a love of old movies and men long dead as well as David Bowie and Jim Henson productions, namely Labyrinth where we can get our Muppet and David Bowie fixes all in one sitting. She has helped me countless times to be a girl, meaning she taken me shopping and told me what to buy. What will I ever do without this sort of guidance?
I remember the cold day last winter when Tiffany called me with the news. I was at the CAC late at night ‘working’ and had to go outside to heard her over the roar of music majors in the lobby. It was freezing and I left my coat inside, but once she told me she was getting married and wanted me to be one of her bride’s maids the only thing I could feel was excitement. I literally could not stop smiling. The moment I got home that night I banged on Nicole’s door and, jumping up and down, told her the news despite the fact that Nicole did not know Tiffany at all. Since then everyone has been in a frenzy preparing for the big day, which last night, finally came in a hale of endless smiles, adult cookies (use your imagination) and rain drops.
The day before the wedding the bridesmaids gathered together to get our nails done and, in my case, meet each other. Tiffany’s attendants were her two sisters Melissa and Courtney and her friend Stephanie from Canada who I had never meet. There’s another reason her life is a movie; she lived in Toronto going to Yoga school for about a year. She started as a music student at Shenandoah University, but then decided she was destine for other things. It was at Shenandoah that she meet James Martin and feel in love. But like all good movies there comes an obstacle to overcome. At the end of her time at Shenandoah, they broke up, but in the spirit of what I tell all my friends seeking relationship advice (pretending I actually know something on the topic), in the end it was meant to be. While she was in Canada they reconnected, realized that they never stopped loving each other and the rest is recent history.
The wedding was marvelous. Ceremony being at 7pm, us girls had all day to hang out and get ready at the B&B. We got breakfast served to us in our apartment type set up we were staying in and never had to leave the house. Tiffany was in good spirits all day, although a little anxious. She kept asking us “why did I have to pick an evening wedding?” as the hours flew by for us and dragged for her.
Anyone who knows me knows I am not one for tears. I don’t know how to handle them when people around me are crying and I don’t enjoy crying myself (unless I’m watching Deep Impact). This being said, I will openly admit that yesterday was a struggle. Every little thing was making me close to tears. When Tiff put on her gorgeous dress I almost lost it, and then again when Melissa came out of the bathroom and saw her, saying softly “ohhh” at the sight of her younger sister looking so grown up and radiant. The four of us just stood around Tiffany in silence watching her mother lace up the back of her dress because saying “you look so beautiful” again was making us sound like extremely scratched records.
Looking back, I’m surprised I did not expect something fantastical to happen at the ceremony. The wedding of Tiffany Coombs could never be ordinary, and that was proven right as…actually rain. Right as the photographer finished taking pictures of Tiff outside thunder rocked the sky and the clouds that had made for such perfect overcast lighting for the pictures spilled rain. The guest began to arrive as it poured, some heading for the house for cover, others going out in the field where the tent was set up for the reception. We all reassured Tiffany that it would be fine, that it would stop in time and be dry enough to walk in. She hid her worries well, calmly sitting in a chair and reading a random book. Then the rain did stop, like we said, and out we went.
The ceremony went smoothly, everyone remembering where to stand and what to say. I was biting my tongue to stop from crying the entire time, but mostly when Tiffany walked in on her father’s arm. The look on James’ face when he saw her would have made even the evilest child-eating giant hidden away in a cave never seeing sunlight cry huge watermelon sized tears enough to fill a swimming pool. In fact, I believe such a giant did start to cry somewhere in the clouds, because just as the couple lit the unity candle after giving their vows, it started to rain.
The minister Josh (a fellow band member from high school a year older than me) shouted for everyone to precede to the tent where the ceremony would continue. Magically umbrella’s appeared in our hands, from where I still don’t know, and we ran with the crowd to the huge white tent in the distance. I was so worried Tiffany would be upset, but I should have known better. Hand in hand with James, her long train in the other she beamed as they ran for the tent. Like the climax of any great movie everyone laughed and scrambled for the shelter. Faster than I ever imagined possible the whole wedding party was once more assembled at one corner of the tent, all the guests soggy but happy gathered around.
Josh, shouting to be heard over the roar of the rain around us, declared that they were now man and wife and for James to kiss the bride. Kiss they did. The giant in the sky sobbed for a while longer, his heart undoubtedly turning to gold, and eventually got himself under control enough for us to be able to take some pictures outside of the tent.
So when it rains on your wedding day, go with it. Instead of getting the generic wedding party pictures that every other couple in the history of the world has sitting on their mantel, Tiffany and James will have one where everyone is beaming beneath umbrellas. It was so Singing in the Rain I could hardly stand it. We did Gene Kelly proud.
The evening ended with James and Tiffany Martin being sent off not with rice, but by walking down a path comprised of all their family and friends lighting their ways with sparklers. Now they should be on their way to the Bahamas for their honeymoon and then off to Denmark to live while James finishes music school. Movie life, I’m telling you. Never was there such happiness.
So to Tiffany, I love you and know you will have a life full of more fantastically cinematic moments. To James, thank you for making my friend so happy.
PS. I know it's cruel to write about a wedding and only include two pictures, but you all know my Internet situation. However, I do have links: