Saturday, October 28, 2017


One of my closest friends, Mike, got married to Reb this month and he asked me to be one of his groomsmen. The wedding was on a Friday so I had to get permission to take a leave without pay (I had just started and I still didn't have any days off yet). Thankfully, my boss approved my request so I immediately told Mike I could be part of his entourage. Shortly after that, he asked me if I could sing mass songs during the church ceremony. Naturally, I agreed. I initially thought that would be it as far as my role during the wedding. As it turned out, I ended up being a lot busier than I had expected, but thankfully, it all turned out great in the end.

photo of the church ceremony taken by my friend Martin

The wedding was on a Friday and I realized I had a bit of a predicament. I can't drive my car on Fridays due to the color coding scheme. While I was trying to figure things out, Mike messaged the entire entourage asking us to join him in his condo right before his wedding so that we could keep him company, help him get ready, and even have a few photos and videos taken with him. I said I would be there and I asked him if anyone else in the entourage confirmed that they would go. That way, I could hitch a ride with one of them from Mike's condo to the church and from the church to the reception. Mike said that some people confirmed but that the worst case scenario would be that I could just borrow his car and drive him to church. I think the moment Mike came up with that back-up, worst-case-scenario option, it started to appeal a lot more to him and he finally decided it would  be best if I would indeed drive his car. He even loaded the wedding drinks in his car's trunk and the plan was for the wedding coordinator to get the drinks from his car during the church ceremony and bring them to reception venue.

On the morning of the wedding, I suddenly got a call from Mike. Apparently, the person making his wedding story video omitted a couple of key details in the video. He was told that the changes and the re-rendering would take a while and that the final video would only be available at around 5pm. Mike asked me if I could sort out the download of the video since he would obviously be unable to manage it himself at that time. He suggested I drive from the church to his condo, download the video from there, then head to the reception venue. While that sounded like a plan, I decided to bring my laptop, a power bank, and a USB drive just so that I had more options.

Fast forward to shortly before the wedding. Forty-five minutes before the church ceremony and we were still in Mike's condo. The photographers wanted to take more photos but I expressed my extreme anxiety since I hadn't had any practice with the band yet and I was worried we would get caught in bad Friday traffic. We finally made our way to the church and thankfully, we got there quite quickly. I now had about 15 minutes to run through 7 songs with the musicians - obviously not enough time but at that point I had to work with what I had. Once I got my cues on when to come in on each song and after getting a few other instructions, I made my way to the back of the church to get ready for my entourage duties.

That turned out to be quite stressful as well. As the principal sponsors started making their way down the aisle, we realized that (1) there was no coordinator with us at the back to help guide us and (2) there were more bridesmaids than groomsmen. Tensions were mounting since we weren't certain what to do and I myself couldn't really stay calm since I was already worried about singing seven songs with almost no practice with the musicians. Thankfully, one of the groomsmen seemed like he had been through stuff like this in the past. He calmed people down and assigned 2 bridesmaids per groomsman. I was so on edge that I started walking at a pretty fast clip so the two ladies who were with me had to tell me to slow down. As soon as Reb made her way down the aisle, I headed over to the musicians area.

It was a few minutes after that when I had to sing the first song, See Ye First, and I immediately felt the intense difficulty of not having had any decent practice with the band. I was trying to pick up the tempo from how they were playing but apparently they had the same idea and they were trying to adjust to my timing. As such, we ended up trying to feel our way through it too much that the song ended up being so long drawn out. The second song, Take and Receive, started out that way as well, but midway through the song, one of the musicians picked up on my discomfort so he started dictating the timing and I immediately followed. After that, the musicians started controlling the tempo of the rest of the songs and we managed to make it through. Not my best performance by any stretch of the imagination but that's what you get when you don't have time to rehearse properly.

At the end of the church ceremony, I started to think that the only problem left was the video that I still had to download. However, Mike pulled me into a conversation he was having with his dad and the coordinator regarding the drinks. Apparently, the coordinator's vehicle was caught in traffic but the drinks that were in Mike's car had to be brought to the reception venue immediately. That meant that I wouldn't be able to go Mike's condo anymore to download the video. (Good thing I had the foresight to bring my laptop with me. I also felt that if I couldn't download the video from my laptop, I could just beg or even pay the venue to download the video for me.) I drove to the reception venue with the coordinator and the drinks but by the time we got there, parking was completely full. Oh no! I told the coordinator to just bring the drinks down and I then proceeded to look for a space to park. I was getting very desperate so when I saw a guard, I begged him to help me with parking options, telling him that I still had a lot to do for the wedding. He must have seen the very panicked and stressed look on my face because he very nicely held a parking slot for me, telling all other guests that the spot was reserved. Wow! I am so glad I asked that guard for help.

photo of our table at the reception taken by my friend Me-ann

It was past 6 when I settled down at the reception venue and I contacted the video guy, who said that the video was still rendering. Not good. I ask him what time he expected the video would be ready and he said it might be around 7pm. I knew that the video would be shown at 8pm so there was a bit of time. I set up my laptop and tethered it to my phone so that I would be ready to download the video as soon as the link was emailed to me. I checked my data usage and thankfully, I didn't really use a lot of data in October so I could afford to download even a huge file.

I had to explain to so many of my friends who passed by our table (which was next to the buffet spread) that I wasn't working and that my laptop was on because I was sorting some stuff out for the wedding. The link finally arrived and thankfully, it was nowhere near as large as I thought it would be so I successfully downloaded it in just a few minutes. I watched and listened to it to ensure that it would play properly and it did. I copied it into a USB drive, handed it to the coordinator, and I finally breathed a deep sigh of relief. My work for Mike and Reb's wedding was finally done! I felt a great sense of achievement and I was finally able to relax and enjoy the food and the party. After the program, I stayed on so I could catch up with many friends whom I hadn't seen in a while. It was an incredible evening and while there were moments of stress and panic, I felt pride and a huge sense of accomplishment that I was able to do everything that I needed to do. I was also very happy to have been part of the wedding of two very important people in my life.

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