It sounded better, and perhaps made us feel different or maybe even special, to say that was what we were doing.
But if the bride endorses your post-dinner arrival, then maybe it wasn’t actually crashing her wedding. To see the seven cousins and the friends from high school with whom I had become much better friends in all of the years after we graduated. Not that the social capital of receiving invites to most of their weddings (or photographing their weddings) had been the glue, but maybe it had.
And this was the last of the seven weddings.
So as the two of us walked up the very long driveway past two rows of parked cars, it was quiet, which meant the band hadn’t quite started playing yet. It also meant that since we were in this together, and hiking up alone, no shuttle for us to catch, it seemed this hike would likely cement a friendship, too. We hand’t known each other all that well before — but now we had crashed it together, and that was sometimes all you needed for a beginning.
It was just so far in the future, and it had been so long ago. The bridal dress, in lace. The crown of flowers, in her hair. So happy, and yes, he had said, exactly as you would have pictured her on a wedding day. That so long ago was nearly three decades. How was it possible to have known someone for that long, in which the remainder of the years before the knowing was small enough to be a rounding error?
And what continued to surprise me, at each of these weddings, was just how impossible it could have been to predict that this was a family I would know and care about deeply for my entire life.