Life has many important performances. Some are meaningful and heartfelt, such as graduations, recitals, and “meeting the parents”, others, not so much (anyone who has ever crammed for a music history listening exam knows what I’m talking about). This weekend, I have a performance that falls into the category of the former, not the latter: my sister’s wedding.
Wedding. A narrative of men and women, tuxes and dresses, flowers and photographers, musicians and caterers, and of course, families and friends. So many people and so much planning for such a short word. I think we need one of those really really long German words to try and capture just how BIG a wedding is. I have been a part of many weddings. I don’t think I could even estimate how many weddings I’ve played for over the years. In a musician’s life, especially a string player, they are flashes in the pan. Someone else’s day, someone else’s music, someone else’s lives. And it’s our job (and a job that should be respected by both musicians and guests) to make sure that it is special.
But this one’s different. There are none of the familiar unknowns (If the wedding is outdoors, will it rain? If it’s indoors, is the space acoustically friendly? Will the person who is responsible cue us in with the wedding march or will they be snapping pictures on their smartphone? There are no email chains solving logistics and making plans.). I know the bride, I know the groom, I know the church and I know the music. In short, this one isn’t just someone else’s wedding.
Because of all of this, it’s all kind of surreal. What is getting me through it is the fact that I only get one chance. It is unique not only because this day will never repeat in any way shape or form but because the gift that I give is one that can only be given by me. I may only have one sister but she has only one brother. And that’s pretty damn special.
Congratulations to Emmalyn and Kyle and best wishes for many happy years.