To be honest the only reason I came home was because I knew I could not miss my best friends wedding for anything in the world. I planned the entire 1st leg of my trip around her wedding (okay and my brothers wedding too). You see it was 1999 towards the end of my 8th grade year when a new girl walked into my math class. Her name was Erika and the teacher sat her caddy corner to me. Of course me being the loud mouth and happy go lucky guy that I am turned around and introduced myself. I then asked her where she was from and she said Chicago, I thought Chicago Middle School, but nope she meant the city. I guess I had no knowledge of other cities back then and thought every place were schools. After that moment we became friends been through a million things and built an amazing friendship over the years that is still strong today.
This was not just any wedding this was Erika marrying Ricardo. They were High School sweet hearts and managed to stay together ever since then. I have watched their relationship flourish to what it is today. They could not be any more perfect for each other than what they already are and I couldn’t be happier for them.
Since I had been out of town I had not seen the dress yet or knew much about the wedding. I just knew I couldn’t be a bridesmaid, but Erika made sure I was a groomsman. The night before the wedding Erika had booked a room at Hotel Zaza for all the bridesmaids and me. That way they would all be there bright an early to get make up and hair done.
On Saturday July 2, 2011 I had the privilege to attend and be a part of my best friends wedding. It was 2:30pm and we began walking down the aisle for the church ceremony. Moments later I looked back and I saw Erika walking down the aisle with her father. I saw Erika all dressed in white and looking the most beautiful I have ever seen her in my life. I couldn’t help it; tears just started rolling down my face. I kept thinking, “wow she looks beautiful, the dress is stunning and I still can’t believe one of my best friends is getting married.” The church ceremony went on and through out it all I would continue to have tears (I can’t help it I’m an emotional guy). They finally said “I do” and Ricardo kissed the bride.
After that we had some time to kill since we did not have to arrive at the reception until 6pm. The photographers took a few pictures of the bride & groom at the church along with family and the bridal party. The entire bridal party then got in the limo that was supposed to be only for the bride & groom. We were driven around to a beautiful forest area in Houston to take some more pictures. During the drive around we had the brilliant idea to enter at the reception dancing to a song. We brain stormed what song could it be and we all decided on Papa Americano. Then we went back to the Hotel ZaZa opened a few bottles of Champaign and celebrated.
We then arrived to the reception where we all got ready to enter dancing to Papa Americano now not only will this song forever remind me of Central America and Mexico like I have mentioned before, but will also remind me of my best friends wedding. After that we all took our seats had an amazing dinner. The reception hall was beautiful decorated with her favorite color purple. It looked amazing and stunning yet so simple. After the dinner the bride and groom danced and as we watched them dance we all looked at them in awe and in happiness. The bride then danced with her father and I think that is when everyone let the water works go and the tears started flowing. You can tell by the look in their faces neither wanted to say anything or they would start crying. The groom then danced with his mother and it was beautiful as well. After those 3 dances were done the party began. The band started playing some good Mexican music and the dance floor was full within a few seconds.
Later in the night the music was stopped to give a toast to the bride and groom. Before the toast each of the bridesmaids and groomsman gave a speech to them. The speeches (including mine) were all beautiful and we were all choking from the tears we had. We then got it back together and enjoyed the toss of the bouquet and the garder along with doing “La Vibora de la Mar ” (a tradition that is done at Mexican weddings where all the girls and men line up and run around the entire ball room holding on to each other). The music was then put back balloons and hats were handed out and the party continued all night long until midnight.
I must admit that this is probably one of the best weddings I have ever attended and trust me I have been to a lot of them. Everything just went so smoothly and with out a hitch. Everyone was so happy and the dance floor was full at all times and we were just having a blast. I think the open bar may have been a key factor in that, but I guess we will never know…lol! I’m glad I came home for this because I know if I hadn’t I would have regretted it for the rest of my life if I hadn’t. It was truly worth a trip home and I now know that I will not miss any of my best friends weddings when those days come.
To Erika & Ricardo: When I look at y’all two together I get a million emotions, because I know y’all have found y’alls “media naranja” and together y’all are complete. Y’alls relationship is like a fairytale and something so many people want (okay maybe I lie, I know it’s something I want). I know the two of you have an amazing new adventure ahead and with God’s blessing will be forever lasting. I love you both and want ya’ll to know that even though I may be thousands of miles away I am still here for y’all for anything y’all may need!