They were going to be over in England for American Boy to attend a conference in Manchester and we said that we'd go for a little break in Corfu whilst they were over. We'd talked about a trip for our 30th birthdays anyway and this seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to get away and for them to tick another European country off their list - I actually think they're beating me in the number of places that they've been in Europe you know.
All was planned and in place and so I nearly died when American Boy e-mailed me saying that he was planning on proposing to American Girl - he needed to know some logistics about what we were doing when so he could plan his proposal.
My reaction was two-fold - so much excitement that I nearly vomited and absolute horror that I was going to have to keep this a secret for months.
I coped with the latter emotion by telling as many people as feasibly possible that did not know either of them.
I'll never be a spy. No good at keeping secrets.
Their engagement story is not mine to tell but it was unique and personal and beautiful, even with a dead pigeon involved.
They got engaged the day before we flew to Corfu and the week we spent there was spattered with conversations about when the wedding might take place, who might be invited, where it would be, what it would look like etc etc.
Picture has no relevance - it's just to make you jealous.
I felt simultaneously incredibly excited but also just a tiny bit sad. No, not for the reason that you think, but for the simple reason that this was my best friend getting married and, thanks to that stupid Atlantic Ocean and the fact that she lives on the wrong side* of the United States - I wouldn't be able to really help out that much with the planning of the wedding. Not the dress trying on or the table plans or, you know, just any of the stuff that you get to talk about when one of your most favourite people is about to walk down the aisle.
Thanks to the wonders of Skype, Pinterest and Facebook messaging I got to see how things progressed - and progress they did quickly. I'm used to 1-2 year engagements so I nearly fell off my chair when I found out that the wedding would be taking place about 9 months after we all returned from our Corfu holiday.
It was never a doubt in my mind what I would go. When I told people we knew when the wedding was they asked me "Oh, are you going?" and I would look at them as if they were slightly insane. There wouldn't have been anything on this planet that would have stopped me going.
I felt sad that I didn't get to take part in the Bridal Shower or Bachelorette party. Mostly because it meant I wouldn't get to do something that's on my list of Things I've Seen Time and Time Again in American TV and Movies. Did you know that a Bridal Shower and a Bachelorette Party are two different things? Not just a hen do? Anyway, much as I would have loved to have been a part - two trips to the US in a month was off the cards for me.
When we arrived in Phoenix I was overly keen to get involved in anything that might be 'helpful' to the wedding, but those guys were well planned, no matter how hard I tried I couldn't find anything to do to be useful. Up until the day before the wedding when I got to be super helpful and help make the flowers for the table centrepieces. Under the guidance of a professional I sat under the shade of their patio and tried to uncover my inner florist - sticking greenery and succulents into oasis until they eventually resembled something that looked pretty damn good.
I did ok at the wedding. For me. There was a point where I cried every time I looked at American Girl but I eventually got a hold of myself.
I would have done anything to have been more involved in their wedding day but nothing can compare to being able to be there when they did get married. Sat on the little white chairs on the grass, towards the end of a beautiful day, I couldn't believe that I was actually there, watching them get married.
Sometimes it absolutely smacks you in the face how quickly life goes past. Oh I know we sit there and go "How is it April already?!" but I never really take in the actual speed of it.
How was it possible that it was eight and a half years that I went back to Manchester to do my MSc and met these two guys who were currently standing on the altar in front of me? Eight and a half years? It can't be possible. (In fact it can't be possible so much that I have spent about 20 minutes counting on fingers and paper and checking with The Person that it was in fact September 2005 that I went back to Manchester.)
It was something that I knew was going to happen and I knew I would watch one day. I knew these guys would get married, but here it actually was. Here is the actual day and I'm sat right here remembering. Remembering the year that we lived together in Manchester. Remembering that very first e-mail that I sent to American Girl once she was back in the US and I was living temporarily in Salford. Remembering all the e-mails and Facebook messages that have taken place since then. Remembering my trip over to the States in 2008 to see them. Remembering the time they came over the UK and it snowed and it snowed and it snowed. Remembering all the Skype calls. Remembering Corfu. And realising that now I get to remember their wedding day.
I could sit and be sad that I live in the stupid UK and she lives in the stupid US. I could sit and rage against the fact that there are no islands in the Atlantic Ocean that mean we could meet in the middle more often. I could sit and be sad that I couldn't be more involved in their wedding day.
I could be overwhelmingly happy with all the things that I have got to experience. I could be overwhelmingly happy that I happened to have lucked out when I applied to stay in Halls and was thrown in with those two. I could be overwhelmingly happy that we have managed to keep a damn good friendship going for eight and a half years when we don't live anywhere near each other. Overwhelmingly happy that I have just got to witness my best friend getting married.
There isn't anything that can beat that.
Uncharacteristic cheese from me. Source from here
Except the discovery of an island in the middle of the Atlantic...just saying...
*The 'right' side of the United States would be somewhere like New York i.e as close to the UK as you can get. Not over in Arizona which is most definitely the wrong side.