Weekly Ketchup 48 - The Day I Cried At A Wedding

No, it's not what you think.

First of all, there are three things you need to understand.

a) Marriage, for me, is a legal contract and a human construct. I'm highly suspect of the religious aspect of the whole exercise and I'm sure people are quite capable of staying committed to each other forever without getting society's expectations involved.

Yes, the lovely sentiments behind weddings is lost on me. But I do enjoy the pomp and pageantry of it all. And there's a certain pathos about seeing my friends happy. I may not be much of a believer (maybe being born a bastard out of wedlock had most to do with); however, seeing my friends light up and happy on the biggest day of their life just does it for me.

Call it empathy. But it's there. It's also the same as being happy for other fandoms, which happens to me a lot.

Me being me, I also enjoy the fact that some people regard me highly enough to invite me to their special day.

My collection of invitations by geek friend Jovan.
b) The second thing I need to share is that, while I don't do it professionally (and I certainly don't deserve to), I shoot videos and photos of my friends' weddings. I've been doing it since I got my first camcorder a few years ago and I'm proud of the work I've done, rank amateur that I am.

Yes, I'm aware that couples hire official videographers and photographers to document their special event, which is why I stay way from their range of vision - so I don't mess up their shots. Yeah, I'm respectful like that.

As late as last year, all of my "wedding coverages" have been shot in standard definition, so I was really looking forward to shooting my college friend Jihan's wedding last Friday in High-Def with my swanky new camera.

c) Speaking of Jihan, she just happens to be one of my oldest friends - one of the first I made friends with back in freshman year, in fact. Over the course of our collegiate life, we both figured into pretty much the same activites, including debating and student politics. Actually, I had intended to leave the student government after being disenchanted with the system on my first year but then she was recruited into my party, without my knowledge, and was made to run for office and eventually won. I figured I can't leave her there and so I stayed to help. Halfway through our sophomore year, when I reasoned that she was gonna be okay, I finally left the student council to focus on debating, which was her thing.

I made it as far as I could with debating (won a few medals) but she made varsity. I went back to student politics and by the time we were seniors, we're the head of our respective organizations. Funny how that worked out.

Graduation with junior members of our political party
Yet, we couldn't be more different people. She goes to gigs. I go to conventions. We read totally different books and listen to totally different music. She found her tribe with the debaters and I've always envied their closeness. I won't lie: I really wanted to belong with that group, but even I have to admit how much of an acquired taste I can be. Yet Jihan remained my friend throughout all of it.

It would be years after graduation before I found my tribe with the geeks. And a few more years after that when our circles would intertwine - when Jihan met War who I had previously met among the geeks years before. Funny how that worked out again.

At the Yale Party with Dante
It's an amazing friendship really, even if we don't see each other as often as we do our respective "tribes". The day War brought her to the annual Yale party and introduced her to everybody, I pretty much told her how I felt about the geeks and how it compares to her and the debaters. That was the night I infamously referred to her as "two of my closest friends from college" after she jokingly got offended when I introduced as just "one of my closest friends".

With War, I thought she had struck a good match. Somebody who was just as educated and eloquent (not too mention as good-looking) as she was. And that he runs with the crowd I really hold dearest to me, it's a no-brainer. I'm all for it!

With War on my 30th birthday!
Last year, he told Jihan I looked great for 32!
Yep, I approve this guy!
So you can imagine how important this girl is to me and how I was never gonna miss her wedding for the world. I had to ask her earlier this year before they even announced or finalized their wedding date to make sure that I would still be here for her big day and worked my plans around it (for those keeping count, yeah, this is the first time a good friend's wedding has derailed me). She even asked me for advice months ago about the ballooning number of guests and I had to remind her that it's her and War's day, not anyone else's, so they invite who they want and who they can - unless the parties that insist on adding more names to the guest list are also sponsoring a few extra plates.

You can imagine how much I was looking forward to her wedding. I was gonna dress my best (that doesn't happen very often, mind you). I was gonna bring my new camera and do what I love to do.

My camera's amazing. Love this shot!
Except that I didn't make it to the ceremony on time. I arrived at the last 15 minutes. I was able to catch the kiss but I was so tired that my hands were unsteady, so my footage was a little shaky.

What the fuck happened?

First, I spent way more time playing Dungeon Village, which is admittedly my fault, but damn! If there's another thing you need to know about me, is that I love strategy, simulation, and fantasy RPGs, and that this game is all three and it works on my phone? Well, you can imagine why disaster would strike.

But even then, I had an hour to get to a church that was just 20 to 30 minutes away by cab and that's a conservative estimate! I still had plenty of time to socialize and shoot footage.

Well, if you've been following me on social media, you know what happened. It was just lucky me that apparently last Friday was also one of the dates the MMDA had advised would be hellish on traffic.

So, yeah, there was a moment during the reception at Jihan's wedding when I had to just step outside and let it out. I was so disappointed at myself that I couldn't have done more for "two of my closest friends".

The bride told me I looked great. I'm good!
I still enjoyed everything, to be sure. The food was great, the program was totally chill, and of course, the company of college friends, debaters, and some geek friends (basically, our common circles) made sure I had a great time despite the crappy time I had getting there earlier. I still shot some great footage of the reception though. I just finished editing them and it's currently uploading.

I just really wish I had been there to see her and shoot her walking down the aisle.

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