When I woke up in a cold sweat roughly three weeks after I agreed to do Sara's hair for her wedding—having had a nightmare in which I accidentally burned off part of her hair (cf Little Women, 1993)—it occurred to me that perhaps I should ask to be released from my promise. After all, 12 hours before she asked me, I HAD had a major stroke in the communication center of my brain.
Sara told me that she was entrusting this duty to me because she thinks I have good taste in general hair knowledge. I was flattered, but felt more than a twinge of guilt: I have hair, yes, and I manage to brush it once a day, usually, but I am mostly a total novice.
Although I was nervous, I still felt OK about agreeing to do it. For one thing, Sara seemed to be fairly laid back about the entire wedding—I didn't see any screaming tantrums over a stray lock of hair in my future. Also in my favor was Sara's hair itself: it's sort of amazingly beautiful, curly, and well-behaved.
But the nerves (and occasional dreams) persisted. I mean, this was her wedding day, and despite her and Matt's desire to do away with the traditional American insane wedding, it's still her one and only wedding, and should be special and memorable. I didn't want to be responsible for making any part of that one ounce less awesome.
So I combed the internet for pictures, instructions, and ideas; sat in on another friend's professional hair styling at her wedding in May; and had at least three more dreams about the process (a mix of good and horrid outcomes).
Sara and I planned tentatively to do a quick practice run on Friday night, but time sort of slipped away and we didn't make it.
The day of the wedding was pleasantly busy. By the time Sara sat down to submit herself to my dubious artistry, it was already 3:15 pm. I took a deep breath and jumped in, using a fusion of random techniques. Helpfully, the atmosphere was pretty lighthearted and festive. Matt and Andy were getting ready, Marsha was taking pictures (a few too many of which I'm afraid were of me with abject terror on my face as I stabbed Sara's scalp with another pin), and other people were in and out of the cabin, helping to get everything ready.