Wedding bells for Mr. and Mrs. Tobias


Well, it’s official. My brother Jason is now a married man.

He wed the former Meghan Noelle Bellon, my new sister-in-law, in a lovely ceremony Oct. 27 down in Illinois. As many of you may know from the little brief I wrote for our Wedding Guide earlier this year, I was a bridesmaid. And boy, what a ride it was!

Although I couldn’t do much to help with the organizing side of it from up here in Michigan, I went down early to help pull the whole affair together. It was a long, whirlwind weekend that ended with a new Mr. and Mrs. Tobias and about a thousand photos taken by the wedding photographer and her team.

I couldn’t be happier for Jason and Meghan, but I’m not kidding about the thousand photos. And more than anything, the camera was what I was dreading most when Meghan asked me to be one of her bridesmaids.

You see, bridesmaids wear dresses. And even if I were skinny as a rail, which I am most certainly not, my style of dressing would not be called “dressy.” I’m a jeans-with-a-sweatshirt person, and I’m far more comfortable in camo than anything with a skirt.

So when Meghan asked me to be a bridesmaid, I was thrilled, but apprehensive. I looked in the mirror and decided losing some weight would help with my nerves. By golly, I was going to put a good effort toward looking better by the time the wedding date rolled around.

For 10 months, I brought salad for lunch, went walking on my breaks, and tried to be a little healthier overall. And what do you know, it worked. From the engagement last Christmas Eve up until the wedding, I lost about 30 pounds.

Did it make me feel better about dressing up for the wedding? Well, no, actually. I wasn’t worried that the dress wouldn’t fit — but I was still wound up with nerves about everything else! It makes me laugh that even after losing weight, when it got right down to it for the wedding, it was the “gussying up” part I was worried about most.

When I went down the Thursday before the wedding to help out, Meghan asked me if I was nervous about walking down the aisle. I wasn’t. But about getting a manicure, having my hair and makeup done and wearing a one-shoulder dress in front of my whole family, not to mention Meghan’s family? Yes ma’am. Wound up in little knots of anxiety, in fact.

You can stuff a backwoods girl into a fancy dress, but you can’t make her feel comfortable in it!

But as it turns out, it wasn’t a traumatic experience. It was hard to forget about all the skin I was showing (especially during the outdoor photos — it was a sunny, 40-degree October day, after all). But once I relaxed, I had fun being in the wedding party.

The champagne on the wedding party bus may have helped with that.

Was it worth all the money spent on looking glam for a day? I probably wouldn’t have done it just for myself, but to take part in Jason and Meghan’s day, it was absolutely worth it. And icing on the cake, a lot of people made a point of telling me how nice I looked, so I ended the weekend feeling warm and fuzzy inside — and by then, it wasn’t because of the alcohol!

It’s still sinking in that the wedding is over. However, I’m thrilled with the end result. My brother is married to his best friend, and I have a sister-in-law.

And the major lesson I’m taking away from the whole experience? (I’m sure there are plenty of women out there who are right with me on this one.)

Fake nails. Never, never, never again.


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