I enjoy spreading polish love and I really like helping brides decide on their wedding manicures. Remember my first bride Marge? And how we gave Ver two different manicures at her incredible wedding?
A few months ago, I had the chance to play wedding manicurist again – this time at the wedding of Ruthie, who is one of my favorite people in the world.
I met Ruthie on the first day of my second attempt to complete my university degree. I was the outsider, a year or two older than the rest of them, and I felt lost. Why were they carrying newspapers? What was this group project everyone kept talking about? I needed answers.
I scanned the room for the most serious-looking student. My eyes landed on Ruthie. With her glasses and her thick curly hair, she reminded me of Hermione Granger. Jackpot.
That day, Ruthie gave me more than just answers. She gave me her friendship.
The more I got to know her, the more I realized she wasn’t the Hermione Granger clone I thought she was. Sure, like Hermione, she did well in school, she was incredibly sweet and thoughtful and she was fiercely loyal, but she was also fun. Crazy fun. Crazy crazy fun.
Ruthie, Kathy, Patwee, Leidy, Shine, Gabby and I had so many adventures and misadventures during those two years we spent together in college. We rocked projects, played hooky, shared meals, watched movies, wrestled, spent breaks at my house and pulled all-nighters at Ruthie’s.
We did something else: we crashed weddings.
We would walk into the church still wearing our uniforms and we’d sit on the pews and watch people promise to love each other forever. Ruthie, all giggly and giddy, used to whisper over and over, “I love weddings!”
That was ten years ago. We had no idea then that when her turn came, she’d be marrying one of our classmates, Pat. I love seeing Ruthie and Pat together – they’re an adorable couple, so sweet and funny. I was so happy when I found out they were getting married.
Theirs is the third wedding of our college barkada. First there was Kathy and Enad’s wedding where I set a record by being the oldest flower girl in the world. Then there was Patwee and Ross’ wedding where I was a cord sponsor.
At Ruthie and Pat’s wedding, I was a bridesmaid. But I had another role – I was her wedding manicurist.
Ruthie and Pat were going to have a newspaper-themed wedding and their color motif was green. Months before the wedding I already knew what she would wear on her nails – a dark green pedi to match her fabulous customized shoes and a newspaper manicure.
Days before the wedding, I brought some of my favorite green shades to the office so Ruthie could choose her pedi color.
I also brought polish so we can do a newspaper nails trial. And because I wanted to give her options, I also brought an assortment of classic bridal shades and glitter, just in case she decided to go the traditional route.
She was a little overwhelmed but in the end, Ruthie still chose to go for newspaper nails. I was glad.
The night before the wedding, I went to Ruthie’s hotel room so I could do her nails.
I brought RBL Bella, OPI Skull and Glossbones and Priti NYC’s White Ballet Dahlia so she could pick a good base color for her newspaper mani.
She picked White Ballet Dahlia – a stark white that would give the letters a dramatic contrast.
I came armed with newspaper mani essentials – a copy of the Inquirer, the newspaper Ruthie and I work for, and a bottle of alcohol.
We chatted as I did her nails.
And I watched the bride-to-be boss around the groomsmen who were also our university classmates.
I topped Ruthie’s manicure with Seche Vite to make sure it would dry quickly and she could sleep without worrying about waking up with annoying sheet marks.
When her nails were done, I left, wishing Ruthie a good night’s sleep before I went. Then I realized I had forgotten to take pictures of her nails. I would just do it at the wedding, I told myself.
The next day, with my role as wedding manicurist done, it was time to be a bridesmaid.
Ruthie DIYd our paper bouquets and gave all of us newsprint bags.
You want to hear something crazy? I was so focused on Ruthie’s nails that I completely forgot what polish I wore to her wedding. I think it was RBL Recycle but it looks too dark in this picture.
When I arrived at the hotel, my friends were all at the lobby, gushing about how beautiful Ruthie looked.
And when she finally appeared, I wanted to cry. She looked so regal.
And yes, her nails were fab.
We watched Ruthie get married, with some of us crying more than the others.
The reception was beautiful too.
My heart was bursting with happiness for Ruthie and Pat.
The wedding was a wonderful chance to spend time with friends. College friends.
Ruthie and I had a funny moment in the ladies’ room where I took a photo of her nails for Instagram and I found out exactly how brides pee (crazy).
It was a beautiful night – and not just because we got sloshed on the margaritas.
It was a night full of love, laughter and friends, a wedding our college-aged selves would have been honored to crash.
(Photos swiped from Jill, Ruthie and Benjie)