When I Danced With a Wedding Crasher

Recently, my aunt met a good man and they got married. My family and I made the long trek down to Florida for the joyous event. We got to the hotel just hours before the rehearsal dinner and after a flurry of hurried preparation, we met with the family. As with most family reunions when you’re young, you tend to answer the same questions about your love life, college, and what your plans are for the future. With awkward tact and polite answers, I skirted my way around the cycle of questions. As excited as I was for my aunt, I knew I was going to be very bored because I found myself in the awkward age gap of either being much younger than the other guests, or much older. I’m not good at throwing myself into a moment and valuing it for everything it is, so I spent a vast amount of my time on my phone trying to cover up how bored and awkward I felt. I survived the rehearsal dinner with a Sangria, and made my way back to the hotel room seeking relief from the social exertion.

Then the big day was there! My excitement and joy for my aunt grew to a height of flurried nerves and excitement. After a bit of a freak out moment when I couldn’t find the hairdryer, we were ready for the wedding. The ceremony was beautiful and I fought tears when my aunt glided down the aisle in her fairytale dress. Afterward, the cocktail hour I spent with my parents from lack of people to talk to, and was eagerly awaiting the moment we could enter the ballroom to sit and eat. When we finally got to sit, I was already tired and not looking forward to being dragged onto the dance floor.

Toasts were said and the food was served. I took comfort knowing I wouldn’t have to stay too much longer; boy was I wrong. I went out to the bar to get a drink and was approached by a group of guys enjoying happy hour. At first it was friendly banter, then it turned into jokes about crashing the wedding. My usual, timid self was a bit hesitant, but I heard myself saying, “You should do it!”, before I knew what was happening. One minute later I was in the ballroom with a guy wearing khaki shorts and plain blue t-shirt. If I had been in that situation, I would’ve been self-conscious and not been able to enjoy the evening, but he embraced the moment for all it was. He talked to my parents, danced with my aunt, and spun me around the dance floor. For the first time I wasn’t seeking escape through my phone, or thinking about when I could go home. I found myself living in the moment, living with reckless abandon, and enjoying the hell out of every second.

I don’t think he knows what that night did for me. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and I had so much fun outside of it. I felt what it was like to not worry and to accept the moment for what it was. That night was magical, and it’s changed the way I view my days back at home. Every moment has its value in our lives, and sometimes we have to put our phones away, stop wishing our time away, and just enjoy it. I still talk to him, and am planning on visiting him this summer. Fingers crossed I continue to enjoy my moments. The night I danced with a wedding crasher changed everything for me. 

-Madison Huffman

Madison Huffman was born and raised in Nashville, TN. She is an avid fan of coffee, could probably keep her nose in a book all day, and is a dog mom to a puppy named Duke. She is currently working as the social media director and content creator for the Odyssey and has started her own blog www.inpursuitofdreams.net to pursue her dream of being a writer.