There are a few occasions in life that are every bit as beautiful, rare, and shining as they are intended to be. Even as you’re living them, you know that these are going to be memories you revisit for years to come.

This weekend was one of those times.

On Saturday morning, as we were finally sitting down to put together our seating charts, a knock came on my door much earlier than expected. It was my two best friends from college, reunited for this happy occasion and bent on a mission to steal me away and spoil me rotten.

And spoil me they did, first with an 80-minute massage (absolute bliss, although I had so much in common with my masseuse that I ended up chatting the whole time!) and then with an afternoon of wine, cheese, and relaxing in the sun.

My college cronies were joined by one of my more recent friendship acquisitions, and all afternoon I just sat back, marveling at the astounding women in my life and savoring the delight of a day that I didn’t have to plan. I soaked in their presence like I did the sun, drinking up the joy of their company along with my afternoon latte.

We then spent far too long getting ready for dinner in the locker room, giggling and chatting like little girls, running back and forth to our lockers and spreading our possessions all over the entire floor. I realized at one point that I missed the company of girlfriends, the constant chatter and the ability to process things out loud, discovering the commonalities of life that you thought were only peculiar to your own situation. Being by nature quite solitary, I usually relish my quiet, largely internal life, but on this day it was blessedly different.

After tottering down to the restaurant (and eventually hailing a golf cart to carry me and my bad toe all of two hundred feet further), we were soon joined in our festivities by a few more of my female relatives and friends. Sometimes it’s awkward introducing a group of people who don’t know each other, but after some initial stiffness, we relaxed into an easy banter that belied the short amount of time these people had known each other. No matter their age or life situation, soon all these fabulous ladies were soon laughing and talking, getting to know each other, with their only common bond being myself and the celebration of our nuptials.

Some champagne and skimpy underwear later, we all departed at a totally sensible hour, happy to go home early and rest on the laurels of a day very well spent. When my two out-of-towners left the next day, after another lovely brunch in the sun, I was left completely drained (see my earlier comment re being a solitary person), happy, and a whole lot more ready to face all those people in two more weeks.

I am still nervous, but my ladies’ day reminded me that really, that’s not the point. The point is to bring together a whole lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to meet each other, and to see them all having a great time, united in their love for myself and my soon-to-be husband.

So, after being engaged for exactly six months now, I finally get the point of having a big wedding. It’s about damn time, too!