Friday, October 21, 2005

The Wedding Was Beautiful

The Wedding was beautiful. It was a great day, but over way too quickly. I went to get my makeup done in the morning before the ceremony, and the women were asking me when I was getting married. They thought I was there for a makeup run-through because I seemed so calm. When I said I was getting married today, they were surprised and said I was the calmest bride they’d ever seen.

It’s true, I was feeling very calm. I was happy that the day I had been planning for months was finally here! The weeks before the ceremony, however, I was misery wrapped in an enema.

Planning a wedding is hard, people. There are so many decisions, money to consider, and it’s a really important day so they're all important decisions. There is naturally a lot of pressure to choose the right things for yourself and your spouse, and to not go broke in the process.

It’s hard enough to keep up with one’s regular schedule, but then to add all of the planning to this mix makes one question one’s sanity and ponder the merits of eloping. There is also the business of going to work, being a parent; laundry, groceries, dishes, keeping the place clean (a battle I lost); brushing teeth and bedtime stories; keeping the kitties fed, watered, and the litter box scooped. A delicate balance, to be sure. Eloping was considered, although not so much seriously but rather, wistfully, in the last days before The Wedding. I’m glad we had The Wedding, now, but up until then I was ready to run off to Mexico and learn to say “I Will” in Spanish, and then party like a rock star on the beach until I passed out. There was a time this seemed a romantic, viable alternative.

There is a pressure particularly attributed to the bride, and that is that you must be the one who remembers everything, down to the tiniest of details. Because you will be asked and it is assumed you know the answer. You want to know the answers, and as much as we’d like to believe otherwise, little girls weren’t born with the innate ability to plan a wedding any more than they were born with the innate ability to know what babies need every single second. Yes, I know the maternal instinct is powerful and all, I’m not knocking it in the least. I’m just saying that it is a myth that women just know these things inside and out. When we have babies, there is a huge learning curve and women pretty much learn what we need to in short order and before long we're feeling confident and handling things just fine. But, just like new mothers, new brides don't know what to do going into it. That, and Tom Cruise is a righteous prick. Furthermore, my point is that we don’t necessarily know, and we shouldn’t be made to feel bad about it. Instead, we should have help along the way. I am grateful to my florist and my caterer for helping me with many details. Also, my husband, mom, sisters and friends who really came out and offered their help. I bought many wedding magazines, and not many of them talked about the wedding basics, like traditions and typical things to do at the rehearsal dinner and at the reception. I found a book that gave me the basics, and so therefore I was not a failure as a woman.

I think the best part of the wedding planning was that I knew what I wanted, and so I knew this day was absolutely going to represent myself and my husband’s sensibilities and style. I am old enough to know myself pretty well, and so once decisions were made, they felt right and natural.

I think the worst part of the wedding planning were all those details I was expected to take care of. If I had the money, I would have hired a wedding planner. Or quit my job so I could devote the proper time a basic wedding requires. As it was, I was a stressed out fiance and mommy, and I don't like being that way.

The Wedding took on a momentum all its own the night of the rehearsal dinner. This was a good thing. Let me back up and give you a sample of what the week was like, however. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I worked. I had to finish the jewelry I was making for my sisters (the bridesmaids), buy taper candles, pick up OC’s dress from the cleaner’s, give the caterer a final count, call the photographer, pack for honeymoon, organize the reception decorations, and a billion other things. Those three days were HEC. TIC. And then, we found out my mom’s best friend died. Her funeral was going to be Friday. In the midst of wedding planning and happy family reunion time, there was this sad loss. It was a really hard wave of emotion to ride. A sharp down and sad time, and then the happy event the very next day. Not an easy thing to reconcile, emotionally.

The best part of The Time Before the Wedding was spending time with family. My sisters, mom, OC, and nieces went to have the girls’ portraits taken together in their halloween costumes. They are so adorable! I will ask permission to post the picture here. I really enjoyed spending time with family. We need to do that more often, although it’d be nice to do under less stressful times. The girls just LOVED being together. One niece lives here in Oregon, and we see her several times a year, but the other lives on the east coast, so it is truly unique when all three of them get together.

Okay! So, by the time Friday came around, I still had lots of things to do, like picking up my wedding dress. I got that done and more, until it was time to change for the rehearsal.

The rehearsal dinner was when I started to relax and enjoy myself very much. I remember sitting at the table at the restaurant, just looking at everyone who was there. My family, OH’s (Occidental Husband) family, and my friends. What a lovely bunch of people, all there for OH and I. We gave out our attendant’s gifts, which were Portland, Oregon t-shirts for everyone, and for my family I had framed some old pictures of my sisters and I when we were young, and I found a picture of my mom holding me in the hospital after I was born. It was all funny, sweet, and emotional. The food was fantastic! I had never been to this restaurant before, so we really lucked out. Good food and wine is the stuff of life, and it's even better when you're entire family is there with you.

The day of The Wedding, I was so excited! I was ready and glad the day was finally here. I wasn’t nervous at all. Maybe just a little, only because I didn’t want to fall on my face in my floor-length dress, but I had no nerves regarding getting married.

My friend from high school sang an Amy Grant song. My friend is an amazing singer. I love going to karaoke with her, because she brings down the house. She ought to be a professional. I was honored that she performed at my wedding. The actual wedding ceremony was well-written by our pastor. I loved what he said, but then I always do. He’s so eloquent and down-to-earth, yet inspiring and interesting. He did not disappoint, and I wanted to pinch his rosy red cheeks but somehow that seemed inappropriate.

We drove away in the 1968 Mustang, the car that brought us together. We went to a downtown hotel for the reception, which was lovely and old, and high-ceilinged. The reception was a lot of fun. We had a 17-piece jazz band! We had Jake’s Catering do the food! We had a Papa Haydn wedding cake! The food was amazing, and I think everyone enjoyed it. I know I did. My daughter and her cousins danced the night away.

It was a beautiful day, with all the people I love in the world in one place. How often does that happen? Not often, I am old enough to know and appreciate this fact.

The only regrets I have are these: I didn’t get to try all the food at the reception, I didn’t get a piece of cake, and the day was just too short. In short, I have no real regrets.

It was a beautiful day, and I am happy beyond belief!

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