Day 18 - My Wedding
Our wedding was small. Somewhat by design. Mostly by laziness.
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a Foreign Service Officer. You know, one of those folks that get to sit in embassies and dream of being appointed an ambassador someday or worse-case scenario at least pushing papers in a semi-exotic or interesting location. Well, back when I was serious about it, I studied and studied and took the exam and holy shit got an invitation to sit through the next steps down in the Belly of the Beast (aka DC).
So I studied some more and filled out the piles of paperwork, realized I had lived (at that point) in over a dozen separate addresses (and do I have a reference for each?) Among the rules and regs and orientation packets it said that yes, the U.S. Govt was a strong supporter of families and would do everything possible to make the relocation of you and your spouse as seamless as possible. Spouse. Not soulmate. Not best friend. Not fiance. Not boyfriend. Spouse.
So that's when we decided to get married. A couple of months before my big exam so my name would be officially changed when I took it.
We talked about eloping. We talked about going down to Mexico and inviting everyone to meet us there. But then realized we would be semi-pissed if someone threw that invite to us with less than a month to plan. So, scratch that.
We decided upon a pretty awesome (and free) park very close to our apartment at the time. With rose gardens and a reflective pool. We would have the reception catered at our apartment which we dug almost as much as the one we have now and then family and a few select friends would feast down the road at a swanky restaurant. My dress was not a wedding dress per se, but looked close enough to one. Think lacy, flapper-y, whitish. I tried the gown shops and would just about break into hives everytime the cadre of made-up clerks would dash towards me with forms to complete (free mailing lists!) and harnesses and corsets to take with me into the dressing rooms. Every time I would head towards the discount racks or simpler styles at least a few would nod knowingly,
Oh this is your second wedding.....
No bitches! Step off! You don't know me!
So one evening, M's dad (master shopper) and I went to a plain old dress store and found something we thought would work just fine. M was fitted for a suit. And we were good to go.
The guest list went from tiny to big to small to big again to wait a minute, we don't really know that many people around here, do we? We had just moved back to our hometown from Chile and most of our friends were scattered - teaching and living abroard or just settling back themselves in various parts of the states. We felt a tad hypocritical sending invites off to cousins and aunties and other family folk who's own weddings and important events we had missed because of our travels. And well, we just didn't have our heads screwed on very tight those days either.
If I had to do it again, I would be far more inclusive. Far more far reaching (and timely) in our invites and welcoming of people to celebrate with us. I would have planned for folks to have something to do once they arrived after the "rehearsal dinner" and would have realized that weddings are really not about the bride and groom. I was just so hung up on giving my mom as minimal a role as possible and controlling all aspects of this tiny little party so that it would be "ours" that I am certain I hurt feelings unnecessarily. And caused a still-unrepaired rift with one of my former friends but that is not a story for today.
All in all, the party went pretty well. It was 90+ degrees. So the elaborate speech the minister had prepared turned into a "you?" yeah. "you cool with this too?" yep. And that was it. My mom clapped at the wrong time. My aunt got the great idea to bring my grandmother out of the nursing home for the day and she freaked the F out - that nearly sidetracked some things. My mom got my husband's name wrong (she claims she was joking. He claims she was heavily medicated). The food was awesome. People are still talking about the cake. The bill was astoundingly affordable.
And then we were off for three weeks to Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Complete with a journey via golf cart to the place where they filmed the first season of Temptation Island.
So romantic, us.
I paid $59 for my dress at a sample sale for a local designer (back when I was sample sized...) and as I stood their trying it on with my maid of honor, the saleswoman looked at me and nodded approvingly: "You look lovely. I'm sure your prom date will love it."
Um. Yeah. Prom. Awesome.
Anyway, viva the cheap small wedding!
I love that you shopped for your wedding dress with M's dad. How stinking cool is that!
Anastasia - yeah, prom! Funny, I actually DID wear a $59 sample wedding dress for my junior prom. No lie.
and if I could still fit into it bet yer ass that would have been my wedding dress too.
Audrey - pretty stinking cool. In fact, M's dad is an awesome shopping mate. He's got impeccable taste and gets giddy when someone asks him along to help pick stuff out. He is responsible for about 80% of M's wardrobe (between stuff selected for him and hand-me-downs) and I have called upon him to help pick out business suits, boots and tons of other essentials. He's a cool dude.
Of course, this time around, he and I actually whittled down the selection to about 3 and I cam back later with my mom to pick out the final one so she felt a part of the whole thing.
Oh my word. Weddings. They always manage to piss someone off, no matter what you do. If I do end up getting married again, it will definitely, without a doubt, be an elopement. And I was one of those real bridey people last time around!
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