Tag: bride

Whirlwind Wedding

This isn’t a shotgun wedding. It wasn’t a whirlwind romance. No, they had nearly five years of dating and another year of friendship. But in those last two weeks, a cyclone descended.

Toward the middle of July, my oldest son showed up during the middle of the day. He needed to borrow the Internet, he said.

Next thing I know, he’s standing in front of my desk holding a tell-tale jeweler’s box. He’d just paid cash for this beautiful wedding ring.

“When are you going to propose?” A shrug was his answer.

I showered him with romantic ideas. I would later learn that he come up with a fantastic one of his own. Was there ever a doubt?

A few weeks went by. I said nothing. Pretended I knew nothing whenever I was around his lovely girlfriend. It would have given a lesser woman an ulcer.

At the beginning of the month, we’re playing games with our out-of-town guests. A text from Sara. “It finally happened!”

A picture of the ring came with the next text. What did we do back in the day before we could show off our engagement ring to the world with a snap and click?

Our bevy of congratulatory texts went back to her and my son. The Facebook status was updated the next day.

Two days later, I get a text from my husband. “The wedding is Friday at the courthouse.”

Friday. As in two DAYS from now?

Whoops. Next Friday. Oh, as in nine days. That’s so much better.

Before I can barely start the next day, my future daughter calls.

“Can we get married at your house next Saturday?”

What happened to Friday? But I have to admit, our living room or backyard will be a nicer setting than a courtroom.

Even without solid green, this is better than some sterile courtroom. Right?
Even without solid green, this is better than some sterile courtroom. Right?

A bunch of pictures of dresses come zipping across the digital phone waves (if that’s a thing) and light up the screen of my smart phone.

This is really happening. My oldest son is going to get married in a few days.

We want to help. We drive to my son’s apartment (soon to be the residence of newlyweds) and talk about what they want: for the ceremony and afterward, and in moving her stuff to his place.

I’m in charge of purchasing two dozen white roses. She’s going to make her own bouquet. The photo she sends is gorgeous.

The night before the wedding, she shows up with her sisters. My other future daughter comes with baby’s breath ( “I could have bought that, too”) and ice cream.

What the video said would take an hour to make FOUR of, takes an hour and ten minutes to construct a single arrangement. But it’s lovely.

Too lovely to toss
Too lovely to toss

And it’s late. And I can’t sleep.

I get up early. Sweep the house again (did it two days earlier). Wipe off the kitchen counter. Twice.

My husband is outside setting up chairs. He already hosed down the patio and moved everything out of sight. Our half-brown yard looks as good as it can get.

The couple who was engaged first. Wedding set for January 2, 2016
The couple who was engaged first. Wedding: January 2, 2016

 

My youngest son’s fiance is the first to show up. More than two hours before the wedding.

Even though we joked about him being late, the groom shows up 30 minutes later. With a shirt and slacks that are just-out-of-the-package wrinkled. Good, a task to concentrate on.

A few minutes later, my youngest son and the minister arrive. It’s still more than an hour until the wedding and I have a house full of people. I’m still running around in shorts without any makeup on.

So, I let the dryer steam the shirt and I go get ready.

A text. The bride is running late.

So the groom gets grilled. Does he have everything? Like what. Ring? Check. License?

License?

Yeah, you know that thing the minister and witnesses are supposed to sign to make this marriage legal.

Whoops. It’s on the counter at his apartment – about twenty minutes away. It’s fifteen minutes to “go time.”

The bride is alerted and she agrees to turn around and go pick it up. (When this story is told in the future, everyone will understand it was the groom’s fault the wedding didn’t start on time.)

Needless to say, while a whirlwind juggled everything in the ten days prior to the wedding, the wedding started nearly 40 minutes late.

The bride’s family arrived before the bride.

The bride needed to change into her dress when she did arrive. Her sisters and mother wanted to inspect it. The other guests waited in the backyard.

Traditional vows
Traditional vows

As far as whirlwind timing, the wedding ceremony itself lasted about five minutes. Pictures took another ten to fifteen minutes. And a gust sent everyone off to the after-wedding luncheon.

Many women want a big fancy wedding ceremony with all the trappings. Some people just want to be married.

Whirlwind or traditional – you’re married just the same.

What type of wedding did you have? Any regrets? Like maybe you wished you saved those thousands of dollars for a down payment on a house?

Scrapbooking a Wedding – Part 1 – The Dress

Things are changing in my world. One of the biggest changes that I’m relishing is being the mother of the groom. Of course, this calls for a scrapbook.

As mother of the groom, I don’t play an integral role in most of the planning. I’m okay with that. I want to be kept in the loop, though. Offering to record the event in a scrapbook gave me a perfect reason.

Life events should be enjoyed while they’re lived. But they should also be documented. This way the joy can be revisited through the years.

When we had our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, I enjoyed flipping through the wedding albums I made. The memories rushed back in vivid detail once more.

Time fades our recollections in the same way sun leeches color from our curtains.

We can’t bring our curtains back to full-color. Our recollection of events? It can be revived through visual stimulation.

As for the upcoming wedding, only a few plans have been set solidly in place. One of those – the dress – has been written about before.

Fading quote

Pages

Anyone who puts together a scrapbook, realized the paper makes the book. Seriously.

This is why any craft store will have an entire aisle of single-sheet specialty paper. And another aisle loaded with books of assorted papers.

It should have been easy to find a wedding-themed book of paper I loved, right?

Someone isn’t crazy about lace. Since this book is for her, I tried to avoid the books with mostly lacy-looking backgrounds.

Apparently, most brides ADORE lace.

Once I found a book with enough pages, I had to decide which backgrounds fit with which events I’d be documenting. Good thing I can always pick up more papers. After all, a scrapbook is designed two pages at a time.

The shopping excursions and final dress selection is the content shown on the four pages which record the hours days-long search for the perfect dress.

Pictures

During those escapades, the bride and her mother snapped photos with their phones. (What did we do before our phone could take snapshots?)

After the shopping trips, they forwarded the pictures to me. It was my job to sort through them, deciding which ones represented the overall experience of the day.

Since only one trip involved most of the bridal party, I chose many pictures from that day. After all, bridesmaids are an important piece of the successful wedding pie. (Or would that be cake?)

This bride went through the process of selecting a dress in a methodical manner. I must say, I was truly impressed. What happened to trying on every single dress until you fell in love with one?

If you know what you want, why waste the time and effort?

An assortment of pictures comes from the rejected dresses. Generally, there were parts of the dress that met the criteria. The pictorial rendering points out those sections, in hopes of reminding the bride of her genius.

For the bride, the dress is a HUGE portion of her wedding day. That’s one of the reasons it’s one of the first things my lovely future-daughter and son will see when they open their wedding scrapbook.

Next year when it’s finished – or ten years from now when they want to stroll down memory lane.

Next in this series is The Engagement. Guess I should actually put those pages together before I write about it.

Since when did traditions become the standard?

With all this talk about weddings, the idea of having a “traditional” wedding (whatever that means) is bound to enter the conversation. This begs the question: Are traditions the same as expectations?

My sister remarried two weekends ago. It was a small, fun ceremony. I helped her find her wedding dress (I’m practically a professional *rolls eyes*).

This is the "offensive" white dress I wore to my sister's wedding.
This is the “offensive” white dress I wore to my sister’s wedding.

My future daughter asked what I was wearing. She was off-screen during a Skype call, so I didn’t see her face when I told her.

However, since she asked if I knew of any other traditions besides “I know you aren’t supposed to wear white to another person’s wedding,” I think I can imagine her stunned expression. This comment was probably a hint. She wanted to save me from committing a terrible faux pas.

Her remark did, in fact, make me reconsider my wardrobe choice. Here’s my quandary: all my other dresses are either black, summery or too flashy to be appropriate for a simple, family wedding.

What’s wrong with black? Good question. The dress I considered (white bodice, thick line of teal separating from a black skirt) was what I wore to my mother’s funeral.

What sort of statement does wearing a funeral dress to a wedding make?

Apparently, the same sort wearing white does. I guess. For some people. It certainly didn’t matter to my sister – who hadn’t planned to wear white until she found the perfect dress, which happened to be – gasp – white.

I began wondering about the idea of traditions dictating to us, robbing us of choice. I felt fine in my dress until someone commented on how wearing it demonstrated disrespect. (This in response to my remark that I would have had to give someone a hard time if they showed up at the wedding in pajamas.)

Huh?

What if there were traditions I was blissfully unaware of? Am I held accountable? Is ignorance of wedding traditions an excuse in those cases?

I admit. I didn’t handle the confrontation with grace or aplomb. I blame the high emotions of the occasion (the fact it was all family and my mother’s absence was noticeable). But it made me reflect on this idea that traditions hold some sort of power over our ability to make choices independently of expectations.

Sure, there are traditions in every aspect of life. However, weddings have taken a central spot in my life (and on this blog) in recent weeks, so let’s focus in on those.

The article here gives the history behind ten traditions that we still mainly follow in our era. Tossing the bouquet, giving away the bride, the wedding ring, the best man and more.

Did you know the tradition of giving away the bride was an actual representation of property transfer? Yep, that girl was chattel and now her husband “owned” her. Sure, today it’s considered a symbol of the father’s blessing, but should it be mandatory? If the father doesn’t walk the bride to the altar, does it mean he is withholding his blessing?

And the bride standing on the groom’s left is a tradition, too. This one started so the groom could easily access his sword (hanging from his right hip because everyone was right-handed, you know) and protect her in the event of an attack. That’s a huge concern these days. Should the tradition be discarded since its purpose is extinct?

I didn’t wear a veil at my wedding. Thus, veil-wearing tradition screams I was neither young, modest nor a virgin. According to tradition, those are the three things the veil symbolizes. Oh, and it wards off evil.

The fact that I’m not crazy about veils means nothing, apparently. Not if we are going to let traditions rule us.

I love the “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” tradition. Did I know it also included “and a sixpence in your shoe”? No. And here I thought I was following tradition by including the first four items in my wedding attire.

Do you even know what those things symbolize? If you care to learn, click here.

The saleslady at the bridal store told us ivory is the most popular color for wedding gowns these days. How can people break tradition this way? White dresses are a statement of innocence and purity, right? To go further afield, many designers also offer pink and silver in many of their designs.

You mean my pink wedding dress is now en vogue? Go figure.

Are we letting wedding traditions rule our choices? Should these traditions hold sway over situations like weddings, funerals and family gatherings? Should we be able to “judge” an event based on its adherence to these archaic customs?

Dress Shopping Adventure – This isn’t Bride-zilla

Bridesmaids and the Mothers
Bridesmaids and the Mothers

After ending my child-bearing with two sons, I never expected to join in on the bride-driven flurry associated with my sons’ weddings. My daughter-to-be has different ideas. Adventures in dress shopping are only the tip of this iceberg (I believe).

Our first foray (a second is bound to come since the perfect dress remains undiscovered) happened at a shop in Tigard, Bridal Exclusives. According to our extremely helpful saleslady, it is the top seller of wedding paraphernalia in Oregon. And third in the U.S. (which seems like a stretch – but I would believe they were third in overall customer satisfaction nationwide).

We had an appointment. A comfortable bench gave us a perfect view of everything. Bottled water was provided. After a brief interview, they were off to choose one of each style.

Close...but still not the one
Close…but still not the one

I’d like to say it didn’t take long to limit her preferred types to two – ball gown and A-line – but anyone who’s ever put on a single wedding dress would see through that farce.  The saleslady dropped the yards of shiny, beaded fabric and piles of tulle over the bride’s head and then used strange clothespin-like devices to give the illusion of a perfect fit.

Let’s just say that maybe two out of the first twenty she tried were even close to the correct size. Meaning they zipped and she didn’t have more than a pair of the fabric-devouring piranhas hanging off her back or waist.

Most of the dresses were stunning. I’m sure that included the price, but we only learned the prices of two of the dresses. When I heard the first, my stomach and chest warred. One with sympathy for the purchaser of the dress and the other with relief that it wasn’t ME.

Suffice it to say, two hours later we were closer to knowing what the bride imagined wearing on her special day – but not to actually locating said jewel.

After a delicious lunch, we had a completely different experience at a smaller dress shop in Tigard. It is obviously popular. Two women were already trying on gowns. A few men came in to check the fitting of their tuxedos during the time of our visit.

The brides helpful treasure hunting team
The brides helpful treasure hunting team

A dress the bride loved online was on the rack, so she was quick to request it. The six of us went through the racks, showing her options we thought she might like. The selection offered at this tiny boutique equated to a single rack of ONE style at the larger store.

In the end, she tried on five dresses. The one she saw online didn’t look the same in person, so it was deleted from the possibility list. One of the dresses fit all of her requirements, but the embroidery was obviously flowers – not what the bride envisions at her winter wedding.

Five hours later, I was in my car driving home again. Wishing I had experienced a similar shopping extravaganza back in the day.

Thanks for including me in this first part of the wedding adventure, Kacy. I know one of these days, you will unearth the treasure you’re seeking.