Thursday, June 02, 2005

Answer: Wedding Details

kStyle wants more details about the wedding, which is convenient, as that is the thing that's taking over my fucking life, so, hey, I'll just riff on my to-do list! I did provide some info here a couple of months ago, but now the details are starting to come together and we're seeing what things are really going to look like.

Clothing: I could come up with absolutely no reason to wear a fluffy (or even non-fluffy) white wedding dress. They cost a ton of money, and you can't wear them again. If you're planning on having daughters down to whom you can pass them, well, okay, but otherwise? Couldn't see doing it. (Another solution: one friend bought a sample dress at a department store for $99. It cost her more to have it cleaned and altered than it did to buy the dress. She looked fab it in it, too, but it was definitely a traditional white poufy dress.) I don't mind paying some money for the thing, but I wanted something I can wear again, and I wanted it made to fit me rather than something altered for a zillion dollars. (I am just oddly shaped enough that alterations would almost certainly have been necessary. The solution: The mother of a friend is a dressmaker (among other things), so I asked her to do it. Her price is reasonable ($350 plus materials, for a tailor-made rather than bought-then-altered dress). Here's the pattern, except (a) I'm having a softer, more rolled collar, (b) I'm having three-quarter-length sleeves, and (c) it'll be about calf length. The color? A gorgeous peacock blue shantungish silk; it's got glints of purple and green in it, too, in certain lights. As for C, well, no tuxedos, for the same reason as no poufy dress. He needed a new suit desperately, so we went out two weeks ago and bought two (they were on sale). I think I'm going to have some flowers in my hair, sort of woven in the braids that will be on the sides, but I'm not planning on carrying any flowers. There might be a corsage, if I get around to thinking about that. I'm still planning on wearing cowboy boots, but I'm waiting to see how they look with the dress before I decide for sure.

I realize that none of this is particularly traditional--or so you think! In reality, the whole big-white-wedding-dress thing is a relatively recent invention. Its origins are with Queen Victoria, and, until the 1950s or so, only the very wealthy (who could afford to have a big white dress that they couldn't wear again) had such a thing. (I have my grandmother's wedding dress, and it's a dusty rose color.) Really, I think the white wedding dress is one tradition with which we could easily dispense.

Invitations: We printed and assembled them ourselves; here's the style. We're using leftover bits of this to make the namecards (dark brown folded card, light brown with calligraphy name thingy, thin strip of leaf paper around the left edge, and string tied around the front horizontally). I did the calligraphy on the invites, though only the addresses, not the return addresses or anything. We'd wanted to do this one, but the blue paper was caught in shipping somewhere between here and Belgium and they couldn't guarantee timely arrival. We used traditional wording--including our parents' names as the hosts of the event--mainly because we wanted to acknowledge our parents.

Attendants: We're not having any. We're going to have my stepson hold our rings for us (and my nephews would have helped, if my brother weren't being an asshole), and C's sister is the officiant. It's true that I couldn't pull this off without the help of my friends J (who is basically a maid of honor without portfolio) and B; I've been referring to them as the unofficial bridespeople. But I didn't see the point of actual attendants.

Ceremony: We're writing our own vows, though we haven't gotten around to that yet. C's sister has become a Universal Life Minister so she can officiate, but she'll mostly direct traffic. My friend L will sing. I want to incorporate some of the Buddhist fourfold path (or four sublime states) into either the ceremony or the wedding document, but we haven't figured that part out yet. No one else has volunteered to participate in the ceremony, though the handball guys are threatening/promising to do something with handballs (throw them at me? make an arch for me? not clear). We are going to have a wedding document--kind of a cross between a Quaker wedding document and a Jewish ketubah--that we want all of our guests to sign. I also want to include a quote from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras (as translated by Bernard Bouanchaud): "The mind becomes quiet when it cultivates friendliness in the presence of happiness, active compassion in the presence of unhappiness, joy in the presence of virtue, and indifference toward error." No deities, however, will be involved in this wedding (which is why I didn't ask a friend who's a Lutheran minister to officiate).

We aren't having any "special dances" (first dance, me dancing with Dad, whatever). My father isn't giving me away. We're not charging people money to dance with me. We're having a special cake (I'll try to post a picture, eventually), but we're not doing any cake-cutting, I don't think. (Hell, we might not do any cake-cutting at all: the restaurant has mentioned an outrageous plating fee, so J and B may be doing the cake-cutting.) We'll have a photographer, but we're doing the formal pictures before everyone gets there so we don't hold things up. We're having a jazz trio for music (and dancing, if people want to). We finally succumbed to pressure to register, but people's presence is way more important to me than any gift. We're going to have trays of petit fours and cookies and such for people to nibble, and we're going to have really good chocolate as little favors. I finally succumbed and allowed J to throw a shower for me (and C) this weekend--mainly it was an excuse for my mother and future mother-in-law to buy me presents, which they very much wanted to do. It was small, and fun, and no shower games were involved. In order to have plated dinners rather than a buffet, we're making guests choose their entree on the response card. There will probably be about a hundred people, maybe as many as 110, at this event. No honeymoon, though; I start school 10 days after the wedding, the following weekend is 4th of July (and therefore more expensive and/or already booked for anything nearby), and remember that not-getting-paid thing through which I was going? Plus, this wedding thing ain't cheap. I'm happy to do it--anything for a great party--but a trip on top of it would break the budget.

kStyle specifically asked about the "non-traditionalness" of the whole thing, but I'm not being very helpful on that topic. It was never clear to me why anyone wanted to do the big white poufy thing, and my advanced age enables me to scorn it with impunity. My guess is that a 25-year-old would have a harder time resisting the pressure of, say, a mother who always dreamed of seeing her daughter as a princess bride--though, if it's not you, by all means resist! Anyway, I'm sure y'all will tell me what I've left out.

13 Comments:

Blogger landismom said...

Charging people to dance with you?! That is a wedding custom I am totally unfamiliar with.

It sounds like a beautiful event, and I had the same approach to my wedding--I just wanted it to be the best party that I could throw, to celebrate, and have fun.

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