“When the bride is one with her lover, who cares about the wedding party?”
I left work at 12 on Thursday to head an hour north to Marie’s home to set up for the reception. I didn’t get home until nearly midnight. It was quite the event!
Sadly I’m afraid I didn’t really get on with the other bridesmaids and attendants. Nothing malicious, you understand! It’s just that not a lot can trump shared history and the other girls had heaps of it. I did overhear one girl say that she had known Marie longer than me and should have been a bridesmaid instead, which sort of was a downer, but one I didn’t take too seriously as there was probably some truth to that. They’d all grown up together in the same neighborhood, lived together for years at school, etc. By comparison I was a babe in arms, as far as Marie’s friendship was concerned! But then again, she asked me (hurrah!) and I was resolved to be the best damned bridesmaid the world has ever seen.
So, after a couple awkward failed attempts to join conversations about people I didn’t know, I contented myself with jumping up and down on lantern stakes to drive them into the turf, setting up tables, hanging garlands, whipping up massive gauzy decorations, organizing boys for heavy lifting, carting gifts about, and arranging flowers – all of which suited me perfectly.
There a few mishaps, the boys recruited by the groom (severely underestimating the amount of work that needed to be done) didn’t show up as early as we would have liked. And that darling other bridesmaid up there? Well, we sort of had to construct her dress from the pieces of two or three other dresses. What you can’t tell in that picture is that it is fearfully and wonderfully made – the safety pins colored with sharpies, the cinching, the half dozen people draping fabric and wrapping ribbon – it was quite the project! But it was a great joke because it turned out so well, no one but those involved were the wiser.
In fact, everything turned out gorgeously, we were thrilled. And more importantly, so was the glowing bride!
*Hopefully I’ll be able to get more pictures of the day from Marie when she gets back from her honeymoon. Congratulations, love!
“Is there anything better than drunken sailor bowling?”
– Shower Guest
As it was a tea party, her Majesty arrived arrived in grand style with the latest in fashionable hat-wear:
The guests were entertained with all manner of wit, games, and conversation (how’s this for a coincidence! One of the guests was a girl who I knew at five years old and met in Germany. She’s now living in the States and pregnant with her second child…small world, n’est pas?):
And the food was the height of luxury, each item accompanied with a quote specific to the food it graced. My favorite: “Cheese is milk’s leap towards immortality.”
“There is no use trying,” said Alice, “one cannot believe impossible things.”
“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!”
– Lewis Carroll
Marie’s shower is tonight! I’ve been up late two days baking and Hennessy wonderfully let me shop on her Costco card yesterday to procure sundry necessities. Trying to figure out the menu and organize it within budget and time (that lived up to my grandiose schemes for my friend, she isn’t named after Marie Antoinette for nothing!) was difficult, and at one point I despaired and thought it impossible…
But then I found these, and I knew it was going to the social event of the season!
“There is no Latin word for tea? Upon my soul, if I had known that I would have let the vulgar stuff alone.”
– Hilaire Belloc
Remember when Marie got engaged the Great Bridesmaid Dress Affair that followed? Well the dresses have been chosen and they are to die for (check them out here). And then think of that metallic green monstrosity with the horrid bow on the bum that your sister/university roommate/friend/sister-in-law made you don and weep. Having friends with excellent taste is a great comfort.
Now, with dates set, gown ordered, and food presumably taken care of, it falls on us, the bridesmaids, to throw the most fabulous fête ever conceived by man. This is going to be so grand and event that it’s taking three of us, coordinating from three separate states to get it going.
And what else would it be, than a traditional English Tea Party, dragged into the 21st century? I’m in charge of food and sundry other tasks (as I’m currently the only one in the same state as the bride).
And, as Marie reads this blog, the following information will be have to be somewhat censored. The menu will include (nothing to see here) and (move along) and of course (nuh-uh). The decorations will be done all in (bleep) and (sound effect from Deadliest Catch), isn’t that gorgeous? The girls and I have come up with a fantastic (lalalalala!) so we can (ahem) and Marie can enjoy the (sshhnnkk! Message for you, sir!).
“Ah, here it is. Here’s our theme. Here’s our answer. Pink. I want dresses made up in this pink. Babs, take this to Kaiser Delmont. I want shoes and stockings in this color. Laura, everything goes pink. I want the whole issue pink. I want the whole country pink! Lettie, take an editorial, ‘To the women of America-” No, make it, ‘To the women everywhere.’ Banish the black, burn the blue, and bury the beige.” – Funny Face, 1957
Suddenly the shoe is on the other foot and I’m the one bridesmaid dress shopping. And again, Shabby Apple (which has just launched their new bridesmaid line!) may save my butt, it depends on whether Marie will be having all us girls in the same outfit or just the same color.
And what color could that possibly be for the bride who loves argyle, pearls, knee-socks, and perfect hair? Pink of course!
I wish I wasn’t so technologically hopeless, I’d post pictures of the dresses I’ve found so far, but here are the links.
“I wore dresses all the time. I like to wear dresses.”
– Willard Scott
Anyone else hitting up this awesomeness next week? Better believe I am! My sister-in-law is getting married in a month and I still don’t have a dress to wear. My belovedShabby Apple is going to be selling their fab frocks at the Riverwoods this weekend at discount. If I don’t score this for the upcoming nuptials (which look, by the way, to be the social event of the season!) it won’t be my fault!
You demanded, Small Dog complied! Our wedding, in slideshow form, we apologize in advance for the crazy format:
Unfortunately, you don’t get to see the video of my dad completely showing up J. in the dancing section of the evening. But it didn’t matter so much because after I tossed the bouquet and we cut the cake, the real party started! Dancing, mayhem, the usual. Apparently we were partying too fast to be seen, because half of those pictures didn’t turn out at all! But there, your insatiable appetites must be satisfied by now!
“The name we give to something shapes our attitude towards it.”
Good. Grief. Men just have to cough up enough for a sparkly ring, rent a tux, and show up. Us girls not only have to go through the angst of dress fittings, agonizing over catering (incidentally, I didn’t get to eat a thing at my reception; a fact about which I am inordinately bitter), fret pointlessly over flowers, and basically worry for months at a time. And THEN, after the whole affair is over, we get to go around sorting out an entirely new identity, complete with documentation.
Our marriage certificate came in the mail last saturday, a fact we celebrated by almost immediately consigning it (accidentally) to the garbage. I blame J., J. blames me (I think I have a much more convincing case since I’m gone all day and, even though I’m a horrid klutz, I’m not usually that much of an idiot). Either way, I got off work early today so I trekked on over to the county buildings and got a new copy and then, in a burst of energy I know regret, I decided to be productive and get my name changed on a few things as well. An hour later, still waiting in line at the Social Security Administration (listening to the endless repetition of numbers of people who had long ago thrown in the towel, “47?…47?…47?…Is 47 here, please?…47?…”) I finally got that sorted. There was the minor hiccup of me not being born anywhere near the Continental United States, but that minor heart attack was glossed over by the fact that they had my previous information from when I was employed as a student.
Then off to the Driver License Division (otherwise known as the 9th circle of Hell)! However, getting there was a mess because there were two places listed and somehow in my temper frayed state, I managed to superimpose the numerical address of one place on the opposite city. Which meant that I spent another 45 minutes doing loop-de-loops across town trying to find this office. It was housed (read: hidden) in a small bank without any labling on the outside to indicate its presence within. I must have circled that parking lot half a dozen times before I worked up the nerve to just march into a building and demand guidance. Then we had a repeat of the line process, the only difference was that this time I got to sit. Right next to one of the more unusual characters I’ve seen in weeks.
This woman was tiny, the size of a 12 year old, and from the waist down she could have been an octogenearian: varicose veins, droopy tatooes working their way down her calves, and crusty feet. But she had plump childlike hands and arms and a head that I honestly can’t put an age on. Grandma-ish features on a young face and hair color that looked natural. Midway through my wait she answered a phone call and started arguing in the meekest, quietest voice about some sort of payment.
“You’ve gotten me into something I can’t get out of,” she mewed, “I’m a student” [to add further to the riddle of her age] “and I can’t possibly afford to pay for this.” My ears perked up in spite of themselves, though I kept my nose firmly buried in a David Sedaris book. It sounded serious! “I didn’t know I had that option,” she chirruped softly, “I was told I was under a contract and that I had to keep buying, so I did, but I can’t honor those commitments now.” A gambling addiction? A vicious, silken-tonged bookie on the other end perhaps?
“But I only wanted the animated Bible stories and you made me buy lots of other films! It’s terrible of you to try and make me pay for this, it’s about religious material and you were completely false in selling them to me, you should be ashamed of yourselves!” She took a breath and said in an even meeker voice, “I’m sorry you alwas see the worst side of me in these phone calls, I don’t like being so unpleasant, but I’m just so upset.”
A huge letdown, in my opinion.
Another half hour later I was called and with a brief repeat of the question of my natal origins, I got my name changed on my license as well. Then, driving home, I rolled down my window because I thought my car was making a funny noise. Having ascertained it wasn’t, I rolled my window back up but managed to catch my sun visor in the closing pane and heard two terrible crunches before I managed to reverse the window and survey the damage. My visor now has a definite dent down the middle where the plastic inside has been snapped in half and my mirror was shattered. All the way home I was showered with confetti-like shards of glass.
And halfway home I got a text from J. telling me his parents are coming over for dinner. Bless him for cleaning up and doing dishes, otherwise I might have tossed our new certificate right back in the trash in a mood and gone straight to bed. Thank goodness tomorrow is a state holiday and I can sleep in!
Kidding! KIDDING! Yikes, people, have a sense of humor. No divorce yet, all is well!
The wedding was gorgeous! Everything ran on time (miraculous) and the closest thing we had to a disaster was that one of my younger brothers’ tuxes was too short in the sleeves, the boy actually grew between when they measured him and when he arrived. Puberty: a growing frenzy that largely passed me by (lengthwise speaking) but that still doesn’t look convenient from the outside, but I digress. The day was crazy!
7am: Mama, bridesmaids, and C. to the salon
9am: at the ceremony venue
1030am: married, then pictures (even though my smiling muscles gave out well before we were done) until-
3pm: wrap things up, decamp to reception center (after the usual lost clothes, keys, etc.)
5pm: restyling, re-accessorizing, fixing hair, and squeezing back into dresses after a few glorious hours of oxygen on the part of the girls. J. and Val (Venice’s husband and unofficial groomsman by the end of the day) played halo in the mens’ area
6pm: florists arrive, minor hiccups with flowers. Resolution achieved with help of the bridesmaid Dream Team
7pm: reception starts
9pm: reception ends
It was a long day, but it really flew by for me at least! And everything turned out gorgeous. I’ll get pictures up soon, because towards the end I was going mostly on Tylenol and adrenaline so some of the details are fuzzy and I’d like a reminder.
And let me recommend Marie, Venice, Peregrine, and Snickers as Bridesmaids Extrodinaire! These girls should go into business, they’d be millionaires in no time! Seriously, they ran the show. I can’t say enough good things or thank them enough for turning a potentially harrowing day into a glamorous, seamless work of art. And they did it looking absolutely splendid. I’ve known professional hostesses with less than half these girls’ panache!
By the way, going back to work after a week of family fun time, wedding, and honeymoon weekending…kind of sucks! But it was such fun while it lasted. We saw Cirque de Soleil’s KA and the Blue Man Group, both of which were amazing. I’d never seen a Cirque show, and since I was dying to see one as well as BMG, we squeezed both in. Incredible. I’ve no idea how Cirque performers are able to do what they do, and as for the lads in blue platex…absolutely unique, never seen anything quite like it.
Back in reality, we’re swamped in gifts that need opening, sorting, and thank you notes that need writing. However we have a much nicer area to accomplish all this in because my parents painted our flat for us! Loveliest surprise homecoming ever, I could have cried when I realized our walls no longer looked a bad whitewash job.