If I had my wedding to do all over again, I’d have it on the beach in some tropical paradise. I’d be barefoot, slathered in sunscreen, and already at my honeymoon destination. The only problem that I see with a destination wedding is convincing the wedding party and guests to GO HOME. I would have had to spend my honeymoon with my entire family, so I guess I’m glad I got married in my church and then left.
This is my wedding invitation. For a while, our identities were replaced by frogs.
I shake my head in shame.
What was I thinking? Women think of roses, romance, and beauty when they plan their wedding. Did I have pond scum on my mind?
FringeMan and I had our first date in December. We were engaged on May 20th and married on September 20th of the same year. Whispers were told in person and on the telephone; however, our first child was not born until two and half years later. Unless I gestated for thirty months, I was not pregnant on my wedding day.
Because we were poor had a budget wedding, we enlisted the help of friends and family. My mother-in-law made chocolate bride and groom lollipop favors, a friend took pictures for us, my aunt made my veil, and a relative drove me to the church in his car…no limo. I fixed my own hair and put on some makeup.
Now I would need a crew of landscapers and painters just to work on my head, but this was twelve years ago and youth was on my side.
In keeping with our simple wedding, we decided to forgo a big reception. In New York your parents generally take out a home equity line to pay for your wedding and you promise the florist your first child’s college fund. Weddings are elaborate. You begin your lives in a blissful heap of wedded debt.
I decided that I was going to have cake and punch and hold my reception in the church’s all-purpose room. I think I made more than one aunt cry with my hasty actions, but I promised them that it would be a good cake – the best; however, my mother had a friend. The end.
Never let your mother’s friend bake your wedding cake and transport it from Brooklyn unless you live exactly three blocks from her house. New York’s potholes have been known to devour eighteen wheelers in one gulp.
My cake was to have five layers, strawberry filling, fluffy icing, and a sort of basket-weave pattern with mini pearls. This cake cost more than my wedding dress. It’s sad to eat so much money, but we did.
If I were making the decision now, I’d go to Kleinfeld’s, spend all my money on a dress, and be on TLC’s ‘Say Yes To The Dress’. I’d trade my cake for five minutes of fame and an overpriced cloud of tulle. Then I would send my guests away with their chocolate lollipops and call it a reception.
But I bought the cake and my grandmother bought the cookies. She said we must.
You can see by the high-end plastic table cloths that this was to be an event laced with class.
All good weddings need an events coordinator or wedding planner and my big day was no exception.
My aunt, the one with her hands on her hips, became ‘The Director’. Twelve years later my father-in-law still refers to her as ‘The Director’. She did her job well. She also made that veil that’s flying in the wind.
After the “I do’s”, the rings, and the big kiss, FringeMan and I dismissed our guests row by row. They filtered into the reception area and began drinking punch and nibbling on cookies. I’m sure they were hungry because I was starving. Lunch was on my mind, but we had to get through dessert first. Pictures were taken and we were led to the reception room.
For me, the morning of my wedding is mostly a blur. On the way to the church, my stomach knotted and my heart froze with fright. I walked down the aisle without really seeing anyone. It wasn’t until I tried putting FringeMan’s ring on the wrong hand and everyone broke out into laughter that I relaxed.
After the ceremony, we were led into the reception area. The time had come to cut the cake. I walked in and expected to find a party going on, but as I looked around, everyone stared at me and several women had tears in their eyes. I looked to ‘The Director’ and saw a grief on her face. Her hand covered her mouth and I heard her whisper, she doesn’t look too sad.
I was clueless.
They they, the throng of women, pointed to the cake.
I looked and thought, “It should be bigger.” That is when the women converged on me with a million words, tears, and hugs.
Apparently the cake fell victim to a New York City pothole. FringeMan says that before I arrived at the church, Spanish women were wailing like he only thought possible at a funeral. My cake was salvaged and scooped onto plates to serve our guests.
The top two layers survived unscathed.
The wedding topper – two frogs under wedding bells. One with a veil and one with a bow-tie and tophat…my grandfather’s creation.
My wedding advice…
Happily Ever After,
**this post is part of Meetings, Marriages, and Memories. Click HERE for more stories.