There are circles of life that are inevitable. People are born, people grow up (in age, if not maturity), people get married, people have kids, people die. Your entire life summed up in five steps or less!
Currently, I am stuck smackdab in the middle of that third stage... My life is an ever-evolving stage of tulle and posies, Save-the-Dates and bridal showers. To be fair, I was the first of my friends to get married. But that didn't really count, because champagne buzzes can't last forever.
In the legitimate marriage circle, I've been on the bridal train for about two years now and the only relief in sight is that I'm seriously running out of people I even know that could possibly get married. I've been a bridesmaid (more than three times last year!), a guestbook signer, and a wedding crasher. In the summer/fall of 2005 alone, I will attend six weddings. One of which involves a seven-hour ceremony and a horse. I'm still trying to figure that one out.
My collection of bridesmaid dresses now officially outweighs my collection of feather boas... and I find that unacceptable. Just this past weekend, I was serving duty in pink chiffon. It actually was a very lovely dress and the wedding itself was fabulous. Weddings are always fabulous. Which is why EVERY girl wants one... every girl. Whether they want the marriage or not.
Women at weddings turn into a whole different breed. You think that the bride goes crazy? It's the whole damn female wedding party. It starts at the Bachelorette party. All of a sudden, anything you can possibly mold into the shape of a penis becomes HILARIOUS. Things that can easily be shaped into a penis: sand, jello, chocolate, your mom's meatloaf. A glimpse at any such delicacy turns perfectly demure ladies into giggling counterparts to Beavis and Butthead. Hehehe... she said "Cock."
But once the debauchery of the bachelorette party ends, the walks of shame have wrapped up, the hangovers have subsided, the autograph of the stranger's name fades off the bride's boob and the pictures of all such activities have been burned and/or buried in the backyard... THIS is when the real bridal craziness begins. I think "The Wedding March" must be preprogrammed to brainwash women into absolute bridal hysteria.
I admit it, I cry at weddings. I look at the groom's reaction when he first sees the bride and then I just lose it. Even in hour-long Catholic ceremonies where I'm singled out for being too unholy for their goddamn bread and grape juice (INFURIATING), I inevitably let the mushiness outweigh my disdain for the tradition and then the tears start flowing.
I feel that I'm officially a wedding connoisseur. I've been front and center for a good many weddings and whether I intend to or not, I fall into that cliche bridesmaid activity at each and every one of them... I start making a checklist of my will dos and won't dos. Much like I did with my parents as a child when I would write in my journal something that they did that I would NOT do to my children. Like bangs.
So far, I think candles are good... lots of em, bubbles are good, roses are good, tiaras are good, chocolate covered strawberries are very very good (wedding or not), as are bridesmaid dresses your friends can wear again. Things that I'll personally forego... churches, children, organized wedding dances, tulle, cummerbunds, and heart-shaped anything. And I swear to God, if you clink your glasses to try to get the bride and groom to kiss, I will shove your cutlery up your ass!
Don't get me wrong, I have no plans in the foreseeable future to implement these well thought-out wedding tactics. Though one of my best friends spent the better part of the wedding weekend trying to plot my walk down the aisle for sometime in 2006. A plan that, consequently, led my boyfriend to plot the mysterious disappearance of said friend for sometime in 2005. What IS it about brides wanting all of their gal friends to join the cult?!
I feel for the bride at a wedding. It's a very stressful role and I can only imagine the millions of emotions she's going through on top of the stresses of organizing an event for 240 of her closest friends and family.
Which brings me to another point: I haven't met 240 people that I like over the course of my entire life, let alone know that many people I would want at my wedding. Here's a rule of thumb: if the invitee doesn't know the name of the guy you're marrying, they should just send money and stay their ass at home. I don't care if this means that Great Aunt Sally's neighbor's cousin is left out of the ceremony and your parents think this is a travesty... tough luck, Momsie and Popsicle, you already had YOUR wedding.
But enough about the bride's pressures. I, too, went through many emotions over the course of the weekend. In between the dewy-eyed dreams of how fabulous my wedding would be, there was also the reality that weddings mean marriage. And I'm at a point in my life where everyone's taking the plunge and one day I will too, but I'm not quite ready to jump off that ledge.
Sure, weddings are wonderful and you better freakin' believe I'll be having one if for no other reason than I really like pretty dresses and I have EARNED it, I have done my bridesmaid duty and all of you lovely people now OWE ME. But once the day of ME ME ME is over, I’d be married. And that makes the commitment-phobe in me just a little uneasy and all of a sudden, there are pit stains on my pink chiffon.
So, I guess for now I’ll wait for those second-thoughts to subside (as I know they eventually will), and in the meantime I’ll just continue plotting what is sure to be the event of the century. And all of you can start praying that you’ll receive an invite for the can’t-miss affair. Suckers.
Heather has a penchant for drama, both personally and professionally. She secretly wishes people spoke in song and wholeheartedly believes that everyone deserves a standing ovation now and again. She finds it appalling that people reserve champagne only for special occasions, when champagne is clearly best on a Tuesday, while riding the subway, accompanying a slice of kick-ass pizza.
ABOUT HEATHER M. MILLEN
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4.27.05 @ 9:27a
Weddings are a lot of fun until you have one every weekend and they are in places like Indiana and you have to drive 12 hours home and the cost of all that plus the gift and everything outweighs the price of your soul.
4.27.05 @ 9:34a
I've thrown out all my ugly old bridesmaid's dresses and never plan to wear another again. I think I'm safe at age 70, but you never know. Senior citizens are hooking up and getting hitched all over the place. It's a regular industry down here in Florida. Oh, well. Women do fine as singles. I'm doing fine, and until Brad the Pitt pops the question his own self, I'm staying that way.
I do sorta think everybody ought to get married at least once if only to find out what you can stand and what you just won't put up with. I found out there are about a zillion things I just won't put up with. Picky picky picky....
4.27.05 @ 9:45a
Maybe the solution is to live together first rather than tie that bind, Sandra. Unless there's a prenup. Then go nuts!
4.27.05 @ 10:40a
Sandra, you're so funny.
We thought we knew everyone getting married, too, but then 2005 rolled around, and there's our friend Bob and his new person we haven't even met, whose wedding we'll go to 5/28, another friend Dave, whose wedding we won't make because Matt has to work, on 7/3, and of course Walker and Amanda and Sarah and Erik and Roger and Pete....
But wonderful, all at the same time. Marriage is a bitch sometimes, but so is being single. If you wait to know yourself first and make good choices, marriage can be a wonderful, wonderful thing. The wedding is just a formality.
Careful with the "do's/don't's", Heather darling. I wanted to elope and have a big party afterward - the compromise was a small church wedding, a seperate Iowa reception and a honeymoon in Jamaica. I thought I chose good bridesmaid dresses - but they still sucked in retrospect. In the hubbub I forgot bubbles, so at the last minute, some friends ran out and got birdseed.
I was never one of those women who dreamed of her wedding. So I'm sure it could have been more than or less than.
But I did have fresh flowers, chocolate-covered strawberries, and wonderful friends and family who forgave me my forgetfullness and took lots of pictures and ran lots of errands, paid money to be a part of it/come to it and gave us lots of hugs. That's all it really needed to make it special.
4.27.05 @ 11:09a
I just went to the most amazing wedding outside San Antonio. Small, lovely, personal -- not expensive, just really well done. The bride had her brother as the Man of Honor, and the groom walked down with his Grandma Hazy, who later regaled us with tales of traveling to visit him in China, which she said "didn't give [her] culture shock, because [she'd] been to Mexico, and it was pretty much the same."
Think you're traveling too far for weddings, Mike? I'm going to Peru. (Granted, it's going to be totally awesome and I'm really excited, but it's also going to be very expensive -- we not only have to fly to the country, we also have another flight within the country, unless we want a nine-hour bus ride.)
4.27.05 @ 11:14a
When you make entry level money and can't afford plane tickets and your destination is the middle-of-nowhere and you have to drive 10 hours each way over the course of three days, yeah, it's too far. And no fun.
4.27.05 @ 11:20a
Come on, you had FUN at the wedding. How else can you explain jumping in on bridesmaid pictures and requesting "White Christmas" at the rehearsal dinner?
4.27.05 @ 11:42a
Yes, I had fun. But the logistics are quite hassle-icious.
4.27.05 @ 12:02p
I've never been to a wedding I didn't enjoy, but I have to agree that getting there is none of the fun.
If and when I get married I wouldn't know where to have the wedding: North Central Iowa is not easy to get to, but once you get there, everything's cheap; DC is, of course, the opposite. Maybe I could just get the same place in San Antonio my friends just used.
4.27.05 @ 12:05p
That's why I wanted to elope - I figured I could pick some vacation destination, and everyone could come to the wedding and have a vacation at the same time.
4.27.05 @ 12:51p
I love the idea of a destination wedding, but then when it's over your friends and family are at your honeymoon. Uh-uh.
But at the same time, for those travelling, I would want it to be somewhere nice to go. It's a lot of $$ to spend just to end up in Podunk, USA.
4.27.05 @ 2:41p
My wife and I got married in Mexico and then went to Costa Rica for the honeymoon. We got there a week before the wedding and just had everyone come when they wanted, some came for the week, others for only 3 days. I was awesome, it was like a great vacation with family and friends and we just happened to get married somewhere in there. You do need to bail for the honeymoon portion though.
4.27.05 @ 2:55p
I never thought I'd want a big, ridiculous party, but that's what we're having.
4.27.05 @ 2:57p
We did it Catholic-style, and the only way I survived was that my brother had the wherewithal to bring a flask of Captain Morgan's to the church so we could spike our Diet Cokes beforehand. I'm not sure how Michelle* survived.
Our reception was good, though, like a big booze-fest with good food and lot of pesky people but a lot of cool ones to. First song my bro had the DJ play was "Another One Bites the Dust". For the garter, I had him play Social D's "She's A Knockout," and later the Peppers' "Sexy Mexican Maid" which I'm sure pissed off her dad!
Our honeymoon was beating around the Riviera, taking trains all around and such, a boat to Corsica which is still the favorite place I've been to, and I think her too. Not to bad a kick-off for marriages, being in places where you have to thoughtfully communicate with people who have no idea what you're saying. That honeymoon bought me forgiveness for a lot of shit, as well. Bonus!