(tsk) My husband feels sorry for me. He thought that after we got married, I would stop watching "A Wedding Story" and all those other weddingy shows. He knows that when he’s surfin’ channels, it takes me a micro second to hone in on one. And that it’s a good idea to stop clickin’. Marital harmony, and all, knowwhuttumsayin’? I think he’s starting to get the fact that I love weddings! Anybody’s wedding! Whoever’s getting married!
And what he doesn’t know is that I had been planning our wedding for a long time in numerous 3 a.m. sessions. I still couldn’t decide between summer or winter. I always thought Christmas Eve would be a perfect time for a wedding. It’s my siblings-in-law, Dan and Stella’s, anniversary. But, I know that in spite of the early October plans to sip egg nog by the fire on Christmas Eve while gazing into each other’s eyes, it usually turns into last minute create-a-thon, so my darling doesn’t have to navigate last minute shoppers at the mall.
I never wanted a big wedding. Actually, getting married was never even a goal of mine. But, you can’t be in the wedding business and not compile at least a mental list of what yours would be like. LOADS of flowers would figure prominently in mine: a bouquet of white lilacs and white peonies hand tied with pale blue ribbon, gobs of same with gardenias, white and cream and palest pink roses, and lily-of-the-valley. The yard would be lit with candleiers hanging from sky hooks (I still haven’t figured that one out, yet). The ceremony would be very brief, but at that part where the officiant said, "…love, honor, and respect," a huge gospel choir who had snuk in the back gate would start a rockin’ acapella rendition of Aretha Franklin’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T and march down the aisle and all around and then back out the other gate. And I mean R-O-C-K-I-N’!!
And a GREAT! cake–a gigantic Seville Marnier Torte with gumpaste gardenias and palest pink camellias tumbling down the sides, and a sculpture of us, our two cats, Chloe and Lulu (who are with us only in spirit now), Molly (our very low maintenance baby girl), Miss Frank (our Japanese Reeves turtle), and various and sundry doves in various and sundry positions around us. Still waiting for that cake. Our wedding turned out to be a different kind of perfect.
I would say 90 percent of the weddings I’ve done were pretty much the same ol’, "Do you…?" and "Do you…?" and "I now pronounce you husband and wife." Traditionally speaking, that’s good. I like tradition. But, unless you’re planning a VERY formal church ceremony, you can make your wedding your very own by personalizing it. I’ve always said a wedding is like live theater, but never was that more apparent as at a wedding I did last September at The Grand Island Mansion. This guy owned half of San Francisco and was VERY clever. He wanted a fun, unique wedding. And under the direction of his wedding planner, no detail was spared down to the Beefeaters heralding the beginning of the formalities, groom entering in a vintage Harley sidecar wavin’ like rock star, and everyone in period costume.
If you’re still soil testing to determine why your money tree won’t bear fruit, there are many things you can do that cost little or none that will make your wedding ceremony like no other. I may have mentioned sometime back that I was at a wedding where the bride was to enter by a horse drawn carriage. There was the usual buzz at the site while all the guests were visiting with each other, but then after a while, the buzzing subsided. Everyone stopped to listen…whazzat? Somehow someone had miked the carriage, and still out of sight, the guests could hear the clip, clop…clip, clop of the horses hooves, and within a minute, Bride appeared. It was brilliant. Still gives me goosebumps. Details.
Another memorable wedding was that of some Notre Dame fans…he and his buds were, anyway. As the groom and his men came down the aisle, I saw that the FOG (Father Of the Groom) was holding something and there was some unusual activity and commotion as each passed him. I asked later, what was up with that? Someone said the FOG was holding a sign that said, "Play like a champion." Sweet. But, it was years later that the whole meaning of it was revealed to me. Supposedly, there’s a sign at Notre Dame in the stairwell from the men’s locker room to the stadium that says, "Play like a champion", and the team members each slap the sign as they walk past it. See for yourself–rent the movie, "Rudy". What a sweet story! I mean, it’s about football, guys. Yeah, that’s the ticket!
If you’re determined not to have a cookie cutter wedding, here’s some P-POOs for inspiration:
1. Unity candles are not new. But, neither are dove releases, and both have significant symbolism attached, and add a beautiful, meaningful touch to a wedding. I’ve said this before, if your ceremony is outdoors and you plan to light candles, use a hurricane. This is one you’ll want to plan WAY ahead, because a hurricane may not fit on the lovely candle set Aunt Betty sent you. There are ways to MAKE it fit. Call me if you get stuck.
1a. Another repeat–if you’re going to do the unity candle thing, don’t make me look at that red plastic, disposable lighter that no one can figure out how to work, anyway. If you have the bucks, a sterling cigar torch would be tres chic, but I just found a really pretty refillable one made by Zippo. Ten bucks. Refillable–repeat that and look for that word whenEVER you shop. Our landfills are screamin’! I bought mine at Linens ‘n’ Things. Buy extras for goodie bags. Take it to your rehearsal and make sure the principles receive ample instruction on how to use it!
2. I saw a petite bride that, when it was time to kiss her way taller new husband for the first time, she made a "wait a minute" sign with her finger, went behind the candle table and fetched a little step stool. Placed it in front of him and went in for a very comfortable smackeroo. Very cute.
3. I LOVE to hear the stories! How you met, what you love about each other, mushy/sweet stuff. It’s nice when you write letters to each other and your officiant reads them. Writing your own vows is a nice idea, too, but really puts alot of pressure on some people. And there’s alot of pressure there, ANY way. So think about that one if you can’t handle it.
4. This probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard this one, but try to incorporate something of your family history, ancestry, culture, or tradition. OR, this is your chance to create it for future generations. Hard to imagine, but most likely, you’ll be somebody’s great grandparents some day!
5. One clever bride recorded an audio message to her friends, family, and future husband that was played just before she made her grande entrance. It was SO much fun watching the groom who had already taken his place at the "altar". It’s stuff like this that makes video mandatory!
6. Overwhelmed with the research of ways of uniqueifying your celebration? Your professional wedding service providers: officiants, ‘ographers, musicians have been to hundreds of weddings and have seen lots of "interesting" things. Ask ‘em!
The Dove Lady says she will release her doves at your Sacramento area wedding at a 50% discount if you’re the first bride to call her and PROMISE to walk down the aisle to Jimi Hendrix’s "Foxy Lady". FOX-eh!
Fine Print–Release of doves based on availability and your start time allows the doves ample space to return home before sunset, TBD by the Dove Lady. Employees of Whitebird Ceremonial Dove Releases, associated agencies, vendors, and their immediate family members are not eligible to win. Prize is not transferable and once accepted, no changes can be made. Well, maybe little, teeny, tiny ones. No cash redemption or substitution by winner permitted. Amen.