I almost didn't write tonight because my rear end has grown roots in this chair from working on a rehearsal dinner video all day. I'm not complaining...I am honored to be asked to handle this responsibility...but that being said...I'm glad it's done. Back in the day when I got married, we had the ceremony videotaped...but we didn't have anything like what has become standard fare at Rehearsal Dinners over the past few years.
Boy, did we get ripped off! Or did we? I mean, weddings today are nothing like what they were back in 1985. Back then, we had our twenty minute service, a reception in the Social Hall at the church, and then we drove to wherever we were honeymooning. I got married at 2:00 in the afternoon, was headed out by 4:00 and was eating dinner at Darryl's Restaurant (now a Hooters...which saddens me greatly) in Montgomery...two hours away. I did have a nice reception and two awesome cakes that my sister-in-law made for us. And although I know that there was money that was spent on this soiree, I don't believe that it required a second mortgage to pull it off.
Needless to say, there was no DJ, no chocolate fountain, no sit-down dinner, and no alcohol. We had a champagne toast the night before. It would have been great except that the groomsmen thought it would be just awesome to take Big Dave to a "club" in Atlanta to celebrate his last night of bachelorhood. As you can well imagine, I was thrilled about this prospect (not)...especially since they messed up my party. He arrived back at about 3:30 a.m. from what I was told AFTER the ceremony as we left the church. Funny how he waited until after I'd signed the papers.
He figured it was better to ask for forgiveness than for permission. Big Dave knows me well.
Anyway, he got back just in time to get a couple of hours sleep before his Dad woke him up to move chairs from the Rehearsal Dinner back to wherever it was they originated. When he returned from that errand...he finally checked his tux and shoes (like I'd asked him to do the day before, naturally) and found the white shoes that went with his black pants and ivory dinner jacket. (Mr. Billy Daniel opened his store to save us from complete and total social disgrace. He will always be on my list of my most favorite people EVER for this kindness - among with many, many others).
Other than a lukewarm shower because everyone else had beaten me to it and a near meltdown by my grandmother...something about looking like an "old washerwoman"...the day wasn't bad. No rain, disasters with the reception, or anything else. Well, we did have to kneel during the ceremony without a prayer bench...which was unplanned and certainly unrehearsed the night before...but at that point I could get up somewhat gracefully. I mean, when the preacher says "kneel"...you kneel.
Today's weddings are more "events" than ceremonies, and they definitely reflect the bride and groom far more than they did when I was making wedding plans. We tended more toward "traditional" and "we've always done it like that." Not anymore. And actually, I kind of like it this way. I think it is fun to be surprised by the little unique touches at each event.
There are still issues like the number of attendants, seating arrangements, and the inevitable last minute snafus to work through. But it always seems to work out. And for the guests...it is just fun to see what is going to transpire.
I've enjoyed the seven weddings I have attended over the past three years. Each was unique and beautiful. The brides...especially so. Very soon I will be attending my eighth wedding...and my sixth for a family member over this short period of time. After a hiatus of twenty years in family weddings, now my siblings, cousins, and nieces and nephews are all getting married. In a few years, I'll add to that the friends of my children and then (gulp) my two.
Yes, I do realize that someday I'll be the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom if that's the path they choose. I'll be the mother of four that I had always hoped to be with two children of the heart that I hope are out there somewhere. I just hope that they like me. And that the reverse is true.
Weddings remind us that two people fell in love, decided to make it public, and survived the planning and execution of an actual wedding. It is a time for us to remember how it was for us...or how it might be someday. It is just one of those occasions where you just want to celebrate and be happy and be glad to be a part of it all. I know that's how I feel about it.