My third son is getting married this weekend and it is stirring up a lot of memories, particularly of Himself and my marriage 28 years ago.
#3 is feeling the stress. The DJ backed out, so #2 is working up a playlist. Thank goodness for brothers who know stuff. Things are getting forgotten to ask others, and feelings are being hurt and it’s all a bunch of nonsense and poor fella doesn’t need that right now. He calls a couple of times a day and either whines or vents and I just let him.
I can’t really say I know what he is experiencing. Our wedding was decidedly low-key, low-budget, low-everything. The strongest memory I have (and honestly I still resent it) is of my father complaining loudly and to everyone about how the damn thing cost $500 and he’da preferred if we’da just eloped and been done with it. I would have liked a fancier wedding, but everyone who came said the one we had suited us to a T. Also, a certain person who had a $150K wedding (mind you, in 1985, too) with 2000 guests was kind of impressed with ours, that it was so intimate and interesting that we actually KNEW all the guests.
Another memory I have was of a friend (who had never been to a wedding before) offering to bring a couple of bags of chips and a crock pot of hot dip for the reception. It was sweet of him…and I explained the concept of a catered affair. Granted, it wasn’t a FANCY catered affair, just a cake, punch, and some nibbles, but nonetheless, not a chips-and-dip sort of thing either.
We had very little stress leading up to it. Maybe some nerves about the whole “living with another person who sleeps in the same bed”, but I was looking forward to that part, really. As for the actual ceremony and stuff…it was all pretty casual. No bridemaids/personalities to contend with, or prissy wedding planner, or prima-donna florist. When Mom and i went looking for a florist, the first one didn’t give us the time of day, just threw down a book and said ‘pick one of these’, so we went elsewhere, to an old business downtown. The man there was sweet and wonderful. I said “I want daisies” and he said “I can do that!”
The music was provided by 2 friends who were accomplished guitarists. I said “play something classical sounding” and they did, and that was that. No Pachebel, no Bach, no insert-baroque-composer. Just John and Ed, 2 electric guitars and their amplifiers, making beautiful music from scratch.
The reception was just people standing around, having cake and punch, and Himself and me twitching and ready to leave for the honeymoon of a week at the lake, in a borrowed lake house. Which turned out to be an unairconditioned geodesic dome with an outdoor shower. It was…special. Un airconditioned is fine in…say…November. This, however, was late July and the honeymoon was cut short by several days so we could get to our cool apartment with the indoor plumbing.
#3′s wedding is a bit more involved, and that’s ok! What they’re planning is very THEM, with hay bales and animals and country music and a bonfire later in the night. There are bridesmaids (she has more friends than I did) and groomsmen (he has several brothers as well as friends), and a father-of-the-bride who has a strong give-the-bride-what-she-wants sort of ethic. Himself would be all about that too, if he had a daughter. Since he doesn’t, that gets thrown onto me. What a hardship.
However, #3 is feeling more stress than I did. He wants to make sure he gets it right, does what he is supposed to, and it all turns out the way his sweetheart wants it to. I am doing my very level best to keep from adding to any of his stress, when he calls to vent or whine or unload whatever he is needing to unload. We never mention money. I don’t want him thinking of that. I certainly don’t want to repeat what I went through, feeling guilty over $500…I still resent that. You would think I’d be over that, 28 years later, but it still rankles.
Anyway. I leave tomorrow morning, to head over to that part of the country. Her dress needs a last final fitting, in case her weight has fluctuated, and I want to allow enough time to do that. He wants cobblers instead of cake for his Groom’s Cake, to be served at the rehearsal dinner, so those need to be made. Peach, Blueberry, and Blackberry…summer fruits. Mom is letting me use their house for a Sunday brunch for the out-of-towners, and the stuff needs to be made for that- breakfast casserole, cheese grits, muffins and fruit salad. Groomsmen’s outfits need to be ironed (stonewashed jeans, white oxford cloth shirts, navy vests), boots need to be bought for #4…all the groomsmen are to wear boots…initially there was a bit of a balk at buying all these boots but I said phooey on that…we’re getting them boots because I want her wedding to be precisely the way she visioned it, and if boots are in the picture, then boots it will be.
The hard part is fitting all that stuff in my car. Some of it will have to come with Himself and his truck on Friday. Mainly 10 old quilts, to cover the haybales people will be sitting on. Can you picture that? Rows of haybales, covered with many soft quilts, each one different from the rest. So colorful! I am packing a teeny camera and will take pictures to show…
And you know, I am completely ok with him getting married. They suit each other. There will be times when they don’t get along, aren’t there always? But I think they both have it in them to work it out and be stronger for it. I know he is excited about starting his own family, his own place to live that’s Real, and not some bachelor pad temporary kind of thing. He talks about looking forward to waking up with someone, having breakfast together, doing their thing, dinner in the evening, all that. I know what he means. I looked forward to that as well, when I was getting married.