I do not for the life of me inderstand big weddings. Even when I was a little girl and most of the little girls I knew were already planning their own imaginary weddings; the dress, the cake, the flowers, the rings, etc. I didn’t get it then, and I still don’t get it now.
I do however, like the TLC show, “Say Yes to the Dress.” I guess I like it because it’s so far beyond anything I would ever do. This is not to put down brides who want the whole thing; perfect dress, perfect flowers, perfect venue, perfect cake, etc. And the cost of all this can be as expensive as putting money down on a house. Let’s just take the dress for instance. The high-end dresses are in the thousands of dollars—for a dress that will be worn for one day!
For my first wedding, I had a job that consumed just about every minute of the day. So my mother kindly shopped for a wedding dress for me. She found a beautiful light blue dress with some white lace and a bit of bling. I think it cost about $49.00. Instead of carrying a bouquet, I carried a white lace fan.
For my second marriage, Mom and I did everything together. The Crankee Yankee and I had asked my parents if we could have the wedding in their backyard. On the weeks leading up to the wedding, Mom and I had a wonderful time buying up mismatched champagne glasses from Goodwill (what a deal–no more than .25 a glass!). For the cake table, we covered a folding table with a white sheet. On the morning of the wedding, we cut bouquets of fresh lilacs for myself and my best friend to carry, and Mom made boutonnieres of lily of the valley for the men.
Mom also made the wedding cake; a family favorite–lemon crunch cake. Dad bought a case of champagne, and it flowed liberally throughout the day. The weather was perfect, and all guests were seated in chairs in the backyard facing the white trellis that was festooned with an enormous pot of white flowers. As an added bonus to a wonderful day, the Crankee Yankee’s younger brother stood up with us as well as my best friend. They began dating shortly afterward, and three years later, they too married!
We look back on that day, and recognize that things happen at the right time. There is no feeling of, ‘oh, if I’d married you first,’ because that would have changed everything. Although those marriages did not last, they were still important. You have to look back at where you were to understand where you’re going. The time was right for us, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
All in all, including my dress (and excepting the champagne), our wonderful cheap-o wedding cost about $150. Which just goes to show that, when it comes to weddings, sometimes cheaper is better. And sometimes, the second time around is the best time around.