I've been enjoying a new blog titled THE TWO YEAR ENGAGEMENT (An Unsuccessful Attempt at Planning a Wedding Without Going Crazy). It is written by a young lady I've known since she was a little girl. I love her enthusiasm and hope for her sake that any crazy that comes her way is the good, fun kind to have.
Reading Rachel's blog got me to thinking how things have changed in the 33 years since I was planning my own nuptials. Of course, a wedding is only as complicated as you make it, and more is not always better. I liken a big elaborate wedding to a car with every dealer upgrade imaginable; the more bells and whistles, the more stuff is going to break down. And no matter how organized and detailed and "on top of things" the bride and her mother are, those traits don't necessarily extend to the army of people paid or enslaved to help make a wedding happen. Take a gander below at this wedding day itinerary my young Aggie friend whomped together (see blog dated 10/21/13). It was included in the goodie bag (goodie bags! <smacks forehead>) we were given when we checked into the hotel:
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30th
10:00 am Boys to arrive at Top Golf for golfing
11:00 am Bridesmaids to Presidential Suite (lunch will be provided)
12:00 pm Hair appointments begin for bride, bridesmaids, moms, flower girl and grandmothers
1:30 pm Groomsmen, ushers and father of the bride and groom to hotel to get ready, and gift exchange
2:15 pm Makeup appointments begin for bride, bridesmaids, moms, flower girl and grandmothers
4:15 pm Groom's immediate family to arrive at hotel for pre-ceremony pictures
4:30 pm All ladies' appointments finished
It went on in this fashion in 15 minute intervals until:
5:30 pm The shuttle bus and limo to arrive at hotel for transfer to the church (the limo service contact info was provided in case there was a problem, and there was a list of who rode in what vehicle)
5:45 pm Depart from hotel
7:30 pm Ceremony begins
8:30 pm Ceremony ends (here, there was a list of folks who were supposed to stay for photos)
8:50 pm Cocktail hour begins
9:45 pm Ballroom doors open, introductions, seated dinner and dance
1:15 am Bride and groom make their exit and reception concludes
Personally, I LOVED the itinerary. I suppose some people would think this a little over the top, but I thought it was a marvelous idea. Still and all, it got me to wondering what happens when a bride with even slight OCD tendencies chooses for her honor attendant a friend whose personal clock is permanently set to island time.
My honor attendant was actually my matron of honor. The only things I required of her, and she of me when I served as her maid of honor, were: a bridal shower, holding the bouquet during the vows, not losing the hubby-to-be's ring, straightening out the train for the recessional, and then general things like not tripping or fainting in front of the congregation. The best man had it even easier: don't lose the ring, and show up sober. (The same could also be said of the groom.) These days, it is appalling what some honor attendants are expected to do. One website I checked included helping to clean up the reception venue! That is taking the "maid" part way too seriously.
One aspect of Rachel's blog dealt with how she asked her attendants to be there for her on her special day. It seems modern brides decorate baskets or boxes and fill them with treats and small personal or wedding-related items. Here's Rachel's basket to her maid of honor:
If this had been the norm in 1980, I would have panicked because I cannot put something together in my head. I envy friends who can take an empty room and envision the possibilities; I just see an empty room. It's the same when I shop for clothes: I cannot pull a skirt from one rack, a blouse from another, a belt and scarf off a shelf, and voila! a fashionable ensemble. If being a bride had meant getting out the scissors and glue, I would have done what my practical father suggested: elope and then, with the money saved, put a down payment on a house. Fortunately, all I had to do was pick up the phone and ask. Cheap and easy, just like moi.
For years, magazines like Southern Living made ordinary housewives feel like colossal failures when their Thanksgiving table looked more like...
Then Martha Stewart came along to show us how we will never be better than her; I mean, the woman has spent time in prison, something I have not managed to do yet. Now we have the Internet to continue this tradition of failure AND overwhelm us with sheer numbers. The Internet, Pinterest specifically, is insidious because it tempts us with the notion that if we only look long enough (hours? days?), somewhere out there in the vast cyberverse is something better. We think: if this is good, then surely better is lurking around the corner. And then when we find better, surely there's mo' bettah. There are accounts of people who, in their quest for that perfect idea, have physically attacked their computers, circuits blown, and raving like loons. I know this to be true because it happened to me. You can download a video file of that awful day, but be forewarned, it is not a pretty sight:
I haven't been on Pinterest in a long while. The novelty quickly wore off, but not until I had created several boards, one with wedding ideas. What mother of a daughter hasn't dreamed of her little girl's wedding, even when the "bride" is sporting saggy diapers and a dirty face? Here are a few things I pinned to this board:
Yet, no matter how much things change from one generation to the next, there is one thing no bride can do without: the groom!
Love, honor and hot glue,
Table setting #1: http://www.theredneckhippie.com/2011_11_01_archive.html
Table setting #2: http://www.napkinwizard.com/2011/11/21/give-thanks-in-style-with-an-elegant-thanksgiving-table/
A little more of a little of this, a little of that...
We have been on the road every weekend for the last seven weekends, plus a mid-week journey to Lawton, OK in September. By my husband's calculations, we tripped the light fantastic some 4650 miles, not counting just plain running around once we got to our destinations. (For example, while in Gulf Shores, we had to make a 22 mile round trip every time we went into town for supplies or dinner.) If you add to that trips to College Station and Lubbock in August, it's another 1000 miles. I have no desire to know how many gallons of irreplaceable fossil fuel we burned, or how much that cost us at an average of $3.50 a pop. Here's our tour schedule:
2012 -- Old Farts Whirled Tour -- 2012
Richard did most of the driving while I fiddled with the a/c (70% of the time), slept or zoned out (remaining 30%). Richard also managed to get pulled over on three separate occasions, and each time got off with a warning. The first time was in Oklahoma for having a burned out light bulb, see picture above, which we keep forgetting to get fixed. The second time was for driving FIVE MILES OVER THE SPEED LIMIT (limit was 70) outside Jacksboro, TX. The third, and hopefully final time, was last night, again for speeding (12 miles over) near Jewett, TX. The cop was sitting on the other side of Highway 79 as we zipped past. Even before the lights began flashing, I knew we were doomed. I'm still amazed he managed to talk himself out of that one.
Thankfully, we aren't going anywhere for the next three weekends, which will be a relief for our poor car. And our cats, who know they are being ditched when they see the suitcases hauled out, or the coolers filled. Besides, getting up at 3:00 AM to hit the road by 5:00 gets old very quickly.
A young Aggie couple we know is getting married the end of November. The invitation arrived in the mail last week and it very clearly says formal attire. I wasn't sure if the bride really meant formal as in tuxes and gowns, or if this was her way of insuring that no one shows up at her wedding wearing anything less than a suit or dress.
We have been appalled at what some people seem to consider appropriate wedding attire. I will never forget seeing a man in shorts and flip-flops. His female companion was better dressed, but only just; she wore cropped pants and Crocs. This was a nice wedding and I almost went over there and said, "Are you poor or are you stupid?" Stupid, I should think. Even poor people can manage a dress and a cheap suit. And it's not just weddings that seem to bring out the worst dressed in people, funerals are another. I've seen folks show up looking like they'd been shopping at Wal-Mart. At the last service I attended, I felt I'd overdone it in my black and grey dress with a black blazer and black heels.
Anyway, at our tailgate yesterday I cornered Brittany, the bride-to-be, to get the lowdown on what she meant by formal attire. I was glad I asked because now I've got to corral Richard into getting fitted for a tux. Fortunately, I have a formal gown. Unfortunately, it's been a few years since I last wore it, and I'm not sure it fits anymore. Since I don't want to spend the money on another one-and-done outfit, especially so close to the holidays, it will be an impetus to lose a few pounds.
Being prone to teasing, something I inherited from my dad, I told Brittany I thought a baby-blue tuxedo with a frilly ruffled shirt and navy cumberbund and bow tie would be awesome. She didn't crack so much as a smile. She either has no sense of humor, or one is not allowed to poke fun when it comes to her wedding. Like the signs that tell you not to joke about guns and bombs while going through airport security.
Speaking of dress, Brent drove in from Lawton last Friday night to go to the Aggie game with us on Saturday. He showed up at the door at 7:30 PM still wearing his camos and boots. Poor guy was so anxious to get out of Oklahoma, he didn't even take the time to change his clothes for the drive home. Still and all it was cool to see him decked out in uniform, and he wears it so well.
Paige turned 20 on Saturday. One more year and she will be truly legal, not that being underage has ever stopped her, or her brothers, from stepping over the line.
Mitch's girlfriend was in town over the weekend, and the two of them spent Friday at the state fair, the same day Big Tex, the iconic giant man who has greeted fair visitors for 60 years, burned to death. Authorities believe the fire was started by an electrical short, but I have my suspicions. You ask me, I think the people who invent all the crazy fair food from fried butter to fried Coke and even fried bubblegum, got together and said, "Hey! Let's fry Big Tex!" "Oops!"
Liar, liar, pants on fire,
Burning man: http://interactives.kxan.com/photomojo/gallery/4757/1/iconic-bix-tex-burns/bix-tex-burns/
Traumatized kiddos: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021581663
Body bag: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021581663
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