Your wedding is not a contest

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I found your site because I am looking for “the road less travelled” in wedding quotes, sayings and words. Before I used the “send this page via gmail” option on my browser, I read this post to see what I’d be recommending. I happily sent the email and now have spent some time reading the comments here.

I’m on the far, far side of this topic. Yes, hubby and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary this fall and I can tell you one important thing. You will remember everything you “caved” on in your wedding plans, for the rest of the union, and beyond.

I did not cave, for the most part, took some shit for it, but now I am so very glad I stood my ground. It helped that my partner backed me up and was very easy going. For the time, our wedding was “non-traditional” but far from “off-beat”.

We got married outside, in the fall, in Canada, on my 23rd birthday. We had one groomsman [his brother] and one “maid” [my childhood best friend]. I said, wear whatever you want, I don’t care, as long as it’s in the fall colour spectrum. The boys ended up in chocolate brown tuxes and my friend found a very pretty peach cocktail dress, today would be called “nude”.

I went shopping for wedding dresses and was appalled at the cost – it’s only one day! So a quick call to my grandmother, yes, your mother’s wedding dress is still here. Then where is the best/cheapest/quickest place for alterations? Mom had an 18-inch waistline when she got the dress! Turns out the ballet company costume department does alterations. Cost me $400.00 to replace the bodice, rip off the sleeves and build a crinoline that was an architectural wonder [mom wore hoops when she married in 1959]. The seamstress thought I might regret the bare arms so, unasked, she made finger-less, above-the-elbow gloves out of the bodice material. I wore them for the ceremony and photos, then couldn’t stand having my arms covered [thus the ripping off of the sleeves in the first place], took them off, lost them.

Two things I caved on. One, a wedding cake. I didn’t need one, didn’t want one and “everyone” said I should have one. My florist mentioned in passing that she had a fake cake in my colours that she used at wedding shows. She was happy to lend it to me. Every picture that cake is in makes me shake my head and tsk tsk to myself. I know it’s fake, it means nothing to me and really, who would miss it if it wasn’t there? Don’t get me wrong, we had dessert and cake at our wedding. Himself adores cheesecake so that’s what we had and he had many servings of it, which I still tease him about. My grandmother and I love her homemade fruitcake, so she made the cake for the little boxes, and a cake to eat and a cake to freeze [which is still in our freezer]. I also admonished our guests that our cake in the little boxes was meant for eating and if they weren’t going to eat it, not to take it, I’d eat it for them!

The second thing I caved on was a “professional” photographer. I use the term loosely. Again, “everyone” said I’d regret it if I didn’t have real photos. This is before digital cameras, before the internet. That’s $500.00 wasted. We only bought one of the professional’s photos for my mother because she said it touched her. It’s Himself and I leaning into the crook of an oak tree looking at each other. I hate it, when I see it, all I see are big noses! But, it’s not in my house so I don’t care.

My girlfriend’s husband wan’t going to know many people so offered to take pictures for us. He said he’d get a photo of everyone there. So we bought, I think, 10 rolls of film and left him to it. His are the pictures we cherish, his are the pictures we’ve blown up and framed. He got fantastic candid photos of everyone attending, including the kitchen staff and bartender. Some of our favourite photos are the ones he took at the end of the night. All the women are carrying their shoes, quite a few people look a little worse for wear. He even was clever enough to approach the gals in groups and say “show me your feet”, evidence that very much dancing was performed in honour of our wedding.

I’ve been asked to do some crafty things for a friend’s wedding, which brought me here. I’m sharing my story so if even one gal can shut down her critics by saying “an old lady on the internet celebrating her 30th anniversary said I’ll regret it if I cave, so this is my decision for my wedding. period.” If it feels phony and fake to you now, even if you do it for someone else, it will always feel phony and fake to you. Sometimes, that’s OK too, I bought the ugly picture for my mother, we invited one couple for Himself’s father … family sometimes means compromise. As long as it is compromise and won’t ruin how you feel about your day.

The wedding is only one day. The marriage will last longer. The memory will stay with you forever.

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