This is what most brides want, right? Something simple, not too complicated, everything working like clockwork. My vision for the Fischer-Quimby union was similar to his family gatherings–lots of food, kids running around, people sitting around tables chatting, enjoying the sunshine (or, in a few cases, cursing the rain).
So we started with the guest list. About 180 on his side, maybe 20 on mine. Slight discrepancy in family size. Then, the location. Picnic in Letchworth State Park. Lovely setting, no decorations needed really, because how can you decorate the Grand Canyon of the East? I probably need some sort of wedding dress, because most brides wear something special, but at this point I’m having trouble envisioning myself as a Bride. I mean, for one thing, this is Wedding Number Two, and I’m not exactly blushing. I have two kids and am in my mid-thirties and don’t feel fresh-faced and innocent. My inability to cast myself in this role will prove to me my downfall, as the reader will soon discover.
Save-the-date postcards. Beautifully crafted, ordered online at Vistaprint. How many guests? Two hundred, so that’s the number of cards we ordered. After the fact we realize that number includes children and spouses, so unless we were mailing multiple cards to the same address, we have a few too many. Ah, well. Mail postcards. People mention “hey, I got your card, cool, it’s on the calendar.” I ask my parents if they got anything in the mail yet. “Um, no…” My own parents fail to get a save-the-date card. They aren’t the only ones. Angry texts to Daniel from friends who think they’ve been slighted. More postcards go out, these ones addressed by hand. Perhaps the post office machines couldn’t read our choice of font on the address labels, or maybe it’s a big government conspiracy.
Less than three months before the wedding, I’m finally sitting down with Daniel’s aunts to discuss the day. “Who’s officiating?” Don’t know. Someone mentions a pastor in the family. Why didn’t we think of that? Call him up, ask him to do it. No problem. Check. “What kind of flowers do you want?” Um… “Where are you staying that night?” Er… “How do you want to do the food?”
And it kept going like that. It was a good thing the ladies kept pressing, because these were questions I should have asked myself months ago, but couldn’t/didn’t. Because I wasn’t a Bride…or at least up until that gathering around the table.
Wedding dress shopping with my mother also helped, but didn’t exactly confirm my moniker. David’s Bridal is the Wal-Mart of wedding regalia. I go in, I fill out some paperwork, stupidly mention the fact that I might still be in their computer system since I bought a dress here eight years ago. Eight years. Different person. Not in the system anymore, which is fine. Phyllis comes out to assist me. I start sifting through the racks of WHITE, CREAM, IVORY, VANILLA, OFF-WHITE, sequins, seed pearls, lace, embellishments, long trains, tulle, puffed sleeves, buttons. Mom heads straight for the sale rack. I mention “tea-length” and Phyllis comes back with above-the-knee. They’re cute. We have about eight dresses to try on. The one I like the best just happens to be the cover photo for their Spring collection magazine, so of course someone would mention “hey, you went to David’s, didn’t you?” With no intention of buying anything, I try on dress after dress. Mom snaps photos with my iPhone (more on that in another blog post), and I look at myself. I’m a Bride. Gulp.
Maybe there is a part of me that still cannot believe my good fortune. I found someone with whom I want to spend the rest of my waking days, and believe it or not, he wants to do the same with me. He is (another gulp) my Groom. I will be his wife, and he will be my husband. In the midst of the insanity of life at QFQA, with two delightfully maddening children running amok and three-and-a-half schedules to juggle, I forget the miracle that this all really is. Thirteen years after Jimmy Morrow put Fischer and Quimby next to each other on the Chapel Choir seating chart, we are now getting married.
When is life ever going to be simple, and when will I stop expecting it to be simple?