Monday, August 24, 2009

Daisies in April

‘Tis the season for weddings and engagements. Spring romances are being concluded by significant knot tying before the return to school and serious summer courtships are heading to a happily ever after beginning this fall to last for time and all eternity. With all these new engagements, bridal showers, weddings, and receptions happening around me, even though I have no reason to, it’s difficult to not think about my own happily ever after...beginning with a beautiful day in April full of daisies and sunshine, for I have come to the conclusion that April is the ideal month to be married in for reasons that nobody would guess aside from the fact that it’s spring time and the world is in a happy state of new blooms and bright colors and the world seems to naturally fall in love with and around this time.

Growing up I never spent more than 2 seconds contemplating my future wedding other than knowing that someday I’d be married. When I was 18 I was listening to my cousin describe the colors and her plans for her dream wedding and looking over some sketches she had of what she’d like her wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses to be like. My aunt asked me what I had planned for my wedding. I told her that until then I hadn’t really thought about it. “What? No, every girl thinks about and plans her future wedding”. Dang it, I was failing at being a girl. I hadn’t a clue as to what colors I wanted, what my dress should be like, what food to serve, what kind of cake I should have, and who my bridesmaids would be or even what kind of ring I would like, which seemed so important for a girl to know.

The more I hear about what my friends, family, and acquaintances go through to prepare for a reception the more and more I don’t want to have a reception at all. The whole thing seems over done and commercialized and overshadows the meaningful part of the day. It makes me wonder how one can enjoy that special day or be able to focus on the important aspects of the event with all the hullabaloo of the reception to worry about not only that day but for weeks and weeks prior. It turns out I don’t have a choice in the matter of to party or not to party and that I’m going to have a reception whether I want one or not. I told my mom that was fine. We could do something really simple. I suggested a “drive through” reception. Guests could enter one end of the church parking lot and drive by the groom and myself. We’ll swap wedding favors for gifts and maybe send a piece of cake and punch through the window as well, exchanging thank you’s and congratulations all within 20 seconds before they drive off out of the other end of the parking lot allowing the next car the honors of speaking to us briefly through the car window. We joked about tossing cake through rolled down windows as they drove by and waving as they passed.

I don’t know why, but my mom thought this was a horrible idea. I still think it’s a brilliant plan, but I guess she’s right that it wouldn’t be very nice for guests who might have had to drive a bit to get there just to see me. So next I suggested cookies and water in an undecorated bare cultural hall- much like “break the fast” in the Antioch 5th ward: multiple fold-out tables and metal seats, but no decor. Functional and easy. No mess, no hassle, just a spot for people to congregate to congratulate me and have a cookie. What else do you need? My dad loved this economically priced reception plan. Guess who didn’t? Darn it mom, just let me have my stress free, cheap yet tacky reception! If I have no hope of getting away with my dream of a drive by reception or the cookies and water plan there are a few things I do know that I do or don’t want at my reception.

Over the past 7 years I have attended multiple wedding receptions and bridal showers and have taken note on things I loved, things I didn’t love so much, but most of all, things I found to be pointlessly silly.

For example, I know for sure I’m not going to throw my bouquet for all the single girls to attempt to catch. I hate that part of receptions. I have never (willingly) participated in this event at any reception I have ever gone to. I think it’s stupid and I can’t imagine myself flinging a bouquet behind me to a group of girls to catch to determine which of them will be married next. I fail to see the point of it other than every other wedding party has done it since the beginning of weddings. Similarly there will be no garter tossing at my reception either.

Another thing that is traditionally done that I cannot understand is the couple cutting the cake and smashing it into each other’s faces- or even feeding it nicely to each other. What is this for? Pictures? A show for the guests? This is dumb. Someone else can cut the cake for me. I will eat it though- off of my plate with my own fork along with everyone else.

One pet peeve of mine at receptions is when you can’t even see the person you’re talking to because it’s so dark. I guess it’s supposed to be a more romantic atmosphere the darker it is. The first reception I went to as an adult had all the lights turned off except for white Christmas lights. I didn’t like it. I decided then at 18 years old I’d have all the lights on at my reception. My mom agrees that lighting is important but seems to think that I won’t need ALL the lights on if we bring in rented light post things. I assured her I DO need all the lights on. The end. Unless of course it’s outside during the day.

I’m not going to have dancing. Nope. Not a first dance, or a daddy/ bride, mother/groom dance or any kind of funky chicken.

I’m not going to have bridesmaids. I figure my sister can wear a special dress if she wants to, and if my future husband has sisters that want to wear a special dress they can, but I’m leaving it at immediate family and what they wear and if they want to is up to them.

I don’t want a receiving line either. Myself and the groom and maybe our parents can greet guests in an informal way in some designated location for the very beginning of the reception, but I don’t want people waiting in line to say hi to me and I’m not going to make our families/wedding party all stand and make our guests file in and shake hands and speak with people they probably don’t even know before they finally get to me. I once went through a line where I had to make small talk with over 10 bridesmaids and groomsmen I didn’t know before I finally got to my friend to give her a hug and congratulations (and then there was over 10 people on the other side of her). It was painful for me. It was painful for those in the line who had to do the same thing with a bajillion other guests and since the receiving line was so long, the line of guests waiting to shake all of their hands went out the cultural hall doors down the hallway and I felt like I was at Disneyland waiting in line for Dumbo’s flight.

There are a lot of silly and stupid things involved with getting married. I might not be able to escape a reception, but I might have more luck at avoiding a bridal shower. I’ve been to 1 bridal shower that was very nice and that I actually enjoyed. It was unlike any other bridal shower I had ever been to and I found myself pleasantly surprised at how nice they can be. Other than that, there was only 1 other bridal shower that I tolerated fairly well (because it was at my house and I was hosting it along with my mom and therefore, silliness and awkward moments were kept to a minimum). I find bridal showers to be awkward, full of weird games, and another occasion people have to spend money on a gift for you- usually indecent sleep wear given in the hopes that it makes you blush.

I was talking with my mom about wedding dresses and what they can do in the temple to alter the dress to be temple appropriate if it isn’t long sleeved or have a high enough neckline. She told me some girls wear a temple dress to be sealed in, and then their elaborate, pretty wedding gown to the reception. I don’t get it. If it’s your wedding dress, you should get married in it. It seems like a waste to wear it just to the reception- and how is that special? It’s no longer a wedding dress, but a reception dress that appears to be a wedding dress.

When I started thinking about wedding dresses and the nightmare of shopping for one I came to the conclusion that I didn’t need one. I hate shopping. I hate trying on clothes. Such hassle. I know it’s going to be nearly impossible to find a dress that I really like. When I thought about what wedding dresses are and their purpose, they seemed to me just one more pointlessly silly thing associated with marriage and weddings. And veils are just comical. They’re a bunch of tulle stuck on your head that has no purpose. Traditionally maybe it does in other church’s ceremonies, but it has no meaning for me and seems to be a waste of fabric. I am sure I would feel stupid wearing a veil as a part of my “reception attire”. It’s just not me. I started considering wearing a temple dress for my sealing and then just wearing church clothes to the reception. I wonder if I could get away with that. I wouldn’t be wearing a big pretty wedding dress for myself. It would be for everyone else to see me in and that’s not me either. I don’t need a beautiful elaborate white dress just because everybody else does.

My mom agrees with me about the veil thing, she didn’t have one. It turns out she didn’t throw her bouquet or cut the cake or dance at her reception either, but she thinks I’m weird for not wanting a wedding dress. Again, she vetoed my decision there and says I should at least go and try a few on when the time comes to see how certain styles look on me so maybe we could get ideas and make one if we can’t find a decent one that I like. Boooooo.

Maybe when I get engaged I’ll change my mind and be silly too, right there with the rest of them. I’ll have to re-read my thoughts here and realize how retarded I’m being and elope and thwart all my mom’s plans of a simple yet elegant reception and free myself from wasting hours trying on white dresses just so I can have a picture of myself in it for one day and show it off at a party.

Pointlessly silly. Usually I’m a fan of pointlessly silly, but not so much in certain cases. No bouquet toss, no receiving line, no dancing, no cake cutting or smashing it into faces, no darkness, and no elaborate wedding dress fun? We’ll see. I’m still dreaming of that “drive through” reception. I’m going to see what I can do to pull that one off. That's a pointlessly silly I can live with.