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On May 25, 2019 our daughter will be wed, in our backyard, to her sweetheart of seven years. Unlike her mother, who, after a four year courtship, announced she would be wed only 30 days before the event, this couple gave plenty of notice. But a wedding has its own timetable. During my own pre-nuptials, as my office phone rang off the hook with questions from my mother about every detail, from my preferred cake filling to the style of my invitations, I remember thinking that a wedding devours every second you give it in preparations. I was glad I had given it only a month of my life.
But this time, it feels like fun. From a visit to Jill Weiner’s Earthgirl Flowers studio in North Branch for bridesmaid’s bouquets, to pre-tasting Amy Bridges’ catering selections, to spending weekends crafting wedding favors, my daughter, her fiancé and I have fully embraced the finer aspects of preparing for the big day. My husband watches bemused.
When my closest friend got married in the ‘70s, we gathered in her mother’s living room on West Broadway, listened to the vows presented by an ordained-for-the-event minister and ate some wedding cake from the local bakery. That’s how we rolled back then.
My own wedding was held at my Aunt Nell’s admittedly swanky apartment on Rutherford Place in Manhattan. We said our vows under her crystal chandelier and retired to the first floor after an early supper to watch the Super Bowl on TV. The most memorable moment for me, besides the ceremony, was realizing I had neglected to select an undergarment that would not be visible across the low back of my homemade dress. With no time to spare, I decided to go braless and bobbed down the aisle, swinging freely to the strains of the wedding march. My husband was delighted. I still blush to remember it.
These days, my daughter and her friends know all about wedding preparations. They make their own invitations on wedding websites and style everything from bridesmaids’ dresses to the groom’s shoes. On a December weekend, my daughter and I scoured antiques shops in Milford, PA for vintage bottles to act as centerpieces for the guest tables. We saved every wine bottle all winter to use as water bottles. Rather than rent or buy napkins, we bought those big (and reasonably priced) flour sack towels and stamped them with rubber stamp floral designs and the couple’s initials to give away as mementos of the wedding.
Last weekend, we held the wedding shower at our new bar in Brooklyn. It was a travel-themed brunch at which we instructed all the guests to wear pink. Why? Why not?! Her maid-of honor and I decorated the bar with paper lanterns, gold frilly banners and pink parasols. One of her best friends came bearing huge gold-letter balloons that were to have spelled out WIFEY except the two vowels escaped on Flatbush Avenue, so it just read WFY. They contemplated going back to the store to get two more letters but decided it would be a fun tale instead.
My daughter’s intended husband is not a frivolous man. Much like my own husband, he can do without a lot of attention. Or things. But watching him watching her at the shower last weekend, I saw the love in his gaze, along with a little embarrassment at all the fuss, and I thought this wedding is destined to be a good marriage.