Mark your calendars for October 2012. I've decided the Hubby and I are going to renew our vows on our 20th anniversary and have a blow out party. I've been thinking about this because I just attended a wedding and because one of my best friends is getting married next year.
Weddings are a curious thing. Some single people see weddings as the Holy Grail. Once you're engaged it becomes this huge thing that consumes your life, well, usually for the girls anyway. So much planning and money goes into this event that in all reality is (if you're lucky) a blip on the map that is your married life.
A wedding is really more for other people than for the couple. The bride agonizes over decisions like what colors to have, what the cake will look like, invitations, who to invite, etc. because the end result is a reflection of sorts on her. People can't help but critique weddings. Think about it. The last wedding you went to, didn't you comment on just about everything? Those brides maid's dresses were fugly; the food was awful and did you hear the toast the best man made? These are things people talk about. To the bride the wedding is all important because she knows on some level she's personally being judged on it.
This is why I want to have a huge 20th celebration. The Hubby and I had been living together for about a year when we got married and had dated off and on for almost 10 years, so it's not like it was any big surprise that we were getting married. Still, you would like to think people would be excited and want to share in such an important time in your life. My Dad apparently didn't subscribe to this notion because one of the statements he made was 'why should we get excited when the cow's already been let out of the barn.' Thanks Dad.
At that time, just starting out, we didn't have a lot of money and since my folks didn't exactly jump at the chance to throw their eldest daughter the wedding she deserved, the Hubby and I paid for and planned everything ourselves. It was a small wedding, in part because of money but mostly because at the time neither of us knew that many people. I had no real roll model for planning a wedding; there hadn't really been a "big" wedding in my family and as most of you know my parents aren't the shining example of taste and etiquette. So we just sort of flew by the seat of our pants.
I picked out fabric and a pattern and my aunt made my dress. My maid of honor and I made the bridal party's bouquets and I had my bouquet made out of silk flowers. In lieu of gifts one of my uncles took pictures and another video taped the ceremony. Though we said the traditional vows (minus the obey part!) we also wrote our own vows. Our reception was at the church, simple punch and cake stuff. It was not elaborate by any means. But it was filled with our own touches and personality. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want a huge expensive wedding, but there are things I would do differently. One thing that bothers me the most I suppose is that my parents have rewritten history on this and claim to have paid for our wedding (they did buy a couple of buckets of chicken for the rehearsal dinner and some balloons); of course they also claim to have put me through college despite the fact that I was still paying for my student loans up until about 10 years ago.
So, in six years we will have the reception and fun we missed out on 14 years ago and you, my friends, are invited!