Friday, October 16, 2009

a dress is just a dress. right?

the other night i was flipping through the channels and came upon this show, say yes to the dress; it's about brides-to-be choosing their wedding gowns. i watched an episode or two, enthralled, not with the dresses themselves but with the process these brides went through and the money they forked out.

afterwards i was a dork and went to try on my own wedding dress. yes, it still fits and is actually a tad bit too big. ha. the boy said it was pretty. the girl said it was too plain. and, in fact, it is very plain by today's standards. i told the girl she could have my dress to have remade into something she'd wear when she got married and she just looked at me like i was on crack. i decided instead that depending on what we actually do for our 20th anniversary (in 3 yrs) i might just have the dress redesigned for myself. anywho.

with our anniversary coming up tomorrow i guess i've been reminiscing about our wedding a bit. 17 years ago we obviously were much younger and we were much, much poorer. i think we might have spent $2,000 on our wedding/honeymoon combined, although to hear my dad tell the story he paid for the wedding (and my college education)--both of these are flat out lies. having people over to your house for kfc for a rehearsal dinner is not paying for the wedding. i bought the fabric and the pattern for my dress and one of my aunts made it for me as a wedding gift. i still, mostly, like it. there is no adornment, it is a creamy silk, w/ an almost feather/flower pattern in the silk. it is floor length, sweetheart neckline, fitted bodice, unflattering puffy short cap sleeves (it was 1992 for god's sake) and an unflattering flared out waist.

my three bridesmaids also had their dresses made---black velvet tops w/ magenta and black striped skirts (shut up--it was pretty). we picked out invitations at hallmark. one of my bridesmaids and i made their bouquets and my bouquet to toss. i purchased my bouquet, silk flowers, and still have it. we had only been living in nc for about a year at the time and didn't belong to a church so we got married at a baptist church within spitting distance of my parents' house. for music we made a mix tape (this was before cds i believe) of songs that meant something to us. it mysteriously disappeared on our wedding day--i think the baptist preacher just didn't want to play chicago or bryan adams music in his church--and the preacher's wife played some piano music instead. we wrote our vows. on the video (taped by my uncle along w/ photos, another wedding gift) you really cannot hear them because i was so quiet and crying the whole time. i tend to get emotional. duh. the reception was at the church fellowship hall. there was no alcohol and the music, again, a mixed tape. the cake was lovely, made, as a wedding gift, by one of my then friend/co-workers. my aunts served punch and snacks. we actually opened wedding gifts at the reception.

sometimes i have been ashamed of the frugality and smallness of our wedding, especially when compared to ones i've been to since then, but it was what we could afford and it was about us, me and him, and our hearts and the ways we wanted to express our love to each other (not like the wedding carrie had planned for big in the sex in the city movie that we watched the other night). even though i want to have a big 20 year celebration, possibly a renewal of vows ceremony, i would not trade my small, inexpensive wedding for anything in the world.


Anonymous said...

Kudos on the dress, I couldn't get one thigh into mine! My mom once tried hers on years later and got it stuck on!

cheatymoon said...

I got married in 1990, and many of your details were similar to mine. I spent a couple thousand on the whole shebang.
I had my dress made too - champagne satin oy - size 6 - sigh.

Antoinette Meaterson said...

OMG..My wedding was totally on a shoestring as well, but I totally wouldn't have changed anything but the weather. It was hotter than hell and the poor boys in their tuxes almost melted. But it was so much fun and all about us. No mix tapes though. :P

Gal Friday said...

Another fan of small, modest weddings--that is what we had--and it was perfect.
Yay you!--that you can still fit(comfortably) into your wedding dress!

Astarte said...

Girlfriend, I wore a $100 bridesmaid dress for my wedding. We had less than thirty people there, had dinner at a nice local restaurant, and that was that. I had a tiny boquet, DH had a rose. We *maybe* spent $500. I'm so glad, too, because those huge weddings seem so ridiculous to me. Many thousands of dollars for what? Half a day and bad catering? No, thank you!