25 September 2012


Friday night I joined my girlfriends for a party celebrating a new marriage. The evening, deemed “Alice in Weddingland” was relaxing and more fun that I imagined. Each guest was asked to wear something from a wedding, either the girls’ own or from another’s, and bring along any wedding keepsakes.

My dress is in a box in my mother’s house – at least I hope it is. I have yet to open the box to confirm my dress is actually inside. Even if I had my dress in Singapore, I doubt I would want to put it on, hail a taxi and wear it to a house party. It’s not the easiest dress to get in and out of.

I have a wedding box, but that is at someone’s American house as well. The box contains a couple copies of our dinner menu, the sugar flowers from our cake, all of the cards we received and my blue shoes – they were my “something blue.”

All I have are some photos in frames. Though it has been more than three years, I have yet to do anything about an album. I have thought about putting something together and having a online store print some books; I have considered paying more than $1,000 for my photographer to just do it for me. But, alas, I have not done anything beyond the thinking stage.

So I took the frames to the party. I dressed myself in a one-shouldered, knee-length navy dress that I wore to my mother’s wedding, flopped on a pair of flip flops and headed over. Avril had her light blue dress hanging from her stairway; Nic was wearing her wedding veil with a new, blinged out, knee-length fluffy dress she deemed her “second wedding” dress. Katie, though quite pregnant, was wearing the wedding dress she wore one year ago – an empire waist style, flowing Balinese dress, her baby bump gently showing.

We sipped some bubbly, gathered over a few snacks and, as more people arrived, mingled a bit. We played a game whereby we each had to write three words that described a fabulous wedding story onto a sheet of paper. Throughout the night, we gathered on the couches and the stories that corresponded with each phrase.

Gaylin started laughing when she read her first phrase: “O.K., I HAVE to know this story! Whose is ‘Drunk Organ Player’?” “An arm rocketed straight up in the air, a giant smile streamed across a face and Avril shouted, “That’s ME!” She then proceeded to tell us how she was raised Jehovah’s Witness and that her first time in a church was when she was 20, attending a wedding with her then boyfriend.

“I knew all the classic songs,” she said and cited a few that can be heard at traditional ceremonies. “And I knew them well enough to know that the organ player was getting them wrong.” She went on to say that she overheard people letting out their frustrations over the fact that the organ player was drunk and then shouted, “I was totally convinced it was the devil!”

We went on to hear stories about how one groom made it absolutely clear that his bride was not to be drunk at their wedding and then the groom was on the floor, absolutely wasted; one girl loved makeup so much that her bridesmaids and on-site makeup team took her makeup and shouted, “No more mascara!” We heard a story about how a story about a stripper got worked into a wedding speech and then, the next year, it got worked into someone else’s wedding toast – that was mine. I called it “Like a Stripper.”

We all gathered around mini wedding cakes, cut them and ravaged them. At one point, we gathered around the memorabilia tables, shared photos and told stories. I was asked about my own wedding and if it was everything I always wanted. “No,” I replied. “If I had it my way, I would have had an entire university choir singing a capella as I walked down the aisle of some majestic stone church. I would have had hundreds of people dancing to my favorite band and themed bars around the reception location. There would have been amazing fireworks when the sun went down. “We did it the way that made Paul happy – and it was perfect.”

We started planning a destination wedding. We saw spaces along the Cape and on Martha’s Vineyard. And then we realized we would be spending $14,000 on 10 people’s travel before we would spend a dime on the wedding, so we opted for something closer to home.

Paul found the venue – a small white stone garden. When our guest list kept growing, we cut it – severely. Paul, for those of you who don’t know him, doesn’t like people. He, unlike most brides, did not want to be the center of attention. I was there when he asked his best friend to be his best man and the guy laughed and said, “No! Absolutely not!” because they both hate weddings that much. “See?” Paul turned and told me. “I’m not the only one!”

We celebrated our nuptials in front of 27 people. We had dinner in a fabulous restaurant that felt like a private venue. We had no music other than what the restaurant played. We did not dance (Paul hates dancing). We had the opportunity to sit at the tables and talk with everyone who attended – that is something none of our friends can say.

So, though our wedding may not have been the wedding I always dreamed of, it was quite perfect. 

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