A friend recently noted that I seem to have been to a lot of weddings lately. I have thought about how many people I know who are engaged/married, but I hadn’t really put it into perspective before.
I’ve been to two weddings thus far for close friends, and I’m currently in two more and likely invited to another. I’ve also been to one family wedding recently, and two other close family members got married in the last 6 months. My sister is also currently engaged.
Every wedding has a story. Whether it’s the planning fiascos, drama at the event itself, or post-marital hardship, it seems no one is spared. The stories and photos of excess are ridiculous. Here are some “fun” memories of my wedding experiences thus far. Note: the first two snippets happened this past year, the last three all sort of fell into being last week
The Sob Story
One of my college roommates got married last April. She got engaged when her mom was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. Unfortunately, her mom passed before the ceremony happened. I was asked to be a bridesmaid, but also to be the bride’s “something blue” (as in the something old/new/borrowed/blue). The ceremony was a mess. The wedding ran late, photos weren’t taken, people didn’t dance, the DJ didn’t have the first song, and of course, the whole thing was tinged with sadness because of the loss of her mother. On top of it all, I ended up not as a bridesmaid, but as a reader. This would have been fine, had she informed me before the day of (and before I spent $1300 on associated wedding things), but instead ended up a clusterfuck of awkwardness. But they’re married! And, nearly one year later, despite some serious issues with in-laws and housing, they’re still together.
The “Big Fat Jewish Wedding”
My cousin’s wedding this fall was another ridiculous affair. The whole event spanned the course of 4 days. There were 8 Shabbat/religious Jewish ceremonies over the first two days. There were two engagement dinner/giant celebrations prior to the wedding itself. The wedding reception had four separate bands play. Friends performed skits, family wrote comedic sketches, and toasts happened galore. The hoorah went on for an hour. The groom wrote and performed a song for the bride. There was a wedding cake, 2 other types of cake, Ben and Jerry’s, and cookies with baileys served at the reception. It literally could have been a movie for my big fat Jewish wedding. All that aside, this couple seems happier than any other I know, and they really seem truly meant for each other.
The Midwestern Prudes
One of my high school BFF’s got engaged in May, and I’m a bridesmaid (for real this time!). Lately, this wedding planning has gone kerplunk. The bride’s grandmother is having major health issues, so the family is too preoccupied to help her plan – and this for a girl who puts family above everything else. The couple hasn’t had sex in a year. Confrontations finally happened; essentially, fuck me or we’re through. The bride is extremely attractive by all modern and traditional standards, but her fiancé was a virgin until her and isn’t skilled enough to get her off. In his defense, she does no self-stimulation and has no clue how to get herself off either. They are shy on sex and don’t talk about the details…and now there are issues of trust, desirability, intimacy, etc. All before the wedding has happened. This one is on the rocks of happening right now.
The “I’m not getting married EVER…never mind!” Couple
The other high school BFF has been proclaiming for years that she didn’t believe in marriage. Then, of course, it devolved to not believing in wedding. Then, of course, she met “the one” and in her individual feminist way, she popped the question. They’re not sure of the particulars, but there will at least be a bachelorette party, a bridal party, and a reception/celebration of some sort, although probably not a ceremony and nothing at all religious. The thank-goodness thing here is that other than the date being only two weeks before my sister’s intended date, it should be relatively low-drama.
The mother-daughter soap opera
Then there’s my sister’s wedding…Ah, insanity. Obviously I’m a bridesmaid here, although my distance from home prevents me from being the maid of honor (thank God!). Unfortunately, my mom and sister both trust my insight and advice while having entirely differing ideas and views over what the wedding should be like, with neither having any idea how to plan one. My parents were very gracious in a budget for my sister.
Issue 1: she wants to buy a house and have a wedding. Complications: she has no money, no job, no credit, and her fiancé makes pennies. Logical response: consult a bank, figure out how much you can get approved for a mortgage and what type of down payment you need, then prioritize from there. Blunt sisterly response: If you want a house, you’re never going to have bulk money like this ever again, so use the wedding money for that and have a small wedding or elope.
Issue 2: my mom wants to invite EVERY FAMILY MEMBER EVER, and my sister wants a more intimate wedding more focused on having her friends there. Complication: my mom thinks my sister’s friends are the “dregs of the earth.” Logical response: make a list of all the possible invitees, prioritize, and then do announcements to the rest. People understand that weddings are finicky things and they won’t get butthurt about it.
They’ve been engaged for about a month, and found out about the budget about 2 weeks ago…and I spent 3 hours last week talking both parties down from hysteria. This does not bode well. Historically, my sister and mom are intermittently codependent and at each other’s throats, so do you see why I’m glad to be far away?