It is 2004, September 04. The day of my wedding. Any stress that goes along with planning one’s wedding had escaped me the day before, as I sat at Aunt Josies’ at my bridesmaids’ luncheon surrounded by Mom, Mia (my grandmother), my sister Jenny, my aunt and cousins and bridesmaids – basically, all the women who mean the most to me in the world. I recall Erin turning to me at the luncheon and saying, “Well, here is where the craziness begins!”
“No,” I smiled. “Here’s where it ends.” For better or worse, the planning was over. Details ready or not, the show would go on. And I felt calm and relaxed and in the perfect frame of mind to marry my true love.
Fast forward through the next day, as we awaken at 6:30 a.m. for breakfast and a morning run and last-minute dumbbells and hot rollers and makeup and pedicures and up-dos and lunch and a last-minute venue change for getting dressed and petticoats and strapless bras and double-sided carpet tape (Thanks, Susan!). I smile and take my time carefully applying eyeliner and mascara and lipstick for the day I will never forget.
Put on my dress and – uh oh. It’s too big. What happened? Had my final fitting the weekend before, and now – it doesn’t fit. Wouldn’t be a big deal except it’s now in danger of being tripped over and I’m a bit nervous if that happens my boobs may just fall out as I walk down the aisle. Now that would be a wedding no one would forget!
After many reassurances from bridesmaids and a few pieces of Susan’s carpet tape, I am satisfied that I will not be flashing my friends and family and new groom. But now time is of the essence and we must get to the ceremony (my cousin, Christie’s words about the wedding bells striking at 3 p.m., signaling the start of the ceremony, ringing in my head.)
I realize there is some commotion going on and it looks like we have another wardrobe malfunction. Colleen’s zipper has broken. Colleen is the maid of honor. All of the bridesmaids are helping her, with string and thread and appropriately placed wraps. I am not worried – they’ve got it handled. Really, I just know it’s in their hands and there’s nothing I can do to help. So I decide to do the only thing I know to do – go where I need to go, which is the car.
In hindsight I believe this to be a mistake, as everyone expects the bride to freak out on her wedding day and my bridesmaids were no exception. “We have to go now!” I hear whispered. “She’s already in the car!”
Meantime, Mark is waiting with car and sees the flurry of activity going on. I’m certain it doesn’t help when I get in the car and realize the flowers are wrong. “Who’s bouquet is this?” I ask. “It’s certainly not mine.” You see, I’d very specifically asked for red, orange and yellow flowers to go with our fall motif. What I got was red, orange, yellow and pink flowers. I think about pulling the pink ones out but I fear the entire bouquet will collapse if this happens, so in the end, I carry the wrong bouquet down the aisle and pout about it for a few months (ok, maybe a year) after.
I think in a strange way, I was playing the role of stressed-out bride over the flowers because I felt that’s what I was supposed to do. I spent a year planning the wedding; I knew every detail and if something wasn’t right, wasn’t I supposed to be upset? I didn’t pause to think about the fact that I actually wasn’t upset at all, that I knew flowers were unimportant and very minor on the list of things that could go wrong.
So we made it to the wedding, just a few minutes late and it turned out to be a good thing – we were told to circle the block because Jeff’s mom, dad and grandmother weren’t even there yet. The wedding couldn’t start on time anyway! We started a mere 10 minutes late, and the world kept turning although the wedding bells chimed at 3:10.
In the end, though, pink flowers or not, Colleen made it through the day with an unzipped dress that no one noticed, I did not flash anyone or trip going down the aisle, and the guests barely noticed the flowers anyway, much less that the colors weren’t quite right.
And the end of the day, I left my pink flowers on the stage at the reception and didn’t look back as I ran off with my new groom to the Grove Park Inn, then Italy, then our new life.