On my wedding day I spent 3 hours getting my hair and make-up done. 3 hours.
After, I went home and my apartment was quiet. The first time it had been quiet in days. It was mid-day, but the apartment was a little dark and cool, which just added to the quiet. I walked down to where my dress waited for me and I couldn’t help but think about polish dancers. You know, when you are a kid and you go to the county fair and there are these dancers and they are wearing special costumes and they do their traditional folk dances? Big skirts and maybe aprons and hats?
We’ve all heard that America is a melting pot. Cultures come here and melt into a gooey American cheese ball. I’ve also heard that America is a mixed salad, multiple diverse and culturally connected elements that keep their identity while coming together to form a delicious and nutritious salad of patriotism. But really, America is a fondue. It isn’t either/or. There is the melted bit, but then you dip in all those exciting bits of bread and veg. I’m in the melt-y bit. We are just white people. Even though our family is Scottish, there is no throwing of cabers in our house. I am part Swiss … but, well, do the Swiss even have a cultural identity? I don’t know if I’m German Swiss or Italian Swiss, and while I do love chocolate, I don’t own a watch. I guess I’m just American, and while that’s fine 50% of the time, it isn’t that exciting to me. It isn’t like I get to put on crazy shoes and skirts with special names and dance around.
Except today. That day. My wedding day.
That day I was going to be a polish dancer. I was putting on my ceremonial garb, my war paint, my helmet (trust me, with the amount of hairspray I had in my hair, I was ready for football) (also, I don’t think polish dancers wear helmets, but just go with it). I was getting ready for my “dance,” my performance. My moment at the county fair.
It was really cool.
So we still have stuff to do. Lots of stuff. Probably by other standards not really that much, but to me it is a lot. And it involves sawing. Sawing. Wood. What was I thinking?
It is funny, people ask me if I’m nervous or excited or stressed (and some people tell me exactly how I must be feeling, which is really annoying, but I’m learning to let go). I’m not. I am. I don’t know. I’m kind of apathetic really. Is that bad to say? I am. I think it is a defense mechanism. I fall into apathy because I don’t want to deal with stress.
I was thinking about this. The stress of a wedding. None of it has anything to do with the marriage, with the commitment. It all has to do with the party. Will people have fun? Will the food be ok? Will there be enough to drink? Will people have fun? Did I ask that already? Will they? Will they be bored? Do I even care? I guess I do. I do. Are they going to hate me because they are bored? Are they going to come all this way and be inconvenienced and bored and never talk to me again? Why didn’t we elope? Why did we decide to do all these things?
But really, I’m happy with this stress. If it was the stress of “am I making a wrong choice WITH THE REST OF MY LIFE” then I would be unhappy with that stress. But this stress, this will there be enough wine (yes, there will be), will there be enough food (again- yes), will people have fun (see answer re: enough wine. Fun in a bottle) stress- this is good. Better than good, it is great. This is the stress you want to have. This is the stress you revel in.
One week left!
10 days left!
People ask me if I’m nervous, and the answer is no. Well no more nervous than I usually am. Which is already pretty nervous. Anxious, is probably a better word. Tense. High strung. The usual, though. Nothing special.
People ask me if I’m excited, and the answer is YES! I am looking forward to seeing my friends and family. I guess I am excited about marrying Mark too, but mostly I’m excited for a party.
People ask me how I’m feeling, and the answer is fine.
People ask me if I’m ready, and the answer is depends. Ready to marry Mark? Of course. Have been for a while. Ready for the party? Er. Mostly. I still have some crap to glue, but push comes to shove? We’d make it work.
Posted February 26, 2013on:
At first, I didn’t want to do a wedding registry at all. But people didn’t listen or just didn’t agree with us. Ironically, the same people that won’t listen to your desire to not register are really insistent that you give them a list of things to buy. It is nice that people want to give us gifts. And if people don’t, that will be fine too. I don’t want to sound ungrateful or insistent. I don’t want anyone to feel obligated, one way or another. To give, not give; ask, not ask.
We registered first on Amazon thinking that would be easiest. Well. It wasn’t. So we decided to head down to our local Macy’s to give people more options. I thought we would be in and out in an hour. I thought it would be a quick scan and then we’d go on to other things. I was wrong. It ended up taking the whole day, and we only registered for a few things.
At first, I thought registering was just building a list of pre-approved gifts. We already have so much stuff together, we’d just list a few random bits of things we wanted and we’d be done. That’s what the amazon list was and that was fine.
But when we started going through the displays at Macy’s and we started thinking about how we would define our ever after, things sort of shifted. This want just a bunch of kitchen stuff, this is what we’d use to entertain (if we ever get a bigger place) this is what we’d use for weekends, this is what we’d use for game nights (again… If we ever get a bigger place- seriously, I’ll invite you ALL over if we ever get a bigger place). This was our future. This is the serving tray we will use for Thanksgiving. This is the salad bowl for special nights and ordinary nights. This is who we will become together as a couple for ever and ever.
It got weirdly overwhelming. It is just stuff. Just a teapot. But will I still like that teapot in ten years. 15? 30? Is it going to stand the test of time? Will it look dated? Will people think we are frivolous for wanting such a silly teapot? Or am I just over-thinking a teapot?
Yeah. It’s the last one. I’m over-thinking a teapot.
So we registered for stuff we liked. Some stuff we’d never buy but thought was nice. We registered for a lot things we know we will never get, and that is totaly fine because in that moment before scanning the bar code, we lived a lifetime together. We had pasta with goat cheese in the pasta dishes while watching movies. We served scotch to friends before a show in the crystal glasses. We argued over the evenness of the sheets. In just a moment, in the flash of the rf scanner, we were in a different time (and a much bigger apartment). We could create a whole new reality just by picking out serving dishes.
If we end up with that crystal decanter, I’m pretty sure I get to be a housewife.
We did an engagement photo shoot last week. It was weird.
In a good way.
I was really anti-engagement pictures. Adamantly. It was something other people did. Cute people in matching hats or boots or sweater vests. People who make me want to throw up. That said, I’m really glad we did it because it is going to make taking pictures at the wedding so. much. easier. Like a million times easier. For many reasons. Including:
- Our photographer is rad. Seriously. She is really easy to work with. And despite my awkwardness and anxiety, I actually had a lot of fun. I am not going to magically look like a supermodel in these pictures, she is not a wizard, but I felt really good taking them. And maybe that *is* kind of magical.
- Being photographed is not normal. Just going through the motions of this photo shoot is comforting. A dress rehearsal. Now, I won’t feel awkward. Well, I probably will, but I *know* I will and I *know* that’s ok and that makes a huge difference.
- I realized that I have to actually kiss Mark for more than half a second in order to get a decent picture. This is good information to have as PDA is not a natural thing for me. Well, documented PDA is not a natural thing for me.
So yay to engagement shoots! I never wanted one, but I’m so glad we did it. It was really fun!
All pictures from the delightful Emily Takes Photos
Before I begin my lament on shoe shopping for the wedding, I’d just like to say I know that this is ridiculous. I know. I KNOW. Which is what makes the whole process that much more painful, I don’t want to be the woman absurdly complaining about shoe shape and color choices and yet HERE I AM. There are real problems in the world. People without access to safe medical care, safe drinking water, safety in their own lives, and here I am bitching about shoes.
Let us begin.
The trouble with getting creative with my dress color is it now limits my shoe options. A white dress? The world is your shoe shaped oyster. A blue dress? Well, now you have some limitations. The world is no longer your shoe oyster. It is one of those months without an ‘r’ in it and you shouldn’t risk it. Ok, I’m done with this metaphor now.
I’ll start with the fact that I have a pair of black dansko heels that I adore. They are comfortable, they are cute, I can wear them all day. I love these shoes so much sometimes I get a little misty just thinking about them. I would wear them to the wedding. Heck, I might still, but they are black. My dress is light blue. Tea length. And something about a heavy, dark shoe under the light blue skirts and ivory lace is just a little, well, wrong. It doesn’t fit the aesthetic.
But with a blue dress, blue shoes are rife with danger. They need to match but not match- they have to be in the same color family, darker maybe, but not too much darker. If the shoe is too navy then I am pretty much back to my problem with the black shoes and I might as well just wear those. I could dye shoes to match. Which is a thing people do. But gah, that’s work. Work I cannot be bothered with. And bring a fabric swatch shoe shopping? Um. Who do you think I am?
Look at all these lovely blues that won’t work:
So. Blue is out. What color would go? An ivory would be nice. Or white. A twist on the theme- blue dress, white shoes. But have you spent any amount of time looking for white shoes? Let’s just say you get a lot of this:
And I’m not ready for that. That said, I’m not really ready for this either:
Apparently that’s a thing. A $2000 thing. I’m never going to be a proper modern woman.
So pretty much white is out. White, black, blue. Blerg. Maybe a nice neutral? Maybe. Maybe something with a retro feel? Yes. Retro. Kitten heel. Retro kitten heel!
Ok. Maybe not that retro.
So the search continues. I am down but not yet out. And worst case, I wear my black shoes. Ugly with my Cinderella dress. Yep. But a hell of a lot better than a pair of crystal slippers…
I may have pulled my hair up, clipped some Kleenex on my head to mimic a fancy fascinator, tossed on my wedding dress, and swished around the apartment like a pretty, pretty princess.
I have to test this thing out.
What I found is that hair makes a difference. A big difference. Originally, I was going to do my own hair. I was going to find some lovely headband on Etsy, plop it on my head, and be done. The trouble is, this dress requires more than that. This dress, like Audrey II, requires a bit more than I can eek out of my fingertips. This dress requires a full size professional.
I know what you are going to say, I know because I’ve said it: PLEASE. You can do your own hair. You can. You really can. It isn’t that hard. Get some product, some clips, watch a youtube- bob’s your uncle- bouffant. Easy. This is not an expense you should try to justify. This is frivolous. This is silly. This is everything you aren’t. Don’t give in to wedding bell peer pressure. This isn’t a requirement. You don’t need hair for your wedding. YOU ONLY NEED LOVE.
But at what point does austerity stop? I mean, I DO NOT need to get my hair done. But I also DO NOT need a dress. I DO NOT need a sit down meal, or wine, or friends or family. Heck, I could even forgo witnesses with a confidential marriage license. I DO NOT NEED ANYTHING. I CAN DO IT ALONE.
Well, almost alone. I still need Mark.
We can have indulgences. It is OK. It is our wedding, after all. If Mark wants a bespoke suit, Mark can have his bespoke suit. If I want a professional to make my hair do something other than lie flat against my face, then let’s book an appointment. I’m not going to get my hair done because I have to have some crinkly eight tier updo I saw in some magazine. I’m not getting extensions or changing color, I’m just getting someone to make me look like my best self. I’m not doing this because of SOCIETY, but I am doing it because it is my wedding day and I’m going to wear a pretty dress, and damn if I don’t want some pretty hair, too.