The Flipped Lid: Nary A Bridesmaid

Sep 12, 2006 at 7:28 pm

My upcoming wedding has become almost as controversial as my exotic dancing history, at least for some members of my family. For those of you (you romantic, hopeful, goofball lovers, you) who have gone through organizing and participating in a wedding, you may understand my growing sentiments about the occasion. And how others view it. How they would like it to go. And what they expect from me, never mind that an entire other person (my fiancé) is involved in what will be our joyous shebang. Luckily, Kris and I agreed on a date (Sept. 30) and place (a local camp/retreat center) before announcing the news.

Our parents have been supportive, generous and enthused. All feel delighted with our happiness and even confident that we won’t divorce in six months when my Zappos shoe-buying habit has fully kicked in, or when his sinus cavity, ear-itch snortings become full-on melodic compositions. OK, Dad basically sired a cow when we explained our intentions of holding an adults-only ceremony AND reception. Said bovine took the form of his characteristic (sometimes endearing, sometimes not so much so) to-the-point disagreement expressed in less-than-gentle tone during a fancy post-engagement, wedding-planning dinner with both sets of parents. As I stared into my sweating water goblet, I was for once just about speechless. Did I mention how much I love my dad? Well, I do. What’s the adage? Love the dad. Hate the farm animal.

We have conceded to including children at our rehearsal dinner, which evokes nothing much traditional besides the fact that Kris’ lovely parents, whom I adore, have generously, graciously done the whole thing up. We have nary a bridesmaid or groomsman (or flower girls, ring boys, bouquet dogs, “colors” or videographer), so there’s nothing really to rehearse besides maintaining a loving gaze while mosquitoes drift up from the lake, onto the deck and then our ankles (or the ankles of our guests). Rehearsal dinner guests include the ceremony invitees. The event is meant to offer our closest family and friends the opportunity to introduce themselves, go through a buffet line, then sit and eat with people they already know anyway. LOTS of beer and wine has been ordered. Bonfire and hayride to follow. Who knows what might happen with hay, fire and alcohol? Perhaps an adapted Burning Man festival with Bride and Groom effigies? At least the fire ring sits within 50 feet of the camp’s lake. Just in case.

Kris and I also want an intimate wedding — 10 or so in attendance at the ceremony — and a big reception. We’ve invited 175-ish to the post party. However, maybe because we waited into our mid-30s to marry, ALL of our family and friends feel that they should be witness to such an historic, epic, hardly believable event. Neither of us thought we’d marry — on some level we still can’t believe it — and perhaps others’ disbelief is motivating their desires to be present. They want to see the ground break open. And floods.

And lightning striking our foreheads as we become emblazoned with the scarlet letter “M.” These acts of god would likely be unsuitable for children anyway, so we are probably saving little ones from trauma by respectfully requesting that they not attend. Did I mention that we love our family and have increased our ceremony invitees to 35 friends and relations? To the rest I say, “When you see us at our reception, Kris and I will be for real and authentically off the market.” And off our nuptial rockers by then, too.

Whatever other people feel about how we’ve decided to construct, hold and implement our wedding retreat weekend, I love Kris and he’s the one I’ll be living with for the rest of my life. Of course, I love my family and friends (did I mention that yet? Let me do so again: I love our family and friends very, very much! Including Dad) and know that — in their heart of hearts — all of them will (hopefully) focus more on supporting us in our marriage and not so much on one or two days in September. We want to host a fun party, but more than that want to enjoy a meaningful, happy lifetime. Together, ideally.

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