Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Do the best you can, with what you have."
    This phrase pretty much sums up my daily approach to living. I was talking with a bride today, who was on a limited budget for her wedding, and it made me think about my own wedding.  Joe and I are married 30 years, and that old Barry Manilow song is rolling around in my head "Looks Like We Made It."  We had a wonderful wedding despite the fact that the parents of the bride did not support us at all, but the parents of the groom ponied up and paid for a simple yet well-done ceremony and  reception. Joe and I are resourceful, so he handled the music for the reception, and I had friends do the music at the church. We did our own flowers, his sister made the wedding cake, we had the Pittsburgh "cookie table."    It was an outstanding beginning to what would be an extraordinary marriage.  After all, the marriage is the thing.
     In this age of television fantasy weddings, it's hard for a bride and groom to picture something simple and meaningful--but it can be done. Do the best with what you have.  Here is a list of some things you could easily leave out of your wedding:
1) the crash (white cloth runner) for the bride and attendants to walk on, for the procession. It is supposed to keep the bride's dress clean. Unless you are getting married in a barn, this is unnecessary.
2) Platinum ring sets with a crazy amount of diamonds for both the bride and groom. Totally ridiculous. The stones will fall out anyway and you will not be able to afford replacements once you have children.
3) A Hummer Limo, a Limo Bus, or a Helicopter to take your "wedding personnel" from place to place, i.e., church to reception hall.  Don't they have cars?
4) a $5,000-$10,000 wedding gown.
5)  Two $5,00- $10,000 wedding gowns, one for the church, one for the reception.
6) a "theme" for the reception hall.  David Tutera, wedding planner for the stars, is big on this.
He frowns on everything the girls on TV want, because (listen up, brides)--he gets everything for free from his tv show's vendors. All your guests really need is hospitality.
7) Expensive cake. My sister in law made our cake.  It was luscious. Cake is meant to be admired and then quickly inhaled.  Cakes with the continued "theme" in fondant with sculptures, etc., well that's just germy anyway.  As Julia Childs would say, It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you KNOW someone’s fingers have been all over it.
8) Open bar and extraordinary amounts of booze.  Wine with dinner, beer if a person wants it, but an open bar invites guests to overindulge, and as a Mom, I don't want potential clean up (yuck) or danger from drinking and driving.  Champagne toast is nice and has a purpose.
9) Kitschy stuff found on Pinterest photos of bride and groom as children hung on the ends of the church pews, sand kits that "intermingle" two colors in symbolic unification  (sand is like glitter--it will inevitably make a mess;) all that stuff to throw at the couple when they stride out of church, like rice, flower petals, birds flying, bubbles, balloons or so called "eco confetti," which dissolves with the rain. If you wanted to be truly ecological, how about asking people to cheer when you come out of church, or blow into their vuvuzelas.
10) Strolling violinist, party favors at the reception, and  King and Queen Squirrel figurines.