It all started with a green dress. Actually, it started with an ice cream cake in the middle of winter, but let’s not go back that far. Okay, maybe we should.
Picture it. A knock on the door and standing outside is my entire family…mom, dad, sister, her boyfriend and her daughter. (Did they bring the dog? Can’t remember. Probably not.) Now, I was happy to see them, but especially happy that they brought cake, and an ice cream cake, at that. My husband and I are always up for ice cream cake (remember that, friends), so we welcomed them in with open arms and immediatly got out the cake knife and plates. No questions asked. Only there was a good reason for bringing the cake. My sister was newly engaged!
After flashing the rock around for a few minutes (oooooh, sooooo pretty!!), we settled into the inevitable conversation which included:
- When is the wedding?
- We need to go dress shopping!
- What shoes will I wear? We need to go shoe shopping!
- Here is a BIG stack of wedding magazines I just happen to be keeping around.
- We need to discuss the cake. Wait, let’s just eat more cake now and talk about the wedding cake later.
- Are you going to be okay wearing that heavy rock on your finger?
It was all so exciting, except the part where she told me the wedding would be later that summer. And so why did we all just eat multiple pieces of that ice cream cake???? God, I was going to have to fit into a dress. In six months. Yikes.
So, of course, we went dress shopping, like, straight away. Or maybe it was four months later. Who can remember? All I know is that I starved myself, exercised as much as I could, wore restrictive undergarments and poured myself into the size minus-zero dress that, according to the woman at the bridal shop was “the typical size this particular dress maker always brings for the trunk shows”. Okay. So what do the adults try on when they come to her shop?
Anyway, it was a lovely green sample dress. So lovely, I knew it was “the one” within minutes of pretending it fit over my hips. After she measured me for the real dress, and gave me some kind of backward compliment (“Oh, I didn’t think you’d wear that size. You look so much smaller”), we left the store and I felt pretty darn good about the wedding. The hard part for me was all finished.
Of course, there were dress fittings, wacky mid-morning bridal showers, a sparkly-sequined dress debate with my eight-year-old niece, party decisions, and hair and make-up practices. All typical of a wedding.
When the BIG DAY rolled around, a freak mix-up in World positioning replaced Eastern Ontario with the rainforests in Southeast Asia. I like to think of the humidity that day as “Wedding Challenge #1”. It’s not right to expect to wake up to sunshine and a lovely breeze on your sister’s big day. No, it just wouldn’t be special if we didn’t have to figure out how to look amazing in photographs she’d be paying an arm and a leg for, all the while trying to keep our hair from springing into a frizzy mass and hoping the sweat stains forming under our arms woudln’t be visible in the final product. Photoshop, anyone?
Wedding Challenge #1.5 doesn’t really count, but I had a brief moment of panic. After arriving at the wedding site, I mistakenly took off for one of the public washrooms, hiking my gorgeous sikly purple dress up so that it wouldn’t drag on a wet bathroom floor. It was tricky, to say the least, to keep that dress from touching anything unseemly (nevermind that my sweet husband was standing outside holding either my bouquet, my purse, or both). As I went to the sink to wash my hands, proud that nothing had marred my dress whatsoever, I failed to think about the taps as I turned them on. Oh, you’ve never seen such a lovely spray, except at one of those fancy water fountains outside a big hotel, maybe. And now my dress was covered in a gazillion droplets of water. This is the one and only time I’ve been glad a bathroom only stocked hand-blowers. I turned two of them on and proceded to waft my dress under them until I was dry. Later, I would notice the water had left behind a weird matte finish on the silk, but right then, I thought it had worked out quite well, and my husband agreed that no one could tell.
(That’s me in the purple dress.)
“Wedding Challenge #2”. My lovely sister, and I do love the bones of this girl, but oh….she had a brief moment of “what sister?” when she planned the wedding to take place in the middle of some God-forsaken park. Oh, it sounds nice, and the pictures were beautiful, but after we switched into hiking boots, slid down a mountainside carrying our lovely bouquets, and trekked off into something that could only be described as the Amazing Race to get there on time, she picked a spot randomly and we had the wedding.
Which was gorgeous, and sweet, and wonderful. And my sister did it all looking just beautiful and worry-free. *sigh*
And then there was “Wedding Challenge #3”: wind. Who would’ve thought, after all that heat and humidity and hot, blazing sunshine, that the wind would suddenly pick up and threaten to wisk away everything from the tables at her outdoor reception? No one. Not one of us had planned for that. Can you believe it? So, my husband and I raced over to Walmart where he participated in a “Who’s On First” conversation with one of the employees regarding table clips. Seems that even though it was summer, they only had two small packages of something that resembled the clips. They would have to do.
Back at the house, my new brother-in-law was busy stringing the last of the millions of little fairy lights we’d purchased online (that had to be completely rewired so they wouldn’t catch on fire). Who knew buying cheap lights made in China for 3 cents each wouldn’t be a good idea? Not us. Inside, my sister and mom were busy cutting up the three billion desserts we’d made for the BIG dessert table. (And sampling. Must remember the sampling.)
After squeezing back into the water-splattered dress that seemed to fit perfectly that morning but was now straining against the pizza we’d had post wedding, we were all ready for a lovely afternoon of greeting friends and family! Oh, what a beautiful day and evening it was.
It’s now one year later, and my sister just celebrated a year of fantastic changes and happiness with her husband and young daughter, with cheesecake, of course!
Congratulations, B.A.M., and here’s to many more wonderful years to come!