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January 05, 2011

A Smash

A Smash

by Nancy Martin       Go to fullsize image

It's my theory that every wedding needs at least one minor disaster.  Otherwise, it's a forgettable event. More about that in a minute.

My daughter Sarah started buying bride magazines back in her early teens and read them on vacation.  It seemed a harmless habit at the time, so I didn't discourage it.  But she got engaged to Frank about 16 months ago, and although I planned our older daughter's wedding a while back, this time I was catapulted into a whole new bridal universe. Sarah and I have spent the last year planning a hullabaloo of a wedding with details so extensive we actually had spread sheets.  Multiple spread sheets.  For a novelist who tends to scribble my outlines on Post-It notes that end up scattered all over the house, this was new territory. 

 We interviewed florists, orchestras, DJs, photographers.  We toured hotels and country clubs. We attended bridal shows (where we mostly made fun of the hairdos. The Shirley Temple look is alive and well on bridal show runways.) We sampled menus. We tasted cakes. We tried on dresses.  We studied endless piles of catalogs for favors, bridesmaid dresses, tuxedo styles, shoes, and unmentionable undergarments. (We have a new scale of social events in our family:  Is a party Spanx-worthy?) Gradually, everything fell into place.

I don't have the official photos yet, but I do have a few candid shots I snapped before and after the wedding.

Here's the ballroom the morning we held a decorating party for all our female relatives along with the florist. DSC01111 (The decorating party turned out to be a highlight of the weekend.  It was a great way to get everyone together, having fun.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some bridesmaids, my daughter Cassie, my husband's sister and my aunt Nancy (that's my grandson Bobby "helping", too) assembling various forms of decoration, including little snowflake-shaped boxes for the confetti almonds:

DSC01120 

Here are my husband's mother and my daughter Cassie's mother-in-law Rita--two women who don't normally do craft projects, but I give them points for being game.  On the table is one of the centerpieces for our winter wonderland theme.  The silver branches have hanging votives (yes, one of the centerpieces caught fire during the reception---a small excitement) and are stuck in tall vases full of snow.  Okay, not real snow, but it sure looks like it:

DSC01124 

Here's my mother, being silly.  That's my sister on the right:

DSC01127 

Here's one of the many wreaths we made to line the aisle for the ceremony. In reality, they were stunning, but here it looks a little cheesy, I admit:

DSC01155 

 

After decorating, we had a delightful lunch together.  My aunt Nancy hosted one table.  That's Rita on the left, my mother wearing the white sweater, my cousin Maggie (who's very artistic--whew!) in the Northwestern shirt, Aunt Nancy at the head of the table, my sister Becky and her step-daughter Lily, who was very crafty, thank heavens:

DSC01134 

Here's Sarah's bouquet. (I brought it home and photographed it in my dining room.) It weighs about 12 pounds and would have given someone a concussion if she'd thrown it, so she had a dozen roses to throw instead--and all the single girls got a rose. Very nice.  DSC01146Sarah would like me to dry the bouquet while she's on her honeymoon. Does anybody know how to do that? 

I'll have pix of the actual wedding eventually, but the bride and groom are in the Caribbean and must okay the photos before anyone else sees them.

For serving after the dinner, we had over 200 hundred dozen wedding cookies on a Pittsburgh-style cookie table. Here are a few of the best cookies.  One of my favorites is the peach-shaped, peach-flavored cookie in the foreground--a speciality of Franks' godmother:

DSC01154 

Anyway, about disasters:  A couple of weeks before the wedding, Sarah said to me:  "If anything goes wrong, don't tell me, okay?  I don't want to know."

I believe it's the disasters than make weddings memorable, however.

My high school best friend, Mary Kate, recited her vows as the best man reeled out of the church and vomited into the yew bushes directly under an open window.  The entire congregation tuned out the vows and listened to him hurl the bachelor party excesses.

My sister-in-law's wedding included a best man crooning vintage rock at roll tunes from a prone position beneath a banquet table at a Holiday Inn. He hugged a bottle of Jack Daniels.

My own wedding reception featured a hugely overweight guest who wore a pastel suit and was suffering enormous swelling after a . . . well, there's no decent way to say this without causing spluttering laughter . . . a testicular accident. At the reception, he straddled a chair while applying gigantic bags of ice to himself.  (Why did he attend at all?  Why didn't he stay home?  I have no clue.  But he was memorable!)

Sarah's wedding was lovely.  I bawled when her dad walked her down the aisle. She looked radiant, which is a cliche, but true.  She and Frank whispered to each other during the ceremony--very cute. The cocktail hour featured Rat Pack tunes, which I love, and a spectacular anti pasta display provided by Frank's very Italian family. (Some of his family don't speak English, in fact.  Which made for tricky conversation, let me tell you.) The hotel came through with pretty good food for dinner.  (Is there any way to serve prime rib to 200 people without someone being unhappy?)  We had a smash of a party. Highlights include my husband, in his evening clothes, performing the chicken dance inside a circle of 25 dancing women. One of my favorite customs is the anniversary dance--my husband and I made it to the 30-35 year cut-off before we had to leave the floor--where a couple who's been married the longest (62 years at Sarah's wedding) are  the ones who give the bride and groom some marriage advice when the music stops. 

But, okay we had a few minor disasters: My 2 year-old grandson loudly announced he had a poopy diaper in the middle of the ceremony. My elderly aunt took a fall in her hotel room before the wedding, but attended despite bumps and bruises--only to fall again at home and take an ambulance ride to the hospital Sunday night. She's okay--home now and just a little black and blue. The bride and groom had to catch a very early plane on Sunday, and as they left the hotel at 4:30 am, the bride was so overcome she upchucked in the middle of the lobby--oh, dear!

All minor stuff, really.

Maybe not so minor was one family member (not my family, thank heavens) who spent most of the reception glowering from her ringside seat--looking like a troll under a bridge because of some perceived slight--instead of enjoying the occasion.  The rest of us--both families--chose to ignore her, but it was kinda hard not to notice she was Not Happy. Will we remember her behavior for the duration of the marriage? You bet.

Worst of all, though?  We completely forgot the day was alsoour other daughter's 6th wedding anniversary!  (Both daughters chose New Year's Day for their wedding date because it was my father's birthday.  Okay, and also because they'll always have a party to attend on their anniversary!) I felt terrible about forgetting Cassie's anniversary.

But I won't do that ever again.  Now both of my daughters have the same wedding anniversary.  Sarah's wedding day was 1-1-11.  Cool, right?

Was it crazy to spend so much dough on a big wedding? Probably so.  But my husband and I love to entertain, and we haven't been able to do much since moving into our "empty nesters" house.  We enjoy seeing our friends and family enjoying themselves. And everybody pitched in on the expenses. We had a great time with the preparations, loved being together.  It's a mother's pleasure to see her daughter so happy and moving joyously into the next phase of her life. And besides graduation parties and baby showers, a wedding is one of the few really happy occasions in an extended family.  If we only got together for funerals--well, what fun is that?

Now I just need a couple of weeks to regain my wits, get some sleep, savor the memories. Meanwhile, I'd love to hear any wedding disaster stories.  What's yours?

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Comments

Congratulations, Nancy, on both a job well done in raising Sarah and getting through the wedding with your sense of humor intact. Heck, you're a pro now! Mazel tov to the happy couple, may they have many joyous years together.

I dried my daughter's bouquet for her, and I think it's still up in our attic. But here's a site that gives some ideas:

http://www.ehow.com/how_17607_preserve-wedding-bouquet.html

Congratulations to the lovely couple! I wish them years of happiness.

Peach cookies!!! Dang I hate having allergies, I used to love those cookies.

My wedding was tiny. I was never one of those magazine buying, frou frou fantasizing women. There was 12 (or 14?) people at my wedding. In our apartment, no disasters except I married the butthead. Live and learn. We split up before the 2nd anniversary. I made a great wedding cake, Amaretto fruit cake with marzipan icing, didn't even have a cake topper, can't even remember if there were flowers. What can I say it was 1982 . . .

The whole thing looks like a great party and pooh on the cranky woman.

While I have no desire to ever marry again, I love this website:

http://offbeatbride.com/

Wow, so very gorgeous, Nancy. And that ballroom! Whoa. We do not have anything like that here, sadly. Maybe in New Orleans.

I've dried many many roses/flowers simply by hanging them in a dark closet and leaving them alone. I usually get a very sturdy piece of wire and hook it through whatever is holding the bouquet together, and then make a hanger out of the other end. That simple. Just don't keep checking on them --leave them alone in a dark place for a while.

Nancy, so happy that the wedding went smoothly.
Thanks for sharing the pictures. The Bouquet is stunning.
I am so anxious to see the Wedding photos.
Thanks again for giving us a glimpse of such a lovely time.

Whether it was a disaster depends on your perspective. I thought it was a wonderful day, one of the best days of my life. I'm not sure my ex-wife feels that way, now 20-some years out.

I have been waiting in great anticipation for a report about this wedding. Now I'm waiting in great anticipation for what Margie will say about the phrase "testicular accident."

I love that they whispered to each other.

Happy belated anniversary to Cassie!

Nancy: It took ten weeks and large quantities of chocolate to get me past my daughter’s wedding. (pixs on my FaceBook – Click my name below). My worst fear was ending up on YouTube for doing a header down the stairs. Avoiding that, the near disaster was when the sheriff’s department arrived in force because the photographer had opened a door he shouldn’t have. FYI: The National Museum of Wildlife Art has an excellent security system. If a door says “Do Not Open, Alarm Will Sound” you can take it to the bank.

I love weddings. I love the thought of two people standing in front of friends and family saying vows and believing, without reservation, in their future together. I love that! (I know, I know - it doesn't always work out - believe me - I KNOW. Been there, done that - got those pretty dresses to prove it). But, we all know it's going to work out for Sarah and her lucky husband. Nancy - every detail sounds perfect and divine and lovely and you deserve loud and long applause. and I'm with you - the "oopsies" make great stories for years! Grumpy woman should be ashamed.

" . . . no disasters except I married the butthead." Thanks for the big laugh this morning, Gaylin!

Thanks for the drying advice, everyone. I like Toni's idea--hang it and leave it alone. My style.

You guys are so indulgent of me this morning. Thank you!

One last disaster: At the hospital on Sunday night after the wedding, my aunt Nancy gave me her credit card so she wouldn't have to worry about it in the hospital room. And I thought I'd lost it in all the mayhem of post-wedding cleanup and helping my daughter et al pack to go home to Texas. Last night I dragged all the garbage in from the garage (22 degrees and wind cold enough to freeze your nose off) to sift through it. Erg. No credit card. Finally found it-----in the pocket of my pants all along. I was clearly still deranged from the wedding.

Congrats on surviving the wedding and all the accompaning parties.
I had several disasters for my wedding. We sent out the invitations with a map to the church and reception hall, only to have the city tear up the street the next day. The night of the rehearsal, we were tacking up signs around town to help the guests through the detour.
We were flying out early the next morning, so we made reservations at a hotel right across from the airport for the wedding night. These were made at least 6 months in advance and were guarnateed. We got there after midnight, only to be told that the hotel was booked solid. They did put us up at a budget hotel next door at their cost. The person in the room next to us was in the bathroom the whole night (we could hear all the flushing). Not the wedding night image I had in mind. (We complained to the hotel when we got back from our honeymoon and they gave us a coupon for a freeweekend, so I guess it worked out OK).
We were plenty mad back then, but it makes for fun stories now 30 yrs later.

WOW. The cookie table in and of itself must have been wondrous! Looking forward to seeing more photos - including one of you, Nancy!

And I must hear the story of the cranky old bag.

Lovely lovely lovely!! SO beautiful! What a wonderful way to start the day. (I love bride-stuff. When I was a teenager, I used to wonder--how do they think of new stuff for those magazines all the time?) Oh, thank you for telling all this wonderful stuff..it's such a treat to know you!

What's that little framed picture by the bouquet say? "Keep Calm, Carry On"? SO funny!

COngratulatons! and hurray...and much much happiness to all. Okay, now patiently waiting for more photos.

I so hope you took a picture of the fabled cookie table.

Gaylin, I also married a butthead the first time. But that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right? Or those we don't kill... I seriously want credit for not committing justifiable homicide. :-P

My first wedding was homemade: I made my gown, and my sister's and best friend's gowns. We could have walked to the reception, which was at a tavern at the end of my mom's street, where someone made my cake. We were driving a '57 Ford Fairlane convertible and someone had filled the whole car with balloons, and then had not latched the top back (in retrospect, I guess they couldn't, with the car full of balloons). On our way to our new apartment the top suddenly blew up, and if the ex had not had a LOT of driving experience as a cop trainee he would most certainly lost control.

At the time, the big disaster--which I later changed my mind about--was that he just went to sleep when we got home. On our wedding night. It still burns me up to think about.

Fortunately, that practice marriage was brief, and even though Steve and I got married in Vegas, with only one family member present, it has lasted for almost 29 years. So far!

"Keep Calm, Carry On."---I keep that in my dining room at all times. (As you probably know, it was originally a poster hung around London during the blitz!)

Cheryl, I'd take one of those coupons right now, believe me.

Okay, I'm a little disappointed that we don't have pictures of the bride, but I'll deal. In the meantime, just setting up this affair seems like it was a fabulous female bonding experience.
And disasters do make a wedding. Mine was the band Charlie and I chose on a whim (a Pennsylvania rockabilly combo) who started off with mother-in-law jokes as Pennsylvania rockabilly bands are wont to do. My mother took the lead singer aside and told him to knock it off. Was it portentous that our first dance was to Hank Williams Your Cheating Heart? I dunno. We've been married 22 years and going strong.
Congrats on the 30th btw.
As for Cassie, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY CASSIE! Your mother did not forget. Trust me. How could anyone forget when you're such a wonderful daughter.
Like Charlie says, money is just money. Fuggedaboutit. Enjoy the memories and well-deserved rest!

We had our wedding in my mother's front yard (large lot, rural Sonoma County, California). First, her phone line went out, but a helpful neighbor strung a long line of her own to my mother's house. Then, two hours before the holiday weekend Sunday event, my mother's septic tank/system backed up. No more usey! Fortunately (?) we had a deluxe porta-potty in place for the 90 guests, so we all had to use that instead (my mother had to use it for the next two days until a plumber could make it out. Even then, I just shrugged (and claimed bride's privilege to use the house toilet anyway!).

Wonderful! I'm sure Sarah was stunning - I hope she lets us see. I love your stories, and I think there's always a Cranky Woman at a wedding. My sister got married in the church up the street on Dec 27 (no need to decorate the church!) and had a reception in our house. Her husband's parents sat in two kitchen chairs against a wall in the dining room for the entire reception (after first saying they would not attend the wedding at all), and spoke to no one. Also the power went out just before the wedding, and everyone had to get ready in the dark. They just had their 39th anniversary.

My first wedding (same problem as Gaylin's) had the minor issue that my brother-in-law locked all the bouquets and boutonnieres, along with the keys, in the trunk of the car we rented. We had to wait for a locksmith to come, and I was a tad late to the church. In my other sister's wedding, my pregnant cousin, a bridesmaid, almost passed out at the altar, and had to leave the church.

My second wedding was by a judge in my sister's house on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We didn't want a big wedding. My mother, Irish Catholic until the end, made sure there was a big statue of the Blessed Mother on top of the hutch in the dining room, overseeing the proceedings.

Best wishes to Sarah and Frank. And happy belated anniversary to Cassie. :)

Backed up septic tank: I think that's the winner of the Worst Wedding Disaster, Tammy. Can anybody beat her?

Sarah, I'm dying for bride photos, too. Must wait until their return from honeymoon!

What a beautiful wedding -- and the setting makes me miss Pittsburgh all the more!

Wedding disasters?

1) The 2nd sedan not showing up for my bridesmaids

2) It started off raining then turned into a full scale blizzard by the end of the reception. Which leads me to #3

3) The sunroof of the bridal limo was stuck open about an inch, so when we pulled away, water came streaming through and onto me and my wedding gown

4) My bouquet disappeared at the end of the night only to be found in one of the waiter's lockers. Maybe he thought I didn't want it and wanted to take it home to his girlfriend - who knows?

5) Our limo driver got lost taking us to our hotel after the reception, which resulted in him lowering the privacy window about 5 times. Personally, I still think he was a pervert hoping to catch a glimpse of my bridal ta-tas.

6) Hubby and his best man were so busy screwing around in the church sacresty that they didn't realize I was coming down the aisle until I was there -- standing there waiting for them.

The night before the wedding I broke our beautiful engraved communion glass, a gift from our bridal party. The day of the wedding my husband-to-be forgot the marriage license. So during the ceremony when our friend was singing, whispered confessions to each other about our minor mess-ups. At the reception, people kept remarking how sweet it was that we were whispering to each other. If only they had known! Overall it was a beautiful day and we are living happily ever after.

Oh, it sounds wonderful, Nancy! Those cookies! I, too, hope there will be a photo of the whole tableful of them. Congratulations on a perfect day, minus one old witch.

At my wedding, we didn't have a disaster, but I did get an unstoppable runny nose during the ceremony. No kleenex on me. I looked at my groom. No tissue. No from my matron of honor, no from the best man. No from the minister! I sniffed, and sniffed, and sniffed, and delicately and repeatedly touched the back of my wrist to my nose. The minister looked absolutely delighted to be so amused.

No apparent disasters at the reception itself when my husband and I married 30 years ago, but the seeds were sown. Less than 24 hours following the reception, while on our honeymoon, we were hit with apparent food poisoning. As the only food we'd eaten up to that point was at the reception, we blamed the food. When we checked into the Century Inn in Farmington, PA we were told the couple who had stayed in our reserved rooms had decided to stay over. If we so chose, they would move the couple, but if we would take another room, we would get it at a reduced rate. The catch was our reserved room was the only room with an attached bathroom. All other rooms had to enter the hallway and cross to a separate bath. Who knew what fate had in store for us? It was not pretty.

After a rough 24 hours, we'd moved on in our travels on our honeymoon. At some point during the week, my husband decided to call his brother. Why? I don't remember, but the news caused us to cut our honeymoon short and return home. My father-in-law had apparently had a series of small strokes during our reception and was in the hospital.

I'm glad no major disasters befell your daughter's wedding on the 1st. I worried that the Capitals would crash the reception, but I guess they had other things to do that day. Looking forward to seeing the pix.

My parents had underestimated the amount of alchohol for my older sister's reception, and because it was a good old-fashioned Polish reception, there was a bit of a panic. My uncle stepped up and told them not to worry -- he'd be back with a supply.

My uncle knew everyone in our little corner of the world in Western PA and soon he returned with quite a number of unlabeled bottles. (This was in the mid 1950's.)

My sister's new mother-in-law said it was the best whiskey she'd ever tasted. I don't think anyone ever told her that she was enjoying her first taste of local moonshine.

Congrats Nancy! I'm so glad everything went well. Looking forward to seeing the bride dressed in all her finery (and you, too, of course!).

I LOVE these photos!

My sister-in-law fainted while marrying my brother (no surprise to those of us who know him well) but that's our best disaster. My first wedding, I was hungover. My second was perfect, gorgeous, achingly beautiful. I loved it. Would that the marriage had lasted longer, but ah, well . . . next time around.

Suzanne, love the whiskey story!

Harley, you optimist, you.

Is it wrong for me to be enjoying these wedding disaster stories? Food poisoning. Oh, gawd.

Nance, I remember meeting Sarah when she accompanied you out to this end of the state - I'm sure she was a drop-dead gorgeous bride. Can't wait to see pictures. I LOVE weddings - had a ball when our Kate got married two years ago. I was so happy that there were no disasters, and mentioned to some friends over lunch one day - no one even got drunk and made a fool out of themselves! There was silence at the table - finally one of my friends cleared her throat and said, "So I guess you missed XXX's knock down drag out with her husband on the lawn at Congress Hall during the reception. He took the car and drove off and left her stranded in Cape May..."
Yeah. Missed that somehow - though apparently some of the guests had a great view of the action since the ballroom has very large windows on the side where the battle was taking place. I'm kinda sorry I missed it!

Nancy, thank you so much for sharing. It must have been magical all the way through. Including the poopy diaper :) And I want those peach cookies in the worst way!

My wedding disaster stories are the same as Gaylin's - I married the bums. But the first one was a really nice wedding and a good party, and the second involved a fairly amusing trip to Reno with friends. The last one was the keeper and the simplest. My daughter was smart enough to go the simple route, too, so it was just the 4 of us and the marriage commissioner, followed by a decadent lunch and a fun reception a month later. Good times all around.

Nancy, it looks a sounds like a lovely wedding. Congratulations! As for my own wedding day disasters, nothing too horrible, but: We got married on a sweltering July day in a church with no air conditioning. We'd invited more people than the church could comfortably hold, so the ushers were instructed to pack 'em in tight in the rows. However, my future husband had began a "just skip the ceremony" campaign a few weeks out (fearing too many guests), so the result was people in only half the rows, but packed in like sardines, all sweating and smelling the armpits of the strangers next to them. After the ceremony, I somehow left my big bridal bouquet on the hood of the limo, which no one realized until it flew off en route to the reception, causing a bit of harmless (thank goodness) havoc on the roadways. The rest of our wedding photos feature me holding the tiny bridal-toss bouquet. The best man, my husband's brother, was happily drunk by the time of the toast and while he was trying to make a point about how the brothers weren't competitive like a lot of brothers, it came out like they share everything including their spouses!

You survived!!! Huzzah!
At a cousin's wedding, the priest said something about raising children in the Faith, and my five-year-old niece loudly asked, "Is . . . . going to have a baby?" Shortly after that, I took the restless child outside to play . . .
I thought you hadn't included the bouquet photo, then clicked a little square smaller than a pencil eraser and it "bloomed" into a most wondrous floral masterpiece . . . Cookies look wonderful, too. I wish I could have been there, and I'm sure communication was fine, the smiles and love and hope . . .
Wonder if something deeper might have upset your unhappy relative . . .

How wonderful things mostly went right, Nancy! I think I'd avoid the sourpuss from here on out, though.

Since I'm getting married (or not) in 3 days, I've decided to embrace everything that's gone wrong or will go wrong, and to just consider it more material for the next book.

BTW, your venue was gorgeous.

Congrats Nancy.

I'm so glad the wedding was a success and everyone had a good time.

Our daughter just got married on Dec. 29th in Maui. She is a very laid-back young women and didn't want a lot of frills, husband's 2nd wedding.
I was so happy that the weather cooperated since it was a beach wedding and it was perfect. We all had a great time.
Doesn't it feel good to be able to help your daughter have the wedding she dreamed of?

Congratulations on what sounds like an absolutely stunning wedding and celebration (some people are just never happy or feel it is their duty to be the little black raincloud over any special event to keep away the bad spirits)

Since it will be 30 years this coming June, the memories have faded on anything that might have gone horribly wrong. I do remember the candle I held for lighting the unity candle did drip wax on my hand, but the adrenaline kept me from freaking out about it.

One thing my husband wanted was a candle-light ceremony like his parents had. They had gotten married in December and we got married in June. The amount of daylight during each month is distinctly different. But it was still pretty and a very modest wedding by today’s standards.

Silk flowers were the rage at that time and since I had each bridesmaid in a different pastel color dress, my bouquet had little loops of ribbon that matched the dresses and all of their bouquets were made to coordinate with their dress color. This was in 1981 so you can all imagine what the tuxes looked like can’t you? Silver gray with ruffled shirts and their boutonniere’s matched their bridesmaid they escorted.

StoLat (Polish for good luck, good health, et al) to the happy couple.

One of the bridesmaids at my wedding was a member of the US Olympic Speed Skating Team. She was in Canada in late December with the team when we tried to ship her dress to her for fitting. With customs, Christmas and UPS, she ended up home in Wisconsin when the dress went to Canada. A UPS driver walked it across the boarder back to the US to get it and her to the wedding.

At the wedding, she fainted during the ceremony. For the last 20 years she has been known as cousin Thud. The Rabbi gave her a quick glance, saw that someone was helping her, and motored along with the ceremony. We still haven't told her that the first person to help her was an MD, but he is was a Pathologist.

I was my brother's best man. While watching the wedding video, my mother asked where I disappeared to prior to the ceremony. Some wedding planners use a light bulb instead of wine glass to be stepped on at the end of the ceremony. It makes a better pop. My brother and wonderful SIL were asked if they wanted a wine glass or a light bulb. They and the Rabbi said, "Wine glass." The wedding planner told the hotel, light bulb. I was making the switch back.

Ms. Wedding Planner, if you are reading this, now you know why you never got a referral from any of us.

At a friend's wedding, the priest seemed a little hammered and mispronounced my friend's name every time he said it during the ceremony. He got the bride's first and last names out of order a few times as well.

Wedding bloopers are so much fun.

At a friend's first wedding (she is now on #4), someone wrote "Help Me" on the bottom of the groom's shoes. The bride thought it funny, both mothers decidedly did not. A quiet titter ran through the church (and it was really full). But the photographer assured the Moms that he could airbrush it out for the wedding album. The bride made sure she got a proof copy to keep for their kids. that they never had because she dumped him very fast.
At a cousin's wedding, the baker frosted the cake before it cooled completely. That and the fact it was 102 degrees outside caused the cake to slide. She calmly said, "Just take the son of a bitch apart and cut it up!" Tasted good, though.

I would like to have had a bigger wedding than the one I had. In the church, 10:30am on a Thursday, with only immediate family (on both sides) and one friend in blue jeans who just happened to be driving by. Has lasted 33 years, so I guess it doesn't matter. I want my daughter to have a bigger wedding and I thought that this spring we would have had one. But, alas, she broke up with the idiot...uh, sorry, guy a few months ago. He has proceeded to prove to everyone, including his own parents, why she broke up with him.

At my stepdaughter's wedding the a/c went out and it was a wonderfully warm (99 and 90% humidity, love the weather on the Mississippi). Nothing says "happy bride" like the Father of the Bride (yes, Dear Hubby himself), in a tux, trying to get the a/c to work. And that happy bride shrieking, "Just let it go, it won't be that long of a ceremony." :-)

I don't know if this counts as a disaster, but my (still another) sister got married in the 70s - the tuxes were blue gingham with ruffled shirts (just the jackets, thank God - the pants were black).

Cousin Thud! Oh, Alan, I'm definitely stealing that one!

My favorite wedding disaster took place in Jacksonville FL where Theresa, my best friend from college, was being married. Her first marriage had ended in widowhood, so it was important to me that this second one start well. After the ceremony, I was to ride to the reception with - let's call her Linda - a friend of Theresa's from grade school. We had all been given maps showing how to get the reception, but Theresa's brother Jimmy lost his. Linda didn't have hers, either, so Jimmy took mine, and Linda was supposed to follow him. Jimmy took off, speeding down the highway, weaving in and out of traffic, and was soon out of sight, leaving us in the 3rd lane from the right on a 4-lane expressway, doing 70 mph. At that point, Linda took her hands off the wheel, closed her eyes, and said, "I can't do this." She has been known to faint under stress (remind you of anyone, Nancy?). I managed to stifle my screams and calmly talk her into continuing to drive. We eventually found a kind stranger in a parking lot who guided us to the reception location, where I spent the rest of the afternoon staring into space. I'm not sure what the other guests thought. They kept trying to strike up conversations but I could only mumble incoherently.

Beautiful, Nancy and congratulations!
Any chance of the peach cookie recipe?
Cara

Lovely pictures, Nancy, sounds like it was a great time. I'm not sure I'd call it a disaster, but my brother provided one of the most memorable moments of my wedding. While meeting the minister, as he was shaking the man's hand, he decided to break out his favorite profanity, which starts with f. I got chicken pox about four weeks before my wedding, and I still appreciate the woman at the makeup counter who helped my mom and I figure out what to use to cover up the remaining spots that would be visible because my dress was sleeveless.

I'm not sure I want that recipe, Cara. They look like a complicated job to me! And it's kinda nice to have something special to look forward to at big events. But I'll see what I can do for you.

My aunt married my uncle, a Yorkshireman, in 1976. The most memorable moment of their wedding, which unfortunately happened before the days of videotaping weddings, happened just after the minister pronounced them man and wife.

He said to my uncle, "You may kiss the bride."

My uncle turned to my aunt, put his arms around her, acting like he was going to kiss her, then slapped her rear and said in his very broad Yorkshire accent, "Tha' dun good!"

Every wedding in the family now comes with the admonition at wedding rehearsals, "No butt slapping!"

Congratulations on the wedding, Nancy. I am sure that Sarah was gorgeous and can hardly wait to see the pictures.

Speaking of pics, I think I still have the ones from the other year when Marti's daughter got married. Loved the slide show presentation... :)

Having never been married myself, I can only think of others weddings. Hmmm.... my brother's went off without a hitch and was great fun. He and P got carried in a canoe from the wedding to the reception (same estate). The Flamin' Caucasians did the reception, which freaked the in-laws as they wanted a string orchestra (they were snotty people). Sadly, if my brother hadn't died, he would have probably been divorced by now as his wife was ummmm... quick to reveal her true colors. Yeah.

Egads, Gina. No wonder!

My oldest daughter broke the news of her engagement by asking what I was doing two years hence. When I replied that I hadn't made plans yet, why? she said, "Because you're going to make my wedding gown for that day!"

Now, yes, I am an accomplished seamstress, taught sewing, and worked for a fabulous dressmaker one year. But the only wedding gown I'd made up to that point was my own, in 1970, and it was very simple. Plus, this daughter and I have a shall we say, touchy relationship when it comes to physical size issues. (I step very lightly here.) I tried to be enthusiastic, but kept getting sidetracked by the land mine potential of the gown situation.

We did have fun going to bridal salons for her to try on gowns and choose styles (and for me to sneak in sketches of details she liked, pre-cell phone camera days). And then I had to send away for the silks for the gown, which, literally, came on a slow boat from China. Six freakin' months it took! At the time Christy lived five hours away, so fittings had to be done on weekends, sometimes a month apart, and I was running out of time. Plus, when I did the first fitting I simply could not make the dress hang right. Finally figured out it was because she had severe scoliosis, which up til then none of us knew.

I finally got her gown almost finished, but MY gown wasn't done, and on the day of the wedding my husband refused to go get his own tux, so I ended up getting it, and left Christy's gown on the sewing table, with the last hand details undone, just pinned together. Naturally, I was running late (one of the bridesmaids also decided at the last minute that I was the only one who could make her gown fit), and wasn't there when Chris came to pick up her dress. She panicked when she saw the pins, naturally.

When she got hold of me she was already at the venue, hysterical about her gown not being finished, and since I could do nothing about it I just told her to take out the pins, and we'd act as if that's how it was supposed to be all along. Since she was also freaking out because the florist messed up the bouquets for the maids (two short!), I think she agreed a lot more readily. The gown was absolutely lovely on her, at least.

In the meantime, it's 93 degrees with 100% humidity, the wedding is outdoors, and I have to sit in between my husband and my ex-husband, wearing a long gown. And did I mention I was having 40 hot flashes a day?

Nancy, your daughter's wedding sounds utterly calm and glassy smooth, in comparison. Thank goodness!

The wedding sounds like it was just lovely. While I love to go to other peoples big weddings I did not want a one myself. My first had 2 guests and the second had 5 which was almost too many for me. I was my sister's maid of honor when I was in high school waayyy back in the 60's, full one hour catholic mass, and I pass out in front of the church. I was told my Dad jumped the rail in front of his pew and caught me before I hit the ground. My sister was annoyed that everyone at the reception kept checking on me.

We were all sitting in the church waiting for my cousin to show up for her wedding. It was half an hour past the time the ceremony should have begun. She and her dad and mom eventually showed up. Someone from the wedding party had parked "temporarily" behind the bridal limo in the bride's driveway, went out to the driveway to move the car when the bride was ready to leave - and the car wouldn't start. Nobody could start it, and it finally had to be towed away so the limo could proceed to the church. (I don't know why they just didn't use another car but maybe the limo driver couldn't leave his limo behind?)

Nancy, I doubt that anyone will remember the "sourpuss" relative. I have a relative who behaved the same way at the reception after the christening of another relative's baby. The only reason I remember it is that I had given the grumpy relative a ride (two and a half hours) and I had to give her a ride home, too. I wasn't looking forward the ride home, and was happy to drop her off at her house! (She's on medication now and behaves quite differently. Pass that info along to the family of the sourpuss!)

Karen? Making the dress was above the call of motherly duty. I'm just saying. Way, way above.

Mo, you were the one to make your sister's wedding memorable!

Deb, trust me on this. EVERYBODY is going to remember the sourpuss. Forever.

Uh-oh, Nancy; sounds like she definitely will do down in Wedding History!

A different sort of wedding memory: the mother-in-law of one of my sisters ended up in ICU about three days before my sister and brother-in-law got married. My sister and her soon-to-be husband talked about postponing the wedding until she could attend. She wouldn't hear of it and encouraged them to go ahead with everything. This was right around the time that people starting to videotape wedding ceremonies. They hadn't planned on doing it but were able to pull it together at the last minute. The priest who officiated spoke some words of encouragement/get well wishes for her directly to the camera.I think everybody had tears in their eyes. Happily, she got to watch the videotape with my sister and brother-in-law a few weeks later.

Important stuff first: PEACH COOKIES!!! Wow!!! I never heard of them before!! I NEED them!!! What are they? Where do you get them? Is there a recipe?

Bride pics, please.

Testicular accident. Heh.

My first wedding lasted longer than the marriage and was more memorable. We went to the JP's house where his partner directed us to the living room and told us to face the TV. Eeeeeeuuuuuuwwww! Then the JP walks over to the TV, picks up his bible-ish looking book, and marries us, right there. I was expecting like the patio or the fireplace, at least. Oh well, the story is much better than the marriage. So was the wedding, actually.

I remember at my cousin's wedding when a young child saw the peach cookies and wanted one badly, enough so that he yelled, "I want one of those baby bum cookies now!"

If only I had a photo scanner! My niece, when asked what kind of party she wanted for her 4th birthday - she said a wedding! Since she had never been to one, no one knew where she got the idea but we did it. It was so cute, she had a little white dress, fuschia tights and black shoes. My sister made a 'veil', which was a ribbon wreath around her head and gift wrapping ribbons and tissue down the back. A fake flower bouquet. Darn it was sweet. She 'married' her best friend Zach (who had no clue what this was all about). I brought a bag of hole punch dots for confetti. It was a great party. Now she is 21 and living with a guy named Matt . . . 4 year olds can be so fickle when they grow up.

I was a bridesmaid once, made my own strapless pink dress and felt like a princess. At this wedding the pastor kept calling the groom Kevin - the groom's name was Tim. Finally he asked the bride if she would take Kevin to be her lawfully wedded husband, she said NO, she was perfectly happy with Tim.

I did go to a huge wedding in the '80's. The $20,000 dress, huge meal, 200 guests the full deal. The two things I remember most is the bride's cousin who was a model from England, gorgeous guy, who excused himself from where he was sitting to sit with ME! And the auntie from the old country, who was a widow - in full black (think nun) with an amazing moustache . . . She glared at everyone! We were probably all heathens to her.

Gaylin, I love the Kevin/Tim story!

Here's a story that my sister (the one whose mother-in-law missed the wedding because she was in ICU) would probably not want me to tell, but she's not here (and she doesn't read TLC; anyway, she has a forgiving heart) so here goes: She was trying to save money when she was making her wedding plans. Instead of buying a new wedding gown she bought a vintage gown somewhere, a very lovely gown with a stand-up collar, long sleeves, a beaded bodice. She brought it to a dressmaker for alterations. The dressmaker asked her to put it on. She looked at the bodice, specifically at two strategically located pearls, and told my sister "I'm going to remove THIS pearl over here and THAT pearl over there. Frankly, my dear, right now they're crying out for tassels!"

I LLLLLLOVE these stories. Tulle and cookies and drunks. Nancy, I thought that those tulle wreaths were lovely. I haven't been to a wedding for years and never very many of them. It's all so fluffy, lacy, girly. I love it.

Ha! Gaylin and Deb, you both made me laugh out loud. What a nice end to my workday.

Congratulations on making it through, sounds as if your humor really helped! I thought the tulle wreaths were lovely, and I hope to see more pictures of the bride...and you! Gaylin, loved the stories, particularly Kevin and Tim. And Harley, we can only hope. It sounds like you like being married. It's the who that matters, huh? The only disaster ay my long ago wedding was that my brother, father, and grandfather got into a fight, and I decided to ignore them and have a good time. Then it went fine. What a special day the first day of the new year is for you, Nancy, much happiness!

I love all the wedding stories. And Nancy, I agree that the disasters make any event more memorable. I can't wait to see more wedding pictures. The ones you've shown are wonderful. And thankfully your aunt was alright.

My wedding disaster stories are really just blips. At my older sister's first marriage, the best man gave the rings to the priest and he promptly dropped them. My younger cousin, who was a junior bridesmaid, started sobbing and I put my arms around her during the service.

I was a bridesmaid one summer for someone I didn't really know in a church that had no air conditioning. The huge fans drowned out what was being said at the altar, and the MIL's sister showed up at this semi-formal dress wedding in a wrap-around floral skirt and a polo top. My personal blip concerned the same kind of fashion faux-pas.

My husband and I were invited to a black and white formal wedding. I didn't read the invitation correctly and had on a semi-formal blue gingham dress (yes, gingham can be semi-formal in the summer, I think). Boy was I embarrassed. They probably are still talking about the guest that wore something totally inappropriate for the occasion.

That's all I can think of right now. But I'm sure there's more.

And, like Lil, I thought your wreaths were lovely.

When my son got married, he had his 2 year old nephew as the ringbearer and a friend's 2 year old daughter as the flowergirl. They were the hit of the wedding. The flowergirl was so poised and pretty and ringbearer carried his pillow like it was a football. In order to get them to walk the aisle, my son had candy in his pocket for them. As soon as the ringbearer got to the front, he promptly threw his pillow at my son and insisted on his candy. It was so funny and my son handled it really well.

Looking forward to my storytelling friend's book on weddings. He works to make the ceremony personal to the celebrants. If ever I do marry . . . , I'd love to have him help!
http://www.geraldfierst.com/author/

Looks like it was a lovely wedding, Nancy! I have two wedding disaster/error stories to relate. At my sister's wedding, the minister kept addressing her by the wrong name (the woman he married that morning) until my Grandmother, somehow nervous it wouldn't be legal if my sister's name wasn't pronounced correctly in the ceremony) belted out from the third row in a very peeved matronly voice, "Her name is Cynthia!"

At my own wedding, I ordered a groom's cake made in the shape of a computer monitor (desktop computers didn't exist then) for my computer geek hubby. On the screen was supposed to be written the UNIX command for merging the two files named Beth and Neil into the file named Groundwater. All the UNIX programmers who attended had great fun finding the two syntax errors in the command caused by a mistranslation by the baker of my instructions.

My aunt & uncle have been married for 37 years. It was a New Years Eve Eve wedding and the bridesmaids wore beautiful jewel tone velvet gowns. My sister had the prettiest one, a deep cobalt blue. The maid of honor wore a gorgeous ruby red velvet dress and the MOH & Bride's little brother was the ringbearer. He was so nervous that he stood by the MOH rubbing the velvet dress. First he would do circles, then Xs, then figure eights. Had the entire audience laughing. He is now in his 40s, with a family of his own. His kids LOVE to hear that story.

You must be tired, Nancy.

I am another who would love that peach cookie recipe. Yummmmy.

Oh, I have been a bridesmaid, tho. First time, for was really maid of honor for my mom & stepdad. Loved it. Sang in their wedding, too. Second time, I actually planned the whole thing except for the dresses and tuxes (again, I sang)...she had us in Christmas brocaide party dresses for a June wedding (the one memory is her being mad that my parents didn't come...they were at the hospital with my brother!). Third time was for my bestie...sadly, she just filed for divorce and we did a middle of the night move...half the wedding party was injured (two groomsmen had a car accident at the bachelor party, sister of the groom dove into a no-swimming location, and I had surgery).

I loved this Nancy. I laughed out loud in a couple of places. Sounds like a wonderful day. May you all have many more happy years. Sandy A.

While sitting here reading the other comments, a wedding of a friend's daughter we attended several years back came to mind. Talk about a disaster! At the reception the bride got a little over zealous (a bit too much of the wedding punch may have fueled this) about trying to push wedding cake into the grooms mouth. He was holding the knife and you guessed it, he stabbed her in the arm. Required her going to the ER for stitches. I think what upset her the most was the blood on her wedding dress. Got the blood out of her dress, but sorry to say the marriage wasn't as successful. Happily married to another now though.

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