Brides and Grooms
really do exist!
When my DH and I got married in the summer of 2003 I worked
very hard to make it a stress free and fun event for everyone.
We placed our deposit on our ceremony/reception location with
a week of our engagement. We set a date for 18 month later. Because
we scheduled it so far in advance we were able to book the beautiful location
for a June wedding. We chose a Friday night, so it was much less
I bought my dress for $50 from a friend (and it was a Vera
Wang). It was only the second dress I tried on - the first one also
belonged to said friend but didn’t fit. My month bought both dresses for
$100 total and used the other dress to make the flower girls dresses.
I made sure all the bridesmaids like the dress I chose for
them (at least they told me they did). I worked very hard to find a dress
for under $150 that they would be able to wear again if they chose. Each
girl wore a different color dress that flattered her. I didn’t care what
their shoes or jewelry looked like. Everyone had long hair so I paid for
everyone to get updos the morning of the wedding.
I let the mother pick out their own outfits. I didn’t
even care what color they were. My only request was they were not white.
They both chose beautiful dresses on their own.
We did our own table decorations - no flowers - so my family
pitched in at the rehearsal to set up the tables. Hubby and I were working
right along side everyone else. Hubby and I made our own favors without
asking anyone else to slave away over them. We all put everything away at
the end of the reception also.
The wedding cake, while not quite straight, was delicious.
The only thing that mattered was is was yummy. I didn’t care it was a
little tipsy looking.
During the ceremony the minister started to pronounced my name
wrong, but caught himself. I didn’t let it bother me.
We had almost all of the pictures done BEFORE the ceremony so
we didn’t make anyone wait for us after.
During dinner one of our guests got sick and vomited at the
table. I felt so bad for him that he had to miss the rest of the party.
We had so much fun at our wedding. My family still talks
about how hard I worked to make everyone else happy on my special day.
P.S. and my thank you notes were all sent out within 2 weeks
of the wedding. Even to the people who came to the wedding without gifts!
Generally speaking, to nominate oneself for
honor and recognition is considered uncouth. It would have been better had
one of your bridesmaids actually written the above post.
I'd love to tell the story about my cousin-in-law, the perfect
Ten years ago, a much less wedding-savvy me attended the
wedding of my cousin S to his wonderful bride J. Having just finished my senior
year of high school, with all the dressy events surrounding that, I had in my
closet an adorable white sundress that I selected to wear at the urging of my
mother (who had just purchased several dresses for those many graduation events
and wasn't too eager to buy yet another).
In my own defense, I truly had never heard about the "no
white" rule before, as I wasn't of a wedding-planning age yet and hadn't
attended a wedding since I was much younger and oblivious to such things. My
logic was just that I had a great tan that year and thought white would look
This doesn't negate the fact that there I was, at a beautiful
lakeside wedding, looking a bit too bridal in a white sundress. My mother chose
the minutes just before the ceremony to tell me that wearing white to a wedding
is a big no-no, but that it was really an "old rule" so it didn't
Mortified like only a teenager could be, I slunked down into
my seat and prayed for the earth to swallow me whole. No such luck.
When I trudged through the receiving line, J immediately
hugged me, thanked me for coming, and started giggling. Through her laughter,
she explained that my dress was the same one she had stashed in another room to
change into after the ceremony. I offered to wait in the car, but she said that
wouldn't be necessary.
Immediately after her first dance with my cousin, she changed
into the sundress and wore it for the rest of the evening. I still cringe when I
come across pictures of us from that night, J smiling brightly and me waving
feebly at the camera.
When I began planning my own wedding, she told me her
philosophy: It's the best day of your life, with a big party to celebrate with
the people you love most. Relax, have a good time, and enjoy the day.
I've never met a more gracious bride, and I'm not sure there
are many out there. Thanks, J, for being so kind to a misguided kid!
Dear Miss Jeanne,
I have two sisters who both happened to get married the same
year, one in July and one in October. Both had four bridesmaids of varying
sizes. Both had the other sister and me, plus two friends. In both cases I was
the largest woman of the bridesmaids.
One sister, who has to be the center of attention ... to the
point that she never, ever, considers other factors ... chose bias-cut dresses
with broad just-off-the-shoulder straps. Such straps start to hurt after the
dress is on for more than a couple of hours and are hideously unflattering to
all but the slimmest, tannest arms. Moreover, bias-cut dresses should only be
worn by very slender women! Three gals looked great, I looked like a lavender
tank. However, this was her day, so I said not a word.
Fast forward from July (Wedding #1) to October (Wedding #2).
My other sister, who is very groovy and laid-back (though she has high standards
for herself, she has a "life happens, smile and enjoy your loved ones"
attitude). Like sister #1, she has four bridesmaids of varying sizes, again with
me being the biggest.
However, this sister responds by choosing two-piece outfits
with a long skirt and matching jacket that has a large, completely
off-the-shoulder collar, elastic off-the-shoulder hidden straps, long sleeves,
and a front placket. Result? The outfit was flattering for all four women,
despite our varying sizes and tan-ness.
It's been over a decade and I still remember the Dress Of Doom
and the Dress Of Kindness.
A few years ago, one of my dearest friends married a man who
has also become one of my dearest friends. At the time, I was moderately
disabled (I could walk, but not far, and I tired easily, and travel was
difficult for me), and they went to great lengths to plan all the events to be
accessible for me. They arranged for a mutual friend to bring my bridesmaid
dress from home since she was driving, and since I was flying and could barely
carry the basics I needed, let alone a dress that needed gentle handling.
I also have food allergies, and the bride went out of her way
to arrange a meal that was not only safe for me but quite tasty - this is
something that I usually work with a caterer directly to make sure that the meal
will not cost the couple extra and to avoid being a hassle to the couple.
Instead of having us all wear a dress she picked out, she gave
us three basic guidelines: The dress could not be black, it had to be at least
tea-length, and we had to feel pretty in the dress. Given the fact that one
bridesmaid happens to be an Orthodox Jew who adheres to a strict dress code, and
that we all lived in different parts of the country, and that none of us had the
same body type or coloring, and that some of us had limited means, it was a
wonderful way to address the many problems that picking out one dress to fit all
of us would have caused.
When the air conditioning died that day (a hot day in May in
Washington, DC), the couple handled it with the grace and humor that had
characterized everything else they had done for the wedding.
I've been to a lot of weddings over the years, and their
wedding has been, hands down, the most beautiful wedding I've been to. Even
better, they have as lovely a married relationship as they did a wedding - not
perfect, but full of grace and humor.
I hope my friend Marie is an inspiration to other brides and
hosts of all parties, I felt like such a treasured guest. This bride (Marie) is
the epitome of hospitality and warmth and it was the most incredible wedding I
have ever been to. I received an invitation to attend the wedding of Marie, my
friend from college. We had not seen each other in 2 years as she now lives on
the West Coast, but we still talked on the phone every month, being a good
friend in college, I decided to attend. Since all our college friends were going
to be in attendance to this wedding, and many of them were flying in from the
East Coast, Marie arranged with the airline to get us all "group ticket
rates", she spent hours researching the most affordable hotels for us, and
then paid for 2 of 5 our nights at the hotel. Before I flew out
there I asked Marie what she would like for a gift and she said, "Oh
please, do not worry about a gift, you spending all this and effort to come
watch me get married is gift enough."
Upon arrival, she greeted us warmly at the airport, even
though it was 11:45 p.m., and then dropped us off at our hotel. During our
stay in town she made time for us, showed us around, and invited us out for
breakfast twice. The wedding was beautiful, romantic, and worth the trip. Before
the ceremony the bride, and groom ate, so that at their reception they could
walk around to each guest, and personally thank them for attending. The bride
also ensured that the reception started immediately after the ceremony, so no
one would be standing around hungry. For her favors, we all received miniature
wedding cakes in cake boxes to enjoy later in the evening if we were hungry. After
the wedding she did not leave for her honeymoon for a week, as to make sure she
could see all her guests out of town. The day after her wedding our flights left
at 7:00 a.m. The bride and groom woke up at 5:00 a.m. the day after
their wedding, and drove us all to the airport, 45 minutes away, so we wouldn't
have to pay for a cab and to say good-bye.
Just over one week after the wedding I open my mail box to
find- a thank you note! A bride who delays her honeymoon to write thank you
notes, and spend time with out of town guests is a real class act. I have never
felt so "special" as a guest before at any wedding.
M, L and I had been good friends with T while we were
undergrads and she was earning a graduate degree. T is very sweet and
funny and generally a very positive person. We knew she was getting
married, and happy for her.
We all lived in Canada at the time, and after T finished her
graduate degree, she moved to the states to be with her fiancé. A
year later, she sent invitations to M, L, and I to attend her wedding New
Jersey. I haven't seen her in a year, and yet she was true to her promise
to invite me to her wedding.
This would mean a 12 hour drive for us, but I was glad to drive
M, L and L's boyfriend to the destination. Contacting M to confirm details
was easy, but suddenly, L had stopped replying to my emails. I couldn't
reach her cell phone, and I didn't know her home phone. This was shocking
as L was especially close with T.
One day, I get a phone call from T, asking if I had heard from
L. I explained my situation and asked if she had L's home phone.
Well, T told me not to worry a bit, and took time to phone L and finally work
everything out. Turned out L wasn't able to attend. T even offered to
let L share a hotel room with her if money was a problem.
M and I drove 12 hours to get to the wedding. Despite
being surrounded by her own family and friends, she took time to greet M and I,
and invited us to her hotel room to socialize with friends and family.
Several people got hungry and suggested ordering room service. M and I did
bring money for food and such, but T insisted on paying for M and I's order.
On the day of the wedding, the whole ceremony was beautiful.
The reception was absolutely lovely, and there wasn't a bridezilla moment to be
had. After the afternoon reception, T even invited M and I to party with
her and her husband's friends.
About a month later, I received a lovely and personal thank
you card. The world needs more brides, nay people, like this one.
My high school friend Jerri announced her engagement in
1981. I was overjoyed for her...until she told me they wanted to sing at their
wedding. My voice is, at best, marginal. She pointed out that we sang this
particular country-and-western song all the time together. I said that was
different - no audience. I'd be glad to play the piano for the singer, and be a
bridesmaid, but I couldn't sing. Jerri and her fiancé ganged up on
me and I'll never forget what her groom said: "If we wanted a performance,
we'd hire Crystal Gayle. It's YOU we want in the wedding, and we don't care if
you sound like a bullfrog." I went to the wedding and managed
to get off-key only once. They thanked me profusely, and I'll carry the memory
the rest of my life. They didn't care about a great performance.... they really
wanted ME there. I'm happy to report that they're still together.
Do you know a wonderful bride and groom who should
be immortalized for their graciousness? Send us the story and be sure
to put "Perfect Bride" in the email subject line.
Page Last Updated July 30, 2007