Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Bride Drove Herself to “The Altar”

Or a different kind of wedding.

In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different. (Coco Chanel)

And that I did. Drove myself to the altar that is. You know how brides have a mental breakdown if they don’t come by limo, horse drawn carriage or some kind of unusual vehicle to their wedding? None of that went through my head. I schlepped my mom, sister and my barely 2 year old cranky nephew Patrick in the Echo and there I went. All dolled up in the bridal garb and onto the altar.

It was not much of an altar, really, though. Unlike every woman in my family, I got married in a hotel. We rented this restaurant room adjacent to a patio, and we got married right there, on the patio. There was a reverend that officiated our vows, but she was neither Baptist nor Eastern Orthodox, like we are.

When Robin, our reverend, asked us how big our wedding party will be, I said: “we have no wedding party”. Then, when I saw her puzzled look, I sort of corrected myself and said: “well, just my parents and his mom”. And then I continued: “and my sister and his mom are the witnesses”. She nodded.

Because, yes, much to my sister’s delight that I have not changed that much after all, we did have a woman reverend. Aa. and I picked her independently of each other while browsing a website for wedding resources. You could say it was very “21st Century”. To us, it was just convenient.

When Robin asked us who will be the ring bearer, Aa. said he would be. She agreed that that would be perfect, because this way she wouldn’t be wondering where they’re coming from and he will make sure he won’t forget them. One would hope, anyway!

When she asked who will hold my bouquet, I said my sister, who will be sitting in the front row. Pretty much everyone would be sitting in the front row, so anyone can do it, I concluded, and she nodded yet again.

I tried to keep everything black and white for the wedding, including the dress. A one of my favorite designers will tell you: to have “classy”, you’ve always got to have a splash of black, so, yep, the dress had black in it!

Except for the room space, the dinner, the cake (the “essentials”, that is) I ordered virtually no extras from nowhere. I bought the invitations from the store myself, and printed them myself, and we had no monogrammed napkins nor hand picked china. The hotel provided those and we didn’t know what they were till the day of the wedding. We just trusted them. They also provided the cake cutter and server.

We had New York style cheesecake for the wedding cake, because I suck at deserts! I pretty much hate them all, but I will eat cheesecake, and according to Aa. it had to be something I liked too … So, there you have it. We ordered that from a bakery.

I said I “tried” to keep everything black and white, but the flower arrangements came from the hotel, and they were yellow, tan and white, so … no “color theme” to speak of there. But they were exquisite!

Much to the sadness of many of our friends, I think, we didn’t want anyone but our families there. Not because we can’t afford a bigger wedding, but because we’re both not into weddings. Please refer to another piece I wrote about that.

We wanted to keep it intimate and we wanted the people who have been in our lives always to be there, to celebrate it with us. They are the only ones to whom this event means just as much as it means to us. Yes, friends are great and we are both blessed with some wonderful ones, but you know what they say about blood sometimes. I guess we’re a tad conservative there too, eh?!

The vows were beautiful and the whole day was emotional for all of us. We laughed (mostly), some of us cried, too, and all in all I hope everyone felt that it was a momentous occasion for the two of us, and I hope they lived that moment with us as well.

I think I speak for Aa. when I say that if we were doing this again, we would not change a thing. The ritual was so beautiful and so meaningful to both of us, and the fact that our families were there gave me personally a confidence I never knew I had. I was telling myself that even if anything were to go wrong that day, there is no one who will judge us! It’s all family, and they are forgiving. They have no choice, really! It was such a blessing, just to let go and enjoy it.

I can only hope and pray that throughout the many years to come, Aa. and I will remember the beauty and purity of that day. The love that we shared, the sunny skies, the warmth in the air and in the hearts of those present, the love that we looked at each other with. When trouble will hit, as it always does, when the mountains will get too high, as they always are, I hope we can both mentally go back to that day, our foundation, and remember why we’re here. And remember that we’re here to care for each other, to make the other happy, to shelter the other from pain and cold and sickness.

Just like this day was not about the color of the flowers or what kind of cake we “should” have, marriage here forth should never be about what color we paint the living room or what kind of meat we’re cooking for dinner. As long as we have plenty, and are in want of nothing, what color or speed or texture plenty is matters little.

I love you, sweetie. Thank you for liking my “different”, and thank you for teaching me to say “forever” again …

April 16, 2010 - please click on the photo for more pictures


elena said...

we wish you both a wonderful life ahead, may you always walk together on the path of life.
lots of love from Romania

Leni and Julie

A.W. said...

Thanks, Leni (and Julie). And by the way ... Aa. LOVES this "casa the piatra" wish (in a more literal way). :-) Thank YOU!