Here comes the bride,
You are every shape, size, flavor and temperament. You are mostly sweet, kind and caring women. You are women who are deliriously in love and euphoric with anticipation of your wedding. A newly engaged bride has unbridled enthusiasm and enters a state of nuptial euphoria. If one could harness the determination, passion and focus of a bride in search of creating the perfect wedding, we could cure cancer, land on Mars and forge peace in the middle east.
Most wedding plans start out innocently. A declaration that you want your wedding to be “simple but elegant” often derails. As soon as the power of social media, unrelenting solicitations and FOMO strikes, the planning starts gathering steam like a runaway train. Pinterest, Martha Stewart, The Knot, Weddingwire, Say yes to the dress and an abundance of social media influences, along with brash consumerism, program you to believe that your wedding must be instagrammably perfect.
Here is where I come in. I adore a big production! Your job is to live happily ever after and have the wedding of your dreams. After all, living happily ever after is the hard part. Taking care of the details is project management. That is where I excel.
With all of that pressure, some brides become self-absorbed and live in the glorious planning stage as if it was a life style. Most brides still manage to hold on to reality, but then, there was Brianna.
Young, pretty, shapely Brianna was in search of her golden ticket to a much loftier lifestyle. She grew up in an average working-class world. Brianna sold clothing at a local Tommy Bahama store where well-heeled young men shopped for suitable, casual club attire. She found her golden ticket when a wealthy young man became smitten with her. Gavin stopped by often and bought nearly every item in the store before he had the nerve to ask her out. They began dating and within 6 months were engaged. Constantly flashing her obscenely huge engagement ring, Brianna was now bitten by the “I am a princess, it’s my big day, it is all about me, here comes the bride” bug and it bit HARD!
This was where I came in. A referral led to me being the planner for Brianna and Gavins’ wedding. Our first meeting at the club where the wedding would take place was with bride, groom, MOG and MOB. (That’s mother of the groom & bride to the uninitiated) Mother of the bride was kind, thoughtful and unassuming. Mother of the groom was poised and happy to accommodate. It was clear very quickly that this was not going to be a “simple but elegant” wedding but a full blown Briannapalooza. Brianna rolled her eyes and snubbed every suggestion her mother made and insisted mom had no idea what was classy. If the KNOT reported that hummingbirds were the perfect accessory Brianna would have to have them buzzing about.
A holdover from the “dowry’ days, the parents of the bride traditionally pay for the wedding. In this case since mom and dad were basic working-class folks, the budget would not be anywhere near what was needed to make Brianna happy. If they had to foot the bill, Brianna’s wedding would look much different than the glorious, royal extravaganza she envisioned. Brianna had hit pay dirt however, the man she was to marry was from a very wealthy family. She was ready to start spending their money and spend she did!
There was no detail skimped on and we proceeded to arrange the absolute best of everything. Imported heirloom roses & lily of the valley were ordered for the bouquets & centerpieces. Bespoke engraved invitations were created. A Giambatttista Valle gown was just one of 2 dresses that were ordered. Beluga caviar, Krug champagne, imported linen tablecloths for the dinner check, check and check. Whatever Brianna could think of to make her wedding the poshest of posh, she asked for and got it. She wanted it all and the groom indulged her.
Gavin’s parent’s uber upscale country club hosted the wedding. The ceremony would take place on the green space outside and the reception would be held in the exclusive clubhouse with a dinner fit for a king. There was a string quartet for the ceremony, a seven-piece band for dinner and dancing and a DJ was hired to insure there was not one moment that was not perfectly choreographed. The best photographers and videographers were hired to record the glory that was to be Briannapalooza.
At every turn the groom said yes to Brianna’s requests even though she was often nasty, petulant & whiny. She demanded, he gave in and he or his family paid for anything she wanted. Who was I to judge? My blessing is meaningless. I do my very best to ensure everyone enjoys themselves since this is how I make my living. I’ve seen so many weddings in my career and honestly, I want only one thing, if they are happy, I am happy.
After a year of planning, the day finally arrived. Except for being breezy it was a delightful day for an outdoor ceremony. (WHICH by the way I implore every bride to please reconsider outdoor weddings!! An outdoor wedding is a huge, scary risk and I have it on good authority that mother nature does not like brides!!) I’ll tell the story of the wedding and the hurricane another time.
The guests arrived and were enjoying a pre ceremony glass of champagne (Dom Perignon in this case) on the verandah outside the clubhouse. There were easily 200 people milling about. The air was fresh, the sun sparkled and Handel’s water music floated through the air. Friends and family from far and wide were delighted to reunite and were animated and joyful. Like so many windchimes, champagne glasses clinked as people welcomed each other with kisses and hugs, chatter and laughter.
Brianna inspected all of this from inside the clubhouse well out of sight. Tradition dictates that you should not see the bride before the ceremony, doing so is bad luck! The bride can watch what is happening and if the bride is Brianna she must direct from her vantage point to make certain there is not one thing she dislikes. “Go move the arch a little to the right, go tell the groom not to drink too much, go tell my mom don’t laugh so loud, go tell the string quartet to play something else”. After a half hour of “go tell” and “go dos” it was time to get the guests seated for the ceremony. It’s show time!!
The ceremony would take place on the large green space near the first tee of the golf course adjacent to the patio where the guests were gathered enjoying the prewedding festivities. A pristine, white runner ran from the clubhouse to an embarrassingly massive floral arch. Ribbons and flowers were tied to the chairs on the aisle. Ushers began to escort guests to their seats (around the outside ONLY) because per Brianna, the aisle was JUST for her so puhleassse do NOT let anyone walk on it!!!
Traditionally, the reason for the runner is to keep the bride’s feet from touching the ground so evil spirits can’t get her. I am not sure if there are a lot of evil spirits on a golf course but better safe than sorry!
Guests were all seated. The ushers escorted the parents to their seats. The groomsmen and the officiant took their places. The air was buzzing with anticipation. The time had come for the wedding ceremony to begin.
I cued the string quartet who began to play Canon in D, the bridesmaids’ que. One by one they walked down the aisle to their places. The stage was set. Everything was going perfectly.
If still alive, the father of the bride almost always escorts her down the aisle. Selfishly, Brianna felt this would take away from her being in the spotlight. She wanted everyone to see HER and only HER, in all of her splendor, walk down the aisle. She did not want plain, simple dad to escort her. He concealed his disappointment admirably.
CUE the bridal march…the string quartet plays Mendelssohn’s classic wedding march. The guests stand, I straighten out Brianna’s insanely enormous train, adjust her veil and reassure her for the 342nd time that she looks perfect. Thrilled with herself, she begins her self-indulgent march of glory.
The crowd turns and all eyes are on her. Brianna walks about 10 feet onto the white runner when out of nowhere and slowly, I mean very SLOWLY, a black cat struts right in front of Brianna across the white runner. He doesn’t run (which is what one would expect with a feral cat around 200 people) but no sir, he sashays across that white runner with an air of superiority matching that of Brianna.
Brianna reels around and shrieks. “What do I do??? What do I do???” Without missing a beat, I say to her, “you walk down that aisle and get married, that’s what you do”! Visibly shaken, she takes a deep breath and continues her processional. Halfway down the aisle, a giant gust of wind comes out of nowhere, sucks the veil off of her perfectly coiffed head and sends it flying down the golf course like a discarded plastic bag. I chase after the veil, bring it back and quickly reattach it. With determination and a large dose of humble pie, Brianna finally makes it down the aisle to greet her groom. I let out a sigh of relief. She is now his responsibility. I take my place in back next to the videographer to watch the rest of the commedia dell’arte. The videographer says to me “I got it all on tape. Do you think I should include it on the finished video”?
I laughed and suggested he send it to one of the funniest video shows and try to make some extra money! We looked at each other and I know we both thought the same thing….Karma is a bitch!