Here’s a tip: if you’re pregnant and know you’re expecting a girl, start saving for her wedding now. Tip 2: if you live in New York or similar over-priced city, move. And if you want to know why I’m not promoting any recent books, here’s the reason….
In January, 2016, my daughter and her boyfriend of four years announced they were getting married. Great news! An intimate dinner for twelve was arranged at a small restaurant downtown, just immediate family—an idea I hoped might take root in the next phase of this development. When things didn’t look like they were going my way, I did suggest the Chapel of the Transfiguration in Wyoming for the wedding, a beautiful setting that would reduce the number of invitation acceptances. Apparently, it was just a little too difficult to get to. About one third are coming from England, and the groom’s half are flying in from Colombia. So, the search for an NYC venue was on, and Cristal, my baby, narrowed it down to three spots. This was just February, 2016, and the date we were looking for was Memorial Weekend, 2017—a holiday of some nature in all three countries. Spot #1 was an ‘In’ hotel in Brooklyn, which I felt was a little too minimalist; spot #2 was a brewery that does weddings with family-style seating—not what I was looking for. But like the three bears, spot #3 was just right—an old stone mill, set in the NY Botanical Gardens. Thing was, even with sixteen months to go, the Saturday was already taken. Soooo, wedding on Sunday suits us: gives invitees a day to recover jet lag.
Next came the choice of photographer. Yup, these guys are booked well in advance. The happy couple went through a series of on-line searches, looking at photos of other happy couples (one presumes they are still happy) before presenting me with a choice of three photographers. Luckily, we all agreed on the finalist.
Next up was music. There are three sections of the event that have to have music—the cocktail hour with the ceremony, which is going to be very low key and casual, no bridesmaids, no aisle, just an exchange of vows. Part two is the dinner, and part three, of course, is party time. So there I was, listening to endless groups, reading reviews of djs Cristal had researched, and needing earplugs and a silent room by the end of the day. But we got there without ever leaving the couch. No crashing of other weddings to see how the music sounded, no late nights clubbing to the tunes of some dj. With thanks to the miracle of the Internet, music is now booked.
Not so lucky with the florist, sadly. Again, Cristal narrowed it down to three after Internet searches but visits were a must for in-person discussions. One vendor she nixed after a phone conversation. Another we visited but never got back to us. Thankfully, after traipsing out of town to visit the third, this one proved to be absolutely on the same wavelength as us and has previously dealt with the NYBG. Bingo!
And so—the dress! First of all, NY bridal salons have to be booked about 4 to 6 weeks in advance. Keep that in mind. Second, if you happen to be writing comedy, you can not do better than to visit a NYC bridal salon. Something happens to a young woman when told she can spend x amount on a dress and that ‘this is your day, dear.’ All reason not only flies out the window, but good taste apparently latches on and leaves with it. I sat in the waiting area of three different salons watching feathered birds of various species walk by, often followed by bejeweled gowns so heavy, the bride was going to need a forklift truck to get her down the aisle. You learn the terms very quickly, too: mermaid, fit-and-flare, A-line, draped. Our ‘vendeuse’ must have found us the most boring pair to ever set foot inside Kleinfelds. While families often traipse in from as far afield as California or Texas, sixteen people in tow, here was this mother and daughter duo wanting something that didn’t leave Cristal looking like either Carmen Miranda in white or a meringue. We were successful.
And then there’s the invitation. If you think this is something simple to sort out, think again. An invitation entails, first of all, wording—just first names, or two names, or all of them (my daughter has 2 middle names for reasons I won’t bother explaining; Daniel, in the Spanish tradition, has two last names); and how should the parents be included, or not? Font. Color of ink. Weight of card. Type of printing—thermography, foil-pressed, letter pressed, raised ink, and so on. Color of edging. Envelope liner. Back of invitation. R.S.V.P. I’m sure I’m forgetting something. And then calligraphy for the envelope. The trusty Internet coughed up a fabulous printer in Buenos Aires and a calligrapher in Utah. UPS is wonderful.
The bridal shower was yesterday at a friend’s apartment, a luncheon for fourteen of the city-dwelling invitees. Went off like a dream.
Pass me the valium and I might make it to May.
For western romances without so many hurdles in getting to the aisle, check out https://andreadowning.com/