Thursday, June 29, 2006

I Was A Control Freak Bride (and lived to tell the tale)

While it's still June (ya know, the month of brides and all) I'm posting a piece I wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer three years ago. (Yes, I'm a lazy, lazy blogger. So fire me.)

From the moment I said “yes” to his proposal, the honeymoon of our relationship was over and there was work to be done. No more lazing around on a Sunday afternoon reading the paper. There were bridal magazines to be read: Bride’s, Modern Bride, Philadelphia Bride. But what I really needed was Obsessive Bride.

See, I come from a long line of nit-picking control freaks. And my husband, being my true soulmate, has never met a project too small to micromanage.

Of course we would write our own wedding vows. I must confess that I actually stole a line from a soap opera wedding. (Luckily, I didn’t steal their Cleopatra Sailing Down the Nile theme.)

But while we were at it, why not write the entire ceremony?

My husband-to-be confessed that he’d like to compose the music for the wedding processional. That he’d never written for string quartet before was but a minor detail.

Our life became lists: our to-do lists, must-take list for the photographer, must-not-play list for the band.

I knew what I wanted in a wedding dress – drama, sequins, and the longest train to ever make its way through Chester County. I found the perfect dress, but it took five fittings to find a way to keep it from falling off while still being able to actually raise my arms above my waist.

During the first fitting, as the grandmotherly Italian-speaking seamstress strategically pinned, I passed out. Maybe I was just standing too still for too long. But during my second fitting, I passed out again.

This did not bode too well for the actual ceremony. Fearing some sort of Pavlov’s Bell response, my fretting over details expanded to general panic that I was destined to take a dive sometime between “I Randall take you Cynthia” and “This is my solemn vow”

Shortly before the wedding, I was felled by the flu. In my sickbed, I used scraps of material from the wedding dress alterations to make a dress for the ceramic bride of my cake topper down to hand-sewing on miniscule pearls & sequins to mimic the pattern of my gown. All viruses aside, I was truly sick.

We won’t even go into our signing 100+ wedding programs by hand or how I ended up making the flower girl’s dress.

Did the planning pay off? With the opening strains of Processional for Cynthia, as I held the arm of my proud father and gazed down the aisle towards my future, all was perfection. And it wasn’t the artfully placed floral arrangements, it was the man waiting for me at the altar.

And I didn’t pass out.

I still haven’t been able to part with all my bridal magazines. They’re packed in a box in the basement with our lists and left-over cocktail napkins. With two daughters, they might come in handy someday. I’m already thinking about the perfect Mother of the Bride dress…


At June 29, 2006 7:53 PM, Blogger Rabbit said...

My mother forbade me to elope, so when my special day comes, it's up to her to plan it.

As long I have the power of veto, that is.


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