I saw this picture this morning, and realized I have been holding out on you, dear readers.
During last week’s awkward photo post, I found a lot of other pictures that are embarrassing–I’m not even close to my long-term goal of blogging without shame. When I saw the picture above, not only did I realize that I have a bride with a beer picture–several, in fact–but my first wedding story is too hilarious to keep to myself any longer.
With this post, I’m releasing any of my friends and family who witnessed this disaster from any further obligation to keep their opinions to themselves.
When I saw this picture, the day started flooding back to me–I’m in tears with laughter just trying to decide which parts of my redneck, bride-on-a budget wedding to share with you.
I’ll preface the following list with the only excuses I have. I was broke, I was 22, I had only been to two or three weddings in my life at this point, and I knew what I wanted it to look like, but I had no idea how to make it happen. I took my advice mostly from a brides on a budget (for Dummies and Rednecks) book.
My Mom is the opposite of an over-bearing mother; I’m sure she would have helped me plan this, but she and my Dad were both silently praying that the relationship would fall apart before we exchanged vows. I was on my own financially and I didn’t even think to ask her or any of my friends for help with the girly parts like decorating.
This was a huge mistake–I am not a good planner. I might be the worst planner in the history of planners…but damn, I tried.
Let’s start with the ceremony:
Ye Old Church: My ex had lived in Austin most of his life–he wanted the ceremony held at a church he went to as child. The church was old, not particularly designed or laid out for weddings, and it had that old church smell. Like shame, self-loathing, and dusty hymnals. No bridal suite for me, I got dressed in the choir robe closet. I’d heard that you are supposed to vomit flowers, isle runners, and candles throughout the church, but I couldn’t afford it. I had an isle runner, and these gems that I optimistically rented from a list in a 3-ring binder with no pictures. Portable pew candelabras? Sounds fancy. Gimme those. It would have been better to do nothing at all, but we put them on every pew. Pre-paid trumps tacky in my book of 22-year-old logic. These gold-plated candle holders were the kind of tacky you can’t take back though.
- Girly Things Gone Wrong: My best friend showed up at the church just in time to avert crisis number one; one falling up-do with serious frizz babies in June, Texas heat. The trip from the salon to the church did not go well. I was crying–it was the same battle with my hair as always, but I had spent the morning in a chair and had plopped down a credit card with 45% interest to make sure that the rat’s nest was secure. After a tearful phone call about frizzed out, uncontrollable hair TENDRILS, she showed up with a curling iron, a can of aerosol hairspray, and a smirk at my ineptitude–she re-curled these wispy pieces for me while I stopped crying. After I was sure that my hair would hold until I went outside again, I confessed to her that I was uncomfortable going bra-less in my strapless dress because what if it got cold somewhere? At this point the only thing I could imagine going wrong was to have my nipples sticking out of the dress that I had to have and could not afford…silly, silly girl. I had purchased pasties, but I had no idea what to do with them. That’s how she found herself taping my boobs up in this choir closet while we cried and snorted with laughter. She still tells this story, and she’s still the only woman other than my Mom and the lactation nurses at the hospital who has seen this much of my boobies. I’m great at the girly stuff, and the pasties were completely unnecessary, what can I say?
A wedding in an old church with bad decorations is forgivable, and not even particularly funny, but it was really quite touching how we made promises in front of God and everyone that we failed miserably at keeping–you know, the sanctity of traditional marriage between a man and a woman. But, my Dad walked me down the aisle, I cried during my vows, and I was a walking cliché in a dress that cost more than anything else at my wedding.
A dress that I put on lay-away, and extended the engagement to a year and a half so I could pay for it myself. When my favorite uncle heard about my lay-away plan, he obtained the name of the store, called them up, and paid the rest of the bill for me without telling me. Even though the marriage was a complete disaster, I can’t throw this dress away because of that story which I will probably tell in more detail later. It is still one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.
The truly funny part doesn’t start until the reception, and I’ll post about that tomorrow.
Since I’m leaving you with a cliffhanger, I’ll give you the bride with a beer picture today.
Yes, that is a wood-paneled, low ceiling, VFW hall with cement floors and a hint of white lattice in the background. Yes, it does get funnier (even for guys who don’t care about this intro stuff).
Can you smell the cigarette smoke, fresh plastic table cloths, and BBQ plates?