Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wedding memories just for Holly

Holly is doing a survey of married ladies about their wedding experiences, so here's my $.02.

How did he propose? Or did he at all?
We'd been dating/living together since 1985. On our anniversary Nov 4, 1993, we were at Gladstones celebrating when Bob just looked at me across the table and said "We should get married." No pretty proposals, no bended knee. But that's just Bob. Of course, you always think of the good comebacks after the fact ("I don't know, this is so sudden", or something like that would have been perfect), but all I could do was cry and say, "uhhhh, yeah, we should." He, of course, was crying, too.

How long were you together before he did?
8 years. He claims he waited so long so that the parents wouldn't care that I'm Jewish and he's Catholic. All they would care about is that we would just get married already. Which was true, LOL. (Actually, he just wasn't ready). All the years (and years and years) my mom told me to give him an ultimatum (shit or get off the pot) and I said nope, I'm perfectly happy. I finally asked Bob what he would have done if I'd given him an ultimatum years earlier. "I'd have married you." Fuck-a-duck.

When did you get married (Time of year, date, time of day, etc)?
May 21, 1994. 7:30 pm (had to be after sunset since it was a Saturday and we had to wait until Shabbat was over). Since the ceremony was so late, we called it for 6:15 and offered hors d'oevres before the ceremony (sans the bride and groom), then went directly into dinner after the ceremony. It worked out great.

Was it big or small? Did you regret doing it one way or the other (i.e. if it was small and intimate, do you regret not having a larger celebration?)?
I'd say it was the perfect size. We had about 125 people. Around 175 were invited, I think.

Where did you register? What's the best gift you received?
I think we registered at... Broadway? (anyone remember that store?). The best gift we got was from Page, Bob's partner in MCTC. Unbeknownst to us, he gathered and saved the glass and napkin it was wrapped in from the ceremony and bought a really cool tabletop trunk to hold it. (At the end of a Jewish wedding, the groom breaks a glass - explanations at the end... see below) He gave it to us about a few weeks after the ceremony. It sits on the end table in my living room. Every time I look at it, I remember our wedding and the laughter and fun we had. Especially when the rabbi, who was really nervous because he had known me since I was 7 and was a family friend as well, asked Bob if he took me to be his husband and Bob said, "Uh, no." We all got a huge chuckle.

Who was your Maid of Honor? Do you still have contact with her?
My sister (aka The Bitch). We used to have a much better relationship than we do now.

What were your colors?
Royal blue, black and white.

Any tips for cutting corners you can offer?
Putting disposable cameras on the tables and having your guests take pictures is always a good idea. I also went to a bar mitzvah where the mother bought all her flowers at Costco and did the centerpieces herself along with a friend. Loads of work, but they were positively gorgeous. Otherwise, I'm clueless. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend until my folks said "enough - stop".

I will say that I sympathize, though, because I'm in the process of paying for a bar-mitzvah right now, which is about as expensve as a wedding. Thankfully the guests of honor are 13, so aren't quite as snooty as some wedding guests might be. Phew! I think we're looking at about 13 grand for 125 people. For a luncheon. We were going to have an evening party but it was too damned expensive. By the time you add up the DJ, the photographer, the videographer, the food, the alcohol (you don't hold a Jewish affair without loads of booze!), the room, etc... it's un-fricken-believable! Sheesh!

Any advice for the bride-to-be?
~Sounds trite, and so easy to say when it's not you getting married, but try to relax and enjoy it. Laugh. A lot.
~And remember what's important. The marriage, not the wedding. Hopefully that'll be easier for you to do the 2nd time around :)
~Only have a flower girl if you don't mind giving up the spotlight to the "awwwws". I know some women who were totally pissed off at sharing the limelight with their adorable 5 year old nieces. I think it's silly, but it's a good thing to know about yourself going in.
~We did our pictures before the wedding, instead of after. That way we were able to enjoy the party without having to do the "formal" pics.
~I've been to too many weddings to count, and here's the one thing I hate more than anything. Paying for alcohol. No offense to anyone out there who has done this - just my own thing. If all you can afford to offer to your guests is beer and wine, just serve beer and wine. If all you can afford to offer is the toast, just offer up the toast. But I abhor having to pay for my drinks at a wedding. I think it's just because Jews don't do that, and I'd only been to Jewish weddings until I was about 25. I was shocked the first time I had to pay for a drink. I've actually been to a wedding where they made the bride pay for her alcohol. She had to go looking for someone to buy her a drink. {{{shudder}}}

Gratuitous religious educational information.........
Why do we break the glass at the end of a Jewish wedding ceremony? There are several explanations, here are a few...
Breaking the glass reminds us that although this wedding has provided joy, the world is still in turmoil, and requires our care and love. Its breaking is not only a reminder of sorrow, but also an expression of hope for a future free from all violence.
Fragility of the glass also suggests the fragility of human relationships. The glass, then, is broken to protect the marriage with an implied prayer, "As this glass shatters, so may your marriage never break".
The tradition of the breaking of the glass is a symbolic prayer and hope that the love for one another will remain until the pieces of the glass come together again. It is also a reminder that in the midst of all the rejoicing we should be mindful of all the pain and suffering that exist elsewhere in the world.
Also, we should be mindful of the needless barriers that people erect between one another, and try to think with the breaking of the glass, of breaking down those barriers and helping to build a world of respect, unity and peace.
Others explain that this is the last time the groom gets to put his foot down. hehe. Love this one!
My rabbi explained it was also just a sign of relief!

So, Holls, hope that helps :)

8 People Gabbed:

Holly said...

Aww, I love it. I think you and Bob are so adorable. You give me hope for my life with MM (I want to sound just like you do after MM and I have been together as long as you and Bob have!)

As for the alcohol thing...

MM and I have been discussing this. Our wedding budget is somewhere between $20,000 and $24,000. I'd love to include a full bar in this, because like you I hate having to pay for my own drinks at a wedding. But I think we may have to settle for beer and wine. Which bums me out (we're Italian, we drink a lot, too), but I'm not sure I'll have a choice. :(

Anyway, thanks for sharing. ;)

Amie Stuart said...

While they were waiting on me to show up (I was late) my mom offered my ex 10 grand and her car if he'd just LEAVE and never come back.

Sadly he didn't take it.

Chantal said...

Hehe, you said fuck a duck. LOL

Lori said...

LOL Amie.

Yeah, now that the cat's out of the bag, Chantal, I guess I can just be myself LOL!

Holly, I think you and MM have a great relationship. You guys will make it. I firmly believe that the key to it all is compromise, respect, and a deep abiding love and friendship. And lots of laughter. Definitely never lose your sense of humor, and you guys can weather anything :)

byrdloves2read said...

Wow, I had no idea weddings and bar mitzvahs were so expensive. I recommend to all my wedding solution. Go to Hawaii, get married there, have your honeymoon. Come home and use the money that would have been spent on the "party" as a down payment on a house!

That's my two cents worth. LOL

Jenster said...

Great post! And can I just say that bar-mitzvah's are the best parties - even if they are for a 13-year-old boy. LOL

Lori said...

Linda, love your plan! Of course, the family would have disowned me LOL. Hmmm, maybe not such a bad idea after all.... *snicker*

Jenster, I agree. The first thing Bob said after attending his first party with me (it was a wedding, but still...) was "Wow, you Jews sure know how to party!". LOL!

Chantal said...

We also eloped. It was to Niagara Falls though, not Hawaii.
it was the only way we could get hitched without everyone findin out and stopping it (I was young, and 'they' all wanted us to break up.) Thank gosh my dad believed in us and gave me permission to marry. He was my only family with us.