A Wedding Tonight!

Jun 14

a_weddding_tonight.jpgI wasn’t afraid of getting married. I had, after all, lived with this guy for 19 years. But I was terrified about planning a W-W-W-Wedding!

Be afraid, be very afraid.
Let’s face it: You are expected to have what is essentially a coronation, complete with engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, and an elaborate reception that would make Don Corleone proud.

I got hives just thinking about it. 

wed_20But before I had a chance to become The Runaway Bride, a miracle occurred: I got a great dress! Not a white, full-length gown (What do I look like, the virgin bride?), but a fabulous silvery outfit — first shot out of the box at Lord & Taylor. With coupons! And free alterations! This had to be an omen that everything else would go along just as easily.

As you may have guessed, they didn’t . . .
This wedding was going to be a small, intimate affair at the apartment of my very good friend, the Shopping Queen, who also had found the dress. Perfect! We’d get a terrific caterer and serve lots of champagne. My two buddies and I would write some of our famous song parodies to perform for the assembled not-so-massive masses.

Simple, right? Nothing is simple . . .

wed_4.jpgI, being the bride and all (the groom was cute but oblivious), had to make endless decisions: the guest list, the menu, the hors d’oeurves (all I knew was that I didn’t want pigs in the blanket), the servers, the table arrangements, the flowers, and on and on and on. My friend was a huge help, but still. My To-Do List was updated daily and my “W THING” file was the size of Cleveland.

The icing on the cake
A wedding cake is a wedding cake, right?  You know, the kind with white icing and decorations and stuff. Not. There’s many, many varieties, and that means yet more decisions: dimension, number of tiers, butter cream or fondant, white cake or yellow (white is prettier, yellow tastes better), real flowers or icing on the top. I ordered butter cream with two layers and then had second thoughts, better about the cake than the marriage, that it wouldn’t be big enough — also better about the cake- —and changed the order. I worried about it until the actual wedding when a) it was fine and b) I had had enough champagne not to care.

And then there were the shoes . . .

wed_19.jpgI have written about the heartbreak of finding 6½ narrow shoes, which are practically extinct. (My Shoe Story: Why Size Matters). And so the search began. I won’t bore you with all the details, but let me say that I spoke to Stewart Weitzman personally. Even so, the shoes, a gorgeous pair of silver mesh pumps, were only available in 7N. Sigh. A half dozen visits to Eneslow Repair and $125 in charges later, I had shoes I could bear (barely) to put on, but which even Alberto Gonzales would classify  as instruments of torture. Interesting, in my one actual nightmare during all this I dreamt that my pantyhose fell down during the ceremony. They didn’t.

And the music  . . .

Bill McCay, Alex Simmons and I came up with some really fun parodies, including the opening number, A Wedding Tonight! (“A Comedy Tonight”), “Let’s Tie the Knot (Let’s Do It”), and our version of C’e La Luna, which you might remember from the somewhat more elaborate nuptials in The Godfather.

wed_40.jpgBut then, just before the wedding, the piano player refused to play on the electric keyboard we had, creating a mad scramble to rent and arrange for weekend delivery of a full-sized piano. By pure luck, I heard about an accomplished musician named Davie Lewis who not only could “play on anything,” but could play (and sing) anything. Our songs were saved. Alert the . . . no, wait, not so fast!

The Media Was NOT Alerted . . .

All through this whole thing, people kept telling me What I Should Do. All of which I blithely ignored. But getting an announcement in The New York Times? Well that, I thought, could be nifty. Oh yeah? If you decide to get married —  even after reading all this — and you really want that announcement, make sure you get the info in at least six weeks before the event, and are prepared to sign away your firstborn.  It was, mercifully, way too late for me, both for the deadline and for a firstborn, so I was spared the effort of getting them all the things they require: including a photo of the bride and groom where the eyes are at the same level. I’m not making this up.
After all this, it was a great wedding!
wed_61.jpgA total triumph. Even the judge was funny: When we asked him to finish up quicker, he said that he only cut it short at a bris. And yet, the ceremony was also touching. I was glad I had sprung for the waterproof mascara.

Comments from the guests include: “Wowee!” “Swanky and fun,” “Best show in town!” (Of course, there was a strike on Broadway, so we were the only show in town, but a good review is a good review), “Better than any of my weddings” (and he should know),  “Cool” (a teenager), “Not boring” (another teenager). These last too are raves.

I did it, and I’m glad, and I’ll never do it again. And New York Times, take note: you missed a great photo op.

Photos by John Sposato, whose last name means “married” in Italian. Really.
Cover photo for the song book by Bill McCay, with a C.
The original post, Nothing Is Simple: The Wedding Bell Blues, appeared here in June 2009.

For more fun pieces on weddings, go to Woman Around Town

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