Last night, I went to the wedding of my niece's daughter. (Did I mention that I have a "May-December" marriage?) What made this wedding sort of unique was that it was at the same hall Builder and I used for our wedding, Ateres Gashmius (again, all names have been changed to protect the guilty.) The wedding was...a wedding. No big surprise. Take standard wedding formula, plug in bride and groom, and there you are. Same halls, same snowbeast dress, tiara from Claire's Accessories and pancake makeup, same flowers, same food, same music. Same circle dancing to "Od Yeshama" played about 100 decibels over the tolerance of the human ear.
However, since the wedding was at Ateres Gashmius, it got me thinking about my own wedding.
Builder and I got engaged Erev Rosh Hashanah. The vort was Motzai Shabbos Chol Hamoed Sukkos. The event itself was the fourth night of Chanukah. That means I had ten weeks to prepare. Normally, a bride given only ten weeks would be in panic mode. How do I deal with all the details? However, when it became clear that my input was not required nor even particularly wanted, I ceased caring about the details. Moreover, it became clear that this wedding was more for Builder's benefit than mine (it didn't help that only five people showed up from my side.) So, my job was literally put on the dress and show up. And, even the dress was "something borrowed." As a result, I remember very little about my own wedding, except the sea of faces, most of them I didn't know and would never see again.
Had I been able to work my will, several things would have been different. For one, the wedding would have been much smaller--I would have only invited family and a few close friends. It would have been outdoors--say Prospect Park or maybe even Central Park. Set up a nicely decorated chuppah, maybe made with appliques or painted fabric in a clearing, and let the trees act as a natural mechitza. My gown would have been my own creation--maybe an Empire waist with an overskirt of lace, Regency puffed sleeves ending in a wide flare. And it certainly would not have been in December--both the dead of winter and the height of tourist season in NYC. As for the music, I would have gone more romantic and less raucous--say "Strangers In The Night," "The Way You Look Tonight," or some other romantic standard (Although, since no bandleader sings anything remotely secular, it was kind of a blessing that I didn't get those. Sinatra standards as instrumentals sound too much like elevator music. Besides, what makes the song is that famous Sinatra voice. Le sigh.) Even something classical would have been nicer.
However, I did have some say in some matters. I got to order purple yarmulkes for those guests who didn't have any. I did get to make my own veil (flower wreath, not glitzy tiara). I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel's Canon. And I did get to order the flowers--although the florist looked at me as though I was speaking ancient Sanskrit when I said I wanted something between Court of King Arthur and Lord of the Rings.
Well, one down, two more to go this winter. Now to order some fabric so my girls have something to wear besides their fundie jumpers to the next one.