When I got engaged as a young woman, my mom planned the whole wedding. I was with her when we picked out the location and of course I picked out the dress. I don’t remember having much input into anything else. I remember going to what was the Tarrytown Hilton and wanting to get married in their rose garden. However, the pool was next to the garden and they were quite clear that during my ceremony they would not close the pool, but rather ask everyone to be quiet. Not one to want to get married while Billy was splashing Tommy, we moved on. When my wedding was being planned, Sandy was a second year med student. He had classes and was studying for his boards. All he had to do was get his tux. He was more than happy to have someone else plan the wedding.
During Thanksgiving of 2011, my daughter got engaged. We kvelled, we laughed and then we got down to business. There were venues to visit, bands to audition, flowers to design. I had waited 25 years to plan this wedding. I dreamed of finding that rose garden and having a lovely sit down dinner with a band that would shake your booty. There were a million details, from the design on the cocktail napkins, her dress, my dress, the menu, down to the pocket square in the mens’ tuxedos. The checklist from The Knot was about 500 lines on an Excel spreadsheet. What I learned early on was… my daughter had very clear ideas about what she wanted for this wedding. Wait a minute, is that how it goes? Yes, it’s true. It wasn’t my wedding.
So, my daughter, her fiance and I formed a team. Alex and Tony, being very artistic and creative were the strategic planners. I was the COO, taking their ideas, having the ultimate veto power if I really didn’t like it, and putting it into action. There were some heated exchanges but overall, none of their ideas were bad or anything I couldn’t live with. Alex’s premise was she wanted to stay as far away from cookie cutter affairs as possible. I got very nervous. I am a left-brained engineer. I like those formulae that work. You know, if it isn’t broke, why fix it?
The fact we were planning a wedding that was a new format had me worried. No one seemed to notice I hadn’t slept in six months worrying about it. We picked a different venue, a vineyard in Stonington, CT. There was not going to be a sit down meal, but rather an evolving buffet with no assigned seats. It worked. She wanted an a cappella group to sing her down the aisle and perform at the cocktail party. There was one thing that I got, the band rocked. I have never been to a wedding where when the band wrapped up, the dance floor clambered for an encore.
Now it is over and the weight of the world is off my shoulders. Tomorrow I am picking up the proofs, so my memories of that evening will be renewed. I also learned a lot. My dress was nice, but too long and too heavy for a summer affair. I also learned that the right tailor and the right underwear make all the difference. My shoes were too uncomfortable as I soak my blistered feet. There is nothing like a tux for a wedding. Suits are nice, but a tux stays classy forever. I really needed a bigger venue. There were about 30 people I could not invite because of limited space.
I also renewed my belief that there is so much poop in the world, that when you have an opportunity to celebrate, do it up. My husband lets me get away with this although he believes, “Why don’t I buy a Jag, drive it for a day, and push it off a cliff?”
I want to say a big thank you to my new in-laws, the Longhini’s. They were wonderful partners in this endeavor and I am so glad to be a part of their family and have them be a part of mine.
Some more thank yous
My party planner Sarah True of True Events had fabulous ideas, kept me on schedule, but most of all, reassured me when I got a little crazy. Yumiko of Hana Florists delivered exactly what we asked for, only better. Gourmet Galley made our crazy idea perfection. My photographer Images by David, was a pleasure to work with. Merrily and Michael, you have a beautiful vineyard. Blue Jupiter wowed the crowd during the cocktail party and ceremony. The Rhythm Collective of Elan Artists were amazing beyond belief. The dance floor was packed from start to finish and they knew more about how to roll out our different format than I ever could. Please forgive me if I forgot anyone.