Wedding! The one word that strikes fear in fathers and their bank accounts. I can’t even count the number of times my daughter assured her father and me that she would not be getting married. Even when she found—the one—they both agreed that marriage was not in their future. I believed her—sort of. Mostly I just hoped they would change their minds.
Be careful what you wish for. They did, and now we’re planning a wedding. What better place to talk about budgets. Remember I’m retired. My husband is retired.
Once the kids made the announcement, dollar signs began to spin in my head like a giant roulette wheel. Where the number stops… Before I stroked out, the second part of their announcement calmed me down.
“This is going to be simple,” Darling Daughter said. “We don’t want a big splashy wedding. We’re thinking small and simple, and we’re going to pay for it. Screeeeeech! (Those are the skid marks my brain made after the announcement.)
Nice! My retirement is safe. I won’t be eating beans and weenies to finance an over-the-top bash. Before you think I’m an idiot, I did have a wedding fund, but when someone tells you year after year after year (I’m talking 12 years) that NO! I am not getting married, well, funds get diverted to other budget categories.
But bottom line… if she wanted an over-the-top wedding bash, it would have happened, with some minor negotiation, of course.
So, for the details. Destination wedding, followed two weeks later by a small reception in the town where daughter and future son-in-law live, followed one week later by a reception in the town where they both grew up. Do you see where I’m going with this? Small and simple? As parents-of-the-bride, we are expected to appear at all events, and rightly so. I wouldn’t miss any of the celebration. But my budget is starting to envision an extended diet after all the travel and clothing required to attend at all the events. Not to mention a really nice wedding present since they want to shoulder all the wedding costs.
Shortly after the announcement, DD and I set out to find “the dress.” And find it we did. One stop, one shop, and five dresses later, we had made a purchase. I’d post a picture, but the groom-to-be doesn’t get to see the dress just yet. DD choked back tears when I told her I’d like to pay for the dress. My mother had purchased mine, so I wanted to do the same for my daughter. And so she’ll have something old, I’m making her garter using material from my veil.
My mother-of-the-bride dress… Well, I’ve been to Dillards, Macys’, five wedding shops and have one more appointment before I call it quits. I’ve tried on at least 100 dresses, maybe more. Two have made the cut and are hanging in my closet, just in case.
And the hometown reception is DIY, or I should say DIM (substitute moms for yourself.) Yup, the mother-of-the-groom and I are in charge of the reception. DD and future SIL decided they wanted a BBQ reception, so that’s what we’re having—at a park. My co-conspirator, MOG (mother of the groom) and I are busily planning and making (that’s the DIM part) table décor. A friend gave the MOG some cute lanterns, which she spray-painted to match the wedding color scheme. I’m working on the card box and cute animal cut-outs (it’s a safari themed reception.) The clerks at Michael and Joann are probably getting sick of me, but I’ve found some great bargains. And I know the MOG has hit up Party City, too. We’re shopping fanatics and just so you know, we’re using coupons everywhere we go.
Bottom line—elopement is not a four-letter word.
Cece’s (the main character in my work-in-progress) take on weddings:
Just kill me now! Especially the crafty aspect. I’d hot glue my fingers together or hang myself trying to tie a bow. When Jessie dates the same guy long enough for me to think about getting invitations engraved, then I’ll start to worry about how to squeeze the money out of my soon-to-be ex husband.
Until then, I need to find a job and fast. — Cece Cavanaugh