Showing posts with label weddings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weddings. Show all posts

Monday, April 21, 2014

There ARE MANY Perks to Eloping

A few of my posts have included dreams that I’ve had. Each of those posts concludes with how I don’t put much faith in dreams.  But there is one dream that I definitely interpreted to be quite meaningful.  I made a life changing decision as a result.

                  I met Roland for the first time on December 31, 2000.  He asked me out that night.  We would go downtown to celebrate the coming of the New Year.  I missed playing games with my family – a ritual I have enjoyed about New Years.

                  Roland was quite forward.  I had dismissed guys for being too forward – and none had ever been as forward as Roland had.  I didn’t understand why I felt so comfortable around him. By the end of our date we had set up a second. I don’t know if I knew then that we would be seeing the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks.

                  So during our second date, I cried and cried – not for Tom Hanks’ character, but because I thought of my dad.  Though he was never stranded on an island with a ball-turned-companion, I just remembered the frustration that dad must have felt in trying to communicate with anybody outside of his hospital bed. 

                  Roland was so gentle with me and seemed to understand.  He passed no judgment.  I was grateful for that. 

                  That night I had a dream that it was summer and my mom was trying to get all my sibs together for a family portrait.  In the dream Roland and I had been dating for six months.  He had not yet proposed, but I knew that he would be proposing.  I was wondering how to ask mom to allow Roland and the boys to be in our family picture, as I knew that we would be together by the end of the year.

                  In real life I shot out of bed.  I had met Roland only two days before.  We had only had our second date – a movie, at that. Why would I be dreaming that we would become an item?  I didn’t even know him!  I was less than thrilled about having this dream. 

                  The next day I went to work but returned home in less than four hours as I really didn’t feel well.  I told my brother that I’d be going back to bed and under any circumstances I was NOT to be disturbed.  But less than an hour later he knocked at my door to tell me that Roland was waiting for me.
                  For reals?  Or was I having another odd dream?  Roland was there to propose!  We had met just three days ago and he wanted to marry me!  Get real!  So of course my first thought was: “No, no, no, no, no . . . .”           actually the reaction was pretty much as it had been when I awoke from the dream.

               Was there a connection?  Had my dream been a personal revelation?  Was this a test?  “No – no – I can’t accept a proposal of marriage.  I don’t even know this guy.  This goes against EVERYTHING I had planned for myself.  I wasn’t even going to date a guy I had known less than a year.  And now I was getting this message to marry this complete stranger?”

                  Of course I prayed about my decision – realizing that just because I accepted his proposal did not mean I couldn’t break it off at some point.  Three days?? That’s outrageous!!

                  Since I was knee high my dad had tried to brainwash me into believing that I wanted to elope when I had the opportunity.  To be honest, I really had no idea what he meant. It wasn’t until I got much older than I realized the elopement thing was not a bad idea.  Only by the time Roland came along, dad was gone and mom didn’t want me to elope.  I think my mom saw Roland as the Big Bad Wolf and was afraid for me.

                  Roland and I had changed our wedding date several times.  As I had mentioned in this post, we had wanted to do the right thing and start our life together with a temple marriage.

                    We had the marriage certificate to present to our bishop for the following week, but he realized that he’d be out of town. And I was tired of it.  Tired of changing the date.  Tired of trying to appease everyone.  In fact, I had said to mom and brother, Corey, “why don’t you arrange a date that fits into both of your schedules and get back to us; You two make the arrangements and tell us when to show up.”
                   After several tears and a talk with mom, I went into the bishop and asked if he could marry us that night or the next. Our civil marriage took place September 9, 2001. Everybody (including the groom) who came to the wedding received an eight hour notice or less.  So it wasn’t an elopement exactly, but it wasn’t planned in the way that you would think a wedding should be.

                  On September 11, terrorists attacked our nation.  If Roland and I hadn’t already been married, I would have had him drive me to Vegas upon my return home from work.  For I fully believed that the world had come to an end.  I suppose in many aspects it symbolically did.

                A month later we did an open house – mostly for the benefit of those who attended mom’s ward and made desires known that they wished I would have had a reception or something.  I purchased balloons, baskets and teddy bears for the decor and we’d gone to Sam’s Club for the hors-d'œuvre.  I think we spent 100 bucks tops.

So it wasn’t elaborate.  It worked.  I don’t ever look back on that day and say, “Oh, I wish I would have spent more money on more frivolous things.”
Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve never been overly enthusiastic about weddings.  If I have to be involved in a wedding, I have always enjoyed the simpler ones so much better than all that elaborate hoopla.  When I finally understood my dad’s wisdom, I had hoped that each of my boys would find girls who would want to elope. 

Actually, my first daughter-in-law and I have much in common as far as hoopla goes.  Her attitude pretty much matched my own.  Her family made the arrangements and she and Tony showed up.  Well, not entirely.  But I am under the impression that is how she felt.  It was important to her mom, and that is why she allowed it.  Rochelle’s mom passed away only two months after she and Tony were married.

I don’t know how much Carrie and I have in common.  She likes to visit, but Randy somehow always manages to steal her thunder.  His behavior resembles that of Captain Kirk or William Shatner where “I am important and therefore all attention should be on me”   

It was actually that behavior that Carrie found to be a turn off.  She could see right away that Randy is full of himself (which really most people don’t get because they are always awed by his charisma) I don’t recall why she agreed to go out with him, or why she allowed a second date (her description of their first date is less than flattering) but evidently had enough premonition to make a life with him.

Their wedding was expensive.  We did not contribute financially as we were on welfare when  both Randy and Tony were married to their wives. Perhaps that is part of why I have such a hang-up with the tremendous amount of money spent on weddings.  I have enough trouble  just staying afloat or trying to put food on the table.  Spending two paychecks for one-day event is OUTRAGEOUS.

Jeanie seemed all in favor of elopement initially.  But I think Biff wanted the hoopla – and what they had in mind initially seemed tasteful.  They would get married in the temple and have a luncheon with the family.  They wouldn’t send out announcements to friends until several weeks later to invite them to some kind of reception to pay a congratulations to the couple. At least that was my understanding.

But then it changed.  And changed again.  They couldn’t marry in the temple as they had planned and so they decided just to marry civilly.  They would include family members and have a luncheon afterward.  Later when they were granted temple marriage, they would have a reception to include all family and friends.

We received the announcement of their civil marriage and have been planning for that for over a month.  Two weeks ago Roland received a text from Biff to please escort him in the temple.  They are having their temple marriage on Friday and have changed their civil marriage to something else to accommodate those that are coming on Saturday. 

Two weeks is quite a healthy notice.  It’s not like Biff rushed into a proposal only three days after having met Jeanie.  And they have given us a lot more than just eight hours notice.  I can’t help but wonder what kind of example we set for them though. 

Still no scheduled reception – at least   that I know of.  I wonder if they are still planning on having more.  I think elopement would have been so much easier.  Definitely less expensive.  I can still plant the seeds for Jenna.  Let her know the pros and the cons.  I mean, it would be nice if we could afford something elaborate for her.  But gads, all that money for just one day?  Why not put the money towards a house or tuition or something that you will have with you with more than just a memory?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

No use crying over spilt milk; Time to Move on

          The wedding is now behind us, but still my plate seems full.  I am exhausted both mentally and physically.  And I am certain that I am also experiencing a hormonal imbalance.
          I vegetated all day yesterday.  Literally.  I had the boob tube on, but never saw a complete program as I would fade in and out of my slumber.  I hadn’t slept well the prior night.  I often have problems sleeping when I am overly tired.  My subconscious mind always seems to dwell on situations that I can’t change.  It drives me nuts – especially when I am so exhausted.

          Given that and the fact that I had taken a Zyrtec before going to the wedding reception and then again before going to bed.  It must have taken all day before it finally wore off.  At least I hope it’s worn off.

          My brother Corey had tried to be supportive – to both the family (as I had a son getting married) and his partner who was auditioning.  Both had scheduled event for the exact same time.  And he managed to do both.

          When Corey’s partner had finished his audition, both got dressed up and entered the temple grounds to be in family pictures.  They were in a few.  The one with everybody.  The one with bride and groom in front with uncles, aunts, nieces, cousins, friends, just whoever . . .
 Then our photographer asked which family should be photographed first.  I opted for the bride’s family with a lot more people – at least four were under the age of twelve.  I thought it would be easier to keep them there rather than move them around and back again.

          But my family got left on the back burner.  They left and I wasn’t even aware.  So the only photos that they were in were the ones with everybody – though the photographer had taken some of me with Corey and his partner before the bride and groom came out. But we did not get any photos of five that were there on the groom’s side in pics with just the nine of us.

 I felt bad.  And I know it is wrong to be upset about it or dwell on it, but I did get teary- eyed about it.  And when Roland asked if I was catching cold, I just couldn’t hold back anymore.  And I knew it was stupid for me to be crying over something I couldn’t change.  I should have said something sooner.

          It’s over and done with.  But Corey’s partner was tired having had only two hours of sleep.  Mom was antsy – because she just seems overwhelmed with crowds as she’s gotten older.  So they left.  And Corey said they had said good-bye to me.  But my head has been so full this month and I can’t think straight and I didn’t hear them or see them leave.

          There were two photographers – one from each family.  I think Bill was getting annoyed with the other photographer who obviously doesn’t have his years of experience.  She was sweet enough – but definitely not Bill.  He was probably more flustered than I was.

          There weren’t near as many pictures taken of Randy’s wedding as there had been with Tony’s – when Bill was working by himself.  Especially at the reception – where Bill had arrived on time (which doesn’t seem normal for him) but the bride’s side of the family didn’t seem to care or wanted to be bothered with being photographed again.  And the bride and groom themselves didn’t arrive until the time when the reception was scheduled to start.

          Jenna’s dress had gotten dirty – and she wasn’t in the greatest mood.  I don’t even know if she’s aware that Corey’s partner is in town right now, but I plan to take her out to my mom’s house and take pictures myself as he’ll be leaving tomorrow.  And since the dress Jenna wore the other night is not clean, I will be dressing her in another.

          It’s Mother’s Day.  I won’t have to be assisting in the nursery today as the priesthood will be giving all the women a break.
          Last night Jenna gave me an apron she had made – so excited about her gift that she just couldn’t hold it in.
          Now she would like to work on making a gift for Biff – who has his 25th birthday tomorrow.  It’s been put on the back burner – again.  I so often feel like Biff’s birthday has been lost in the sauce for so many years.  For the most part I don’t think he even cares.  But it would be nice to receive some acknowledgement.

          Mother’s Day has often been put on the back burner, too.  But I think Jenna plans on changing that.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It’s been a Melancholy month; can’t wait until it’s over

I suppose I could just brainstorm my thoughts – which I have – but on paper.  Not on a post. 
            I’ve heard it said that poultry may sometimes run around frenziedly for several minutes after decapitation.  Hence the saying, “running around like a chicken with head cut off” 
          My mind has definitely been elsewhere this month.  Too many events taking place all at once.  Too many things to remember.  I have so lacked in my organizational skills
          Had to find sitters for Jenna on Tuesday and Friday this week; had another meeting with my sibs on Tuesday – something which had been scheduled for well than a month in advance.  Fortunately my sister mentioned it in an email or else I would have forgotten.

          I arrived early – 40 minutes early.  I had left early as I didn’t know the path of construction that would be in store for me and was very surprised when I hadn’t encountered not even one orange poly cone or orange barrel.

          Yesterday Carrie went to the temple for the first time.  I had been invited to attend along with her other guests – Randy had even offered to drive me (as we’re only down to one car which Roland drives on Wednesdays)  But I still would have needed a sitter for Jenna. But I had already told her that I would take her to see a child’s production of “Alice in Wonderland” – a play that she had actually wanted to be in – but it really didn’t fit into our schedule – or budget.

          I thought that I would have rather gone to the temple then to sit through a peewee production of “Alice . . .” – NOT my favorite show.  But it turned out to be really cute.  And I will do a write up on another post.  We rode the bus over to the high school and that in itself was fun for her.  I feel good about having taken her and not neglecting her again.

          So tomorrow is Randy and Carrie’s big day.  In our family it has been traditional for the groom’s family to do the wedding breakfast/brunch.  In the past, each couple has gotten married in the morning and had their meal between the wedding and reception.  As they are not getting married until 1:00 in the afternoon, it will be a breakfast before they are married.  It isn’t practical for us to try and sandwich the meal in between the marriage and the reception in the allotted amount of time.

          Apparently 9:30 is still too early for the bride and her family – but when else are we supposed to do it? Seriously?
I know there are some readers who wonder why I’m even blogging with the wedding being so close.  Most likely I will not be blogging tomorrow though.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Would your Parents Help with the Flower Expenses?

          When I was very young – still in elementary school, probably – my dad had strongly suggested that I elope when the time came.  Of course back then I had no idea what that even meant – but as I got older and older, I realized that the elopement thing was sounding better and better.  Weddings DON’T have to be expensive.  But some brides allow things to get out of hand.

          I actually come from a very practical family who has not spent a lot of money on that special day.  Mostly due to a lack of funds – but also because we realize it is just one day and the expenses don’t have to be off the charts.  What’s the point?

          I realize that there are some who have dreamed about her “perfect wedding” her entire life.  I wasn’t one of them.  Getting the groom was the main most important thing.  All else was unnecessary.  Especially when I got older and realized how impractical so much of it really was and is.

          My brother and his wife got married around Christmas time.  The reception hall had been decorated for the holidays.  And Sunny and her family just incorporated those decorations for the wedding itself.  Sunny wore her mom’s dress.  I don’t even remember what food they had – but I’m guessing that it was simple.

          Sunny did have a line. She had chosen two shades of pink for the bridesmaids to wear. Of all existing fabrics she had chosen taffeta – okay, so the whole wedding wasn’t practical.  Half of us looked like circus tents.  It was the one and only time I would wear that dress.

          What’s up with bridesmaid dresses anyway?  To analyze that would have to be a post all on its own.  But let me not lose focus here.

          After Roland and I got engaged, we had changed our wedding date so many times.  There were complications with his ex that I will not even try to explain.  We would make arrangements around other people’s schedule – and you know what?  No date will ever work for all people.  Seriously.  Another great benefit to eloping – no one person would be excluded anymore than anybody else. 

          By that time my father had passed away and my mom didn’t want me to elope.

          We had landed on our umpteenth date for September 18.  We had the marriage license; I had borrowed a white dress from mom (not her wedding dress though – as she had borrowed the one she had been married in) and ten days prior we learned the clergy (bishop) who would marry us would be out of town.  I was in tears.  Really – why all this stress.  If we ran off to Las Vegas, it would be over and done with and I wouldn’t have had to deal with such emotional turmoil.

          The next day I asked my bishop if he could marry us that or the following night.  So the groom, the guests, everybody who was a part of that wedding party got eight hours notice or less.  And you know what?  Everybody who had been invited came.

          We were married at our newly purchased house.  My mom stopped off at the store and purchased a cake that said “Congratulations!” and it worked.  Roland's favorite part about that night was that I didn't have to leave at a certain time; I was there to stay.

          There were still some who believed we should have a reception.  And so a month later we did – for them. We made up our own announcements and passed them out by hand.  I purchased some balloons and teddy bears for our decorations.  We found some appetizers on clearance and used that as our food.  And ward (Church) members rallied around us to assist with our needs. 

It was held in the building where my mom attends Church meetings. It was simple.  There was no line.  Very little expense.  And it worked.

          Before Kayla got married I went with her to a second hand store.  She purchased a wedding gown and veil that she has worn three times perhaps – she had posed for pictures in her wedding dress without her groom – and there are several more – over six hindered more of the bride and groom.

          The line was short.  No bridesmaids in one-time-wear bridesmaid dresses.  But if she had had bridesmaids she would have chosen a practical fabric and pattern that the bridesmaid would actually want to wear again.

          Her “flower girls” wore dresses which were already in closet – posed for pictures but did not stand in line. My family and I assisted in the kitchen.  It was held at the same building as my reception had been.  It was inexpensive.  And it worked.

          And I have been to some expensive weddings that really did have an awesome appearance and commercial feel almost.  And while I have made comment that, “Oh, this is nice.  Yes, it is beautiful” I really do feel a lot more comfortable with simple than with expense.  Which is good, I guess.  Being that expense has always been out of my reach.

          I have two daughters-in-law.  Well, two as of next week. 

My first daughter-in-law comes from a family who has had to deal with financial burdens just as we have.  Rochelle’s needs and ideas were very simple – and it showed.  The layout for the reception was very inexpensive.  Different family members had agreed to assist and/or take over with different parts of the reception – such as food, decorations, the cake, etc.  They held it at the Church (ward building) that she had attended. And it was a really nice reception.

          Rochelle was very willing to elope.  But she didn’t want to hurt her family members’ feelings.  Neither of her parents was in the greatest of health.  She had a simple wedding reception for them.  And her mom passed two months later.  So we have some great memories there with her mom.

Carrie’s tastes are a far cry from practical, I think.  According to Randy, Carrie’s family has already spent thousands of dollars on this wedding.  Thousands!  I cringe at the very thought.  If I had thousands, it certainly would not be spent for a onetime event.  I’d fix up the yard, have a lot more reliable transportation, fix the plumbing in the house (probably the plumbing would be my priority) get my printer fixed . . .

Carrie had asked Randy to ask if we could help with expenses.  Are you kidding me?  Don’t you think if we had the money we would have made the offer?  After all, she’s been to our rather small house before.  She’s seen our embarrassment of a yard. She’s seen what we use as transportation.  She may not know about the plumbing, but still . . . we didn’t spend that kind of money put together on the three weddings mentioned at the beginning of this post.  
Please.  It’s not that I don’t want to – well, I guess I don’t – but overall we really cannot help out with expenses because we just don’t have it.  We've been off and on welfare our entire married lives.  Mostly on it seems.

Randy doesn’t understand why we’re so financially strapped.  Hopefully he will never have to find our first-handedly about the high cost of divorce and what it’s like to hire attorneys and pay court costs and taxes and earn money that we never even see.  (Also more information for another post that will never get written.) Not to mention the economical slump they are calling a “repression”.

I like Carrie.  I do.  But her view of the world is so different from my own.  Different from her mother’s from what I understand.  The kind of girl that Randy would go for.  A trophy wife.  And I hope for both of their sakes that it will last. 

Sunny would not encourage anybody to elope.  She thinks that there should be many memories of that important day and that family and friends should be a part of it.  And I agree.  I wanted family and friends.  I didn’t want hype however.  And hype isn’t needed.  But for many brides it appears that the desire of the material things and show becomes more important than friends, family members, and even the groom. 

I’ve been to some weddings that have just seemed so superficial and showy, I wonder just who they’re trying to impress.  Themselves?  Do they think it’s worth it? And there are those who have been impressed with the results.  I, for one, am NOT impressed with the high cost of weddings.  I’d rather take my family on vacation somewhere.

 Different strokes.  Different folks.  If our finances are like they are now, Jenna’s will have to be simple (unless we can get her to elope)