Tag: wedding dress

Whirlwind Wedding

This isn’t a shotgun wedding. It wasn’t a whirlwind romance. No, they had nearly five years of dating and another year of friendship. But in those last two weeks, a cyclone descended.

Toward the middle of July, my oldest son showed up during the middle of the day. He needed to borrow the Internet, he said.

Next thing I know, he’s standing in front of my desk holding a tell-tale jeweler’s box. He’d just paid cash for this beautiful wedding ring.

“When are you going to propose?” A shrug was his answer.

I showered him with romantic ideas. I would later learn that he come up with a fantastic one of his own. Was there ever a doubt?

A few weeks went by. I said nothing. Pretended I knew nothing whenever I was around his lovely girlfriend. It would have given a lesser woman an ulcer.

At the beginning of the month, we’re playing games with our out-of-town guests. A text from Sara. “It finally happened!”

A picture of the ring came with the next text. What did we do back in the day before we could show off our engagement ring to the world with a snap and click?

Our bevy of congratulatory texts went back to her and my son. The Facebook status was updated the next day.

Two days later, I get a text from my husband. “The wedding is Friday at the courthouse.”

Friday. As in two DAYS from now?

Whoops. Next Friday. Oh, as in nine days. That’s so much better.

Before I can barely start the next day, my future daughter calls.

“Can we get married at your house next Saturday?”

What happened to Friday? But I have to admit, our living room or backyard will be a nicer setting than a courtroom.

Even without solid green, this is better than some sterile courtroom. Right?
Even without solid green, this is better than some sterile courtroom. Right?

A bunch of pictures of dresses come zipping across the digital phone waves (if that’s a thing) and light up the screen of my smart phone.

This is really happening. My oldest son is going to get married in a few days.

We want to help. We drive to my son’s apartment (soon to be the residence of newlyweds) and talk about what they want: for the ceremony and afterward, and in moving her stuff to his place.

I’m in charge of purchasing two dozen white roses. She’s going to make her own bouquet. The photo she sends is gorgeous.

The night before the wedding, she shows up with her sisters. My other future daughter comes with baby’s breath ( “I could have bought that, too”) and ice cream.

What the video said would take an hour to make FOUR of, takes an hour and ten minutes to construct a single arrangement. But it’s lovely.

Too lovely to toss
Too lovely to toss

And it’s late. And I can’t sleep.

I get up early. Sweep the house again (did it two days earlier). Wipe off the kitchen counter. Twice.

My husband is outside setting up chairs. He already hosed down the patio and moved everything out of sight. Our half-brown yard looks as good as it can get.

The couple who was engaged first. Wedding set for January 2, 2016
The couple who was engaged first. Wedding: January 2, 2016


My youngest son’s fiance is the first to show up. More than two hours before the wedding.

Even though we joked about him being late, the groom shows up 30 minutes later. With a shirt and slacks that are just-out-of-the-package wrinkled. Good, a task to concentrate on.

A few minutes later, my youngest son and the minister arrive. It’s still more than an hour until the wedding and I have a house full of people. I’m still running around in shorts without any makeup on.

So, I let the dryer steam the shirt and I go get ready.

A text. The bride is running late.

So the groom gets grilled. Does he have everything? Like what. Ring? Check. License?


Yeah, you know that thing the minister and witnesses are supposed to sign to make this marriage legal.

Whoops. It’s on the counter at his apartment – about twenty minutes away. It’s fifteen minutes to “go time.”

The bride is alerted and she agrees to turn around and go pick it up. (When this story is told in the future, everyone will understand it was the groom’s fault the wedding didn’t start on time.)

Needless to say, while a whirlwind juggled everything in the ten days prior to the wedding, the wedding started nearly 40 minutes late.

The bride’s family arrived before the bride.

The bride needed to change into her dress when she did arrive. Her sisters and mother wanted to inspect it. The other guests waited in the backyard.

Traditional vows
Traditional vows

As far as whirlwind timing, the wedding ceremony itself lasted about five minutes. Pictures took another ten to fifteen minutes. And a gust sent everyone off to the after-wedding luncheon.

Many women want a big fancy wedding ceremony with all the trappings. Some people just want to be married.

Whirlwind or traditional – you’re married just the same.

What type of wedding did you have? Any regrets? Like maybe you wished you saved those thousands of dollars for a down payment on a house?

Dress Shopping Adventure – This isn’t Bride-zilla

Bridesmaids and the Mothers
Bridesmaids and the Mothers

After ending my child-bearing with two sons, I never expected to join in on the bride-driven flurry associated with my sons’ weddings. My daughter-to-be has different ideas. Adventures in dress shopping are only the tip of this iceberg (I believe).

Our first foray (a second is bound to come since the perfect dress remains undiscovered) happened at a shop in Tigard, Bridal Exclusives. According to our extremely helpful saleslady, it is the top seller of wedding paraphernalia in Oregon. And third in the U.S. (which seems like a stretch – but I would believe they were third in overall customer satisfaction nationwide).

We had an appointment. A comfortable bench gave us a perfect view of everything. Bottled water was provided. After a brief interview, they were off to choose one of each style.

Close...but still not the one
Close…but still not the one

I’d like to say it didn’t take long to limit her preferred types to two – ball gown and A-line – but anyone who’s ever put on a single wedding dress would see through that farce.  The saleslady dropped the yards of shiny, beaded fabric and piles of tulle over the bride’s head and then used strange clothespin-like devices to give the illusion of a perfect fit.

Let’s just say that maybe two out of the first twenty she tried were even close to the correct size. Meaning they zipped and she didn’t have more than a pair of the fabric-devouring piranhas hanging off her back or waist.

Most of the dresses were stunning. I’m sure that included the price, but we only learned the prices of two of the dresses. When I heard the first, my stomach and chest warred. One with sympathy for the purchaser of the dress and the other with relief that it wasn’t ME.

Suffice it to say, two hours later we were closer to knowing what the bride imagined wearing on her special day – but not to actually locating said jewel.

After a delicious lunch, we had a completely different experience at a smaller dress shop in Tigard. It is obviously popular. Two women were already trying on gowns. A few men came in to check the fitting of their tuxedos during the time of our visit.

The brides helpful treasure hunting team
The brides helpful treasure hunting team

A dress the bride loved online was on the rack, so she was quick to request it. The six of us went through the racks, showing her options we thought she might like. The selection offered at this tiny boutique equated to a single rack of ONE style at the larger store.

In the end, she tried on five dresses. The one she saw online didn’t look the same in person, so it was deleted from the possibility list. One of the dresses fit all of her requirements, but the embroidery was obviously flowers – not what the bride envisions at her winter wedding.

Five hours later, I was in my car driving home again. Wishing I had experienced a similar shopping extravaganza back in the day.

Thanks for including me in this first part of the wedding adventure, Kacy. I know one of these days, you will unearth the treasure you’re seeking.