Attacking Life with Comedic Jaws of Sarcasm. Recovering Dating & Relationship Blogger - Made it to Step 12 When I Got Married.

Category: V and X: The Wedding

Searching Everywhere, You Turn and Swear, It’s Always Been There

I wish I could give you a blow by blow detail of the wedding, but sadly, it all blew by so quickly that I barely remember anything. And I only had a couple beers.

When we caravaned to my parent’s house on Thursday, X’s mom was so pleased to meet my mom – a fellow Greek. X’s mom is just beside herself that this wife (cough, ME) is Greek. They had a grand old time those two. But because Number 1 and Number 2 went to bed at 5:15 a.m. Wednesday night, and we woke up at 5:30, they needed naps upon our Connecticut arrival. They went back to the hotel, and my mom went into mom-mode.

“So, you promised you would take that thing out of your tongue when you got married.” (I’m not exactly sure why I promised this to my mom, maybe because it represented the last vestige of my crazy single life.) I reached inside my mouth, unscrewed my tongue ring, and handed it to her. She laughed and said, “GREAT!” and threw it across the kitchen. Who knew that bothered her so much?

What was bothering me was a sudden appearance of two bruises on my right arm that looked like Lyme Disease. The entire family gathered around my arm trying to decide wtf was going on. Then I said, “Oh, can we also discuss this?” At this point I showed them the zit/goiter/new planet that seemed to take hold on my jawline. Ugh. My mom thought I was breaking out in hives. No amount of makeup would cover this.

X and I had a plan. The hotel/restaurant where we were having the wedding cost a fortune, so we blocked rooms at a Hilton in the next town. Thursday night he stayed with Number 1 and Number 2 at the hotel, and I slept my last night in la Casa Mommy and Daddy with my brother, the Elitist, slathering zit medicine on my goiter-zit, every hour on the hour. The next morning he and I inspected the zit and thought we did pretty well. I figured the rest of the roadkill could be covered with makeup. Then I went downstairs and my dad said, “WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO YOUR NECK?” Great! It metastasized! And the oldest guy in the room saw it first. Not. Good.

Back to the plan. X was going to dress at the Hilton, I would dress at our wedding location, and we would meet on the deck to get hitched. No. Such. Luck. My half hour makeup appointment went in excess of 90 minutes as the entire staff at the MAC store attempted to cover my lyme disease and the puberty-redux happening on my neck. When I got back to my parents house, my dad had hijacked my friends from Atlanta after picking them up at LaGuardia and had them at the kitchen table eating sandwiches. At 4:00!!! When the wedding was at 6:00!!! And all the vendors were at the hotel!!! And X isn’t. And neither was I! Where the hell did the day go? Then just as I got to the wedding location, X calls and says he was almost there, and realized he forgot his suit. He had to turn around and go back to the other hotel to get it. When my mom showed up she was like, “Oh my God can anything go right right now?”

I went downstairs in my bathrobe and put out the placecards and the table identifers. We used Greek Islands instead of numbers. But because each table had a different number of guests, I had to sit there and count. “Okay, this table has 10 places set…this is the Rhodes table….okay lay out cards for people who I put at a 10-top…” and so on. The waiters thought I was the Wedding Coordinator, the Event Manager thought I was the bride’s sister and I was thinking about finding some narcotics, crushing them and rolling around in them on the floor I was so freaked out.

The photographer and I had a few nice moments in the room before the melee. First Mommy. Then Daddy. Then my brothers…friends…nieces…dogs….X. We literally got dressed in front of 10 people, with cameras snapping all over the place.   There is clearly nipple (mine) on the video. But I wouldn’t trade that part for the world, because here occurred what will no doubt lead as one of my most cherished moments in my life. Once I got my skin tight dress on, I realized I couldn’t bend to put on my shoes. Without prompting, each of my nieces took it upon themselves to grab a shoe, and put it on one of my feet. I should mention my nieces are 3 & 1/2 and almost 5 years old. And I should also mention that my shoes tied around the ankle and had a belt-like strap that had to be poked through a hole.

A lot of you have read this blog for 5+ years and know that I have never posted a picture of myself. I’m changing that rule because this picture absolutely must be shared.

 

Here’s where I’d like to say that the rest of the night was fantastic, however, that would be a lie. Let’s see…how shall I put this?

I fucking fell down the stairs when I was going down to get married. In front of everyone – my mom, dad, brothers, sister-in-law, nieces, X, X’s mom, X’s two kids, the photographer, they all saw. And we all laughed. It’s on video. When I watched it I was like, “Damn, I went DOWN!” In my mind I had only slipped a bit. Nope. I really ate it.

Friday was a complete blur. Seriously. There are definitely regrets and things I would do different, but honestly – I would hire a freaking videographer if I had this to do again. X and I felt like with a wedding of 30 people, that having a video camera in people’s faces all the time would be a hassle. They wouldn’t have a lot to film if they only had 30 people to rotate through. Plus it was around $2000 for the night and that just seemed like money wasted. Now? I really screwed that up. I would hire 20 videographers if I knew that the entire night would zip by me without me even realizing it. Barely ate, barely drank, and barely feel like I talked to anyone. I even forgot to dance with my dad. Please. I know. Don’t get me started. I cried the whole drive back to D.C. over this yesterday. My nieces were just loving the wedding, and my focus suddenly became on them, to the exclusion of almost everyone and everything else. Kids are really a time vortex.

Anyway, my photographer is working on the pictures, but she sent me her favorite.

She’s really good.

 

To Love Somebody, Naturally

It’s happening on Friday. I can’t believe it’s 2 days away.

Here’s the song we’ll play when the moms and my nieces-as-flowergirls enter:

 

I’d like Sammy and Thora to go down the aisle too during this time, but I’m thinking they won’t be able to figure that part out. There’s a left turn involved, and frankly, to be screaming “GO TO DADDY!” during the processional just seems ghetto. And ghetto and Connecticut don’t really belong in the same place. Though I would like to be the one who does bring the ghetto to the establishment, I’ll spare my mom. It’s bad enough she’s going to see all my tattoos when she’s getting me into my dress. I have to remember to bring her some valium. She’s so much more fun that way.

This is the song I’ll be walking down the aisle to:

Love it. Really love it. I’m so pleased with my music selection so don’t make fun!

There’s still a lot to do. I am amazed at how much work goes into planning a wedding. I should have hired a coordinator, but we were trying to make this a small, easy event. No such luck. We’re dealing with a crappy situation. It seems that despite the fact that X and I have made decisions and given instructions, nothing seems to go right with the venue. It’s incredibly frustrating. I love the place we picked. I don’t love the person we are stuck working with. I guess when one’s husband buys them a restaurant to run, they can pretty much do whatever they want. Or don’t want. They can ignore emails for weeks on end, they can ignore voicemails, and when they fax things to clients, they can put them in the fax machine backward so all the client gets are blank pages on their end. They can also tell clients that instead of having tables of 10 or tables of 8, they should have tables of 9. Are you a fucking idiot? Tables of 9? So you want me to split up husbands from wives, gays from partners, and moms from kids? I get that there aren’t that many people coming to this shindig, but damn.

Mommy is ready to go into mega-bitch mode. She’s starting every other sentence with “Do your father and I need to go down there?” OMG! NO!!!! We’ll be BANNED! I’m sure she’ll rip someone’s head off by the time this is over. Hopefully not a family member. Yikes. If I had to place bets, I still vote for my sister-in-law and mom are going to get into it. Let’s be clear though – Mommy is on my side right now. When she’s not, she’s Gloom. But for now, she’s on my side so she’s Mommy. I’m sure she and my dad will be back to Gloom and Doom soon enough.

The photographer (who I love to pieces) wants to take family pictures during the cocktail hour. I’ll have to break it to her that my dad will not take any time away from the Clam Chowder cups that will be passed during that hour, so she can pretty much stick that idea up her ass. I think she thinks she’s dealing with the Kennedy’s when she’s really getting the Simpsons.

Well lovers, I’m off. I have music to mix, dogs to bathe, gray hairs to spot-dye, mani’s and pedi’s to get, and I have to drive to Connecticut where the work of assembling the favors, writing out the place cards and drinking myself into a stupor must take place.

Then, sometime after all that is done, I get to kiss my husband.

A Sense of Expectation Hanging in the Air

I have new advice that anyone getting married (Shannon, Carrie, Carla – who already did this) should pay attention to:

Get. Two. Dresses.

No, I’m not kidding. Actually, my journey to ending up with two dresses was a weird one. To recap something I posted 2 months back, I ordered #1 too late, so got #2, an adequate but much less expensive substitute “just in case.” Well, #2 ended up coming in a few weeks ago, needed no alterations, and was shuttled to my parent’s house this past weekend where it has taken up current residence in my childhood bedroom closet.

While X and I were in the land of Gloom and Doom, I got a call from the sellers of dress #1 that it was ready to be picked up. X and I went over there because he had already seen #2, so I just figured let him see the first one and he can pick. We got there, they located my dress and put me in it. It’s 1 size larger than their sample size – which now fits by the way, like a glove and feels like a nightgown.

I put on the dress that was custom made for me, knowing it would be too big and would need alterations, however, I was unprepared for what happened next. Itch. Scratch. Itch. EEK! The level of lining closest to my body was forcing my thighs into some sort of tourniquet situation, they were begging for release, and everything below mid thigh broke out into full blown itchy madness.The nightgown feeling of the sample is in direct contrast to feeling like I’m rolling around in a sausage casing lined with sandpaper. Get. This. Off. My. Body. NOW.

????

I have no idea either. X and I sat there for 4 hours while they took the dress away, pressed all the layers, came back, tried it on, still itched, looked at the sample, figured out that the sample had thicker lining between my body and the tulle, then had to exit because the fire alarms went off, went back to the store, smelled burning rubber, hoped it was my dress so I could just get my money back and be done with it all, tried it on again, got stuck in it when the zipper jammed, had to slide out of it so they could fix the zipper, went out and sat with X who started planning how I should get my money back, then tried the dress on again, then it was itchier in the back of my thighs, then everyone said they didn’t know and I would have to come back tomorrow to talk to the manager. I’m making the manager try on the sample, then try on the dress that was made for me. And did I mention when you pick up the layers they are all shredded and tattered at the seams? THIS is a custom gown? Yikes.

As X and I sat there waiting for this to be figured out, I looked at him and said, “Considering this wedding is in 2 1/2 weeks, can you imagine how much I would be jumping off a ledge right now if I didn’t have a backup dress, safely nestled at my parents house?” It resulted in our having a conversation on how everyone should have a backup dress. Instead of blowing your whole budget on one dress, get a second one. It really helped me not lose my shit today.

X said, “Yeah, and we haven’t even discussed that black grease stain down the front of it.” Um. Yes.

Tomorrow I’m going to request that they keep the stained itch-factory,   clean and press the sample instead and give that to me.

And it makes me wonder – all these bridal salons try to convince you to not buy them from the ebay $100 sweat shops, but you know, considering the condition my dress was in, I’m not sure that I didn’t just overpay for something out of one of those very same factories.

What did we learn here today? Two. Dresses. You can always sell one.

Couldn’t Get It Right

Well, my mom has kicked into Mother-of-the-Bride mode. Woo hoo. Finally. Among other things, she told me that she was thinking to ask my brothers to make a toast at the wedding. I said, “You and Dad don’t want to do it?” She doesn’t want to speak in public. And my dad? Well, let’s just say that as children, we were so confused how the man who words failed on the regular could actually be a lawyer and argue, and win a case, that my brother went to watch him in court. He came home after and said, “Daddy is a totally different person in court. He’s not the Dad we know, who says ‘Velvet, it’s uh, time, uh, what’s this over here? Who left this here. Hey. Time for uh, dinner. Did anyone see my glasses?”

When my mom bestowed this news on my brother and added in that he needs to say something simple and nice, my brother responded with the following:

“I was thinking of doing a slideshow of all her ex-boyfriends and saying ‘Well, thank God THIS is over’ then slapping her on the ass and giving her a big wedgie in her dress.”

My mom was hilariously laughing. Camera pans to my dad.

With a totally straight face because the joke eluded him, he said, “Uh, I wouldn’t do that if I uh, were you. She uh, might get mad.”

That Frozen Concoction That Helps Me Hang On

X and I decided on a whim to leave town. We started discussing wedding, plans, and going away and realized that we weren’t going to be able to fit it in after the wedding. So we took the dogs and went to the Keys.

When I finished grad school several years ago, I found this place in the middle of nowhere in the Keys that allowed dogs and they could be off leash. I went down there and had the time of my life doing absolutely nothing. So X and I made arrangements to go back and while I was worried because there’s not a lot to do there and X needs constant entertainment, it was paradise. He loved it, I loved it, the dogs loved it. As we always do, we started talking about buying a place in the Keys and how nice it would be to live there. We always talk about that, wherever we go. Aah, if only money weren’t in the way.

The owner of the place came outside one night and we asked him to have a drink with us. He said he only drinks scotch. So X told him to go grab his scotch. He goes inside and comes back out, not with a little highball glass of scotch. No, that drunk comes back with a 16 ounce glass of scotch, filled to the top. No wonder he passed out on the patio every night and his wife had to drag him to bed! What a way to live.

I’ve had a lot of anxiety about getting married. It’s funny to get to a place where you finally feel ready and then, you get scared. I always said no one should get married before 35, but now, as I’m on the other side of that by 2 years, I think I’m revising my former sentiment. I think younger than 30 is still too young. But if you get married after 35, you’re set in your ways. It’s a difficult adjustment to think about consolidating households and merging lives. Not impossible – just an adjustment. Now I think that perfect window is somewhere between 30 and 35. At least for me I suppose.

We spent 2 days driving home and Sammy almost got himself molested at a rest stop. Some creepy guy got out of his car, had no shirt on, and had pants that were just hovering above his pubes on the front, and exposing full butt crack in the back. X said when I was walking the dogs the molester saw me and was just watching me with the dogs, and didn’t realize X was in the car behind him and that we were together. When we started walking back toward the car, the molester tried to get Sammy’s attention and I just knew that nosy little dog was going to go over and get all of us kidnapped and thrown in a basement somewhere. But that X. He saw it all unfolding, and jumped out of the car and shuffled me and the dogs in real quick. When we were driving off, we saw the molester had a security uniform in his car. Ugh. No telling what he’s up to.

X wanted to drive straight through to home, but I wanted to stop. Of course we picked the worst place to stop because there were like 3 family reunions in that town that weekend, so the hotels were all booked. We finally got a room in the far corner of a hotel, in the woods under a broken down billboard. It was scary. Of course, I have a low bar for what I find acceptable accommodations. This is honed from years of experience in the Velvet Family, where my dad made us stay at the most disgusting places you could ever imagine. I remember we stayed at this Thunderbird Motor Lodge once and my brother, the family elitist, was comatose for 3 days. This of course is the same brother who won’t eat at Denny’s, IHop, Waffle House, Huddle House or anything along those lines because they are dirty, gross, and have sticky syrup everywhere. He makes me laugh my ass off.

Because it was a bit scary, I slept with that “one-eye-open” thing. I felt like I couldn’t really relax, and questioned whether X was right and we should have just pushed onward to home. We woke up at 6 a.m to all this banging, and the stupid New Yorkers next door to us were leaving. We got to hear their entire conversation, as well as their door slamming over and over as they went in and out, packing the car. Just when it was almost over, and they were about to drive off, one of them had to take a shit, which he announced so loud they probably heard it up at the next exit. Shoot me. Really.

Anyway, here they are, my little muffins, doing what they do best. Lounging.

 

 

And, on the way home..

.

 

I Spent a Lifetime Looking for You

I actually went out last night and had a drink with the Hostess and the Photographer. I haven’t done that in, um, years. We went up to Marvin for a Dupont Underground event. Because I love all things Dupont, I am obsessed with seeing the space below the circle. There’s a growing movement of artists trying to get the space opened for the exhibition of area artists. I can’t think of a better idea of what to do with that space in all honesty. I understand that the former trolley station was made into an underground mall in the 90’s with various shops and places to eat, but that it was such a crime magnet that they shut it down. Maybe the time is right to reopen that puppy and show the world.

Anyway, you can read more here about the Underground, more about last night’s event here and more about sponsor and friend of the Hostess and the Photographer, Phillipa Hughes and Pinkline Project here.

Damn. It felt good to actually know about something going on in Dupont, I’ve been so far removed from D.C. and Dupont and so wrapped up in my own little life lately.

But that couldn’t last for long. I do have an interesting wedding   update for anyone who cares.

When I went in early April to buy my wedding dress, the sample size they had didn’t exactly zip up. In fact, it was about 2 inches away from zipping closed. Embarrassing. But then when they tell you the sample size is totally off from normal sizes, I felt better. A little. They recommended I buy two sizes higher. I said, “No. One size.” They were trying to tell me that “every bride promises to lose weight” and better safe than sorry. My stance was, “No way. If I’m going to drop these annoying 5 10 15 lbs, now is the time.”

I busted my ass in gear. I am totally not kidding. I stopped running since that was getting me nowhere but to injury fast, and started walking. Then when the Hostess found out I was walking 4 miles a day like a maniac all over Dupont, Georgetown and up those stupid Exorcist Stairs, she started coming with me. I think I logged 80 miles in each month – March, April and May. Then the Hostess and I started doing the stairs multiple times. My doctor said to cut to 1200 calories. I don’t really count calories, but I can pretty much bet I’m not going over that since I’m hungry all the time.

I had a meeting today in a building adjacent to where I bought my original #1 wedding dress choice. I have been considering what to do if the dress comes in and doesn’t fit and they have to take it out. So I ran in there to try on the sample size again to see how I’m progressing. I saw the lady who helped me was there by herself when I walked in, but her back was to me. I snuck over, found the dress and ran into the dressing room. If this thing wasn’t going to fit, and I was going to have a breakdown, I really wanted to do it alone.

I unzipped the dress, put it over my head and everything was all stuck. There were parts and layers in places they shouldn’t be and I was concerned that the dress didn’t feel any looser. Then I realized I had an entire layer bunched up in there, so I pulled that out and started zipping. That zipper went all the way to the top, AND, it was loose. Holy effing crap. How on earth did I do this? I got on the scale last week and knew I was down 8 lbs, but in what world is 8 lbs enough to drop you 2 dress sizes? I guess the bridal world. Now it seems like the dress I ordered will be too big. Huh.

I came out of the dressing room and ran over to the lady and called her name. She turned around and said, “VELVET!!! I WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT YOU LAST WEEK!” Couldn’t believe she remembered my name, I haven’t seen her except for that one day two months ago. She remembered everything about me. She’s good! I told her I lost 8 lbs and showed her the dress and she was shocked. She said everyone promises to lose weight and most brides can’t pull it off in time.

Please. I’m not “most brides!”

And that dress is downright gorgeous. I really made the right choice the first time.

Anyway, since I have room to spare, does anyone have a bag of Chips Ahoy or 30 cannolis they can lend me? Thanks.

I Can See Your Expression When the Phone Rings

Maybe it was a bad idea to let my parents pick the Justice of the Peace. It’s no secret that the Velvet family likes to shop for price.

This past weekend, X and I went to Connecticut to work on some more details. I’m not sure why I thought a “small” wedding of just family and a few friends would be any easier. Damn. You still have to do all the same crap, you just mail less invitations and make less place cards. Yes. Sigh. Place cards. X thought that since it’s such a small group we could let people decide where to sit. Um. No. Have you met my family? We need to make a very strategic plan on who sits where. If we can keep my sister-in-law in a different city from my mom, we’ll be in good shape. When I was first making phone calls for a venue, every Venue Manager said the same thing at first: Describe your perfect wedding.

“Oh, that’s easy. One where my mom doesn’t punch my sister-in-law and one where my dogs can be a part of it.”

This did make everyone laugh. I think they thought I was joking. I wasn’t.

We went to the town hall to apply for the marriage license. Lucky for me, my BFF from high school works there and did the whole thing for us on the spot. No waiting! No blood tests! No proof of X’s divorce! No charge! Thanks Divorcee!!!! (Funny, I know. Even funnier she changed her status on Facebook to “engaged” this morning.)

As she was filling out the license, her co-worker, sitting at a desk behind her, said, “Is Larry marrying you?” I said, “Um, yeah, I think that’s it.” She said, “You’re not getting married at the Motel 6* are you?” I said, “Uh, yes.” She starts shaking her head. “He called here the other day to see if you had applied for your license yet. He said someone called him and said his daughter was getting married and asked if he would perform the ceremony and he couldn’t remember your names, the location, the date or the time.”

X and I looked at each other and started laughing. Divorcee said this was sort of par for the course with this guy and suggested we keep calling him to remind him. Then she said we should plan to send someone to pick him up. Jesus. Christ. She told me stories about people we went to high school with who never picked up their marriage licenses and she had to run them over to their wedding. Fuck DC, I love small towns.

When we went back to my parents house we told them what happened with the JP. My dad called him right then and gave him the info all over again. He said that the JP lost the paper where he wrote everything down. Wow. Just, wow. I was like, “Um, Dad? We sort of need him.” He kept saying “Don’t worry, don’t worry.”

Yeah. I think we need a Plan B. I told X since we have zero connection to this JP and he might not even show up, maybe we should consider just finding a Greek Orthodox priest to marry us. X is working on that today. Yikes. The only problem is that Greek Orthodox weddings last like three days.

We did get a cake last week. Devils food with cannoli cream. Devils food cakes and cannolis are my two favorite desserts in the whole world, and whoever thought of putting them together is a god damned genius.   As opposed to us picking a JP name out of a hat, at least getting the cake at this bakery felt right. It’s from the same bakery where my mom got my cake for my baptism.

We’re down to 8 weeks people.

*I’m not really getting married at the Motel 6. I promise.**

**It’s Super 8.

When You Love Me, I’m On Top of the World

Okay. I lied about something. I’m not as “together” with the wedding as these past few posts may have indicated. There’s something I haven’t told a soul until, well, Sunday when X and I were walking the dogs and it just sort of popped out. I’ll just re-enact that.

X: How many nights are we blocking on the hotels? When do we leave for Connecticut?
Me: I was thinking Thursday.
X: Thursday? We’re getting married Friday. Is that going to be enough time?
Me: Well I hadn’t really planned on leaving earlier because of the dress.
X: What do you mean?
Me: Well, the dress will probably come in that week. I’m not sure what day.
X: Wait. What? What are you talking about?
Me: The dress. My dress. Should arrive that week.
X: Okay, and are you planning on having any alterations?
Me: Um. Well. I was sort of hoping no.
X: Is this a joke?
Me: No. Do I look like I’m joking?
X: Velvet. When are they shipping your dress?
Me: July 10.
X: And how long will it take to arrive?
Me: I don’t know. They said 10 days to get through customs.
X: Aren’t you worried?
Me: Frankly, yes, but the manager called them and assured me the dress would be here on time. I haven’t really wanted to believe anything otherwise.
X: What if it doesn’t get here in time?
Me: I don’t want to talk about this. At all. I don’t want to believe anything other than that this will all work out for me.

This is typical of me. I stick my head in the sand and hope that things will work out. I’ll control the hell out of the stupid details in life, but the big ones? I make rash decisions and fly by the seat of my pants on the details. It’s fun living like this to be quite honest because I can really get shit done. This is how I decided (and got) my real estate license in D.C., Maryland and Virginia in record time. This is how I decided I wanted to get an MBA in August, 2001 when I was living in Phoenix, and was sitting in a classroom in Baltimore come January, 2002. This is how I packed a truck and moved to Atlanta to live with my ex without really thinking it through. Sometimes it’s a win, sometimes it’s not – like when I stayed at the Vortex way too long when I should have taken my life and soul and exited that place long before it became the nightmare it did.

Back to the dress.

Since this conversation with X, I have been really bothered by my lack of responsibility. Even though the store convinced me that the dress would arrive on time, a little light googling on another topic and I found a bunch of reviews of the alterations department of said location, and they were all bad. Okay. So I won’t get it altered there. But then I found scores of reviews on sites I have never heard of, all saying that their dresses arrived 2-3 weeks late. Rut-ro.

July 10th plus 2 weeks is one day after the wedding. That will not work for me.

I spent no less than 15 hours online Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights seeking a backup plan. I went through The Knot in painstaking agony identifying other dress possibilities. I saved them as favorites, and cross referenced all the style numbers into the following sites:

ebay
Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses
Once Wed
Wore it Once
Recycled Bride
Bravo Bride
Wedding Dress Market

By the time I was done with that I was ready to stick my finger down my throat and vom. Do you know how many brides out there are selling size zero and 2 dresses? A whole hell of a lot. And I swear to you that I saw Oprah sized arms coming out of what someone called a size 6. Slap margarine on my butter, lady, if you are a size 6 (which in bridal, is a size 2) then I’m writing this from Bret Michael’s bedside. (Oh poor Bret, please get better!)

Finally I found nine very viable options, and started ruling out. I googled everything. I found message boards debating two of my chosen styles over each other, with 20 replies. I wondered who the hell finds time to debate wedding dresses with complete strangers online, but then, hello, uh, me, 15 hours online between Sunday and Tuesday, and uh, you people, most of whom I don’t know, reading about what a moron I am. Gotcha.

Narrowed it down to 2 options, and then to one option – a dress so wonderful I’m giddy thinking about it. It’s not a replacement. It’s number 2. I want to be clear about that. But still, a fantastic backup. Then I found a store that carried the brand. And guess who drove to Capitol Hill to find that store shut down? Yup. Then I checked my list and realized the next closest store was in some place my old Developer boss used to send me to for various work errands, and he would warn me to not get shot. Suitland maybe? District Heights?   And what I found out there at Lefty’s Bridal? Changed my life.

I bought a backup dress, sight unseen. It will be here in June. Lefty is this amazing lady, she has a fashion degree, does all the alterations herself, and she and her husband run the shop out of their home. They were in there helping their drop dead gorgeous daughter get fitted for her prom dress and grabbed a similar dress for me to try, eyeballed my size, did the measurements and I handed over my card. They also gave me a great price – less than what some of these broads are selling their cast-off size 2’s for online. Any of you getting married? Email me. We’re going to Lefty’s.

Let’s revisit the shoes for a second…

Still love them, but they are currently in a box on a UPS truck on their way back to Piperlime. You know how when you have a pair of heels for 20 years and they look all raggedy and out of shape? Yep. That’s what they sent me. No packing material, and they were scuffed AND WORN before. Ugh. Buh-bye. I’ll buy my shoes in person Bloomingdales, because it’s like no other store in the world.

Something About the Woman Makes My Heart Go Haywire, and She’s Gonna Be My Wife

Well, X and I have a new favorite show. That stupid “Say Yes to the Dress” show. I think in the absence of me making a huge deal of the dress shopping, coupled with the fact that I stumbled into a place and found the dress without giving it much thought or bringing anyone with me, I am obsessed with other people and their search for the dress. Maybe I feel like I missed out a bit on that experience though I am happy that it happened the way it did. I wish they would put that thing out on video already.

I found my shoes. Love. Love. Love.

 

We really rocked and rolled this weekend. Again, who needs a planner? My dad confirmed that he found a JP so that’s done. Then my dad sent the funniest email. He is so conditioned to eating dinner at 6:00, and we’re planning on starting the ceremony at 6:00, then doing a cocktail hour, so dinner won’t be until after 7. My dad says, “Can’t you start the wedding at 5 so we can sit down to eat at 6?” I’m crying now. I called him and said, “No, I cannot do that because first of all, I think the few random out of towners need as much of Friday as possible to get to town, and because traffic in Connecticut is horrendous on Fridays in the summer and because frankly, the later the better. I’m already going to be sweating my ass off in 50 pounds of dress.” X was like, “Can we get him a snack?” My dad is a comedian. Now might be a good time to tell X that my parents will probably be packing up any uneaten food and taking it home to live off of for weeks post-wedding.

X and I spent Friday drinking so we spent Saturday nursing my hangover until X demanded I get out of bed so we could get going on our list of crap to accomplish. He found THE BEST jeweler in Falls Church, and they had great reviews online. We went there to figure out the whole wedding band / ring issue. They buzzed us in and this girl met us right at the door and literally solved our issue with my ring and sold X a band for himself. Five minutes and $2000 later, we were out the door and heading back to my place. They are going to make a mold of the band so I can see what it will look like, then if I likey, they will make the notched ring. Done and done. Dominion Jewelers people. Dominion Jewelers in Falls Church. Amazing.

We had been looking at invitations online and they were all blah. Until I stumbled across Zazzle. You have to design the invitations yourself but once we figured that part out, it was easy. Well, aside from my bitching about it. We got the invitations, response cards, placecards and thank you cards all for $160. Are we good or are we good? I still maintain that I can make all these phone calls to the family and couple close friends within 10 minutes so why the eff do we need invitations, but look how cute they are!

 

Then I came up with the best idea for party favors. I actually saw it in a magazine, but it was too cute for words. Sweet tarts in the shape of dog bones as the favor, with a note that a donation was made to the ASPCA in the name of the person. We both really liked that idea, and since the dogs are going to be part of the wedding, this seemed like a great idea. A little hunting around online and here’s what I came up with:

This candy, inside the doggie bags, tied with ribbon!

 

 

Soooooo cute! Love it. Now, I have to come up with the outfits for Sammy and Thora.

Take My Hand, Take My Whole Life Too

The ring drama continues. I found this great notched ring that I even sent the link for to Tyler, thinking it could help him solve his issue too with their ring. Today the ring arrived. I knew X was coming through the garage at the same time Fed Ex was pulling up to the front but it didn’t stop me from ripping open the package. Wait, let’s do a quick review first.

My ring is a solitaire and very low set. I decided I needed something like this to fit snugly against my ring:

 

So that’s what we ordered. They even called X to ask the measurements of my diamond which he gave them and we were so excited to get the ring. Back to today. Fed Ex arrives, I ripped open the ring and I think my jaw dropped to the floor. I said to the dogs, “What the f is this?” Then X walked in.

The band you see above is mostly flattened out with a nice sizeable notch. Right? Right.

This is what arrived today:

 

Of course you can’t see what I really want you to see, but basically it’s a misshapen, sort of knife’s edge thing with a barely discernible notch in it. It wasn’t surprising to me that the picture could be so far removed from the product. What was surprising was that the guy actually called X and got the measurements and they “custom made” this ring for us. So, uh….we have to send it back. And we’re back to square one.

According to my dad, he’s still working on a Justice of the Peace and we’re still looking for invitations. Then I realized we have to make food choices so that we can put those on the reply card. This shit is hard. No wonder people hire Wedding Coordinators for them.

She’s Picked Out a King Sized Bed

I’d like to say that the swift pace at which X and I have been making wedding decisions has endured for each area of decision making. But when it came to the dress, progress came to a screeching halt. Let’s review my thought process as it unfolded in my brain:

Wearing dress for a couple hours. Frugal. Don’t like spending money on things. Decide to buy off rack. Hate frou frou stuff anyway. Loved Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s dress since the day I saw it. Looked for a sheath. Wonder where hers is, she’s clearly not going to use it again. Oh. Going to hell. Looked at my stomach. Wondered about reality of a sheath and my stomach taking a meeting and realizing they don’t like each other very much. Must lose extra 10 lbs that arrived since January. Must get back to working out. Nachos. Tacos. Pizza. Okay. No sheath. Something else. What though. What.

The idea of a sheath has been in my head since the 90’s when JFK and CBK got married. Simple, classic, very, um, me. Shut up. I am old enough now to qualify for classic! But there are an additional 10 pounds on me since the mid 90’s. So the hunt began. First, I had this Carmen Marc Valvo dress shipped to me:

 

As I suspected, the sheath and my fat pockets had a big fight, the fat won and the sheath was boxed right back up and sent back to where it came from. For a split second, I entertained my “dream” wedding dress. It’s clearly this Halston:

 

But then I had to slap myself. This lady wants $2400 for it, she wants all cash (um, hello?) and I think that price is pretty ridiculous. It doesn’t mean that I won’t one day write her a check for it and buy it just to try it on but for now, it’s back-burnered.

Okay, other dream dress? This! EEEEE!

 

Yeah, I know. They aren’t easy to see. Believe me, witches, I had a hard time too. What the deuce is wrong with all these photogs putting pictures of white wedding dresses against white backgrounds? I was turning el lappytop in all sorts of contortions to try to get a visual on some of these dresses.

Anyway, Bottega Veneta dress above? $6000 and sold the eff out anyway. Onwards.

You may recall that J Crew was in the throes of filing bankruptcy when one Michelle Obama wore something of theirs to some stupid event and the entire brand was resuscitated. Well, J Crew has a wedding department and they have some awesome dresses. Here’s my favorite, and by far the one that rose the ranks quickly:

 

Love it love it love it. Fabric? Something I never heard of.   I swung by the store in Georgetown to check it out and was told, “Even the skinniest girls have to wear spanx.” Let me tell you what doesn’t sound fun. 1) Wearing a girdle. 2) Wearing a girdle in July in Connecticut on the swampy humidity of the freaking Long Island Sound. Effectively back burnered. Say Hi to Halston!

Next!

My lovers at BCBG never fail to disappoint. I hopped on to Nordstrom and bought a handful of dresses from them. Why didn’t I do it at BCBG? I’ll tell you why. They don’t have a return policy. Are you people joking me? You know we’re in a recession right? I’m not going to tape the tag inside my dress and do the wear/return, but still. NO RETURN POLICY? Within 10 days you get a store credit with a receipt, but you will NEVER EVER get your money back from Bon Chic Bon Genre. Bah. So Nordies. Here’s what went into my cart and on to my credit card:

 

 

 

I like them all, but I don’t love them. However, I resigned myself to the fact that this may be what I’m destined to have.

And during this whole process, I can’t stop thinking about this other dress I saw online but called every store as well as the maker, and cannot locate one anywhere:

 

So it’s been a mess. For something that was supposed to be so simple, and that was going to be a minor part of the budget, this whole shebang has been causing a lot of heartburn. Just like with the man, everyone said, “When you find it you’ll know.” Bah. What the f*ck ever. X and I danced around being in love for 4 years before we got together, all the while I was entertaining YOU people with a dating blog. Ugh!

After a day at Tysons (I and II) and then out to Fairfax to a bridal place to see a dress similar to the one just above, I was a mess. I called X, because I value his opinion so much and because his taste level is so on target. This is evidenced, in fact, by the ring that he got me all by his wittle self. And no I’m not posting a picture because here’s a cold hard truth: It’s f*cking tacky to ask people to see their ring, to ask for a picture of it or to make comments about it one way or the other. Is anyone listening? I hope everyone’s listening. Tacky.   And that’s why for anyone who has asked me for a picture, I haven’t sent one. So there’s your answer to that quandary.

Anyway, X pretty much said I had to do this on my own. (Don’t even ask me why my mom wasn’t with me. You all know the answer to that. Oh, you don’t? Because if I wanted someone telling me how fat I was and how I don’t even fit into the moo moo size dresses when I’m a god damned size 8, then I would have invited my mom.)

I waltzed into Macy’s Bridal on a whim, shook up what I wanted, and spit it back out. This lady pulled a dress about 4 times my dress budget. I put it on, and it literally took my breath away. She said, “This is it?”

Yes. This is it.

She’s Telling Me We’ll Be Wed

We have very little requirements in the way of locating a Justice of the Peace.

1) Must be non-denominational since X and I are basically atheists.
2) Must be open and willing to performing same-sex marriages. No, this is not when I unveil that X is really a female. But, I strongly believe that anyone should be able to marry anyone else and so I want to know that our JP won’t deny anyone else the right and privilege of being married because of who they want to marry.

Doing a ceremony in the town in which I grew up has some really funny townies sort of things that crop up. I found a list of town approved Justices of the Peace. I forwarded said list to my parents and said, “By chance, anyone on here an enemy?” See, in addition to living in this town for 40 years, my dad was also a lawyer for most of those years. And he found himself on the opposite side of the courtroom with, well, everyone. Oh the times bumping into people in town and hearing “I sued that bastard,” or having the doorbell ring and being forced to hide in the dark because my dad was going to be subpoenaed. Or his client was. Can you imagine how bad that would be if I randomly picked one of them to marry me to X? “Well well well, I’ve been waiting for 38 years Mr. Velvet’s Dad. You’ve been served!”

Anyway, after I sent this email to Gloom and Doom, I continued perusing the list. Several names jumped out at me but I couldn’t place who they were or how I knew them. This of course means that I could never pick any of these people because, Pete DiLeo, I don’t know if I dated you, or my slutty friend did, but I can’t risk you showing up to marry me to X and busting out with some story about a broken heart, a broken marriage and a broken car window.

Then I see it. There it is. Even the phone number is vaguely familiar from when I called it.   So I texted K.

“OMG OMG OMG, only you can appreciate this. I’m looking for a JP in CT and Teresa’s dad is on here! Remember when I had that fight with him?”

K texts back, “Yeah, to tell him to get his psycho daughter off your back and to leave you and your boyfriend alone!”

Then I drew a blank. I remember the call. I remember it was to tell the girl off and her dad picked up. But a boyfriend? Huh? I texted back and said, “I cringe to ask, but which boyfriend was this?” K had to enlighten me. I forgot most of those details. You know, when you move away from your hometown, and then move several times in a decade, you lose entire blocks of time filled memories. They somehow fade away each time you pack and unpack a box. Or maybe it’s from the drinking. Hmm.

Anyway. There was no response from Gloom and Doom. When I asked my mom in an email, she said, “Your father is working on it.” Oh no. OH NO! The town only allots a certain number of JP’s and if anyone can manage to piss all of them off between now and summer, it’s my dad! Shit!!!

My mom emailed back to not worry, so I said to X, “Well, the more involved they are, the less of a chance they will come up with some stupid reason not to show up like, ‘We went to the movies, and your father got his hand stuck in the butter dispenser.'”

X: Yeah, but the Justice of the Peace baby? I mean, can’t they work on the flowers or something?
Me, not really listening to X: Oh! Wait, I know, maybe my dad knows someone else in another town in CT that he wants to ask.
X: I hope you know what you’re doing.

Then, 3 full minutes of silence.

Me: It just occurred to me where your thinking is. I’m thinking they are just going to hire some flake they are friends with, you’re thinking they are going to hire someone who doesn’t show up. Or that they are not going to hire anyone at all….
X: Yeah, there she is everyone. She finally got here.

On yet another call to my mom, she said they were indeed working on it. I said to make sure whoever they pick will actually show up. I didn’t even bother making my second request on the whole gay marriage thing. That would really be pushing my luck.

Gloom: Oh don’t worry. Your father knows most of those people. He just wants to ask his friend which would be the right one.
Me: Okay.
Gloom: Do you think we have to feed this person?
Me: I think we have to feed the photographer.
Doom, from the background before I could even answer: NO WE’RE NOT FEEDING THEM! THEY CAN EAT AT HOME.

If This is Just the Beginning, My Life’s Gonna Be Beautiful

The fifth and final place we went to check out was up in good old Connecticut, the land of hedge funds and million dollar houses. After we left my parents non-million-dollar house, we stopped by the restaurant/hotel on the way out of town. This hotel was known by another name when I was in high school, and I always thought of it as a shithole. My mom said they renovated it, changed the name and it was supposedly gorgeous. It is also on the water.

 

X and I went in and I was instantly thrown back in time into all things Connecticut. Blonde hair, headbands, Range Rovers and Jaguars. When you leave Connecticut and spend   many years traipsing around with rednecks in the south and then with gays in D.C., you forget that there are places like Connecticut on earth. Not a blade of grass in town is anything other than bright green, not a hair on any head is gray and unprocessed, not a forehead in sight unbotoxed. So at the restaurant,   they bust out the book and showed us the “other weddings” that occurred here. I was scanning the pics to see if I went to high school with any of the people, so I missed half the stuff she said. But several magic words did register in my subconscious:

All Inclusive 5 hour package
Top Shelf Open Bar Included
$125 a person

No venue rental fee
Ceremony outside on the deck, under the trellis which will be covered with flowers by summer, saving us any money spent on flowers.
Oh, and the deck is on the water.
Available dates this summer!   (The beauty of planning a wedding during a recession is that you can pretty much get any date you ask for.)
Eeeee!!!!

 

We walked around the room where the reception would be, and I tried to hide my happiness but I wanted to   make out with every Tory Burch clone in sight. When we left, X said, “Well, they were nice.” Then I must have temporarily blacked out, but apparently X tells me that I started blubbering my case for wedding/near parents house/don’t have to buy flowers/on the water/ and topped that off with the heartwrenching “this is the town I grew up in and it would be really cool to get married here” and X was sold.

Apparently 4 hours in Connecticut was too long. You can take the girl out of Connecticut, but you can’t take the Connecticut out of the girl. I freaking subscribed to Town and Country Magazine when I got home. God. Damned. It.

 

My Head Keeps Spinning, I Go to Sleep and Keep Grinning

We’ve had some serious progress over here in Velvet World the last few days.

Regarding the piece of shit doctor, we filed complaints with the Virginia Medical Board and HHS for HIPAA violations. I cannot wait until he gets those notices.

X and I had a busy 38 hours between Friday at 7 a.m. and Saturday at 9 p.m. We left DC and drove to NYC where we had meetings with Wedding Coordinators at 2:00, 3:00, 4:30 and 6:15. Up. Down. Across the city. All on foot. With Sammy and Thora. It was a feat, to say the least. Our base of operations, the W, where we were staying, was also conveniently our first stop.

2:00. W Hotel, Midtown. This happy little coordinator showed us around their conference rooms which were very…”conferency.” He told us we wouldn’t like our next stops on the tour from hell because they were “stuffy” and “basementy” respectively, but the W is sort of an odd hotel too. It seems more suited to business meetings anyway.

That is NOT X with the white gloves by the way.

3:00. Waldorf-Astoria.   Apparently unless you have throngs of people, they won’t even discuss sharing their precious banquet space with you. You have to rent a suite. I was like, “wha???” But then I saw their suites. Holy crap. They are indeed gorgeous, but for $6000 a night, I would expect them to be gorgeous.

I wouldn’t expect them to also be so, gaudy, but well, whatever.

The funny part of that flea market furniture is that if you want it removed, you have to pay them. Please. You people should pay us for removing the ribbon candy couches and injecting a taste level into the place.

The idea of doing a ceremony in one room and eating in the other was pretty nice. It sort of summed up what we were thinking about for the day. Then we got the dogs and hoofed it up to Central Park South for our next appointment.

4:30. Ritz-Carlton. These people were the nicest to deal with pre-visit, and they even had bones for Sammy and Thora when we got there. I thought that was pretty nice. Then Sammy wouldn’t cooperate and he was attacking me for the bone I had in the little Ritz bag. I was trying to say how well behaved my dogs were and then one turns into Jabba the Hut and practically jumped into my arms to get the bone. So, the unfortunate part about the Ritz? Space in the basement. X said, “This doesn’t really do the ‘had my wedding at the Ritz on Central Park’ statement justice because the pictures will look like we were just about anywhere.” No windows, nada. Sad.

 

There’s Thora dreaming about her wedding.

6:15. Studio 54. People please. Is this not the bestest idea ever? I’m a disco freak, love all things late 70’s and loved hearing about Studio 54 then, and now. I’ve read the books, seen the movies, I’m officially obsessed. We used this as an excuse to tour the place, but knowing that it’s been converted into a theatre, we sort of knew we wouldn’t be able to make it work. When we found out that the price of renting the cool Studio 54 runs you $10,000 just to get in the door, we were about done. Though, we continued our mission. We saw the infamous mezzanine where the sex occurred, and the scandalous basement where the drug use took place. God I would have been in heaven. No wonder people were dying to get in and never wanted to leave.

Now:

 

Then:

Sniffles. Love Halston. Wondering if I should buy this vintage Halston Wedding Dress I spied online. Bah. Dresses are another post.

After, we went to have dinner with my brother and his ex-girlfriend bff. Then back to the hotel where we all promptly crashed. Some of us crashed faster than others.

“Yum. These Ritz Carlton Bones are the best.”

In the morning we went up to Connecticut. Yeah yeah, I know. But we had to pin them down once and for all. And we looked at a hotel in my hometown that also does weddings.

Guess what happened when we arrived at my parents house?

a) No one was home.
b) They barely spoke to us.
c) They talked to me but refused to engage with X.
d) They jumped out of the house and started talking to X and I like they hadn’t ignored emails or dodged phone calls and showed an interest in our wedding.

If you picked a, b, or c, you’re wrong. Can you believe it? Neither can I.

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