Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Lone Bride

I didn’t imagine it would look like this. I think I had pictured a “Sex and the City” style gaggle of my best girls thrilled for me and swirling ‘round me to help me celebrate and prepare. Instead I’m on my own. My Maid of Honor lives in another state, as does my mother, and the good friends for whom I’ve been a bridesmaid.

“Hey will you shop for wedding underwear with me?” seems like an odd question to put to other LA friends and work colleagues.

So I’m on my own. Researching for hours online so I know what to say to the sales woman about the materials and features I need that won’t show edges beneath my unforgiving dress. Trying to guess what shoe style will be harmonious with the dress and wearable all day. Sussing out what length veil is right or a veil at all. I have to rely on my own judgment and I know I have horrible judgment. Each decision, each choice of fabric, of color, of design rests with me with no thumbs up or down from trusted advisors. It feels a little like being on a tight rope all alone.

I have to admit I’m a little resentful. I don’t directly blame those who live far away and “would be there if they could.” But I still find myself vaguely angry that I’m left on my own. Where is my gaggle? Where is my fanfare? As little girls we dream of our weddings. We stage Barbie nuptials, pick out dresses and cakes and honeymoons. As we grow we see Hollywood weddings on TV, scripted perfection in movies. And then we keep growing up. I’ve always very much wanted to find a partner for my life but as a chronically single girl for most of my twenties…and thirties, I had to get used to the idea that it wasn’t the end of the world if Mr. Right didn’t come along.

But then he did. I tried to keep my hopes low as we went about planning and imagining. I know that the biggest engine of disappointment is having expectations in the first place. I’ve been totally blasé about many wedding details: “Heidi will want to carry fabulous roses,” Heidi is happy to pick lavender from the garden that morning. “Heidi will want the napkins to match, these mishmash ones won’t do,” Heidi doesn’t care about the linens. “Heidi will like nice stemware for the toast,” Heidi is fine with you getting your bubbly in a Nutella jar and you just might. I’ve been able to let go of so many things I always pictured in my fairytale wedding as a young girl.

In truth so much of it doesn’t matter now that I’ve found him. I just didn’t think I’d be on my own for the girly parts. And I guess in the true way of the next stage for me, I’m not. I have him. And he’s just the kind of guy I can drag shoe shopping.

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