Bridal bonehead

I had to prove that I was legally divorced before I was allowed to obtain a marriage license.

If there was such a thing as a bridal license requiring proof of girlyness, the people at town hall would still be pointing and laughing, and I would be all out of luck.

Today I grabbed a friend and spend the day pretty much trying to finish up all of the wedding-related things that required tending to. Along the way I learned that I am lacking a basic gene, the one all women are supposed to have, the one that causes a female to care deeply about every aspect of her wedding day.

It’s not that I don’t care about the MARRIAGE. I care—deeply—about that. It’s the actual wedding itself where I’ve ceased to have strong opinions.

Again, it’s not that I don’t care about getting married. But people keep asking me what I WANT and what I WANT is to be married to Otto. HOW that happens is beside the point.

And apparently, my disinterest in the remaining arrangements renders me some sort of mutant pariah, not to be trusted.

Our first stop was at the florist, bright and early this morning. Do I care about flowers? Not particularly. But we’re getting married at my church and I’m happy to provide the altar arrangement for the weekend. Plus Chickadee is VERY excited about having a bouquet. And Otto reminded me to get a corsage for his mom. So, fine. Off to the florist. Which florist? The one the church uses, of course. I made this appointment a week ago with the sweet young thing behind the counter.

So we walk in, and some woman comes to fetch us and takes us to a big table in back with various shiny, colorful books labeled things like FLORAL WEDDING and MULTIFLORAL MARRIAGE and invites us to sit down and proceeds to deliver a scathing lecture about how YOU DO NOT GET MARRIED ON MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND. Apparently I have pissed off the Florist Gods by daring to pick that weekend. I sat there and blinked at her until she was done.

“I… don’t really need very much,” I stammered. “An altar piece, which you would’ve been doing anyway, a little bouquet for my daughter and a couple of corsages and boutonnieres. That’s it.”

“That’s what they ALL say,” she scoffed. “Then it’s ‘But maybe a few arrangements for the tables’ and ‘Well, bouquets for the attendants, you know.'” She cocked an eyebrow at me, daring me to say something to convince her that I was different.

My friend and I exchanged looks.

“Well,” I said, “we’re not having a reception, so I don’t need table decorations. And I don’t have any attendants, so I really just need the one bouquet. For my daughter. I don’t even want a bouquet for me.”

Well, this caused her entire demeanor to shift. She went from being angry with me to realizing that I was but a wayward waif in desperate need of her guidance. I think she actually put a hand to her chest with the horror of it all.

“You have to have a bouquet, you’re the BRIDE!” she admonished, as on the other side of me, my friend muttered, “Shut UP, you have to have flowers to carry, you moron.”

I was feeling the love.

I felt the love for the next half hour, as we:

… flipped through the books
“Oh, look at this monstrosity. Is that CELERY?”

… discussed colors
“What colors do you like?”
“My dress has a lot of fuchsia and orange.”
“So you want fuchsia and orange?”
“I… guess?”

… picked varieties
“We can do X or Y in that. X is more expensive.”
“But X might be—”
“Y is fine.”

… and of course, I was bullied into getting my own bouquet.
“So what sort of flowers do you want?”
“I don’t care.”
“But what do you LIKE?”
“Flowers. That aren’t dead.”
“How about Gerberas?”
“Great, I love Gerberas.”
“How big would you like it to be?”
“Well, I didn’t want a bouquet at all, remember, so how about something small.”
“You HAVE to have a bouquet.”
“We’ve covered this already. Yes. Fine. Surprise me.”

So that was interesting.

After the florist, we hit an actual bridal store, looking for boob tape. I am a bit paranoid with my dress, you see. I have never in my life worn a plunging halter before. We seem to have squared away the support situation, but I am nervous about leaning over and my dress gapping. And I would hate for my REALLY LOVELY AND NECESSARY BOUQUET to be marred by a wardrobe malfunction, so we bought some tape to make sure everything stays where it’s supposed to.

(My apologies to family members and soon-to-be-family who read here. Yes, you will now spend the entire ceremony thinking about the fact that I’ve taped my dress to my pitiful excuse for cleavage. You’re welcome.)

After the boob tape, we hit the mall. Where I spent an entertaining half hour with a woman at the Prescriptives counter. Good news! I now know that my skin is red orange, and my ideal foundation is called True Peach. Also, as pretty, pretty commenter Summer pointed out, you can get a “sample” of foundation for FREE! So after she made me all up I asked about getting a sample, and I am now the proud owner of a teeny weeny bottle of foundation which I may or may not be able to apply on my own. This meant I didn’t have to spend a gazillion dollars on a small bottle of foundation.

And this was important, because it freed me up to covet the 36 OTHER products she applied to me, and also to marinate in the guilt of her spending all this time to do my face, and so instead of spending a gazillion dollars on a small bottle of foundation, I spent it on some magic translucent finishing powder that was full of platinum fairy dust (if the price and luminous result were any indication). Phew.

We then left Macy’s and went to CVS, where I bought waxing strips (I ran out a while ago, and half an hour of staring at all the hair on my upper lip made me want to cry) and the cheap imitation of the colors of eyeshadow I’d just learned how to apply. I’m not sure if the same application methods apply to the $7 kind as to the stuff she tried to sell me for $30, but I’m hopeful.

After CVS, we spent an embarrassing amount of time at AC Moore trying to determine if we could make a floral circlet for Chickadee (she wants one; have I mentioned she’s convinced this wedding is all about her getting to be a princess?), after which I purchased $2 worth of tiny little fake flowers to weave into her hair, instead.

Next came the search for… ahhhh… something to wear on the honeymoon. This was where my friend really came in handy, because, again: missing the bridal gene. (I can’t wear my flannel jammies on my honeymoon? What if it’s COLD?) And you know that I don’t want to spend real money on this sort of thing, either. In about the third store we hit we found something suitable on clearance (woo!), after my friend had suffered through my running litany of “Oh! This one is ONLY $85! I think I’ll get TWO!”

[I think it was at that store where I commented, “I dunno. Nothing is really leaping out and biting me.” And a salesgirl gave me a funny look and said that if anything in her department was BITING me she was going to be concerned.]

After that we (finally, mercifully) left the mall, and went to a chain restaurant for a late lunch. At that point, most normal brides would be gushing about their hopes and dreams and waxing philosophical about the future. Or at the very least, going over last-minute checklists and begging their girlfriend(s) for reassurance.

Me, I’d done everything I’d set out to do. My deep thoughts at the restaurant pretty much began and ended with “Mmmm, these potato skins have a LOT of bacon on them.”


  1. Anna

    Be really, really nice to Otto since he may be the one helping you rip off the boob tape.

  2. Holly

    I second Anna!

  3. becky

    i was the same way at my 2nd wedding, mir. i wanted to get married, not worry about the details. we kept it really simple and we’re as married as the next couple!

    i think you’re getting married the weekend i graduate with my bachelor’s in english. woohoo! we both have something to celebrate.

    (yes, i am passing my classes with decent grades, in spite of the fact i don’t like to type capital letters. :D )

  4. Em

    I’m missing the same gene. The things I did care about, were either not doable or I was talked out of – including flowers! I liked daisies, wanted my bridesmaids to carry roses. I was told that would be like sending my bridesmaids in a limo and me taking a VW bug to the wedding. I still didn’t see the problem (I like bugs ;-) but I still ended up carrying roses. I began to realize, this was less MY wedding than everyone else’s. I tried to convince my husband to elope but he thought I would regret it. He was wrong. I still wish we had eloped.

    By the way, I think you can get those floral circle things from the florist (that may give her too much satisfaction though, you calling with additions to your order).

  5. Mom2One/Judy

    When I was at the florist looking at flowers for my second wedding, I said something along the lines of, “I can’t have anything really big or showy because I am a fallen woman, after all.” Thankfully, my mother didn’t choke or fall over.

  6. LadyBug Crossing

    LOL!! I was the same way. Just get me something… Mr. and I’ve been married for 17+ years now and really – the fact that I just told them to get me a cake and to just do the flowers has no bearing on our happiness… Imagine that?!

    Do what you want!
    Cancel your bouquet if you want. My sister got tulips for her bouquet and then forgot to carry them. Not one person noticed.


  7. Woman with Kids

    Now picturing lace teddies that bite. Thanks. And boob tape. I have NOT had enough coffee for these pictures.

    Going to chug my coffee now.

  8. becky

    heh – i forgot to mention that we had an outdoor wedding and no attendants. i made my bouquet by getting some pretty roses at costco and arranging them myself. i just bundled them together with the greens and baby’s breath (why is that stuff called baby’s breath anyway???) and wrapped it all with a pretty ribbon. simple. and i didn’t toss the bouquet either. i still have it.

    it’ll be fine, mir. the fewer the details, the more relaxed you’ll be on the big day.

  9. kathy

    You’re not missing a gene; I was like that at my FIRST (and only, so far :)) wedding. We had NO flowers (other than those which grew naturally), exchanged NO vows, exchanged NO rings (don’t wear rings, truth be told) and actually had all the attendees speak; we listened. I nursed my 2nd child (of 4) during the ceremony and got my dress for $12 on clearance somewhere. But, we did have invitations and my folks took #2 for one night so we could have a wedding night. Instead of nursing in the middle of the night, they put on rollerskates at 3am and played. :) Oh, had two sheet cakes that were really pretty and really good but certainly not “wedding cakes”.

    But the location couldn’t have been beat. A meadow dappled with afternoon sun, riverside with the granite glory that is Yosemite surrounding us. No permit needed; we were having a “picnic”.

  10. Jules

    Wait! You’re getting married? ;)

  11. Daisy

    You have your priorities in order.
    1. marriage
    2. sense of humor
    3. wedding plans

  12. Jessica

    Nope, never got that gene either. All I remember from the hell of planning a wedding for 130 people (30 of which I actually knew) is the burning desire to just BE MARRIED already.
    It was 4 years ago and we still don’t have developped pictures, I just feel no connection to the actual party…
    Enjoy being married!

  13. daisy

    Do you have a Hobby Lobby or Michael’s store close by? They have the floral circles in their wedding department. They are aleady made up and ready to go (and inexpensive).

  14. nancy

    My wedding guy (the catering manager) berated me for not caring about cake both during the planning and during the wedding when I told him I wouldn’t be cutting the cake. I don’t like cake I like appetizers. He also seemed miffed when he asked me what kind of dress I was wearing and I said a whitish one, not too poofy.

  15. jenn2

    It’s called second wedding-itis. I had a pretty bad case myself. So bad, that when my uncle asked what I wanted him to play as I walked down the steps and across the patio, I looked at him blankly and said, “Um, whatever. I don’t really care. Something pretty?”

    Hand to God. I was very lucky not to get a guitar across the head.

  16. Cele

    Mir, this is why so many women wish they had eloped just weeks, days, and minutes before that wedding. The preparation takes the joy out of it. I eloped the first time, had a nervous breakdown the second, and enjoyed their third. The genes you have a self perserving with the focus in the right spots – The end result.

  17. Carol

    Well, now see clearly you are getting married in the wrong state. Nevada wasn’t slightly concerned that I claimed to have been legally divorced once before while applying for a marriage license there. In fact, so long as I had ID, was at least 18 and was giving them money, they were willing to give me a marriage license. I guess hat happens in Vegas stays in Vegas really IS true!

  18. Christine

    I don’t have that gene either. My husband and I got married in Vegas. The chapel did everything for us. They provided the preacher and the organist. They had our flowers there waiting for us when we arrived. And I had the hotel salon do my hair. All I had to do was buy my wedding dress. It was nice.

  19. Laura

    I was told I was decidedly unbridelike when I walked into a bridal shop, saw a bridesmaid dress on a mannequin said “does that come in white?” and when the answer was yes, ordered one and left. My mother was so disappointed. Not for me, the agonizing.

    Boob tape, though. That’s impressive.

  20. Mara

    I am totally with you on the missing-gene thing. I am getting married in 3 weeks or so, and my parents are planning the whole tiny shebang. (It was going to be a shot-gun wedding and now it isn’t but that’s why they jumped all over “getting this wedding taken care of”)

    I don’t know if we are having flowers. The things I am concerned with are the food, seeing my whole family, and the honeymoon. Crap, do I need boob-tape as well? I need a dress… and rings.

    Why does this come so naturally to most women?

  21. Zee

    What I’m having trouble getting over is the #($*&#(*$ lady at the florist shop. She actually lectured you about the weekend you chose to get married? I think I would have told her to stick it and gotten up and left at that point. I mean, seriously – who the heck does she think she is? The queen of all things scheduling?

    That kind of behavior just makes my blood boil – you’re the customer, she’s the person selling the flowers. If she’s too busy to do the job she should just say so, NOT give you a bunch of guff because your wedding day happens to fall on some day that’s inconvenient for her.

    OK, I’m done… :) Sounds like you’ve got your priorities in the right place!

  22. Sueb0b

    Only one set of friends who had a huge blowout wedding are still married. In the other cases, there is almost a direct inverse correlation between the amount of money spent on the shindig and the time married before divorcing.

    My mom and dad eloped. They will be married 62 years in January.

  23. Cynthia Samuels

    I think it’s kind of like childbirth. The best advice I ever got was that childbirth was the door and the rest of life with that kid was the room. I think it’s the same with weddings. Walk through the door any way you want and enjoy enjoy enjoy the house….all love from here.

  24. Erin

    I’m getting married in July, and I’m really enjoying planning the wedding. It’s pretty small (though not tiny), and the requirement is that every single person must know both me and Andrew by name and be able to pick us both out of a lineup. :)

    We’ve been engaged a long time, so the planning has been pretty slow, but I am enjoying it. Although I am a big fan of hiring people you admire and trust and letting them do their thing. My florist, when I told her this, was delighted, and I think we’re getting the most interesting flowers any wedding has ever had, simply because we’re letting her do her job. We liked her work, that’s why we hired her, why would we presume to know better than she!?

    Anyway, just a voice from those of us who enjoy party planning (which is really how I envision the process) and are looking very much forward to the ceremony (which we’re writing ourselves), the reception, and the honeymoon. But most especially…the marriage.

  25. Brigitte

    Good to find out you’re not the only anti-wedding freak, huh? I wanted a quick J.P. at-the-town-hall thing, maybe a backyard barbeque if we waited until summer, but husband insisted on a church wedding, and MIL on a small reception.

    And the honeymoon was just a weekend at a B&B 1.5 hours from our house. Though I’m a homebody, I have to admit I wouldn’t have minded a few more days there, but then I didn’t have kids and wasn’t selling a house!

  26. Dawn

    I, too, lack the requisite “give a damn about weddings” gene. The marriage yes. But who remembers what anyone did at their wedding 15 minutes after the fact. Okay, maybe that’s just me…

    I do, however, have the “give a damn about customer service” gene in spades. On being given that scathing lecture, I would have stood up and calmly said, “Okay, you talked me out of it.” and left to find a florist who wanted my business. Argh.

    You wedding sounds like it will be very pretty, mostly because it will feature a relaxed bride who very obviously has her priorities well and truly in order.

  27. Heather

    I think you have exactly the right idea it is more about the end result not the “to do”……I would have told the florist to bite me

  28. Heather C.

    OMG, I hope that you are posting pictures of this wedding!

  29. Katie

    Having worked in a florist shop for two years once upon a time, I cringed when you said you were getting married over Mother’s Day and needed a few flowers. Valentine’s Day is the other “please no weddings!” day.

    Gerber’s are beautiful and you will look lovely even in your boob tape!

  30. jen lemen

    oh god, why can’t i live next door? i wouldn’t care about any of it one bit either, but i would take endless delight either bossing you all over town or putting you down for a nap while i went with one of my sisters and made all of the decisions myself. can you tell i’m a firstborn?

  31. Bob

    I think you and my wife both got their smartass gene from the same place. she makes running comments, but not just when shopping. and always just under my hearing level.

  32. Heather

    I was the same way! People just couldn’t grasp that I was a young 20-something and didn’t really care about anything except the marriage, not so much the wedding. My mantra became, “As long as Hubs shows up and the pastor, I think I’m all set.” I was so bored with the rest of the details. My bff and mom pretty much helped make sure there was more to it than my mantra allowed :)

  33. Aubri

    OH Mir! Ha ha ha I thought I had that gene when I first started planning my wedding… and then about two weeks into the project my gene died. At that point I looked at my mom (who happens to be the daughter of a WWII bride) and said, “Didn’t Mimsey plan your wedding for you?” to which the response was, “Yes.” and so I smiled and said, “Wouldn’t you like to have a wedding that is entirely yours?” we then broke down into peals of laughter because apparently, she shares the genetic malfunction of not caring much about wedding planning. We found a sweet woman in our church that lives and breathes for wedding planning to help decorate, let the florist do his thing, which he appreciated because we were an evil Valentine’s Day wedding… and we let close friends bring desserts pot luck with the recipe included to make a cookbook out of. Very easy, and I didn’t have to do a thing. Thank heavens for those out there who have the gene so those of us without it don’t have to care!

  34. Sheila

    I read the line about your bridal lingerie as “something suitable on clearance (wool)” and was greatly concerned. I mean, I’m with you on the bah humbug wedding planning thing, with you on the no overly ornate flowers thing, with you on the keeping it small thing, but WOOL?!? On your WEDDING NIGHT?!? I draw the line there, Mir.

    And then I re-read it and realized I need new eyeballs. Phew.

  35. Jody

    As my husband said to me during the wedding planning flurry “I don’t want to do this stupid stuff anymore” freakout….”Remember, it is a marriage, not a wedding.”

  36. Katrina Stonoff

    I got married on Mother’s Day weekend too (11 years ago). MY florist was professional enough to say not one word. I’m with Dawn on that one–“You talked me into it.”

    Of course, my flowers were very simple. My bouquet was three lilies (I think they were lilies) tied together with ribbon and greenery. My single bridesmaid carried one. I had lots of fresh flowers (i.e. on the cake), but they didn’t involve elaborate arrangements.

    Don’t skimp on the photos though. We spent an eyeball-goggling amount of money for ours, and never regretted it. Not once.

    I want to know…exactly where does one find boob tape??

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