Saturday, 17 January 2009

wrong answers and right questions

Thank you for your congratulations on our decision to get married. We have been together for seventeen years but I don't think that makes it any less of a good idea.

I am greatly looking forward to doing the deed, and hopefully we can organise it in such a way that avoids most of the expensiveness and all the ghastliness associated with the kind of wedding you read about in the newspaper (or at least, the kind of wedding I have recently taken to reading about in the newspaper.)

It does appear however that at least aspiring to the style of wedding where the bride turns up in a helicopter to confuse her guests is broadly assumed, and failure to appear interested in all the accoutrements is seen by some people as a bit puzzling and sad. The first two or three times we told people who aren't our friends or relatives that we're getting married (the saleswoman in a shop where Dorian was looking for a shirt to wear with his very cool 1960s Fletcher Jones suit, and my hairdresser) it prompted a string of questions, mutually disconcerting in that the questioner seemed to understand & like the answers about as little as I comprehended the questions.

What are your wedding colours?

er, come again? Multicoloured?

Are you having a theme?
(Actually if anyone asks me this again I will say High School Musical)

Where are you registering? / Have you thought about what you're to going register for?

Where are you having the reception?

Where are you going for your honeymoon?
Not going anywhere?

Where are you getting your dress? Who's doing your photography / video / makeup?
I am making my own dress and putting on my own makeup lol. I assume anyone who wants a photograph will take one themselves.

It's interesting and all that to see what the word 'wedding' connotes for some people but truth be told I found these exchanges a bit confidence-shaking and have resolved to avoid getting into any others like them, as far as that's possible.

But on the other hand, gladdening my heart, the first question a great many people have asked, on being told about our engagement, pertains to what the cats & chickens will be wearing and what roles in the bridal party they will have to play. Whenever someone asks about this I know they understand what it's all about. It's something I've given a lot of thought to as it happens. Realistically, the cats will run off and hide as soon as people start to show up, and the chooks will just hang around in their yard hoping somebody will give them a caterpillar, same as always. But at least they can all be dressed nicely, and just as matchy-matchy as any gang of eight or nine bridesmaids swathed in identical aubergine satin.

Apparently trying on wedding dresses today goes something like this: with your mother, sister(s), bridesmaid(s), you go to the wedding dress shop, and, well, try on a string of dresses until you come out of the changing room in one and your audience all gasp and burst into tears. This is how you know it's The One. I had my own moment of breathlessly recognising The One yesterday afternoon in the material shop when I spotted two packages of embroidered net and broderie anglaise doll collars in the clearance bin. For $4 I got twenty-four collars.

Albie really likes them.

They look good on the chooks too but I'm afraid those ladies might need a bit of practice in wearing clothes beforehand.

I got some matching lingerie elastic to attach them to as well. Now all I need to do is decide whether everybody should each have a different coloured ribbon bow at the front that suits their individual colouring? If they all have the same it's going to be a challenge to pick one colour that flatters everyone.


Pavlov's Cat said...

Some months ago during a conversation about weddings, an otherwise very bright friend who once lived in New York (for too long, clearly) started talking about something called The Rehearsal Dinner and got quite miffed when I laughed. 'But it's standard,' she kept saying. 'It's just standard.' Standard for some, perhaps.

WV: gator

jac said...

Could they all have white ribbon if you wanted them to match? I'm guessing you could use lace, if you wanted it same-yet-different. Whatever you choose, I am so looking forward to a photo...

Suse said...

Well I'm gasping and crying at the sight of Albie, so I reckon you've found The One.

For my own wedding dress, I found two dresses in a magazine that I liked, took the torn out pages to a pattern-making/tailor school and for a small fee they measured me, drafted a pattern using all the bits I liked from each dress, and I took it home and sewed it up. It was a tiny room in the Manchester Unity building, so that was fun too.

cristy said...

And here I was hoping that you were somehow going to make your dress out of 24 collars... I'm sure the chooks will look lovely.

Mel said...

The collars are sheer genius. It could be festive for them to have little bells on the collars as well. Do the cats already have bells?

Phantom Scribbler said...

One of the other tabs I have open is for the dress I'm supposed to buy for my brother's wedding. Oy. Would that the whole world understood the importance of properly dressed chooks to a wedding party!

librarygirl said...

I know how you feel about the wedding registry thing but did you know you can have a list at Bunnings? We went to a wedding last year and they had things on the list like potting mix and citrus feed as well as big things like wheelbarrows. We bought a chain saw and I had a ball wrapping it up in girly pink bridal paper and ribbons.

made in melbourne said...

Congratulations! I too, felt like the alien when it came to my wedding. Yes, the couple planning their wedding together (shock!), girl not wearing white (gasp!), having their 'registry' as carbon offsetting donations (horror!) and refusing to spend as much as a house deposit (eeep!) or have a small meadow's worth of flowers (faint...)... clearly I'm the crazy one.

It's such an odd experience if you're interested in the actual marriage part, or even the ceremony itself, as opposed to the production values. Which is, in the truest sense, absurd.

My only regret? That I didn't have chickens to buy such lovely collars for...

Zoe said...

I don't think you should worry to much about a colour that's flattering for everyone. No other bride ever has.

I vote yes to registering at Bunnings, just so you can tell the hairdresser.

Anonymous said...

A few months ago I had to look through a bride mag for work purposes. There were several ads for pole dancing classes. I mentioned this to the Bloke and he suggested it was what you do in between the church and the reception. We've taken to referring to that bit as the Pole Dancing Gap. Fortunately with a backyard wedding, and no official photographer, you wont have a Pole Dancing Gap to worry about.

Isn't that a relief?

I also tend to feel like an alien in any conversation about weddings with anyone outside my immediate circle of close friends. Actually, even with one of my close friends, she's inclined to think having a Latin mass for her wedding would be good. Weird.

Ampersand Duck said...

Neither of my weddings were conventional, nor were they overly rebellious. I know your pain, because I've had many conversations with friends and family about what we *should* be doing and how weird/ungrateful/rude we were for not doing those things.

So now I have a really unfortunate (and uncultivated) habit of transposing the word 'funeral' for 'wedding' in conversation with people, which is highly embarrassing but completely indicative of how I feel about the process.

Adore those collars. Can't wait to see the chooks.

[DB = bunkedec. Strangely perfect.]

Pavlov's Cat said...

I was a Teenage Bride (though strangely unpregnant) and got married at the height of the hippie era, at least in Australia which was a few years behind. I wore red velvet and we got married in my parents' living room, after which the 50 or so people present got stuck right in to my mother's fantastic wedding nosh and there was a lot of singing plus a bit of fighting and crying in various parts of the house and garden as the night wore on.

The marriage was a bit of a fizzer, but the wedding was fab.

Wendy said...

at least you're all set for "the hen's night"

I believe that's "standard" as well!

lucy tartan said...

OMG awesome Wendy. I can't believe I hadn't thought of that! Sometimes I think the pun part of my brain is somehow atrophied.

Wendy said...

Lol....I'm pretty surprised I thought of it myself!

i think you could have an excellent hen's night with actual hens incorporated into proceedings. Although it might be classified as non-standard by some.

JahTeh said...

After the advice about a certain member of the wedding plan from the blog group, I thought when I saw Albie that all you have to do is picture this person listening to the chooks clucking out the wedding march, Dorian's best man, Basil in bowtie and your 'men' of honour in lace.
If you think he'll fit in, disregard our mutterings.

lucy tartan said...

It's a good idea JT!

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

I've been slack on teh blogs, so a belated Congrats! and I loooove the concept of the collars on the chooks. delightful :-)

tigtog said...

I too have been slack on the blogs while holidaying, so hurrah and congratulations to you, Dorian and the menagerie. I love the collars and also the countercultural view of caring more about the actual marriage part of the wedding day than all the consumerist paraphernalia that has become "standard". I'm sure it will be a wonderful period of planning a meaningful ceremony and a fun celebration and will be a specially memorable day for all.

lucy tartan said...

Speedy, Tigtog, thanks very much.

Cozalcoatl said...

Congrats. Make it fun, that is all you need.

Our wedding was a picnic. Baskets filled with food and wine with blankets. People could sit where they wanted and with whom. None of the stressful sitting plans.
I wore green ( made by amazing talented friends), no white in sight. Rob made the buttons for his frock coat and we just had fun.

Anonymous said...

we invited 10 friends to dinner (which they paid forthemselves) of said 'friends' was the celebrant and we told our other friends after dinner that we thought we might get married while our friends were around us.

Cost us three dinners (ours and the celebrant) I did have some flowers which I bought from the florist that morning (about a quarter of wedding flowers costs).

Was a beautiful night and shared by those we love the most!

THe important bit is to share it with those that mean the most to you and who will contribute and share in not only 'the wedding' but your future you've been together such a long time - you know who those people are....