So the whole wedding thing happened: parental and sibling meet & greet, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, Sunday brunch at our place. And it was awesome. Somehow, although I'd thought through every damn detail with an eye toward its being fun, running smoothly, etc., I never paused to imagine my own pleasure. That is, there were things I thought would suck, and things I thought would be cool, but I was always imagining the events from the perspective of a guest. Turns out? When you design exactly the wedding you'd like to attend, it's really fun for you to attend it!
Herewith a few observations:
-The idea that weddings require gifts is deep-seated. We got gifts from people we've never met (my brother's girlfriend's parents), people we know only slightly (the parents of friends), and a whole bunch of people we love but couldn't invite. Maybe this shouldn't have astonished me, but it did.
-On the other hand, we got some sweet gifts. And lots of bucks.
-Advocates for same-sex marriage are right in wanting in on this--not the gifts per se, but whatever it is that causes people to feel a unique stake in relationships that are publicly validated and celebrated. (But the gifts are awesome too. Waterford crystal, yo!)
-The wedding coordinator provided by the church was horrible: exactly the opposite of everyone else who works for the church--including the priest--in her reflexive wedding orthodoxy. She acted like our procession (best man/best lady, Cosimo's parents, my parents, us) was the weirdest and most confusing thing in the world; she didn't know how to handle seating arrangements when there wasn't a parade of attendants, and she couldn't imagine how the priest could possibly introduce us to the congregation without using the formula "Mr. and Mrs. Cosimo de Medici."
-Fortunately, that was nearly our only encounter with that kind of attitude.
-The downside of doing everything yourself: you have to do everything yourself. And you wind up owning 12 white tablecloths and 14 pots of chrysanthemums.
-Wedding cannoli are infinitely superior to wedding cake.
-Happiness is having friends who, when you make a 4-hour dance mix (just in case!), stay, dancing, until the goddamn last song.
-Also, friends who bust out their break dancing moves. And aren't afraid of the air guitar.
-In fact, let's just say that happiness = friends who feel like family and family who feel like friends. And a weekend spent expanding both circles is extra-special awesome.
-I promised I'd give the price tag, so here it is: $6,200, for literally everything involved in a church ceremony and a luncheon reception for 75 people--all the way down to ring-sizing and postage and printing costs.
-It was a great weekend and it was exactly the wedding we wanted, but it's over and that's fine. There's life after wedding planning, and thank goodness.