Monday, April 7, 2008

memories are made of this

Our wedding cost $200k. Kidding. It did not cost anything near that amount - somewhere around the average wedding cost of $20k - we could never bear to total it all up, but that's about the ballpark. We paid for the whole thing ourselves except for about 2k my parents chipped in, and we had 175 people, and got married in our urban area where traditional weddings easily cost double the US average. But I say it cost us so much because that was all the money we had in 1999. It took us nearly two years to save for a down payment on a house, and by that time, housing prices had shot up tremendously. So yeah, if we had been smart, we would have skipped town and put the money down on a house and wouldn't we be sitting on a huge nest egg now? Though we can't complain, we got a decent enough nest egg by buying in 2001.

Anyway, the point is that I got married a long time ago and as with all big weddings with a bitch of a mother-in-law, it was stressful, and chaotic, and a day I don't think about all that much.

Except for one great, great memory. I was nearly 30 by the time I was married, and most of my friends were married, and I had spent far too much time hiding at the back of the throwing the bouquet thing that brides inflict upon their single friends. So I was insistent that we not do that (and don't get me started on the garter thing).

Instead, at the proscribed time, the DJ called all the married people onto the dance floor and played a classic slow song. My husband and I poked and prodded his 80-something grandparents onto the floor. Gradually, the DJ called for those married less than a year to leave the floor, less than 5 years, less than 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, 30 years. At 35 years, my parents were dancing, his parents were dancing, my aunt and uncle, his grandparents. The crowd had realized what was happening and everyone was whooping and hollering.

Our of everything that happened that day, this is the best and brightest memory I have - pure joy, watching these couples twirl around the floor. At 40 years, only my aunt and uncle and his grandparents were left, still there as the DJ called out 45. At 50, my aunt and uncle left the floor to cheers, and my husband's grandparents twirled in an elegant foxtrot, with proud smiles on their faces. My husband and I joined them on the dance floor, and I gave the bouquet to his grandmother, who was just overcome with happiness. She talked about that moment for the rest of her life.

6 comments:

Tash said...

I've seen this at other weddings, and it's truly special. We didn't, probably because we didn't do anything by the book, and knowing my bitterly divorced grandparents would not appreciate the underhanded gesture.

Which Box said...

Yeah, as with everything in the stupid wedding industry, you have to think how it's going to be received. My to-be mother-in-law had already thrown huge conniption fits over the two or three other unorthodox things I wanted. This was non-negotiable - I knew it would work, and further there was no way I was imposing the bridal bouquet toss on my 3 remaining single friends. I knew it would be good - I am still pleased it was great. I've not seen it done before or since. It was magic.

CLC said...

What a wonderful idea! I have never seen that done before. How sweet of you! We didn't do the bouquet or garter things either- it seems way too insulting to the single friends once you hit your 30s...

Am I doing okay? said...

I chocked up! I too have never seen this done, but it sounds lovely. We eloped and had dinner with three couple friends. None of which are still married. Eeek.

Antigone said...

That is sweet.

kelleymalex said...

That is such a touching gesture. I wish I had done that at our wedding. I will definitely share this with my sister, if and when she ever gets married! I have a feeling she wouldn't want to toss the bouquet to a bunch of over-30s, either. And while our grandparents have all passed away, I know she would love to honor our parents with this sweet, sweet idea.

Thanks so much for sharing it and I'm glad, with all you've gone through, that you have this wonderful moment. It's an absolutely beautiful memory of your wedding day.