Of course it is unlikely that many people plan a wedding thinking, “This is my first wedding, so…” (insert whatever descriptive wedding element you wish.) I know I didn’t. The young, naïve me expected it would have been my only wedding; but life is known for handing you some unexpected curveballs and well, ‘nuf said. Despite that fact, no matter what, there is something very different the second time around (and I imagine the third, fourth, or whatever wedding you may be planning.) And there also is something very different when there are kids involved, especially a gaggle of them like we have.
Let me just start off by saying, however, that some things don’t ever change. And by that I mean the male contribution. Few brides are likely to report that their grooms had a large hand in the planning of the day. So I guess that’s why it is invariably said, a wedding is all about the BRIDE. The bottom line is, the bride does most if not all of the work, so I guess the bride EARNS the day…but I’ll be honest here; I’d gladly welcome…scratch that…I’d prefer Wayne’s input. I long for the times of old (okay, just a few years back) when he told me about this over-the-top wedding he’d been dreaming about for us. In his head he even had the venue booked, the menu planned, and essentially he “saw” the day practically down to the last detail. He’d insisted we could settle for nothing less. Yes, well…the facts of life are that two pricey divorces and seven kids between us hasn’t left us with much in the way of disposable income, so…we’re doing it on a much more modest budget. (Lucky him, he’s not marrying a high maintenance girl.)
Nevertheless, we are planning a unique and special day. “We”…hmm. Not exactly. I’m doing the majority of the planning. Go figure.
But here’s another issue. When you’re twenty-something and you have little to no baggage and your only real responsibility is to yourself, it’s done in a snap. You’ve got all of your bridesmaids standing in wait for their assignments. Maybe you even have a wedding planner. You can drag your groom-to-be hither and yon for this consultation and that. On the other hand, planning a wedding a little later in life while running a household, taking care of a large family (including three dogs), teaching at two colleges, putting mucho time in to push out a blog, a business, and social media; and filling nearly all of your “free” time with writing, editing, (sometimes also producing and directing) and submitting TV, stage, and screen plays, there is not much left over for all of the details that go into planning a wedding, even a smaller scale one. And meticulous me doesn’t leave out any detail…so “meticulous me” might be “exhausted me” sleeping through the well-earned post-wedding trip to Cancun.
In spite of all of the aforementioned nonsense, the biggest difference this time around might be that I now feel like I am my own person. I know what I want and what I don’t. And whether it’s the dress or the shoes or the overall theme, I am not influenced by the opinions of others. I welcome input, but invariably I am deciding for myself, with Wayne and the kids, what WE collectively want out of the day. And what we want is a party with family and close friends, a fun and somewhat inventive superhero bent tying into a more traditional element, and overall a day which represents a celebration of our love.
It’s 31 days and counting. Deep breaths I keep telling myself. We’ve mailed the invitations and I’ve just sent my very comprehensive STILL TO DO LIST to Wayne, my mother, and my sister (our daughters wouldn’t check email so the list is here for them to peruse and find ways to contribute.) I’m excited and stressed at the same time. But what it comes down to is that amazing man who fills my gaps and truly is my other half; the one who makes me laugh but tortures me to no end; who makes me dizzy with love and crazy all at once…the one whom I have known for a very long time that I was destined to marry…yes, that man will soon be my husband and this is the second and final marriage for us both. Of that I am certain.
Since I don’t recall anything about planning a first wedding, my planning a second wedding is definitely breaking new ground. I must say, however, it’s a piece of wedding cake (no pun intended). Despite the fact that I was a Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude graduate, I just play stupid, pretend my hearing is going and lo and behold things get done – like magic. I just follow the scene from Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories when he is discussing his educational background: “I took one course in existential philosophy at, uh, at New York University, and on, uh, on the final… they gave me ten questions, and, uh, I couldn’t answer a single one of ’em. You know? I left ’em all blank… I got a hundred.”
Of course it helps to have a fiancée who is as brilliant as she is beautiful and has an incredible attention to detail. Like Rocky’s Adrian, she fills my gaps. And one of my biggest gaps is that I am a “skimmer.” I am a speed reader when it comes to anything but novels or poetry. I look for the bottom line. “Just facts, Ma’am” as Joe Friday would say on the old Dragnet show (just dated myself there). My better half, on the other hand, will drill down each iota of nuance in a document and divine any number of issues, interpretations and possible pitfalls. As an attorney, there isn’t a written contract that a savvy lawyer couldn’t topple in some way; so I don’t hold much store in legalese, boilerplate or contracts. But it is tremendously helpful to have someone like my fiancée to unearth every minutiae of possible meaning; great fodder for me to steal and claim it as my own (amateurs borrow; professionals steal).
We have seven kids between us who all love superheroes. So, it was my idea to have a Superhero themed wedding. (Um, no, if truth be told, that wasn’t my idea). I thought it would be great if everybody had superhero socks! (No, not my idea either). How about a band named “Superhero.” (Wish it were my idea, but just dumb luck.) Come to think of it, I don’t think I had one original idea about the wedding whatsoever!
I should point out that none of my antics get by my fiancée. At times, she knows me better than myself and usually sees through me. Of course, I did warn her when we first met that I was a child and not to expect anything more. Fortunately, she now accepts the fact that she has five children instead of four. That’s just one of the many reasons why I adore and love her.