I should write a book. I know I've said that before about online dating (and I still think I should and i eventually will if i ever learn to like typing again) but now I should write a book about weddings. The side you don't see. The side they don't want you to know about. The side that requires me to put aside my hormones and put on high heels. The side that not only forces you to lose your mind but hands you your once sane (albeit slightly) mind to you on a silver Tiffany platter and then quickly rips it away when you reach out to reclaim it.
It's not even the crap you think will do you in. It's the crap you didn't even think about when you said "yes" after you were blinded by a shiny ring. It's the invitations. Double envelope or single? French flap or regular? Thermography or engraved? Lined or unlined? When the hell the postage rate is going to go up (incidentally 5 days prior to our planned mailing date). It's the flowers. What's in season? Would you like an $1800 archway that we're going to zap you a $500 delivery/pick-up fee for? Do you know what color your bridesmaids dresses are? No, why not? You only have a year to figure this out. It's the bridesmaids dresses. Don't even start me on that. It's the music song list. What music do you want to walk in to? What music do you want your bridal party to walk in to? (stew did not like my idea of having them walk in to "The Dope Show") Your wedding song. The song you'll dance with your mom/dad to? Songs to play during dinner? How will your wedding party stand? What order will they come in to the reception? It's the hor de' voures. You don't want anything too messy but you want something they can eat with their hands. Who has food allergies? Who needs a kosher meal? Who needs one that's gluten-free?
Most of that stuff we managed to work past. We pretty much told our florist where she could put her archway. Actually, I think we said something to the fact like, "We have the ocean as a backdrop, why do I need a $2300 archway to stand under for 20 minutes?" I asked our wedding coordinator to allow us a fourth vegetarian option. As for anyone with food allergies, well if you don't note that on the card when you send it back, that's your doggybag of hives you're bringing home.
One thing we didn't give much thought to was our first dance. I mean, we had the song picked out. And our photographer was kind enough to set our engagement photo DVD to our wedding song so we could get a good feel for how it would translate to the cuteness that's us. The bottom line is Stew and I are cute in person but not so cute pictures. Oh well. Good thing one of her expensive selling points was she has photoshop skillz that pay the billz.
But back to the dancing.
Stew does not.
I grew up the pudgy kid wearing a tutu shuttled around to ballet, tap and jazz classes. Stew was too busy starting fires in the woods of Monroe and planning his next Dungeon & Dragons campaign. In the two years Stew and I have been dating, we only danced together once and we were both drunk and it was thug rap so it hardly required skill. My mom was pushing for a routine and I had Dirty Dancing Time of your Life flashbacks and and screamed no. Nobody puts baby in the corner. I was not concerned with my dancing skills as much as I was with Stew's. Let's face it. I love the boy but he could be a bit stiff in situations that require any attention be on him. After polling some people we knew, we decided to take dancing lessons.
Now, I don't know if you ever looked into dancing lessons but they are expensive. And when you're planning a wedding and you drop a grand on invitations, $300 to have someone address them doesn't seem like much in the grand scheme of things but $750 for someone to teach you a few dance moves is outrageous for the brief moments you will actually be on the dance floor seems like a giant waste of money.
We went for a $15 private lesson. We bought a CD with our wedding song on it and the song Stew is going to dance with his mom to. We also had one of my picks for the father/daughter dance. We were looking for something simple. However, "simple" was not in the vocabulary of a lithe and flexible Euro-trash instructor. And I would have called her European but she was sporting a case of cold-sore herpes that neither stew or I could take our eyes off of. We wanted to do something romantic. She made us do the rumba. I guess that could be considered romantic but when your partner is staring straight ahead like a programmed robot counting steps in his head and you're trying hard not to go limp in his arms with laughter, you look like you're both competing for the gold . . . . in the special Olympics.
Obviously my request for simple was lost in translation. The last thing I wanted to think about as I glided onto the dance floor with my new husband and people were taking our pictures was counting steps and following leads. Sure enough, that is what she had us doing to the point where I was falling over my own two feet and Stew looked like he'd fall to pieces if he broke his concentration for a second. Oh no, this will not work.
The clincher came when she heard the song stew wanted to dance with his mom and said that it was a swing song. Um, nothing about Green Day is swing, lady. NOTHING. True, the song is neither slow or fast but swing ----- no. When she puckered that cold-sore ridden mouth and said "swing" I saw Stew's face go death-white.
"We'll work on that later," she said trying to ease the blow. And that is when I knew she was going to suggest the 10 lesson package.
I'm onto you Euro-herps!
My favorite part was her lack of remembering that I could hear everything was saying (altho' it was muddled with that accent). She kept telling Stew, "This dance is all about you. She is just jewelery. The entire wedding is about her but this dance is about you."
Then, she would turn to me and say, "This dance is about you and your dress and your beauty and grace. It's about every bead on your dress, your shoes. It's also about your ring so make sure you are always holding your hand this way." And then she spent every step bending my hand in unnatural positions so that my ring was never hidden.
After our hard work out, we went for Sushi and started thinking hard about what we signed up for. By the time we went to bed, we decided the lessons were not for us and Stew was going to call the next morning and get his money back. We hoped we were making the right decision to sway our way through it.
On Easter, we gave my family a quick demonstration of what she wanted us to do and they laughed so hard I knew we made the right call.