You want to do what? You need how much? Are you kidding me? How about eloping? You want to get married where? Whatever. Are you sure this is what you want to do? You need how much more money?! How about eloping? Whatever. That was fun, is it over already?
That summarizes my journey through the planning of my daughter’s wedding. It was like a roller coaster ride through a minefield, with many hills, thrills, twists, turns, loops, the occasional explosion, and the last, thrilling, “let’s do that again” ending that made it all worthwhile.
The first uphill climb was all the opinions. As the Father of the Bride, I tried not to say anything at all, just grin and bear it and let people figure things out on their own. Sometimes I would calmly get involved and give my opinion. My wife, on the other hand, likes to get her way (even if it is the wrong way), and quickly gave her twenty bucks worth every chance she got. Not to mention the bride and groom had their own opinions, as did everyone else involved. All that back and forth is enough to drive a man crazy!
Thankfully my daughter is very organized and an experienced event planner so this wedding was her cup of tea. She knew exactly what photographer she wanted, who to contact about catering, how to negotiate, and what needed to be done. A few weeks before the wedding, she sent out a 5 page list to the men in the wedding party detailing all the things to do (and not to do) to prepare for the wedding. I’m guessing the bridesmaids received a similar list of their own. At first I was annoyed with what I thought was her narrow-minded opinion and Type A personality. Looking back now, I feel sorry for the fathers that have to help their daughters navigate the world of weddings. Trust me; it’s a jungle out there.
Then there was the guest list. I thought this would be easy. After all, you invite your family and close friends, right? Unfortunately, I have my family and friends, my wife has her family and friends, and the groom’s parents have their family and friends. Then I discovered that the bride and groom wanted to invite their friends, too. To complicate matters, my daughter belongs to a sorority and wanted to invite every one of those girls!
But the wedding and reception venues were limited in size. Did you know that for every person you invite to the reception, you have to feed them?! We were told that if we wanted to invite all of those people, we were going to need a bigger boat. Sorry, I mean venue. The reality was no one had the extra money so one by one I cut many friends and family members from the guest list.
Despite all this (and numerous other trials and tribulations) we somehow made it to the altar. The wedding went by so quickly and the reception was over way too soon. I wish I would have had more time and made a better effort to get around to see everyone. Looking back, I’m sad it’s over. If I could, I’d still be there, even though it’s been over 8 months. Just like if I could back the truck up to when she was born and live it all over again. I think of the father/daughter dance song (that I wanted but she declined to dance to) that has the lyrics:
She’s got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stared too long
I’d probably break down and cry
-Guns N’ Roses