I’m not one of those girls who has always imagined what my wedding day would be like. In fact, I haven’t thought much about it at all. But I’ve been present for the stress and cost of plenty of weddings – so much so that I’ve told my mother for years that my wedding will be in the backyard.
“At least call it a Garden Party,” she said.
Since then, I added another detail: my wedding will be potluck.
“Potluck? Really?” my mother asked.
“Yup. No gifts. I don’t need anything. I just want Grandma to make her meatballs, Aunt Lia to bring her Taco salad, Mrs. Repko to bring a pie.”
“Pie? You’re going to have pie at your wedding?”
“Sure – why not? No one eats the cake anyway.”
My mother didn’t have too much to worry about – I wasn’t dating anyone. When people asked me about my future with the last guy I dated I declared, “He’s the kind of guy I’d like to have live next door.”
Well, on Christmas day, my youngest sister got engaged. Shortly thereafter, I found myself at the kitchen table with her, her fiance, and my mother. My mother, eager for another family wedding, was asking about guest lists and locations. “How about the back yard?” my sister asked.
“Hey – I want to get married in the back yard,” I said. “Her wedding can be a dry run for mine!” My sister enthusiastically agreed.
My father piped in from the living room, reminding us of our slanted back yard. “The front yard then!” we declared. “That would be perfect!” While dad tried to convince us the front yard was too small for 300 people, Mom interrupted. “We need to stop talking about this,” she said. “I’m getting sick to my stomach.”
“What? Why?” I asked. “I always said I wanted my wedding here.”
“Yeah, but now that it’s a real possibility, it’s making me sick.”
As requested, we changed the subject. My mother got up, poured herself a glass of wine, and returned to the table. A few sips of wine later, her nerves were calmed enough that she permitted us to again talk about a wedding at the house.
Eight months later, the planning for my youngest sister’s wedding is in full swing. The reception will not be in the front yard. But I still like the idea myself.