Monday, November 15, 2010

An Autumn Wedding

In the middle of October, I ran away from the dreary Northwest fall to sunny, dry Arizona. Actually, I left behind crisp, clear fall mornings and changing leaves for sun-scorched cacti and highs in the 90s. It seemed like a great idea in the planning stages, but when I landed in Phoenix at 8 am and the temperature was already 88 degrees, I thought maybe I'd made a mistake. However, when I saw my mommy waiting for me at the baggage claim, the extreme (to a Seattleite) heat became irrelevant and I didn't care if I missed every beautiful fall moment for the sake of spending time with her and the other Arizonan immigrants that I love!

Then, Mom added the cherry on my vacation sundae by showing me a giant diamond sparkling on her left ring finger! "Surprise," she said. "The wedding is tomorrow and I need your help!" Some people may have been astonished that their usually painfully methodical mother was about to partake in a shotgun wedding. Some people may have taken a second to think about the potential groom (who is wonderful and lovely and treats my mom like a princess) and whether he deserves to marry their mother. Some people may have had mixed feelings about the shifting family dynamics and adding 4 new step siblings and a step parent, but I heard the words "wedding" and "help" and was excited instantly. I was ready to spring into action with thousands of ideas fueled by my wedding blog obsession.

We spent much of the car ride home talking about what was important to Mom, and what was appropriate for a courthouse wedding. And of course, Mom had to rein me in a couple of times, when I started imagining all the beautiful and creative wedding things I could have put together within 24 hours. Mom had to remind me that her aesthetic is a little different from mine, and while sundresses with wildflower bouquets are adorable for brides in the 20s, she was interested in something a little more polished.

I thought Mom's shotgun bridal party should look like this group from Green Wedding Shoes, with
adorable bouquets and sundresses, but the bride had visions of a more "mature" wedding.

The next morning, our first stop was the florist. Mom had a small nervous bride moment, when she was totally inarticulate about what she wanted in the bouquet, but I, like a good maid of honor, helped her clarify her expectations and communicate them.

Then, we went wedding dress shopping. I have watched so much "Say Yes to the Dress" that I feel like I could be a Kleinfeld's consultant, so I knew I was up to the challenge! Of course, Dillard’s is no Kleinfeld's, and the only dress that stood out to us was something Mom would never normally try on. Just like Keasha (my favorite consultant) would, I encouraged Mom to stretch her boundaries a little bit and it ended up being the perfect dress. I indulged my inner Keasha, when I stood in the mirror behind Mom and said "Is this your dress?" It was so stinkin' fun!

Then, it was time to get ready and go the courthouse for the wedding. The ceremony was quick and pretty standard, but there was a great moment when Mom was so overcome with emotion that she couldn't talk. Then, she cried a little. It was pretty sweet. Also pretty sweet was that she and my new step dad, Alan, let me pretend to be a wedding photographer and take a million pictures of them.

The whole wedding process was super quick and super fun and I was so glad to be a part of it! It was a great experience because it was so low stress, but it was also a great womanly adventure. I was glad I had a knowledge base to be able to help my mom on her special day, and I was especially proud of myself because I really listened to and focused on her. There was so much potential to try to take over or push my ideas onto her special day, but I didn't do that. Instead, like a mature woman, I was thoroughly helpful and pleasant and my mom got everything she wanted. I'm becoming so womanly!

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