And as you can imagine I have many thoughts to share.
And as you can imagine I have many thoughts to share.
I’ll say this first: everything turned out pretty well and I had a lot of fun. It seemed like pretty much everyone else did too, which is ultimately the point. It’s still fresh so I have a lot of thoughts and feelings on it all, but I’m looking forward to reflecting on this in 10 years and just remembering the good stuff.
But the whole lead up and some of the details were nothing short of a disaster. I joke about having reverse ‘daddy issues’ because my dad might have been too good to my sisters and I, to the point where we have high expectations of those around us and what they’ll do for us if we just ask. My older sister (L) and I understand that this is something we need to keep in check – it’s just not right to hold everyone up to a certain standard that requires a lot from them. But my younger sister (K), the one who got married, apparently didn’t factor in how much it can suck to be expected to do stuff.
Which leads to the biggest problem we had: K and her fiancé (J) did fuck all when it came to planning their wedding. The best man was also the chef/caterer guy, but otherwise they didn’t think about any other help. Who was going to put the food on the buffet? Who was going to make sure each person had all the extras (salt and pepper, etc.) that they needed? Uhh I guess Biggie Talls and L’s boyfriend will deal with that. In fact, because everyone in my immediate family was busy with the pomp and circumstance and the guests are just guests, all of the details fell on my boyfriend and L’s boyfriend to deal with. They were spinning like tops to get all of these things done – you know, the things you pay other people for. We’re all happy to help where we can so we’re not pissed off about that but what does piss us off is when we’re expected to do and pay for things that other wedding-havers pay professional people to do.
They paid for a designer. Who didn’t show up to the venue until 4 the day before when she was supposed to arrive at noon. She proceeded to dress the head table and the cake table and that was it. She had no plans or thoughts on the food tables, so guess who ended up designing and dressing those? My family. At 6:30pm on Friday, we realized that we had nothing vertical on the tables, just a few ornaments that were up to two inches tall. So L and my dad ran out to the dollar store and bought vases and fake leaves while L’s boyfriend and Biggie hunted down twigs to put into the vases. L ended up paying for all the dollar store stuff because bridesmaids are expected to pay for the centerpieces, right?
Anyways, we got all that shit figured out. L and I spent most of Friday (which we both used a vacation day for) moving chairs and tables around the hall. Where was their other help? Who knows. Best man was prepping dinner, but where was the other groomsman? Where was literally any one of their friends? Nowhere. When my aunt was checking out the venue with them a couple of months ago, she was asking about who was going to do this task and who was going to make sure that was done and my sister’s fiancé kept saying ‘oh our little monkeys will take care of it’. My aunt eventually said ‘stop calling them monkeys. They are people.’
Last but not least, what you’ve all been waiting for: yes, their ceremony was insanely religious. Yes, K did pledge to submit to him. During the rehearsal the night before, the pastor had said that as part of his bit and my mom, L and myself all scoffed. The pastor was like, well it’s a Christian wedding so deal. How ‘bout you deal, pastor. Ugh. The next day during the actual ceremony, he said some shit about how god had spoke to him the previous night and wanted him to say how far off the path the world has gotten and how believing in and following Christ was the only way to ‘have a successful life’. I just about boiled over at that point. Biggie Talls and L’s boyfriend didn’t see what the big deal was when we discussed it later. To them it sounded like they were just contextualizing the ceremony style. But it’s important to note that it’s just the bride’s side that isn’t religious, so when a pastor says that you’re doing it wrong by not being religious and he knows that my family isn’t religious, it’s fucking insulting and inappropriate. If you want to discuss how not leading a Christian life doesn’t fit into your idea of what it is to live a successful like (whatever that means) party on, but not in my sister’s wedding ceremony. Come talk to us directly. So I hope something not good happens to that pastor. At the reception, the pastor (who is 32, I believe) had his wife sitting on his lap like he’s fucking 14. Do. Not. Like. When he was outlining the responsibilities of marriage to J, he actually said ‘I’m going to get hardcore with you right now’ and proceeded to talk about how K is god’s daughter. This young hip pastor shit has to die, like yesterday.
Once the food was out and we got to eat, shit started to get fun. L and I finished a bottle of wine before starting dinner which was much needed. The best man said his speech, which would have been nice had he actually wrote it down – he discussed how his bother makes honey and like making honey, K and J’s love came naturally. But he circled around the point and I’m not sure how clear it was to others. Then L and I co-speeched which went very well – best speech of the night, second to my parents. Other groomsman had an anecdotal speech which was nice but again, didn’t write it out so it wasn’t very clear. J’s parents did their speech (or rather, his father did) and it was good. His dad is a fuckhead but kind of alluded to how difficult it must have been for J to grow up in their family. Then the best speech of the night: my parents. It was my dad who spoke and lord, I don’t think he got two sentences in and my sisters and I started crying. He said something like, ‘its bittersweet to see all of my daughters at the front, all grown up. I remember when they were birth size, birth size and birth size.’ And we crumbled. He done good.
After that wrapped up, the band got up to play. A lot of people started filtering out at this point which was really disappointing. I hadn’t really got to speak with anyone, included aunts and uncles I haven’t seen for years. By the time I was free to mingle, only the usual suspects were left. But then we got our dance on which was tons of fun. Biggie and I are natural dance partners – he rolls me and twirls me on cue. Him and L’s boyfriend are two peas in a pod. The crowd was really enjoying watching them be silly. I guess non-dancers thought the music was too loud and many people left. Late in the evening, someone yelled “play Metallica!’ and they started with the longest version of Master of Puppets I’ve ever heard. They played some other metal song I don’t know and then played New Orleans is Sinking, which made me the happiest I had been all night. I guess they wrapped at 12 or so, by which there was only a very few stragglers left from my dad’s family. A few of J’s friends put the chairs and tables back as required by the hall and we were on our way home by 12:30.
Biggie Talls and my dad went back to the hall the next day to clean and do the last minute stuff. Biggie needed to be back in Toronto for the early afternoon so he could clear out another hall for a shoot they’d be starting today. When he got there, he realizes how much was left to do and didn’t want to leave my dad to deal with it all. He stayed, and not long after my aunt and uncle came by to help. I can be kind of aggressive when someone wakes me up, so Biggie and my mom let me sleep in. I guess J and K showed up around the hall at 12 when everything had been done but a few cleaning things. That enraged everyone – it’s not that J and K weren’t going to come help, it’s that they came out after everything had been done. How convenient.
Biggie and I got on the highway just after 3. Either of us had only a coffee in our stomachs, which compounds Biggie’s grumpiness. He was raging at how much he had to help (which was actually a fuck ton and he did more than anyone all weekend, save my dad) which put him 5 hours behind schedule. He figured we’d get back in Toronto for 6, then he’d have to unload his car, go to the hall he had to empty for work, go somewhere else to drop off the stuff they cleared out and then he’d get home around 11pm. It wasn’t until we were past Stratford that the producer called and said that he actually cleared the hall so we could just go home. This plus Burger King made Biggie infinitely more happy.
Throughout the night, people were asking L and I when we’ll be getting married. L has been with her boyfriend for 11 years and I’ve been with Biggie for almost 6 years, so it’s not crazy talk but after the hell this wedding was, it’s hard not to be put off the whole thing. Although it will be much different for L and I because we’re willing to do something K and J weren’t: we’re happy to throw money at an issue. No one to help the caterer? Hire people. No one to help set up and tear down the hall? Hire people. Not sure how to set up the guest tables? Hire someone. Biggie said that not only will he never marry me unless we get a wedding planner, but we won’t even agree to be in another wedding party if they don’t have a planner because he is done.
Sorry for the long post thingy. As I said, this is all very fresh and we all still have a lot of opinions on how it went down.
TL;DR: Wedding went well, guests were happy but bride and groom relied way too much on the bride’s family to get shit done. Ceremony was religious, weird, and somewhat insulting but what’s a Cool Hip Pastor to do?
(Photographer's logo removed as my sister was tagged in this photo and I want to keep anonymity).