I never thought much about getting married when I was young. In high school I was ambivalent on the concept of marriage. I figured I might do it someday, maybe when I was 40 or at the end of a long career as an Oscar-winning actress and literary novelist, who might also have a clothing line. But a few years ago I surprised my high school self and I did get married. While everything went pretty smoothly, I learned some interesting things the day of the wedding. Like:
People expect brides to be ready to explode at any moment.
I started the morning at a hair salon, where everyone approached me as though I were a bomb that could go off at any moment. Whenever I spoke with someone, they seemed weirdly relieved that I was not screaming. When I was nearly finished, my stylist’s next client arrived: an 8-year-old girl. This 8-year-old was ready to have her hair done and was not OK with waiting even a moment.
“I’m ready to get my hair done now,” she’d say, appearing behind my chair like a leprechaun.
“Are you going to blow-dry my hair when I’m done?” she asked the second time.
“How much longer will I have to wait?” she said the third time. (For the record, my appointment was not running long. The little girl and her mother had just arrived really early.)
After the third or fourth time she came over to say, “I’m ready to get my hair done now,” the stylist looked at the woman next to her and was like, “I have a bride in my chair, but I’m really concerned about getting yelled at by that little girl.”
That fear gives you Bride Powers.
I tend to be diffident about things like makeup. Even if it gets screwed up, how bad can it be, really? And my makeup artist was pretty bossy. (But a genius at covering under-eye bags.) When she was finished, I wasn’t happy with the way the eyeliner was coexisting with the false eyelashes she’d applied. They started too far from the inner corner in a way that made me look either weirdly surprised or like I’d had an eye lift that morning. I asked her to adjust it, and she said she didn’t want to do that. Normally I would have been like, “Oh, OK.” But we were done with rehearsals, and I suddenly realized that I was the boss in this situation.
“Can I borrow the eyeliner, I’ll fix it myself,” I said. Afraid I’d draw all over my face or something, she fixed it and everything was fine.
Suddenly it was like I had a super power! All I had to do was politely ask for something, and everyone would be so surprised I wasn’t throwing a screaming shit-fit that they’d just do it. I would like to have bride powers every day.
People are really into bridal underwear
The photographer was really, really into the idea of taking photos of me getting into my dress. While the “getting dressed” photo is a standout in the portfolio of any wedding photographer, most of the brides in them are wearing lovely vintage underwear and being assisted into giant ballgowns by their mothers and grandmothers and sisters. It’s lovely. I was wearing a stick-on bra and a pair of control-top pantyhose, and that was it.
“I’m really not wearing cute underwear,” I said. “It’s just going to be a photo of my naked ass in pantyhose.”
She took the picture anyway, but we did not see it when the pictures came in. Later, people actually looked for it.
“Where’s the picture of you getting into the dress?” I’ve been asked.
“Oh, that’s on my pay site,” I say.
People will bet on anything
Bored people will bet on anything. I later learned that while sitting in their seats waiting for me to show up and do the whole walk-down-the-aisle thing, two of my bosses and one of my father’s high school friends started betting on which of the three 20-something guys at the end of the aisle – the groom, the officiant, and the best man – I was going to be marrying.
My Mother Likes Creed
Easily the single most disturbing thing about the whole affair was that in the dressing room, my mother put on Creed.
“I’m all stressed out,” she said. “I need something soothing.”
If there’s anything more stressful than listening to Creed while a stranger glues false eyelashes to your face, I do not know what it is.
Photo: Paul Yamashiro