My daughter’s wedding day looms ever closer, the day we’ve been anticipating, imagining and planning for more than a year. I say we because, I’m quite sure that in addition to the bride and groom, the most vested person in this event would be me, mother of the bride. Fortunately, the site for the reception was agreed upon very quickly. Then, we relaxed. After all, September 16th seemed so far away. We are organized women. How hard could planning a wedding be?
In retrospect, I wonder at our smug naiveté. Weddings are an enormous industry and, if resources are limitless, I’m sure it’s possible for the process to flow seamlessly. But, most of us, at some point, must adhere to the ugliest of words: the budget. As soon as the word wedding is mentioned, prices for flowers, music and photography double and the organized, intelligent and beautiful young woman a mother has raised suddenly reverts to someone who is incapable of arranging her own hair and applying her own makeup. Her decision making ability regresses. She cancels her subscription to the Wall Street Journal and orders 12 months of Bride Magazine.
The mother, another organized, equally intelligent, although older woman, will comb Joann’s and Michael’s for rhinestone hearts, card stock and picture frames, all the while debating the merits of silver, gold or black numbers in order to create the perfect place card design.The two, mother and daughter, will debate seating arrangements, bridesmaid's gifts, favors, colors, linens and the height of centerpieces. They will shop until they drop for the perfect dress, the perfect veil, the perfect shoes. They will discuss jewelry, chairs, flowers, cakes, the registry, honeymoon destinations, colors, wines, the bar, the music, the vows, the invitations. They will be consumed with the anticipated occasion.
The mother will ignore the plunging stock market, earthquakes that shake, hurricanes that flood, turmoil in Libya, drug cartels in Mexico, and the depressing state of all world economies, except those of China and India. She will forget that hunger, poverty and drought affect much of the planet and will spend exorbitant amounts of capital because all she wants and hopes for is one perfect day when everything falls into place and her daughter stands before family and friends proclaiming to all that despite natural disasters, tumbling markets, global warming and other unforeseen disasters, this is the person she has chosen to weather them with from this day forward. She also hopes it won't rain.