Select highlights from a great article in New York magazine. I recommend you read the full article by Denise Penny, it’s a fun and interesting interview with eight recent brides.
How involved were your parents?
Raeanne: I fought with Mom about silly things I didn’t want to spend money on—like, she really wanted valet parking. Also, she wanted her name and my father’s name on the invitations, and I wanted them to come from us. She said, “No, we’re hosting this. I want our names on it.” The wedding brings out a whole other side of people.
Meg: My mom didn’t think navy blue was formal enough for our invites. I went back to Kate’s Paperie like 18 times.
Sita: My dad wanted these really traditional, enormous multilayered invitations from India, which I wanted nothing to do with. I ended up ordering them; they came, Dad saw them, they were not loved, and they were returned.
Did the wedding planning take a toll on your relationship?
Sita: It was six months of planning, with no mother involved. The two of us planned everything. I would have meltdowns and yell at him.
Alex: We fought. My husband would say, “You’re going to drive me insane. You just need to make a decision!” But you stress about every decision. All of a sudden, you can’t make one. At one point we decided to schedule times to talk about the wedding. We said, “You know what? We can’t talk about this all the time!”
Sita: My husband would say, “You’re more than the wedding.” It became my mantra: I’m more than this wedding; this wedding does not define me.
THE BRIDEZILLA MOMENT
I’m sure you had a low point or two …
Alex: I did have one freak-out—just one. I woke up in the middle of the night, and thought, Oh my god, I hate my dress! I went on a ten-minute rant on my dressmaker’s answering machine.
Ramona: I didn’t have a specific low point, but rather a low hum of neuroses throughout. The biggest thing for me was the magnitude of the event, what it really meant. Being confronted with like the, Who am I? How does this invitation reflect who I really am? So that weight was constant and heavy. I know I sent my venue’s manager one too many e-mails, like, “The lamb? Is it going to be medium rare or rare?” I was so out of control.
Did anything go awry?
Ramona: We didn’t have a rehearsal, so the ceremony didn’t go as perfectly as I had imagined. I sort of tripped down the aisle, and I couldn’t really get to my husband—there was a drainpipe in the way—and then he forgot that I was going to circle him. He was trying to gently move out of my way, and I was like, No, stay here, just stay. I dropped his ring; I had to duck down to pick it up. It was quirky and a little awkward.
Raeanne: Our videographer was late. He missed the ketubah signing. My photographer, Kelly Guenther, totally stepped up in his absence. It was funny: We had a mariachi band for the cocktail hour because my husband is Salvadorean and half the guests were Latino. Everyone told me to tell them that the party was starting earlier than it actually was. But they were early.
What was the most memorable moment from the wedding day?
Meg: We didn’t think that much about the ceremony. We’re both Catholic; we thought, Okay, let’s just get married in this church and move on. And yet the ceremony was my favorite moment.
Daphne: On our escort-card table we had six black-and-white wedding photos of our parents and grandparents. We had grandparents pass away the year before, so it was a way of having them there. I didn’t want it to look like a shrine, or anything creepy or weird. Everyone said how nice that was.
Sita: For me it was our last dance. I couldn’t tell you what song it was; it didn’t matter. There was slow dancing, there was some bending over backward, there were some fast movements— we did everything you could possibly imagine to it. In that moment I knew he was my husband. I had married the heck out of this guy.
Alex: We had to be out of Angel Orensanz by 11:30, so we all went out afterward. I walked through the Lower East Side and Little Italy in my dress, with my husband yelling, “Get out of the way! There’s a bride!” We all ended up eating pizza on Mulberry Street at two in the morning. The pizzeria’s owner came out to give us soap as a gift.
THE BEST ADVICE
What tips do you wish someone gave you before you got married?
Meg: Go away together. That totally saved us.
Sita: Yes! A month and a half or so before the wedding, even if it’s just for a weekend, just the two of you.
Raeanne: Wear your shoes before the wedding. You need to know where the blisters will form.
Sita: Hand off your cell phone to a bridesmaid on the day of, because there will be those silly last-minute calls and you don’t want to deal with them.
Nina: Have a moment to yourselves after the ceremony. Our planner handed us two glasses of Champagne after we walked down the aisle, and led us directly to the back of our venue before everything started. I cannot tell you how amazing that was.
Alex: We were adamant about the room being cool because we had a lot of very hairy, active Jewish men there, including my husband. The temperature can be the difference between misery and happiness.
Meg: We didn’t think to have anyone take pictures or film the rehearsal dinner. It was a really fun night and I wish I had record of that.
Nina: I would have regretted not hiring a videographer. At first, I was flat-out against it; I didn’t want a camera around me. But our planner talked us into Dominic Perez of Go Show Media. We didn’t know they were there. And now I love having the video. We’ve sent it to family in India and Japan who weren’t able to make it. You get the speeches, you see it all in action … I’ve watched it three times.
Raeanne: I mean, for the ceremony alone. I think I’ve seen mine three times too. My husband won’t watch it anymore. I have to watch it in secret.
Last words of wisdom, ladies?
Daphne: Remember that it’s only a day. It’s five hours. Things will go wrong. Just focus on what’s really happening. You’re deciding to share your life with somebody—that’s huge.