[I got a lot of positive feedback on the graphic inclusions yesterday, so, there are more where that came from].
First, a look at the dresses in wedding numbers 4-6 as rendered in Microsoft Paint:
It's actually a little disheartening how accurate these depictions are. Also, don't forget, they're not flattering floor length sweepers: you have to actually picture them hitting me mid-shin. You know, the most flattering place for a dress to hit on anyone, let alone a shapeless pre-teen.
#4 Aunt Ann + Uncle
Junior bridesmaid: 3rd grade. This dress portrayed the awkwardness of the Junior Bridesmaid better than any other dress before or since. A tea-length version of the bridesmaids’ floor-length gowns, and constructed of navy blue raw silk, this dress was a monster. Not a monstrosity, necessarily, just, a lot for an 8 year old in June. Full shoulder puff, cubic zirconia buttons, full skirt. My brother wouldn’t eat anything at the reception and the chef at the Portland University Club decided from then on to always serve crustless peanut-butter & jelly finger sandwiches at event buffets.
#5 Aunt Angela + Uncle
Junior bridesmaid: 4th grade. This dress took first runner up in the Awkward Junior Bridesmaid category.
“What, do you think you’re going to come slinking out in some number with a slit up to here?” my mom asks impatiently as I make a face in the mirror at the alterations place. As a matter of fact, yes. Yes, I did. What I ended up with was appropriate, and actually quite cute, for the round-bellied, flat chested body I was stuck in.
My brother was in this wedding, too, and ended up tearing his all-white tuxedo nearly off by the time he got down the aisle, cummerbund and bowtie in hand.
I taught myself how to fashion dice out of candle wax at the rehearsal dinner, which was also where I learned to give a proper handshake.
This was also the reception at which I was caught in the crosshairs of the wedding photographer's lens as the first in line at the dinner buffet. Not a lot has changed.
#6 MaryAnn + Matthew – Mom’s cousin
PROMOTED: Candle lighter: 6th grade. This was, at the time, the best dress I’d worn yet (still a version of white and floofy, but had a little off-the shoulder action and I got to wear my hair down). The highlight of this wedding was that it was in Houston, and we got to go to Six Flags.
Candle lighter: I don’t even remember how old I was for this…somewhere between 7th grade and freshman year of high school? Too old to be lighting candles at a wedding in a floor-length, gauzy, silver cupcake. The groom’s mother actually made myself and her granddaughter matching dresses and I don’t remember being entirely displeased with it. This marked my first “big girl” hair updo; still too young to sneak wine at the reception, though. A groomsman sang an inebriated rendition of Billy Joel’s “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant.”
PROMOTED: Bridesmaid. Age 22. We spent most of the school year helping our housemate, the bride, plan the wedding, and had a great time figuring out how to do all of our bridesmaidenly duties while still in college. We tried to throw her an engagement party, but her fiancé couldn’t make it, so it ended up consisting of a bunch of drunk sorority girls and a cardboard cut out of Dale Earnhardt Jr.
We did, however, have a fantastic time at her bachelorette party at a resort in Central Oregon, partly because we ran into a rogue bachelor party at at karaoke bar. The wedding was also a blast: I actually sang during the ceremony, made slightly difficult as we each had a can of Natural Light in our hands from waking to aisle-walking. I just looked at it like tipsy karaoke, but, in a Catholic church.
The bride's talented aunt made our lime green raw-silk halter dresses and we all ended up looking like fierce Stepford Wives. I managed to rip my dress on the dancefloor while fist-pumping to a Meatloaf song.
Bridesmaid: Age 22. A dramatic production from start (proposal in the South of France) to finish (a winery in Napa, CA) and an absolute treat to be a part of. It ended up being a mostly paid-for vacation and I spent a week away from work lounging by the pool of a private estate in wine country, getting my nails did. And eating… a lot- thanks to our Private Chef. The Redhead and I recently saw the wedding DVD and were really impressed that the camera caught two things that perfectly portrayed just how single we both were:
1. Our food-babies, trying to bust out the front panels of our floor length, fuchsia satin, Melissa Sweet gowns.
2. Our total obliviousness to the bridal bouquet toss, opting instead to direct our attentions to an aggressive sampling of the event’s dessert bar.
Oh, and it was 108 degrees that day.
Our home for the week:
Predictions about weddings #10 + #11 to follow in Part III...