Wednesday, May 18, 2011

July wedding?

I've always wanted a September wedding. Even when I was getting married the first time, in 1999, I wanted it to be in September, but I had to settle for October instead. I settled a lot the first time around. Don't get me wrong, the wedding was beautiful. It's the marriage that was full of disappointments. This time, I told myself I'd have exactly what I want - starting with the perfect groom.

We got engaged on September 22, 2010, and I immediately went into action. I knew I wanted a September wedding, but since September is now the most popular wedding month, I needed to kick it into high gear. You'd think a year would be enough time to get the date, or even the month, you want, but it's really not.

I wanted September 10, 2011. 9/10/11. I thought that would be a really cool anniversary. Well, forget that. Every decent place in NY and NJ was booked. I decided to try another angle. We'd look at all of the places, pick the one we love, and take whatever they had on a Saturday night in September.

We picked The Castle at Skylands Manor in Ringwood, NJ. It's a beautiful, old mansion set in the NJ Botanical Gardens. The ceremony would be outside, surrounded by colorful flowers and fountains; the cocktail hour would include every room on the main floor of the mansion so the guests could walk around and check out the library or the foyer or the sunroom. They would also be able to walk outside to the back patio and enjoy the view and the wonderful scents of summer. It was going to be perfect! But did they have any openings in my month of choice?

"If you want a Saturday night, all we have is September 3rd. It's Labor Day Weekend, though."

"We'll take it!"

And that was that. With the venue booked, everything else fell into place. We hired Soul System Orchestra, the perfect band for our type of wedding. No cheesy wedding band will do for us. We need the rock, funk and soul! But for the ceremony, we'll have the extra touch of a classical guitar and cello duo playing non-traditional wedding songs. I'm thinking of walking down the aisle to Aerosmith. And for the reception, they'll bring in a separate rock singer to belt out Skid Row and Motley Crue. I might pass out ear plugs to the, ummmm, older generation.

After the band was set to go, we found out photographer. Orlando of Photography by Orlando had the perfect blend of artistic, photojournalism and traditional photography that we were looking for. His personality fit ours, and he even gave us cupcakes at our first meeting.


And then the dress...Mind you, at this point, it was still only early October! I found my dress at Priscilla of Boston. I'd describe it, but there are certain things grooms are not allowed to know. Though, I will say that it's perfect. It was the only dress I put on that brought me to tears. I looked at my reflection in the giant mirror and choked out, "I'm getting married."

That was my dress.

By the end of October, bridesmaid and flower girl dresses were chosen, our florist was secured, tuxedos were selected, and we even hired a tattoo artist for permanent wedding favors to any brave guests who would dare.

And the honeymoon. What to do? Where to go? Tahiti? Yes, I think so! A plan for our 12 day excursion to Taha'a and Bora Bora was set into motion. Over-water, glass bottom bungalows were a must. So excited!! We figured it would be best to wait a few days after the wedding, and leave on September 9th. Honestly, what's the rush? We need time to chill after the wedding, and I really didn't want to miss the kids' first day of school. Ok, that's all set!!

Reserved and confirmed!

By Thanksgiving, it was all done. Everything that could be planned in advance was set to go. Now it was time to just enjoy being engaged and wait until there was something else to do.

Fast forward to April. Ok, we all know about my diagnosis. We all know I'm worried about whether or not I'll even have a wedding at all. I definitely don't want to postpone it. I don't want to be told I can't. I need someone to give me answers.

As I was leaving the fertility doctor's office way too early this morning, I called my mom. She blurted out, "I've been awake since 5:30 this morning just thinking about what to do. What if we moved the wedding to the last week of July?"

I instantly balked at her suggestion. "How will we do that? How will I get the place, the band, the photographer, the florist and the minister to all be available on the same date in two months? Everything is completely booked up unless I do it on like a Tuesday."

She was silent for a minute and then came out with, "That's what I was thinking."

A Tuesday? Who has a wedding on a Tuesday? My brain hurt, my ovaries were throbbing from 5 days worth of hormone shots, and I was just tired.

"But I want it in September."

My mom very pointedly told me that all she's been hearing from me is that I want to get married and I don't want my illness to ruin what I've been planning for a year. She said nothing needed to be changed now, but if the doctor has more information on Friday that will make a September wedding impossible, why can't we just change it?

"People change things all the time for many different reasons." She said in that soothing, mommy tone.

I had to try and wrap my brain around it. I've been so organized and stress-free because I've had so much time to plan. Now I might need to go into over-drive and rush around like crazy to make this work. My surgery is set for June 14th. I'd need about a month to recover (barring complications), then there would be about two weeks before the new wedding plan. Then chemo and radiation. That's a lot to digest.

"My dress won't be in until July. And, no, I'm not getting another one!" calls were made and e-mails were sent.

Waiting on Skylands to call back.

Orlando will do whatever we need.

Soul System Orchestra has some holds in July, but will try to do whatever works for us.

My dress is scheduled to arrive at the store on July 5th. Yes, they will absolutely be able to rush my fittings and have it ready whenever I need it.

I'm amazed and truly touched at how everyone is willing to do anything they can for us. No one mentioned paying extra for the changes, no one said "It can't be done", no one complained. I guess I underestimate the good in people sometimes. I like this kind of surprise.

July. Nope, I wasn't thinking I'd have a July wedding, and I'm still holding out for September. But at least I might have options.


  1. This sounds good to me! Good for you for rolling with the punches. Although it's disappointing, I'm so glad that you are looking into options and that things are falling into place so that you can have a lovely wedding to the man of your dreams and still make the best decisions for your health. I've got my fingers crossed for you! ~Mary V.

  2. This one brought tears to my eyes. You can always reconfirm your vows in a Semptember down the road. As they say in Guys and Dolls, "Marry the man today!"