Friday, April 8, 2011

Wanna be a bride again?

A friend of mine organized a bridal show for her employer, a local newspaper. The show was held at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, a beautiful location for wedding receptions on Lake St Clair. I didn't take photos last night, but found these online to show you the splendor of this setting.

The long drive of brick pavers as you approach the building
The stately entrance
The ballroom set up for a wedding
A hint of the view beyond the ballroom, beautiful Lake St Clair
Bill and I were best man and matron of honor at a wedding whose reception was here many years ago. The formal gardens made a wonderful backdrop for photos. 

In the millennium since our wedding...ok not that long, but it has been three and half decades  .... styles and customs have changed and if I was getting married today, many things would be different, not necessarily by choice but by what is available and affordable in 2011.

For instance, in 1975 wedding receptions had live music. The last wedding reception we attended with a live band was 10 years ago. The groom was a music lover and it was his one splurge, a costly one. Having a DJ means that music is continuous throughout the evening and music is preselected so there is no worry of a band not having the music to a certain song. Nothing beats live music though, and the breaks that the band took gave celebrants and guests a chance to talk without competition from sound levels often too loud (both then and now) for conversation.

Expectations were lower in 1975. The average wedding reception was held in  an Amvets, VFW, Knights of Columbus or other private hall. They were plain Jane facilities compared to today's venues but with everyone using them, we didn't feel less glamorous. We didn't worry about paying extra for chair covers, midnight snacks, favors for everyone, renting photo booths for guests at the reception or limos for the bridal party because no one around here did that, in fact, some of those things just didn't exist yet even for much more lavish weddings.

If I were planning my own wedding today, I'd like to keep some of the old (especially 1975 prices!) but would love some of the new. Our wedding cake was traditional in appearance but we had chocolate cake which surprised a lot of guests back then. What rebels, eh? Look at these gorgeous cakes and flavor choices available today at Josef's Pastry Shop.  Their cakes taste as good as they look. I spoke to someone from Josef's last night and said that I had never heard a bad comment about anything from their bakery. He had heard a derogatory comment about a wedding cake. The comment was that the design was hideous and the colors were terrible. He was concerned that the bride would hear this and what she might feel. After all, she chose the design and colors and seemed thrilled with the end result. He soon discovered that the commenter was an ex-girlfriend of the groom.  Meow!
One of the most dramatic changes in weddings since mine is the bridal gown. Years ago we wore white or ecru and were very covered up. As styles changed in years after my wedding, if the gown revealed much of your back or ....heaven forbid....if it was strapless...the bride had something over her shoulders during the church service. 

When I was a bride at 22, I didn't think I had the body to wear a strapless gown. I was much too critical of myself then. If I were getting married today, I would seriously consider this gown that I saw last night. It is from Boutique Bellissima and was truly stunning in person.  This photo from their site appears grainy and doesn't begin to do the gown justice.
I don't regret any of our choices for our wedding. I had a wonderful day and have had a wonderful life since. Here I am with Mom and Dad in the living room before going to the church and walking down the aisle with Dad.
I bet my daughter-in-law will look back on her beautiful wedding in 35 years and shake her head at the changes in her lifetime. Who knows, maybe my dress will be back in style!


Kelli said...

You betcha things have changed! I was stunned at the cost of things when Brie got married. Unbelievable! When the Hubster and I got married almost 15 years ago, it was a second marriage for both of us but we still wanted to have our friends and family present. We managed to have a wedding, reception and the whole nine yards for less than $500 because we kept it as simple as we could. That would be tough to do these days.

Sewconsult said...

I was a 1972 bride, so I think the exorbitant money spent on weddings today is ridiculous. Being Southern Baptist, we had no live music or alcohol. Just an elegant Southern reception.

Earlier in the week, CNN money guy's comment on over the top weddings was:" it's a wedding, not a coronation!". I love that. We might have a wedding in the later part of the year and I have already suggested an elopement to Italy might be just the thing!
Beckie in Brentwood, Tn