a beautiful wedding
Last night I attended a lovely wedding, and I thought of you all and so many issues addressed on this forum. This was a black tie wedding, both ceremony and reception at a country club (but a religious ceremony).
The decorations/flowers were absolutely gorgeous. They had a winter theme. There were sparkling vines around a slender post at the center end of every third or fourth aisle of chairs. At the dinner, the floral arrangements on the tables had glittering elements in them, and some that were up high had votive candles in hanging glass and metal lanterns -- just lovely. On each napkin was a glittering 3" snowflake.
The attendants were the bride's 2 sisters and brother, the groom's sister, and their two brothers-in-law, as well as the groom's little daughter from a previous marriage and 2 nephews. I have to tell you, I didn't even notice whether they had an equal number of men and women, or if the bride's relatives stood on her side and the groom's on his. It just didn't seem to matter. The women attendants all wore long black evening gowns, but they were not the same style at all -- each just chose what she liked, I guess. It looked absolutely fine; in fact, I think it looked better than matching dresses (although I am kind of tired of black attendants' dresses; I guess it's the easiest if each is going to choose her own, though, and you want all the same color). The groom's mom and the little girl both were in pale blue; the bride's mom was in pale lavender. They all looked fabulous. The men wore tuxedos -- I remembered the thread going on whether they should match or not, and I have to tell you, I strained as hard as I could to see, and I couldn't tell if they did or didn't match exactly. So I really think it doesn't matter. The women carried bouquets with a lit candle in them; it was pretty, but I wouldn't recommend it, as it seemed that it was hard for them to relax when they had to concentrate on holding them just so.
At the other end of the scale...
Today my daughter and I were shopping, and a mother and daughter in a shoe department asked us which of two (almost identical) party shoes we preferred for bridesmaids. I remembered the very good advice someone on this forum gave about shoes: given how tricky it is to find shoes that fit comfortably, and how torturous it is to wear shoes that aren't right for your feet. So I mentioned that I had heard that, and gently suggested that therefore the bride just might like to tell her attendants the color and heel height she preferred, perhaps showing them the styles she had liked, and then let them choose something that would look good, rather than insist that the shoes match exactly. At first the bride said something like, "Oh, wow, I never thought of that." But then she said, "Well, I've had to do it for other people, so now they can do it for me. Hey, I'm a Bride -- suck it up." Now, I know she meant to be joking. But it sure sounded ugly even so -- I couldn't help but feel there was some truth there, as is so often the case in jokes (ask a Freudian). I'll bet I know what her bridesmaids must be starting to call her, and I'll bet she has no idea. I hope my daughter learned something by negative example.