I was married back in 1988, the days of big hair and wide lapels. You have no control over the styles of the day, you’re just stuck with what is in vogue. (I’m still feeling bad for the Leisure Suit weddings of the 70′s …..). Regular readers already know I have an aversion to weddings, frou frou, and the parade of BS that tends to come along with them. Even back then I made choices about our wedding that many would think appalling. Didn’t care then, don’t care now.
I came from a big family in the Midwest; the contingent of first cousins on my mother’s side numbered about 56 when Grandma McGill died in the early seventies. By 1988 those cousins had married and multiplied. (We had a standing joke about having to marry an orphan so we could fit everyone in to the church.) Rather than going home and having the wedding on my home turf (as most brides would want) I opted to get married in Gloucester to cut down on the numbers. Seriously. I wanted a small wedding and my pre-husband promised me he wanted the same.
NOTE: The Sicilian definition of a “small wedding” is not even remotely close to the Midwestern definition. We ended up with 140 people, about 100 more than I wanted.
During the planning Joe informed me he had 4 ushers and his brother, Sam, would be his best man. I gave that the green light, knowing that my two sisters would be my attendants . (Even then I did not want to responsible for another parade of badly dressed bridesmaids.) As the wedding got closer I asked Joe who his other groomsman would be. Groomsman? What is that? I explained that Pat and Peg each need a groomsman. Sam would be one and – who would be the other?
NOTE: Ushers and groomsmen are not synonymous, damnit. Ushers ush – they escort guests and seat them in the church. Groomsmen escort the bridesmaids. Period. Apparently this is a geographical thing, but ushers at a funeral don’t escort bridesmaids at a funeral now do they. Just sayin’.
We had a pretty good fight over this one, Joe insisting I get more bridesmaids and I insisted he cut loose a few ushers. It was ugly. We did not compromise. (Irish VS. Sicilian? Are you kidding me?) so during the wedding procession those four ushers marched solemnly up the aisle looking for all the world like a group of freakin’ pallbearers.
But I digress.
I had a very hard time finding bridesmaid dresses. I love my sisters and didn’t want them wearing some gacky, overpriced polyester fluff. Back then I was in love with polished cotton chintz but could find nothing even remotely close in a bridesmaid dress. I chose to do what any woman who has read Gone With The Wind 20 times ( a conservative estimate ) would do - I went to a great fabric store and found a lovely Waverley floral chintz. LOVED it. Bought a bunch of it, found a dress pattern, mailed it back home to a girlfriend and she sewed up the dresses for my sisters. In an interesting twist on Scarlett O’Hara, I made curtains for our main floor powder room out of the remnants. ( I love balance in the universe. )
Fast forward to a fundraiser last weekend. The Text and Textile Extravaganza is a great way for quilters to manicure their stash and then take home more than they manicured. For a small donation to the museum, you fill up a shopping tote with zillions of fabrics. (It’s a little like getting fabric drunk.) I was working on the home dec fabrics when I pulled out some neatly folded yardage that looked…..VERY familiar. It was Waverley Garden Tour AND in the exact same color run. I let out a yelp and modeled it for all the women present. Needless to say I tucked it into my tote bag-o-stash builders and brought it safely home. Since we’re re-doing the upstairs bathroom I will need fabric for curtains, right? The walls are going to be one of the greens in the print so it will already match beautifully. I’m not that crazy about Waverley Garden Tour now, but I absolutely cannot resist a second round of bridesmaid dress bathroom curtains. Even my husband thought it was pretty funny, and like Yogi Berra said, ” It’s deja vu all over again!”