Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We Thee Wed

Driving through the rain did not dampen our spirits as we headed toward Seattle for my future daughter-in-law's last fitting and to look for this mother-of-the-groom's (MOG) dress. After exhausting the dress search in Portland, Seattle seemed the next best bet. What in the world ever happened to pretty dresses! Now all I can find are dresses loaded down with beads and fabric so stiff that I will be able to turn side to side without it moving. Racks and racks of dresses for mannequins not real people. I am not one to wear a tailored dress. I like a dress that is feminine and flows with movement. Flattering colors, comfort, a dress that reflects me. Maybe there is no such beast.

Looking back through my memory file, I find that we have been a family of a variety of gowns. Grandmother wore a simple gown that reflected the times, the country, her family. My mother wore blue velvet. She was a stylish woman carrying her favorite yellow roses. I wore a gown with bishop sleeves, seed pearls and lace.

My daughter wore a beautiful gown with a wide scalloped train that flowed out from the back. When she walked down the aisle, the scallops caught on the tall stanchions holding candles flickering behind glass covers. The sound of crashing stanchions and breaking glass lead to the next sound of people gasping, hands franticly reaching to grab the remaining candles. The bride did not catch on fire and the walk down the aisle continued.

Weddings. I think that over time we have wandered away from the simple beauty and meaning of the ritual. I remember Dad talking about the old tradition of 'belling the bride' or shivari. Sometimes the bride might be kidnapped by the groomsmen leaving the search to find her to the groom. Sometimes they sang noisily to the newlyweds or rang old cow bells and beat on pans.

Maybe weddings aren't just about the couple. Maybe they are about the blending of people. Perhaps the bride and groom are the tools to bring about a larger community of people reaching out to one another because of this of the relationships they have this pair. Guests shower gifts to show support and caring. They travel miles to be there. They sit on two sides of the church. Bride's 'people' on left; grooms on right. Then they blend in celebration at the reception.

In January I gain one more member to my family. Our family will have new experiences added to our lives by this lovely woman. Our world will be just a bit larger because of this blending of families. Maybe it doesn't matter what I wear to wedding. After all, who will look at the MOG?

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