When my son was married for the second time, wife-to-be, bless her heart, wanted to have something “different.” After looking around, she decided on an old southern antebellum mansion. Actually, I’ve been to other weddings in other southern mansions, believe it or not. You have to be from the South, I suppose, to understand this particular tradition.
This particular mansion was a landmark, anciently old and resplendent in age. I suppose they rent it out due to the costs of keeping up old mansions these days.
I feel a little sick when I think about how much money it costs to rent a mansion, but we are creating a day to remember forever here.
My son does not like to argue and wanted wife-to-be to have the wedding she wanted. Besides, everyone knows the wedding day is for the bride and the groom is only there as a necessary extra.
Everything was coordinated, from the invitations, to the napkins. I was asked months ahead of time for the color of my dress in order to coordinate it with my flowers. Good grief, I hadn’t even thought about getting a dress, much less the color it would be. I asked for white flowers, figuring that would cover all my bases.
A mansion does create a nice setting for pictures I must admit. The dust and old age doesn’t show in the photos. The photographer was working overtime posing the bride and bridesmaids on the stairs and among the antique furnishings.
After that, she wanted to go outside for pictures in front of the mansion. Since it was a typical hot summer day in the South with temperature in the 90’s and humidity to match, I was rather worried that the bride would be overcome by heat before the wedding began. She wilted a bit, but survived to smile about it.
The bride came down the long stairway with her fluffy wedding gown billowing around her while the appropriate wedding march was played on the piano. I held my breath the whole time afraid she would fall down the stairs, but she didn’t share my apprehensions. Weddings always make me cry. As I looked around, however, I saw that her mother was smiling. Wait a minute, I thought, why am I crying if her mother isn’t?
They were married by candlelight while the guests sipped punch served from a silver punch bowl. A summer storm had blown up outside, so vows were taken over the low rumble of thunder. My son looked elegant in his rented tux with a long jacket, in case anyone cares, and he only messed up on his vows once. I tried to mind my own business as I didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot as a mother-in-law.
Afterwards the caterers, who were friends of the bride, served horsdovers while the musicians played jazz. The bride and groom cut the wedding cake, which my son told me he had bartered for by doing work for the baker. Just keep that to yourself, though.
While looking for the ladies room, I noted that the gift shop was open and wondered if they really thought anyone wanted to shop. Perhaps they figured that it would be a convenient time to pick up a last minute wedding gift. I noticed that mansion staff members were posted at strategic positions throughout the house, like museum guards watching the treasures.
I was thankful when I could go home and get out of that hot, scratchy dress that was squeezing me to death. None of the pictures we took with our fancy digital camera came out, which I’m sure, will make the professional photographer happy.
“The bigger the wedding, the shorter the marriage,” experts say. Sure enough, the marriage didn’t last very long. If he ever marries again, I hope he will elope. I don’t want to have to go through all that again.