Jesus Christ – enough about the wedding. It’s starting to get a bit like that one song from Dido, before Eminem resurrected it. Except there’s no Reverse-Oreo Rap God to help you out. Instead you’re just a Trini Dido, trying to rewrite the same hit with a different tune – damn.
I’ve been so stuck thinking about what to write, and being able to form it into anything worth reading. It’s been a freakin’ roller coaster of emotions. See, my two hours of free time goes something like this:
Hey I have an idea…
Ok let’s come up with a catchy title…
And we’re typing and typing and typing…
Man, I am so funny *slaps knee*
How can I be this good? I should probably write a book.
Ok all done, and let’s read over…
Wow, obviously I’m blind.
Ugh this is utter nonsense…
Why are you dumb. Ugh…
And soon mother’s day rolled around and I thought to myself, “Write something about your mom…” And I started that too – but once again, rubbish. Plus I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t want me putting anything about her on the internet…also she’s a robot.
Then I posted a picture of us laughing at my wedding (I know, right? Mom – laughing? You would too if you thought you’d finally gotten rid of me. Joke’s on you, Mom) and I thought back to what random, ridiculous things happened behind the scenes prior to all that cheery laughter that no one knows about.
So of course, despite exactly zero people asking me to share my experience I decided to tell all the internet people.
So let’s get started: a few things no one/not much people know about the journey to my wedding, that are mildly amusing, at the very least, cringy and for anyone planning a wedding thinking it’s not as fairy-tale as you’d like it to be – you’re not alone my friend.
1. I Just Asked Your Parents’ Permission to Marry You.
Yes friends, that is a real, live conversation I’ve had. And trust me, I was mad.
What the F@ck! – was literally what I replied. Why are you telling me this!? *spirals into anxiety*
For anyone who doesn’t know my husband is never to be trusted with a secret – EVER. Evidently, not even his own secret. It seems that one morning he got up, and while brushing his teeth thought, “Yep, today is the day,” and visited my parents at their offices, and asked them for permission to marry me.
Awwwww, I know, so romantic and traditional. I know, right? What a keeper.
All that went belly up less that 5 minutes after when he called me and TOLD ME, sending me into a hysteric wreck. What the hell exactly was I supposed to do with that information?
Now see, my parents (like many other Caribbean parents) have literally NEVER spoken to me about sex, courting, marriage or anything in between. I literally never been taught anything other than “study yuh book” so this is all uncharted territory. Therefore, in a completely appropriate response given this context, I immediately regressed to a 7 year old version of myself, dreading my parents getting home, for fear I would get in trouble.
Can you imagine that? My very first feeling upon hearing that, not only had Simeon asked for my hand in marriage – but my parents said YES – was that I was in trouble. Caribbean parents really do a number on you…
Also, thanks for the surprise. But wait, it gets worse.
2. Reservation: Simeon and Hannah, Special Occasion: Proposal.
Yep, if you thought the surprise couldn’t be more ruined, just wait.
Forget all these dreamy Facebook videos about grand proposals with family and friends, or intimate ones, with girls surrounded in candles and roses.
The waitress took so long to find our reservation that I saw it and politely pointed it out. Serves me right for getting involved though, because I basically pointed to the spot that said “Special Occasion: Proposal”. If anything, the look on her face was priceless.
Friends, of all the awkward moments I have had in my life, this was probably the most subtle, but lasting. I chuckled to myself, not sure if Simeon even noticed what happened. Shaking my head in disgrace while dying a little on the inside, I stood stoically, mesmerized by this deer – I mean waitress, in headlights.
3. Just Give Me the Ring
Simeon, as expected was a babbling mess. I was silently punching myself in the gut. All in all, it was a wonderful evening. Except, Simeon never actually asked me to marry him.
See, by this time I had had enough. I was just about done with all the romance, all the surprise, all the potential tears and gasps and dramatic smooch sessions that were expected per standards set by social media.
All I remember was Simeon saying “So…” and to which my reply was “Just give me the ring”. I was so mad. No, like actually mad – I wanted a Facebook video engagement! And I’m laughing as I’m writing this, because it doesn’t even matter in the grand scheme of things. If nothing else it made for a pretty cringy story, which in my book, is ALWAYS a means for celebration.
4. Our Events Coordinator Disappeared
With 3 months to go, everything was set. Our menu was decided (of course I was having Pastelles in April), bridesmaids were chosen, colours were being coordinated, dress was handled, makeup was scheduled. By far the biggest challenge however, was getting the venue prepared – chairs, tables, table clothes, tents, lights, decor, fountains, plants….ughhhh.
Luckily thanks to my anxiety and incessant need to over prepare, everything was perfectly planned, and I had time to spare! The only problem? All this depending on one person. One person, who 3 months before the wedding DISAPPEARED.
No calls returned, no emails replied, nothing.
The good news is we hadn’t paid money down on anything. The bad news is with 2 months before the wedding closing in fast, we had nothing for the reception. Nothing to sit on, no theme, no tents, no tables, no nothing. Good thing this wedding had a Indian theme because we about to do this REAL authentic – on the ground, in a dusty, Trinidadian-dry-season-parched field, legs folded, eating off a Sohari leaf with our hands – not that anything’s wrong with that. I just, you know, had my heart set on chairs.
The entire theme hinged on what this person could provide, given his resources and our budget. This person was a one-stop-shop which, I know now, was too good to be true. Where else was I going to find someone to fill this gaping hole? So I did what any person in this scenario would do – CRY.
Overwhelmed, frustrated and appalled that a “professional” would act in such a way I cried and cried. I was done, my entire vision went into this reception and then…nothing. That’s when Simeon stepped in and apparently his last name is Pope because he handled it (that’s a Scandal reference for anyone who’s been living in a hole).
He found someone new, made the trips to meet him, handled the sight meeting, the colours, the theme, the set up on the day – everything. Sub-untold truth: Everything you see in the photos and at the reception was him and our new events planner. I literally had nothing to do with it. And it was beautiful.
5. Inter-Generational Dressmaker
Finally let’s get to some non-train-wrecky stuff.
Fun Fact: The same lady who made my mother’s dress for her wedding thirty-three years ago, designed and sewed mine.
This is probably my most cherished memory; the best and most sentimental thing I ever did with my Mom – and probably the most emotion she’s shown in her life (Ok, that’s the last “Mom’s a robot” joke). Now, anyone who knows my mom, knows she’s a very private person. I don’t know much about her and she doesn’t share much. So our relationship is in the present. What I know about her, is what she’s revealed over the past 24 years – no backstory, no personal details, no subtext. And make no mistake, it’s tough as a child, a woman, maybe one day a mother to someone other than Fluffy. But it’s who she is, and I’ve learned to take that as enough.
One thing I do know however, is that a little old lady named “Chan” sewed her dress for her:
long and regal, topped with a beautiful, cathedral veil, a princess-cut sillouette with the tiniest waist, silky buttons straight down the back, tastefully-poofed, sheer sleeves down to her dainty wrists – very fashionable.
So I asked Mom one day if by chance Chan was still sewing (after asking, of course, if she was still alive) and from there my mom arranged everything.
I literally watched this lady sketch exactly what I told her – with no photos for reference. She took my measurements once, demanded I buy a tiara and dismissed my idea of wearing red shoes. Two days before the wedding I saw my dress, and tried it on for the first time – my dad gave his seal of approval with a simple, “Yes, that’s really nice” (my dad’s a robot too). It wasn’t until I looked myself in the mirror two days later, half an hour before my wedding that I felt the emotion start to rise – it was my “Say Yes to the Dress” moment, the delayed version. But I’d be damned if I let a tear fall – my makeup was the fleek-est it would ever be.
Other than telling me not to worry about my “small breasts” (that marriage – and babies – would “fix all that”), the single, most meaningful thing Chan told me, as I tried on my dress for the first time was,
“It is a blessing, to sew for the mother, and then to sew for the daughter”.
And there you have it.
There are things I didn’t include here because it’s just too much: like how my wedding dress is actually 8 yards of sari-material that I got 50% off during a Divali sale, or that my Dad picked out the cloth which really meant a lot me, or how I didn’t actually see my dress or try it on until 2 days before my wedding; that my dress in fact, was not a dress, or that I caught the worst virus of my life 4 days before the big day, or that there’s a huge chunk of moments missing from the reception while we left to take photos, because while I thought I booked two photographers, apparently, I did not.
But you know what? Let’s pause before I fry the brain of whoever is still reading.