I was in my first wedding when I was 5 years old, serving as a
flower girl. I have distinct memories of riding in my Aunt Ellen's
red and white Volkswagen bus as we bounced along to the reception.
Even at that tender age, I understood the importance of the day. I
appreciated the central theme. I looked around at all the people in
their wedding finery, and was able to arrive at a single, important
I was definitely going to get cake.
Not much has changed since then. As a member of assorted bridal
parties for more than 30 years, the highlight of the evening is
always the cake. The first dance and speeches are nice, but
happiness to me is a good buttercream frosting.
Although my gown collection isn't quite "27 Dresses," I am
within that ballpark. Because of this extensive history of
bridesmaiding, I have developed very strong opinions about
controversial wedding topics. Take kids, for example.
I'm not a fan.
I know, I know. I've heard all the arguments.
"It's a family celebration!"
"Children bring such fun to the evening!"
"Babies are a blessing from God!"
Whatever. It has always been my preference that frosted covered
fingers stay far away from me when I'm wearing a shiny dress. Kids
take over the dance floor. They steal my ice cream. They eat all
the mints out of the wedding favors.
And you know how I am about my sugar, right?
So when my husband's sister asked that our youngest son Joey
serve as ring bearer, I agreed and arranged to have a babysitter
for the older boys. But that's when Mary and her fiancé John (total
and complete kid freaks) started their relentless lobbying. They
wanted every child from their families in attendance. I resisted as
long as possible, but then decided I should probably respect the
There's a first time for everything.
The ceremony was Saturday. Joey only required one or two "death
stares" from yours truly after realizing his rented footwear was
akin to tap shoes. He started rap-tap-tapping away during the
Medusa herself could not have frozen a child better.
By the time we arrived at the reception, the kids were jazzed.
They had a million questions and then promptly scattered to the
wind. I was left to second-guess my decision.
"Look at 'em," my husband admonished. "They're having a great
So I looked. Daniel was chasing down a waiter carrying a tray of
hors d'oeuvres. Jack was playing with a pair of light-up goggles
left out for the kids. Joey was trying on every last pair of
flip-flops designed for dancing revelers with sore feet. It was
It made me recall a moment 30-some years ago when my newly
married Aunt Ellen came up to me at her own reception.
"Are you having fun, Marianne?"
"Yup. But when are they going to cut the cake?"
"You want cake?"
And I'll be damned if Aunt Ellen didn't march right over to that
giant-tiered confectionary masterpiece of sugary goodness and hack
right into it.
Simply because her niece wanted a piece of cake.
It reminded me that weddings are indeed about love and
And of course, cake.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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