Friday, September 14, 2012

Say "Oh, My Gawd" to the Dress

I watched my very first episode of  "Say Yes to the Dress" tonight. I'm in a hotel in Utah County while my parents are socializing with friends.  My brother is palling around with friends of his own here in Utah. I had the option of hanging out with relatives of my pseudorelatives, but I instead opted for some alone time. Had I known just how misleading was the word "expanded" in the hotel brochure's description of the TV offerings of "expanded cable,"  I would have considered spending the evening with the  locally legendary polygamist/kidnapper/Third Nephite or whoever he is, Daniel Kretchmer, but it's too late to arrange a date with the mythical creature, anyway, and besides, I think he only comes down from the hills on Valentine's Day. So here I am watching the very worst in reality television, excluding possibly anything with the Kardashians.

This episode featured a mother of the bride who must have been incredibly wealthy. If the source of her wealth was ever mentioned , I missed it, but she must either have had mob connections or possibly was  on the successful end of a palimony suit against someone in Aristotle Onassis's financial league. Near the end of the episode, the bride said that she had no idea how much the wedding cost and didn't even want to know. The wedding dress itself supposedly cost  $34,000. I could be very wrong about this (though I'd bet everything I own that I'm correct) but I'm fairly certain that when or if I get married,  the entire wedding, including my dress, the bridesmaids' dresses, the tux rentals, the cake, the food, the flowers, the fee for the organist and for the priest, the little almonds that break people's teeth all tied up in that tacky netting,  plus all the booze my dad has to consume to get himself through the event,and whatever else is included, will not even come close to the cost of that bride's dress alone. Then, to put the icing on the cake (they fought over the cake, too, by the way) the $34,000 dress was butt-ugly. It was a weird silvery color, was long in the back with a train and bustle, but was above the bride's knees in the front. It looked like something from a costume trunk that was dragged out and used in a community theatre play about a hillbilly shotgun wedding. (Actually, what it reminded me of  even more was the scene in the original Parent Trap movie where, at the camp dance, the friends of one of the Hayley Mills characters [I can never remember which was Sharon and which was Susan] cut an arch-shape out of the back of the other Hayley Mills character's dress, except the arch-shaped cutout was in the front instead of the back of the wedding dress.)  I'm pretty sure I could have found something that would have looked better on the bride at Forever 21, and they don't even sell wedding dresses there as far as I know.

Likewise, I found it ironic that the  bride, whom I would have ranked as strictly average in appearance at best,  placed such a high premium on physical beauty. If I were in her league, appearance-wise, [and, realistically speaking, I probably am, though there's still time for a miracle in my case], I would place at least some of my stock in the education and personality departments rather than relying solely upon my stunning [in my own mind only] appearance.

The mother of the bride was . . . how shall I say this delicately . . . shrewish.  It was as though she was marrying her own daughter in terms of whom had any sway as to how things ultimately went, and any opinion expressed by the groom-to-be was promptly dismissed. The bridal couple went to Italy for the sole purpose of  designing and/or choosing champagne flutes for the wedding reception toast. When the  glassware arrived, the mother of the bride immediately took one look at the elegant stemware and announced that It Simply Would Not Suffice. I don't remember what was actually used in place of the glassware chosen by the bride and groom. Chances are that the guests wouldn't have remembered if the stemware originally chosen by the bride and groom had been used, either, tacky though it may have seemed to The Mother Of The Bride. Why could not the groom have his own way, or at least half his way [the selection of the stemware was acollaborative effort by the bride and groom] on even the most minute detail? The groom should have taken this as an omen or of foreshadowing as to the way everything will be for him in the future. His life is no longer his own, or even his wife's. He's basically getting a blonder, plumper, less famous, and less attractive version of Kris Jenner as a mother-in-law, and he can't even enjoy the occasional perk of taking his friends over to the in-laws' home on rare occasions to ogle the Olympic gold decathlon medal.

The chosen venue was somewhere in the Los Angeles area.  Once inside the place, the mother of the bride immediately began demanding major changes - re-carpeting, re-plastering and painting the walls, changing furniture and deep-sixing what were presumably meant to be permanent fixtures, etc. I suspect that the employees appearing in the footage shown to viewers were not authorized to act in such ways that would render as null and void a contract that may have been in excess of six figures, but had I been one of those employees, it would have been well worth it to me to risk losing my job just to have the sheer pleasure of telling the mother of the bride that if she didn't like the venue the way it was, perhaps another locale would be more to her liking. I might have suggested Hell as an alternative wedding venue.

The chubby mother of the bride very hypocritically told her daughter that she absolutely could not have any out-of-shape bridesmaids in her wedding. This is the point at which my oppositional tendencies would have begun to manifest themselves. I would have suddenly become BFF with Honey Boo Boo Child's mother, June, and would have insisted on having the entire Honey Boo Boo clan  feature prominently in every aspect of  my wedding ceremony.

My parents have returned from their night on the town (in Provo, Utah, no less, where you can your hands on  3.2 beer if you know the right people). My mom  says tonight's blog has been relatively cogent up to this point, but I'm starting to lose focus. For once, I'll listen to her and stop, but not before adding two final words of wisdom. (This is not one of them, by the way, but speaking of  "The Word of Wisdom," did you hear or read that, however many centuries later, the LDS church has clarified its stance on caffeinated soft drinks and hot chocolate, which are NOT forbidden? So drink yourself straight into a major case of Type 2 diabetes. Thomas S. Monson did and continues to do so. Do that, just as long as you don't drink that glass of red wine that might actually have positive health benefits if consumed a few times a week.)

Anyway, back to my final words of wisdom:

Word of Wisdom Numero Uno:  I think it would be interesting to revisit each of the couples featured in these ostentatious "who can spend the most money the least intelligently"  weddings five years later. My prediction is that the rate of intact marriages  of these couples after even five years would be below twenty  per cent. Maybe I'm wrong, but regardless, it would add an element on relevance to the show.

Word of Wisdom Numero Dos:  Danny Kretcher, I'm sorry we failed once again to meet up. I'll try to make my next visit here happen closer to February 14.

Now, to end this missive in classic and apropos Utah fashion:

In the name of cheese and rice, amen

Pay Lay Ale

Health in your marrow and navel in your bones [I know I said it backwards, but I like it better that way.]

I bear you my testimony that I know these things are true


P.S. Thanks to my parents for granting me slightly more latitude in the form of First Amendment provision than is customary.


  1. I spent under $400 total, including considerable alterations, on my bridesmaid dress I wore to get married. I just ordered it in white and we were good to go. I can't imagine having the money or the desire to put down that amount for a dress I'm wearing for 1 day.

  2. My mom spent $435 with tax {of her own money from musical engagements and piano lessons) and she said everyone in the family acted like she was a nut who thought money grew on strawberry plants. She said because of that, she will not complain if I spend anywhere up to a thousand, but I can't even see myself doing that. I like that idea of buying a white bridesdmaid's dress.

  3. That sounds like my cousin Ryane and Aunt Tracy. Ironically enough. Ryane's been planning her wedding for years. She has a word document saved on the computer with the stuff she likes; dresses, flowers, tuxes...etc. Talk about high expectations.

  4. I think I spent about $500 on my dress and $125 or so on alterations. I'm short, so I needed the skirt raised. I also had to have the shoulders taken in and a bustle put in. My sister spent twice that much on her silk gown. I was in grad school and broke when I bought my dress (which was actually quite pretty if I do say so myself). I could not see spending so much money on a dress I hope I'll only wear once.

    Come to think of it, I think I spent almost as much on the outfit I just bought for our 10th anniversary cruise.

  5. A person is entitled to splurge on a nice outfit as long as the person isn't having to solicit donations or starve his or her children in order to pay for the outfit.

    How short is short? I'm almost 5'2", but I'm still mom's 5'3". It would be nice to reach 5'3". Alterations are often a reality. Even though I'm not all that tall, many clothes are too short for me because I'm ectomorphic. I may fill out a bit but I'll probably never be Mama June Boo Boo, though it would be bitching to have such a impressive neck.

  6. I'm about 5'2", but I am far from ectomorphic!