By the time V got his act together, told his parents and got them to meet mine, thereby spurring his side of the family into action, I was bored of the whole wedding thing.
For one, I was sick of V acting detached from his own wedding preparations. Admittedly, he had a new job and life in HK but there’s always the telephone one can inject some enthusiasm down.
Moreover, he had dedicated wedding planning to his sisters. Though I love his sisters, they are bossy as hell. That compounded with his mom, who had taken to behaving like it was her wedding, was not what I had bargained for.
Considering I have always been something of a rebel and a feminist, there are two attitudes I could have taken towards my own wedding:
a) Be firm about what I wanted and fight every battle tooth and nail.
b) Affect detachment so that I don’t get too upset over anything.
Strategy b) is my default mode in most cases so it was not too hard to make the choice.
In retrospect, I will admit that this was not the wisest choice. Feminist rantings, notwithstanding, I am a romantic at heart and somewhere at the back of my head was an unshakeable vision of how I wanted my wedding to be. By refusing to acknowledge this, I was setting myself up for a disappointment that would plague me for a long time to come. It might have been simpler to fight the battles and risk, as one of my friends who got married at the time did, a huge split with the in-laws.
But I’m also terribly good at shutting myself off and to some extent it worked.
For example, I refused to care about who was going to make my dress. Considering there are whole Discovery channel programmes dedicated to just the agony and ecstasy of choosing a wedding dress, you can imagine the oddness of this.
My mom knew something was wrong so she backed off. My cousin’s wife had kindly offered to put a word in with a designer (Designer T) she knew but I had to make a decision. Finally, I did.
Since the dress seemed to be something I had control over, I allowed myself a bit of fantasy. My dream dress was Reese Witherspoon’s dress in Sweet Home Alabama. Simple but with the cut and fabric shining through.
Designer T, however, insisted on some embellishment. “You know people in Europe don’t have embroidery because they can’t afford it, so they have to make do,” he astutely observed. I relented and ended up with a dress with some amount of sequence and Swarovski crystals (which I was told was the in thing then).
But beyond the dress I didn’t bother to think about colour scheme or how I wanted the entourage to look.
The entourage itself was another issue. I have one close group of girlfriends and scattered other close friends. I decided not to get into picking a girlfriend from the group since it was bound to get sticky; instead I asked a close friend who was not connected to the group.
At some point, though, she backed out. Her boyfriend had just moved away and would be all alone for Christmas if she didn’t go see him. Since I was going through a long distance relationship myself, I understood. She told me that if I really wanted her to, she would stay. But I practically urged her off; it was just another way for me to detach.
I had already asked one of my close cousins to be a bridesmaid so it was just a question of picking another. It was slightly awkward because the second cousin was obviously second choice but she was kind enough to agree.
We had already decided on the venue, another sticky negotiation. I have always wanted a small wedding. With V’s parents that was not possible – they were anticipating a guest list of 1000. Yes, 1000. A thousand strangers to smile at and pretend to give a hoot that they’re there.
V had gotten it into his head that he wanted to get married in the Taj Lands End, some uber expensive hotel. The hotel was pretty but I really didn’t see the point, especially since it would become impossible to serve alcohol there because of the exorbitant corkage rates.
In the end, it was decided to have a “reception” at the hotel on the 29th, followed up by a party for close friends and family the next day. I wasn’t thrilled by this because I hate big parties. One can endure one big party if it’s one’s own wedding but two?
But everyone else seemed to think this was a good solution so I let it go. I did a lot of letting go at that time and I’ve lived to regret it.