Today, the Daily Post published a post titled, “One Topic, Three Takes: Weddings.” The post offered suggestions for bloggers to find new ways to post on old topics. Ben, of the Daily Post, used weddings as an example. Despite the frequency of wedding posts, Ben illustrated how the topic could be refreshed by highlighting authors who offered new style, perspectives, images, etc. Ben’s article was helpful and informative (as are all of the Daily Post’s posts). Although it wasn’t a writing prompt, it got me thinking about weddings.

I’m going to spare you my touchy-feely stuff about my wedding day and my husband, Joe, (you’re welcome) and instead focus on the event.

In New Jersey we don’t just get married. We do Weddings. Serious, over-the-top, crazy-expensive weddings. Back in 2001, we invited 135 people to our wedding (I’d say that’s probably average in these parts), had a cocktail hour, open bar, and a sit-down dinner, paid $70 per head on a Friday night. Add in invitations, limos, the church “donation,” the dress, the tuxedo, the DJ, flowers and the photographer and I believe the final tally was about $35,000. Which was a steal, people. I kid you not.

Going by what I hear, those outside of the tri-state area are probably having a heart attack looking at that figure, but believe me, it could have been a lot worse! We opted out of many costly extras (we had a DJ instead of a band and no dessert table, and could have done a Saturday night which would have been way more expensive). The real question remains: Was the party worth the cost?

Here are some fun things I remember about my wedding day:

  • The night before my wedding, Joe’s relatives were visiting from Italy and it was chaos and wine and singing in his aunt’s backyard. Which was kind of cool. I spent the night hanging out with my sister-in-law, Christina. We had a great time and she was so helpful (even warning me against marrying her brother– “Just remember these words,” she said, “I told you so!”).
  • The morning was overcast, and Joe’s aunt made me hang rosary beads on a bush in the backyard so that it wouldn’t rain. Christina told me to do what her aunt said and don’t question. I did it and it worked. It didn’t rain. Feel free to try this technique on your own special days.
  • At the reception, the guests from Italy took the DJ’s microphone and presented us with t-shirts sporting pictures of cows and then made a speech comparing me to a cow.  Just what a bride wants to hear! I think the speech meant something about Joe “buying the cow” instead of “getting the milk for free.”  Something was lost in translation and despite the mortified looks from some guests, Joe and I laughed it off. But to this day we recall the weirdness of it.
  • Joe’s nephew, who recently started college but was six at the time we were married, went missing during the reception. In an all-out panic Joe and various guests searched the wedding hall and the streets outside looking for him. They found him in his little tux hiding under a table. Rascal! He said he was hiding because it was too loud. They didn’t tell me he was missing until they found him.
  • The “Electric Slide” was on our “DO NOT PLAY” list for the DJ (along with Billy Joel (Joe hates Billy Joel), Meatloaf (we weren’t into the Paradise by the Dashboard Light sing-along), and the Chicken Dance (which now I’d totally put on the REQUIRED SONGS list). Throughout the night so many people requested the Slide that the DJ asked us if he could announce the dance but use a different song. We relented and I learned that people sure do love a line dance! I think the DJ used “Brick House.”
  • The photographer. What a strange bird! She looked like Bette Midler and took lovely pictures but for a series of outdoor shots, she posed me and Joe in these so-called-romantic-but-actually-really-awkward-poses that my friend and I deemed the “porn in the park” pics. There is also a series of pics with me looking tangled up in my veil. Needless to say, I didn’t order any of those pictures. I have the proofs but I’m too embarrassed to post them.

All in all it was a wonderful day and a once in a lifetime opportunity to have everyone I loved in the same room. I’m pretty sure our guests had a nice time. Would I do the big wedding again? I doubt it. I think I’d opt to elope somewhere beautiful. Still, it’s nice to have the memories of that day– our traditional ceremony, our “I do’s,” and our big party. And I got to wear a princess dress 🙂

Joe and Jess, circa 2001. Sorry for the blur-- I snapped a pic of the pic with my phone.
Joe and Jess, circa 2001. Sorry for the blur– I snapped a pic of the pic with my phone.
One of my favorite pics from the day.
One of my favorite pics from the day.

Thanks for reading and have a nice night!

11 thoughts on “Wedding Memories

  1. So pretty! Joe really looks like M in that first pic (I guess I should say M really looks like Joe but you know what I mean). I wish I knew you back then to score an invite to this fun night. 🙂


  2. That was sweet! Not having known you then, it’s cool to find out about those events in your life! My jaw did drop at the figure… but then I stopped and remembered that I live in Texas, and yeah. our average cost is not that much lower!! Great pictures by the way – you looked beautiful in that dress!


  3. Thank you for posting these pictures!! Great essay – love your memories. Do you ever look at your wedding pictures and think, “If only we knew that someday we would have 2 sons?”

    My wedding – I was a train wreck of emotions for a variety of reasons. It was not a happy event. I have vowed to make sure my daughter has the most enjoyable carefree wedding possible!


  4. hey joe, here in India where mostly marriages are arranged, the wedding ceremony is equally dramatic and at the same time beautiful. You dont really have to care whats happening at that moment because sooner or later we start realising how beautiful it was to have our loved ones at one place, more over they are there for us. We being the centre of attraction.

    nice write up


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