And every last detail must be perfect.
Long before I had any firm plans of who I wished to marry, I had a general concept of the wedding I wanted. Mama and Dad had told us girls about their wedding, and I thought it sounded heavenly. They didn't have a candybox giftwrapped wedding, they had an impromptu free-for-all announced two weeks before the event, with their own vows and a friend singing "Simple Gifts". To turn, to turn, shall be our delight, 'til by turning, turning, we come 'round right. After was a dance and a potluck, with all their friends who could come gathered together having a grand old time.
I want a wedding such as this.
It used to be that I wanted my wedding, whenever it would be, whoever the groom was, in Alaska. In Alaska, in my old stomping grounds, with the Dogmushers' Hall rented out, at midsummer or midwinter, with the vows quietly with no minister speaking, just us and our faith in each other and our determination singing whatever words we had for each other, in the presence of those we loved and trusted the most. Once raised Quaker, always those core things come back. That was how my Virtual Uncle Skippy got married, even though I think he was the only one who liked the bride.
I'm not so sure about getting married in Alaska any longer. I have too many friends Outside, and so precious few people tying me back to there, even though the land calls me back. Let there be another wedding for the land. My wedding, the one for me, would be for the people.
My original plans called for throwing a contra-dance and potluck, with my sister's band of the moment jamming with all the local hometown musician friends, because that's what happens at Fayoumis-clan parties, there's usually music that springs up of its own accord. Celtic fiddling and lovely old hymns with lyrics as grim as the tunes and harmonies are gorgeous. People joining in to sing just because they can, for the joy of it. Kids running around oversugared and overexcited and having a great time, playing spy on the grownups, and me wondering when I ever got to become one of the grownups, because if I'd my druthers, I'd be running and shrieking too. Happily. Sneakily.
With so many friends Outside of Alaska, I'd have to throw a party here. And given the nature of the friends I collect, it wouldn't be just any party. A proper party for a wedding of mine would wind up being half LAN party, half con, half filking party, and all bizarre. (Yes, that's a lot of halves. Some of them overlap.) Any venue that can stand up to an invasion of the friends and family of the Lunatic would be suitable, as long as it's suitable for a gathering of gamers and random outbreaks of music. Instead of a conventional wedding planner's guide, I'd seek advice from the Secret Masters of Fandom and plan, well, a Convention-al wedding. A practical choice might be to piggyback on another existing con, because a con with a wedding in is reasonably standard. But in the case of the Dream Wedding, it would be a con spawned entirely out of the wedding party. I admit that Mama and Dad might get a little lost, except that Dad is old school fringe fen, gafiated, and fits into any given social situation with great ease.
I did too much micromanaging of parties when I was a kid, or tried to. I learned better, after a disaster of a birthday or two that wound up with me fighting mad because the other kids weren't doing what I wanted them to. Mama and Dad threw the best parties, especially Dad. The idea was, invite lots of fun people, have plenty of good food, make sure there are musicians in the mix and that they know other musicians are coming and to bring their instruments, and Fun will Happen. I want the sort of wedding party that transforms itself from being All About the Hosts into being All About the Party, so that when the bride goes a little pale and can no longer abide the pressure of so many alien minds about her, she and the groom and a few friends with minds not quite so alien can slip off quietly to talk, and later, the bride and the groom can depart to what's no one's business but their own (and that of any of their other spice, if applicable), and still the party will continue.
Good food is crucial. Dad figured that the best way to get good food at your party is to make it yourself, and then have a potluck. For their wedding, they laid in many, many jugs of apple cider, and other fine juices, and main dishes, and I think the side dishes sort of took care of themselves. I think that's a great idea. Time and space permitting, there shall be plenty of good apple cider, and sparkling cider, and maybe even some of the bride's private stash of cordial, and the bride will be over grilling chicken, beef, and firm tofu with Secret Sauce as taught by Dad. It'll be listed as a potluck on the event invitation, and the "Where's the Cheetos?" and "Where's the Mountain Dew?" contingent of the event can jolly well bring some, to eat and to share. (One hopes there'll be other things as well.) How much rice can one wedding party eat, anyway?
When I went to Fuzzy Modem's late lamented wedding, I was nearly ill. This wasn't entirely because of nerves or because I thought I should have been standing in place of the bride, though both were factors. The decorations were all lavender and silver, lavender and silver, lavender and silver, with rather too much polish and not enough love. The cake looked like a Roman ruin dressed up for a party, with columns and ribbons and sugared pansies and sugared grapes. It was magnificent and it tasted of sawdust and ashes.
Mama made the cake for my Virtual Uncle's wedding, and I fell in love with it. It was reasonably huge, with white cream cheese frosting, but the true joy was in the cake itself. It was someone's family recipe for cranberry cake, and after I had that at the wedding, I knew there could be nothing else for me. Aunt-Fayoumis had a beautifully decorated cake at her wedding, with all sorts of tempting-looking toppings (a ten-year-old plus a wedding cake is trouble, for the record), but my Virtual Uncle's wedding cake was perfect. I say "cranberry", but perhaps only onyxrising, sionainn, thette and juuro know what I mean. Lowbush cranberry. Lingonberry. The tart tiny berries of the Arctic that make the commercially-farmed berries the size of grapes taste bland. This is the cake I want, with a sweet frosting, with lovingly-crafted decoration. I'm more concerned about taste than style.
I want the kind of party that's remembered for years after as a landmark event of delight and joy. In my hubris, I would want to start an Anniversary-Con, because an event like that is too good to not repeat on a yearly basis. I want Midsummer or Midwinter, a cardinal point of the year, a traditional party time. Midsummer, to not compete with Yule and the holiday chaos then, though my heart yearns towards Yule for the sheer joy in celebration, the traditional family bash.
A main event of any Barbie-girl wedding is the dress. I was planning to get married to my fiance BJ years ago, and I searched about for dress patterns. I eventually came up with one that I knew was going to look gorgeous on me. The patterns are in my closet in a box along with quite a few yards of a white satin and another box containing most of a veil. Even though I didn't have good taste in men at that point, I had impeccable taste in clothing and accessories as far as the wedding plans were concerned.
One of my old notebooks still has the concept sketches from my costuming it. The skirts are full and long, hitting my ankles. The waistline is a flattering V, and so is the neckline. The sleeve design is not to spec with the pattern, having instead of proper sleeves, the body of the dress sleeveless, with a three-quarter-length cloud of layered netting to match the veil sewn on instead. The veil's underlayer is fine white translucent netting, and the overlayer is coarser, patterned with silver. They float behind me and attach to a headband; the headband is decorated with white silk roses and ribbons and pearls. Most of my hair is fastened down my back with the veil, but a few locks curl about my radiant face. Fastened about my neck is a thin choker of square pipe rose quartz beads alternating with aquamarine of the same shape, with tiny silver balls as spacers. The pendant is a teardrop in frosted clear glass. This is all but one of the traditional bride objects -- the pendant is old, the necklace is new, nothing is borrowed, but some beads are blue. (My star would probably go in my pocket, if I'm still wearing it then. I wear it now for sentiment, not religion. If the sentiment becomes too faded, I'll put it up in a box and wear a different star.)
I've know the ring I've wanted for a long enough time so it's always a surprise to me when someone else doesn't know what I want. Gold is not flattering to my Winter-pale skin. I want white gold, silver, platinum, titanium. The claddach is a lovely and symbolic thing, but not mine, not for me, not even though BJ wanted it and I was letting him win. A tracery of knots on the band, yes; stars and moons and solar crosses; Sindarin written in fine italic script, though the words would have to be chosen carefully and the band must NOT be gold; a message picked from one heart to another and engraved in binary dots; all of these could work. I could have vines and leaves and roses, most especially, roses and stars. I could have a secret message in runic alchemy of my mate's elemental nature and mine conjoined in the hidden sacred ways. All this, we might discuss together, for a wedding band.
For engagement, though, the pretty princess and future Queen of Everything at my heart desires a marquise-cut diamond set in a thin titanium band. (Link is for illustrative purposes only.) Titanium will stand up to the abuse I put my hands and jewelry through. Perhaps counter-intuitively, since I do smash my hands about, I want the diamond set up away from the band in prongs, not close-set in the band. I will remember to brush it more often and keep it sparkling. I used to wear a "patience ring" on my left ring finger, and told everyone it was to keep me from putting anything stupid there. Naomi's new ring is on my left ring finger, and yes. Keeping me from putting anything stupid there.
The diamond itself -- well, I don't see a wedding on the horizon for me. Not this upcoming year. Nor the year after that. And longer than that, in terms of hearts and souls, I cannot anticipate. Two years should be ample time for the synthetic diamond boffins to develop a clear white lab-created diamond. I don't want a mined diamond. This is a space-mad technophile computer geek's ring. I want a tower with diamond processors, really, but a ring would be nice.
This post is for Mama, should she get pointed at it. It's for my baby sister. It's for Sis. It's for the Aunts. It's for any mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, I might have there lurking out behind the tormentors of the stage of the future, ready to walk on given their cue. It's for anyone who thinks they know what I want when planning a wedding.
Disclaimer: The presence of a Generic Wedding Wishes post in the journal is not intended to indicate the presence of an actual Live One as far as potential husbands go, nor should it be interpreted to mean the same.