Guest blogger Kate Meyers: Nothing like paying for your own wedding to make you realize what a spoiled brat you were the first time around!
I have no idea what my first wedding cost, but I'm sure it wasn't cheap. My mother had great taste, and we both felt strongly about serving good food (though I never tasted any of it on the day). The flowers were done by this wonderful young man (at least he was young at the time) named Tim Condran, who owns a florist shop in Pittsburgh. Excellent live jazz filled the night. I am certain I thanked my parents then, but I wish I could thank them again now.
I wish they could walk me down the aisle again (though I think they would have been happy not to). I somehow remember my mom being pissed that she had to stand for the entire ceremony, which -- as most things conducted by rabbis go -- was too long. This time, my daughters will give me away and Scott's daughters will do the same for him. It seems perfect to both of us. I will hold Annie and Emmy's hands and feel my parents in my heart, and I'm sure it will be a Kleenex moment.
My dear friend Judy (we e-mail each other daily) has never been a bridesmaid, and a long time ago mentioned that she would like to be one at my next wedding. Scott's good friend Jim also mentioned to Scott that he hoped to be best man. I am thinking that they will walk down together. I would love to be surrounded by love, so I'm also considering a circle of young people -- nieces and nephews. I asked my brother Stuart (he's the oldest of my three brothers) if he would take a course online to become some kind of nondenominational minister so he can marry us. That feels right to me, as will the inclusion of one Jewish tradition: the groom stomping on and breaking a glass to mark the end of the ceremony and the beginning of our life together. I am sure that the groom and I will consult on vows and a reading or two. But the other part of being 50 is that I'm not at all worried about any of it, just excited.
I know so much more than I did at 32. Looking back, I see a naive young woman who hoped for something she wasn't sure she could find. It would be even more naive to say I am sure now. Life, by definition, is different when you are married, and I know there are no guarantees. I'm just way less scared about getting it wrong and way more truly, madly, deeply happy about taking that walk, flanked by my beautiful children and committing to giving it my all. I am overwhelmed in the most gratitude-filled way that I will look up at the end of the aisle to see Scott, reaching out and ready to hold my hand.