I remember the wedding of Diana and Charles. Many of my then-twenty-something friends gushed with delight over her dress, jewels, her royal carriage… not many gushed over her prince, but most grooms tend to get lost in the ceremony.
And what a ceremony it was. I’ve had three and if you add all of mine together, I probably spent less than whatever it cost Diana to get her nails done that day. For the price of Kate’s ring, I could have gotten married three more times AND have a fully funded retirement plan.
In 1981, the date of Diana’s wedding, I’d been married to my first husband for a little over two years. When we were wed, I chose a dress I could wear to work later and the ceremony was held in a gazebo in a city park in Abilene, Texas. I thought finding a gazebo in which to hold the ceremony was very romantic. By the time the royal wedding rolled around, I wasn’t jealous of the glitz and glamor of the day as much as I was of the fact that at least Diana wouldn’t have a mother-in-law who would buy her brown golf shirts at garage sales and expect her to wear them. Queen Elizabeth seemed cool compared to my mother-in-law, although I bet she didn’t bake a to-die-for apple pie.
For my second wedding, I decided to go all out. I spent $27 on a secondhand wedding dress at a consignment shop and rented out a hotel ballroom for a reception. I thought that paying more attention to doing the wedding “right” would make the marriage right. It didn’t, but it was fun to make all my friends get gussied up and attempt to use proper manners for the day. Groom #2 and I could afford this fanciful dream wedding because I agreed to a cubic zirconium engagement ring. Needless to say, there wasn’t a prenup.
#3 happened in a bar at noon on Friday the 13th. I wore a miniskirt and had a newly inked tattoo. Despite the fact that I had “reserved” the bar, there were two drunks on stools watching the nuptials. I tried to get a ladder to walk under and a black cat to jump on me during the ceremony, but it wasn’t in the budget. My wedding bar has now been razed and there’s a TJ Maxx there. As far as I can tell, my last ceremony took place in the boy’s underwear department.
I won’t be glued to my set when Kate and William say “I royally do,” but I’m sure I’ll catch snippets of the ceremony as I try to find out who’s in and who’s out on American Idol. I wish the royal couple all the good luck in the world. Even a wedding that took a small army to plan and a larger one to implement is a breeze compared what happens after. But if Kate still needs something borrowed, I may still have that miniskirt in my closet because I heard it’s good luck to hold on to your wedding gown.