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  Diary of a Bride

Contributed By Rachel Coburn Broderick
Email :Rachelbeth@aol.com

Part 1 of this Rachel's was featured last month. You can read it here: [click]



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June 1, 1998 - Airborne from Montego Bay, Jamaica to Newark, NJ

The honeymoon is over. Literally. Hopefully, not figuratively.

How do I begin to describe the last few months, the wedding, the honeymoon?

I guess where I last left off?

No, I’ve come up with a better way. By breaking down the entire structure into its elements, as if this entire experience were a chemistry experiment. Because weddings don’t exist in real, chronological time; rather, they form around the manipulation of various compounds which, when added together by a certain date, a wedding make.

So, here goes:

The dress:

This is perhaps the hardest part of the entire experience for me to talk about. You see, I bought one dress about 10 months before the wedding, but ended up wearing another.

I’ll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say that, because of an on-going medical condition, I was put on hormones that caused me to gain a significant amount of weight. No matter what I did--and I tried everything, believe me--I continued to get heavier and heavier, finally topping off at 40 pounds. To have this happen the year of my wedding was upsetting, to say the least.

The original dress--a romantic design of linen and lace by Priscilla of Boston--still fit, after being let out at all the seams. But it didn’t look good anymore. It’s off-the-shoulder design emphasized the weight gain in my chest and upper arms, and it’s fitted, ball-gown style cut did nothing to make my waist and stomach look smaller. I didn’t hate the dress, but I didn’t exactly feel beautiful in it, either.

I found that my enthusiasm for planning the wedding waned as my feelings about the dress became more negative. This must’ve been evident to my mother, who generously stepped up to the plate with an amazing offer: that we go to a less expensive bridal shop and try on more dresses. If I found one that looked better on my newer, fuller figure, she’d buy it for me.

The Priscilla dress had cost over a thousand dollars, so her offer was quite kind. The next week, we went to David’s Bridals, a national U.S. chain store of mass-produced dresses. There, I found a dress that was perfect. It, too, was ivory, a color which was undoubtedly more complimentary to my blonde hair and pale complexion. But that was where the similarities to the Priscilla dress ended. As opposed to that dress’ fitted waist and off-the-shoulder capped, lace sleeves, this dress was a more flattering Princess cut, and with a traditional neckline and sleeves that came a bit above the elbow. The bodice had small flowers made of beads on it, and a waist with a small bow on it led to the skirt, which as completely unadorned Duchess satin. It originally came with a chapel-length train, but I had that cut-off, so that the skirt was even all the way around the bottom. I did this because our wedding was a Sunday champagne-brunch, and I wanted my dress to be as simple and elegant as possible. Had it been a more formal, evening affair, I likely would’ve kept the train and had it bustled for the reception.

I found an ivory veil that matched the dress perfectly. It was the wide-headband style, and it, too, had beaded flowers on it. It was the type of veil that had the thin, satin border around the edges, giving it a very delicate feel. I loved it.

The tuxes:

I left this up to Ryan, although not without offering my opinion (of course!). Since our wedding was a to take place during the day, I thought black-tux might be too formal. I was fine with the idea of the men wearing blue blazers and grey slacks, but Ryan wanted something more formal. He decided on grey and black morning suits with a long, grey, elegant tie. They looked absolutely great. Since Ryan was tall and thin, he was really able to pull-off the elongated coat with tails. My father, on the other hand, chose to wear the traditional black tux. He is shorter, with a more stout body, and he said that a morning coat would make him look like "the Penguin in Batman."

Honestly, I think all the men looked fabulous that day! [page 2]

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