Tuesday, February 11, 2014

my wedding blues


In honor of Valentines Day and my love story getting published in the Downtown News, http://www.ladowntownnews.com/special_sections/page-e/page_6ae02885-23ef-5fca-b500-1e52f0fc4859.html, and because you asked....I am posting the full story of our wedding. It used to give me post traumatic stress to talk about it, but alas time heal all wounds and now it is just a great story....
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Two days before our wedding we got a phone message that the space hosting the ceremony and reception was pad locked shut by the city court and our wedding was not happening! Yes, I was that person, the one you hear about on talk shows, whose wedding was a catastrophe. But with a twist. This is the story of how love prevails…
Tom and I planned our wedding with the goals to have our close friends and family there,  to make it a celebration with great food and dancing,  and to not debt. We were paying for it ourselves and we didn’t want to marry into debt. We decided to do it in NYC. We considered the punk style of CBGB’s gallery but quickly recognized that we wanted it to be luxurious and grand. We found a beautiful restaurant on Broadway near 12th street that was pretty, affordable and served delicious food. One story up and decorated in an ornate a French quarer, New Orleans style, the space had a wrought iron balcony inside and one looking out onto Broadway, decorated with lots of flowers, perfect.
We had about 100 people coming so we figured out a few ways to cut the costs. We got a Venieros cake, asked our amazing friend's Stephen, Viva and Jesse to do DJ sets,  invited our talented friend Scott to photograph it, and had an invitation from my dear friend Bob, who did the flowers for Tiffany’s, to do the flowers. I looked for new shoes but just didn’t like anything so I wore shoes I already had, my $600 white crushed patent boots with florescent orange stitching and soles from Sigerson Morrison. Everything was looking great so far.
After looking at my options, I decided to design my dress, a simple white cotton mini, along the lines of Sharon Tates’s wedding dress. A friend who put me touch with a stranger, who happened to be a seamstress, who owed her a favor. The stranger wound up making my dress. The dress was a real risk because I did not know this woman's work and it easily might come out looking like a school play outfit but I was ok with that. Tom and I were very leisurely about our wedding, and while we wanted it to be wonderful, it was going to be about love and celebration primarily, with as little stress as possible. If my dress came out terrible, I figured I could always wear something in my closet.
We had two little bumps in the days just before the wedding. Twice I told strangers that we were getting married on Saturday, and twice the strangers replied “No you’re not!”- One was an airline attendant who refused to let us on the plane. "But we're getting married on Saturday!" "No you're not!"  Can you imagine? Long story, but we got on the plane. The second one was the person who refused to issue the marriage license we went to get it. "But we're getting married on Saturday!" "No you're not!" Even longer story, but my amazing sister the lawyer pulled some strings and we got the license. 
We were never phased by phased by the challenges.  We knew we were getting to NYC one way or another and we knew we were getting married with or without a license. Everything was going to be fine.
Two days before the event I got a phone message from the woman who owned the restaurant saying that the business was shut down and to call her. Hearing the words, I screamed and fell to the floor. As laid back as we were, this was a big deal and involved a lot of people coming and a lot of money being spent, and a lot of emotion. Our wedding  was not going to let us get away with stress free, indeed, it seemed that our wedding was going to take us down. And thought I did literally fall down, I quickly got up. 
Tom and I knew we were getting married as long as we had a minister and friends, so if we needed to get everyone on a subway for hotdogs at Coney Island and a beach wedding, we would be ok. Some elderly relatives were coming so of course we’d prefer not to put everyone on a  subway. Still, we kissed and remembered that it was all about declaring our love, so nothing else mattered.
In the meantime I called the lady who owned the restaurant and she was so cool- she told us what happned (long bankruptcy-proceedings-gone-awry story). She apologized and said that the most important thing was making our wedding happen and that she was going to go to her competition and work out a deal and host our wedding at an alternative space. She would pay any difference in cost. In the morning Tom and I would go see the new space. We decided to trust her. I showed up at my bridal shower a bit beaten up with red swollen eyes, but hopeful. My friends and family were there to support me.
Friday morning we went to meet the lady to get our deposit check from her to give it to the guy who owned the new space. My phone rang and a friend called to tell me I was in the New York Post! She read me an article, instigated by a well-meaning friend, that told our tale inaccurately, slandering the restaurant owner, who was actually bending over backwards to make this up to us.
I screamed and fell to the ground again, sure that our host was going to see it and back out on her end of the deal since it looked like we slandered her, which we didn’t. My husband and I affectionately remember this phone call as the Nagasaki, (which followed the first bombshell, the Hiroshima, of finding out the place was padlocked).
The worst part of the article was the blaring headline "WEDDING BLISS TURNS TO WEDDING DISS"!!! That almost killed me, because my wedding bliss was not dissed and no one had the permission or authority to diss it. How Gross! Plus, since it was in the New York Post and I had grown up in New York City, every teacher, ex-boyfriend, or acquaintance I ever had might read the article with its lying headline and my name and think I was the girl whose "wedding was ruined" when it was impossible to ruin my wedding. No motherf&%#er on earth had the ability or right to ruin our wedding except us. Of all of the stress and challenges, I hated that headline the most.
Anyway, the lady didn’t care about the article, but my sister, the lawyer, did make the Post print a retraction, which was brilliant. The new space turned out to be 3 blocks away from the old one, at the glorious Manhattan Penthouse on 14th street and 5th avenue and word spread fast to our guests with the help of family and friends. 
The Manhattan Penthouse had wall to wall windows on all four sides of the room. The view over Manhattan Island was staggering. We later found out the equally staggering price of having a wedding in that room, but we weren't paying a penny over our modest budget.
The actual wedding day was perfect, my dress came out fine and everyone involved and attending was lovely. Tom and I were still a bit beat up by the course of events but we looked pretty danm good and had a grand time. We had written the ceremony with our minister who wore a skin tight gold lame gown and it was joyous and beautiful. After our ceremony and reception, a dear friend hosted the after party at her apartment. Oh, and remember Scott the photographer, well he happened to work for the NY Post and he ran our wedding photos as Wedding of the Week! (By then we figured if we were gonna be in the tabloids, we might as well enjoy it. We went for the gold and were in the Post three days in a row.)  Thank you to everyone who had been so helpful through everything, we love you all.
Tom and I spent the rest of the our wedding night walking around Manhattan, riding a carriage in Central Park and eating at Odessa before heading back to our hotel. Corny but true, we have been on our honeymoon ever since. Magical life.

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