Tag Archives: Weddings

It’s Official: I’m Not Marrying Prince William

He’s engaged. 

Prince William asked his girlfriend of eight years, Kate Middleton, to marry him. 

To put my current previous obsession with Wills in perspective, consider this: my friend Amy sent me a text at 4:11AM telling me the news. 

Because news like this cannot wait. 

Because she knows I’ve been waiting for it. 

And because she knows I need to hear it from no one but her.

This is a woman who once collected every article written about Princess Diana for an entire year.  They were all kept under her bed, stacks and stacks of magazines and newspaper clippings of every detail of her life and tragic death.  I would go over to her house across the street and we’d pull them all out and stare at hundreds of photos.  We knew her life story, her family dynamics, her best dresses, her worst hairstyles. 

So, you could say it was picture perfect that a Prince William obsessor should get a 4AM text from a Princess Di obsessor.

We were 13 at the time, however, so it might seem silly that we care at age 26.  It might.

But I am not concerned with silliness, because I absolutely love royal weddings, and this one should prove to be more fantastic than the rest.  I cannot wait to see what style of dress she will choose, how decorated his suit will be, how many people will line the streets of London hoping to catch a glimpse.

Kate is already moving up my ladder of style icons.  People may joke about her over-the-top headpieces and formal hats, but I think they’re divine.  If it were even in the vicinity of socially acceptable in the States, I’d be sporting one every chance I got.

Given my propensity for formality and etiquette, I am eager to see the royal wedding process unfold.  I already admire their delayed announcement and press call, so the couple could have some private time to celebrate.  And in an age of reality TV and totally lack of privacy, I respect their decision not to share the details of how he proposed. 

These are the times when I mourn my lack of celebrity.  If I were at least a successful actress or daughter of a President, I might have a chance at an invitation.  As a Seattleite with no claim to fame, I probably won’t need to watch the mail too closely.

Which really is a shame, because I would have rocked a killer headpiece for that event.

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Fit for a King

From the age of 13 to 15 I wished beyond anything else that I could marry Prince William.  Yes, he was very cute in those days, but his being cute wasn’t nearly as attractive as his being royal.  I used to imagine the People magazine cover of our engagement and our soon-to-be wedding.  Laugh all you want, but Kate Middleton did nothing but prove that my fantasy wasn’t far from reality (just…not for me).

I had an entire wall of posters of him, postcards of his face from friends who visited the UK, and teen magazine tear-outs analyzing his moppy hair.  I even wrote a three-page letter to his fan club, which ranks among the most embarrassing acts of my entire life.

Needless to say, I developed an obsession with all things British-royalty.  The palaces, the houses in the country, the clothing, the peacock hats pinned to the sides of heads, the wealth, the formality, the etiquette, the travel.  But nothing held the same fantastical appeal as the creme de le creme: royal weddings.

Remember Diana’s?  I don’t.  I wasn’t alive.  But the pictures — my word, the pictures — showcase the over-the-top grandeur of it all.  It wasn’t their fault; as my friend Siri appropriately noted, “Diana’s wedding fell victim to the ’80s.” 

Look no further than her sleeves to understand why:

It’s madness.  She looks like she was swallowed whole by a pillow.

The entire wedding party is lost in a sea of fluff.  The wrings of flowers on the girls’ hair only causes further chaos.

All of this is freshly brought to mind because of the style triumph that was Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria’s wedding last Saturday.  It was elegant, refined, opulent and undeniably royal (despite her marrying a commoner — gasp!).

My opinion of Swedes has skyrocketed due to the gorgeous representation of the people by their royals.

Look at the joyful bride and groom:

Not only are they both gorgeous, but their clothes are picture perfect.  She wore an off-the-shoulder, age-appropriate (she’s 32) cream-colored silk gown designed by Pär Engsheden.  He donned an undecorated white-tie tuxedo with tails.

What most impresses me, I believe, is that on the one day when she could have worn head-to-toe five-carat diamonds, sapphires and family jewels, she instead chose to wear the cameo tiara her mother wore on her wedding day in 1976.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s still stunning.  But it’s less obvious and ostentatious than the typical crown associated with royalty.  After all, what does she have to prove?  We know she’s going to be Queen; no need to flaunt it, I suppose.

What’s amazing about her groom, Daniel Westling, is that he was her personal trainer.  Not royal.  Not a billionaire.  Do you see why I employed fantasies of a girl from Seattle marrying the future King of England?

Question: can you imagine being the mother of a commoner marrying into royalty?  I honestly can’t conceive of a more daunting wardrobe situation.  The entire royal world will be attending your son’s wedding to an actual princess, 500 million people will be watching on TV, and you have to walk in there as the only woman without a crown.  Ouch.

I’m sad to report that Westling’s mother failed to rise to the occasion.  She’s wearing a dress any mother-of-the-groom could find at Moms, Maids and More.

After the ceremony, the bride lifted her 16-foot train and looped it around her arm so she could hit the dance floor.  It occurs to me that this seems like a hassle, and certainly a lot of fabric to keep track of, but then again royals don’t bustle their dresses.  They have giant trains for a reason — they’re royalty.

The handsome duo didn’t disappoint for their version of a rehearsal dinner, either.  A gala dinner and concert were given for the couple the evening prior to the wedding, and the results speak for themselves:

Impeccable.  I can’t help but note that the groom has to be the most modern-looking man to become a prince in recent memory.  Those glasses and that hair make him look as if he’s partner of a Manhattan design studio.

Clearly I’m already toe-tapping in anticipation of the next royal wedding, between my former flame and his commoner girlfriend.  It’s only a matter of time before he pops the question, and only a matter of taste whether their wedding will receive the Words Become One nod of approval.

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A Family Affair

Is it me, or do family weddings bring out the best and worst in everyone involved?

Best:  you buy a new outfit, get a haircut, and show up with your finest face forward.

Worst:  you prepare to socialize with your entire extended family, knowing this will mean both engaging with cousins you treasure and fielding personal questions from a great uncle you can’t remember.

Last week Mike and I were in Washington, DC and took the weekend to drive to a small town in Maryland for my cousin’s wedding.  As we drove, I gave Mike the rundown of my mom’s side of the family — explaining marriages, divorces, awkward relationships, all of it.  Lucky for him, there was sufficient dysfunction in my family to prevent his eyes from glazing over.

My extended family lives on the East Coast, and my immediate family moved to Seattle twelve years ago, so we don’t see each other often.  Over time I conceded the loss of connection and the lack of anything in common besides our bloodline, so I told myself not to hope for familial closeness at an event such as a wedding.

This was not so, but it took me the entire wedding to see it fully.

Five minutes before the ceremony started, Mike and I, along with my sister Erin and her friend Karen, rolled up in our rental car.  This was tacky, but honestly we were driving through the back country of Maryland…forgive us if we don’t know the way from Fruitland to Nassawango (I wish I was inventing these names).

As soon as the ceremony concluded, it was like a dam broke.  Hugs, kisses, you-are-so-talls; we were gushing at each other.  I was proud to introduce Mike to the people who had helped shape who I was, and it was gratifying for them to meet the person with whom I’d chosen to spend my life.

And despite the passage of time, talking with them reminded me that these are not casual family members.  No, these are the people who will tell me when I have dirt on my face, or in this case, goose droppings on my shoes (an outdoor wedding, go figure).

It came as no surprise then when none of us were bashful about admitting that the open bar was crucial to our re-acquainting, and we all groaned good-naturedly about the slew of mandatory group photos that had to be taken.

As for the conversation, it was classic:  no one can get away with any pretense at a family wedding, because you’re with people who saw you eat Play-Doh (and like it).  There’s no point in bragging about a job because they already know who you are – they don’t need to know what you do.

Minute by minute, I realized how much I miss them.  I saw what I’m missing by not living near them.

When you live apart from your family, you move on and establish your own life and don’t feel the hole.  But when you return home; when you realize your living lineage is here and not there; when you talk to people who watched you grow up; it’s not a small thing.  And I am missing it.

This became abundantly clear as the DJ cued the music.

You know you really love your family when you are willing to enter the dance floor for such songs as the Electric Slide or the YMCA.  When you can toss all of your dignity aside for a few rounds of the Macarena, you know you’re with your nearest and dearest.

And, to quote that other atrocious wedding dance song, isn’t that “what it’s all about”?  Put your best hope in, take your bad attitude out, raise a glass to what’s ahead and forgive each other for what’s past?  Isn’t it about pulling together as individuals and then letting loose as one?

The proof-positive that the wedding was a success was that it didn’t end at the wedding.  Mike ran to the store for a case of Corona and all my cousins, every last one, packed into one hotel room to talk until 3AM.

There is one wedding song that normally makes me roll my eyes, but at this wedding made me jubilant:

“All of the people around us, they say
can they be that close?
Just let me state for the record,
we’re giving love in a family dose.
We. Are. Family.”

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