So. My daughter is getting married. Those of you with children of the female persuasion, try to head this off if at all possible. It’s expensive and it can lead to no good result.
If you have a kid like mine, though, your words will fall gently on her, like big fat snowflakes that melt and are gone in an instant. And then she’ll do exactly what she wants. Which is to become legally bound to a person of the opposite sex, at an age when she should really be doing, well, almost anything else. Kids that age have no idea what it means to be married. Some of you are thinking, “Well, neither do you, Marla Jo, because you never managed to make it down the aisle.”
This is true. I did forget to get married. But, just like people who never had kids have plenty of advice for you as to how to raise them, I have lots of advice about being married after a lifetime of watching my friends go through epic battles to get divorced.
Some of you may remember that last week I took my beautiful daughter, Curly Girl, to downtown L.A. to shop for a wedding dress in the garment district. Which they prefer that you call the “fashion district.” Shopping in the garment district can be a lot of fun, if you have an adventurous spirit and don’t mind a little grime. There are all kinds of stores, from high end designers down to cheap knock-offs from that country on the other side of the world that will soon own us.
Curly Girl is getting married in May to her sweetheart, a very nice guy with even curlier hair than she has. After months of searching, we found a venue up at Mt. Baldy where she could get married in nature, yet also have dinner and dancing at a price her mother couldn’t afford, but is spending the money anyway.
This venue is nearly all-inclusive, which makes me happy, because I don’t want to do a doggone thing on my daughter’s wedding day. I just want to show up and crack jokes and drink champagne. However, they don’t include a wedding dress.
That’s why we headed off to downtown L.A. I don’t know when you last shopped for a wedding dress, but these days the average dress costs $1,631, according to Brides magazine. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. That is more than I paid for my first car, so, no. Not on your life.
In another article in Brides magazine, one bride talked about how she “saved” $1,040 by purchasing a $2,599 dress on sale for a mere $1,559. Seriously. Such a deal. It’s like a nuclear arms race, where the more one side spends, the more everyone else thinks they also have to spend.
I mean, let’s say you wear your wedding dress for five hours. That is $312 an hour for a dress that you’ll never wear again. Not going to happen.
Curly Girl has been so busy with her job lately that she hadn’t started the dress shopping process. I was doing it for her by scrolling through dresses on my phone while I watched TV. When she first told me she wanted a dress with a skimpy corset-like bodice, I was horrified, because I imagined her walking down the aisle half naked. But, upon close perusal, I realized these dresses did have modesty panels that kept everything inside and hidden, while showing off everything else.
I found a dress I thought she would like, texted it to her, and we went to see it at a store in downtown Los Angeles. She had already decided before we got there that this was her dress. At this shop, you try on samples, and then they have your dress made in China and ship it to you. We were the only customers there on a recent morning, so we had the run of the place. Our stylist had already pulled several of the dresses I thought she would like, and she tried them on.
He was amazed at how quickly she was in and out of the dresses. She’s a decisive person. As expected, she loved the dress with the skimpy bodice. But, then, she found a dress that showed even more flesh, and started crying, I guess that is the universal symbol for “I found the perfect gown.” I like her choice. It’s light and springy and it covered everything necessary while still showing off her startling collection of tattoos. And it was appropriate for an outdoor mountain wedding. No cathedral trains here. She won’t be walking a red carpet down Westminster Abbey.
I was pleased that I was able to write a check for $667 and walk out the door, including gown, shipping and tax. We’ll worry about the alterations when the dress arrives, because they wanted me to pay $500 in advance but I just couldn’t see it. Even though Curly Girl’s birth grandmother, Judy, is paying for the dress. Thanks, Judy!
Then we went around the corner and found a veil she liked for $25.
The amazing thing is that we had fun, and no arguments at all. That was a first. Usually clothes shopping with my daughter is an experience fraught with pitfalls, but not this time. I would like to recommend this store, but let’s see how the dress arrives, and if it shows up on time. Then I’ll let you know.
Next up: Sampling the cake. Pretty sure that will be my favorite part.