It is difficult to explain to people outside the wedding-planning bubble how loaded the word “detail” is in this sphere. Like so many things in wedding planning, the amount of “details” you have at your wedding and the originality of said details is one of those things no one ever feels totally comfortable with. If you don’t have any details, your wedding is cookie-cutter and bare. If you have too many details, you’re misapplying your energy to the things that don’t matter.
This angst percolates for the middle months of wedding planning, after the broad strokes like the date and venue are done. But by the last month of wedding planning, it vanishes right quick. You’re pretty sure you’re doing your details wrong one way or another, but you’re too panicked to care. Sometimes focusing on a particular detail is a way to burn off excessive, “Oh my god it is finally here” energy. Sometimes you’re too busy with things that are too important to be details (like, um, your vows) to care about any neglected details.
This is where having an awesome partner comes in handy. A few days before our wedding, Collin pulled two Amazon boxes from our gigantic pile of gifts and said, “I got you a wedding present.”
“I thought we weren’t going to get each other presents!”
“We’re not, but I am getting you a present, and it is this. Open it.”
I did. Inside the first box, I found a piece of dollhouse furniture. A painter’s ladder, complete with a little ring of paint on the top where the can would have rested (How’s that for your attention-to-detail.) Inside the second box, there were two small ceramic animals: a hippopotamus and a rhinoceros. “I couldn’t remember which one it was and I didn’t want to get it wrong.” He explained.
Allow me to explain. Months ago, when I was in detail-mode, I mentioned that I wanted to somehow incorporate two things into our wedding: a ladder to represent my mother, and a rhinoceros to represent my father.
The ladder because, growing up, when I’d talk about having a wedding someday, my mom would always (ALWAYS) say, “I’ll buy you a ladder.” Meaning, “you have my permission to slip out your bedroom window in the middle of the night and elope, so long as it saves me the trouble of having to throw you a wedding.”
The rhino because my dad’s nickname was Rhino, which comes from the way he bid at bridge: “like a dope sniffing rhino,” as per a Harvard Lampoon article. (I don’t know what that means. I don’t play bridge and I didn’t go to college in the 1970s.)
We put these figurines on the table that held our kiddush cup. It was a way to put my parents in a position of honor in our wedding ceremony, just as they should be.
Photo by Mike Rubino.
Having two small inanimate objects present at our ceremony meant so much to me. And knowing that, I’m going to try to avoid knocking wedding details too much.