Todd and I made a visit to see my family for Labor Day. This would be Todd’s first time meeting them. He was nervous (and mad) after I told him about my abuse. My parents were excited to meet him. Nothing real special happened that weekend. When I was able to have a private moment with my mother, I asked her what she thought of him. “He’s not what I expected.” I still have no idea what she meant by that. What DID she expect? I was crushed! In my sick mind, I was still trying to appease and please her. She did warm up to him, though.
Later in September, Todd proposed to me. I said yes, of course. We originally decided on a June date but then decided to move it up (we didn’t want to wait that long). I wanted to set it in April when everything was blossoming. My mother was in school at the time and told me that wouldn’t work for her because of school. We ended up settling on a date in March to work around her spring break. I was excited to finally get to plan my own wedding. Todd really didn’t care how it went. He preferred that we just elope and spend our money on an amazing honeymoon. I couldn’t give in to that though. I had dreamed of a wedding since I was little. I didn’t want anything extravagant or expensive. I had planned on getting one of those $100 David’s Bridal dresses. They had one that was Greek styled and I loved it. I wanted to have sort of Greek theme. I also had planned on just doing cake and punch in the church’s gym. The only problem I was having was the church. The church that we went to had a really big sanctuary. I wasn’t going to have that many people. I was thinking probably 100 at the most and this church sat about 3,000. I couldn’t really find anything within a reasonable price range to have it at.
My relationship with my mother had been on the mend and was on the upswing. When I talked to her and mentioned some of the above she told me that she had planned on coming to visit and help me plan the wedding and not worry about the financial part because that was her job. She had looked forward to this day more than I did. She didn’t get a wedding. She and Dave eloped at a chapel in a shopping mall on a whim. She came up for a few days in October. My parents didn’t have money whatsoever, so I confronted her and asked how she was planning on paying. She said she was taking out extra student loans and could scrape up a little extra. I fell for it and I knew better. When it comes to my mother, if you don’t give in and “trust” her or call her out on things like this, she will come unglued and make you feel guilty about it. That’s what she did to me. We ended up booking the church for the wedding since it was only $200 but she was not going to do just cake and punch in the gym. She really thought that we were too good for that and we would have so many people from out of town. She did make remarks that she wished I was getting married back in my home town because that is tradition and my parents were paying for most of it. I didn’t want to do that because where I lived was my home. I built up my own life there and had all of my own friends and such. I also felt uneasy about her promise so I wanted to keep things as close to me as possible. It allowed me to have most of the control- not her.
We then booked about $1500 in flowers and candle holders and the atrium at the Holiday Inn down the road from the church. This worked for my mother because they gave her a deal on a block of hotel rooms. I think the reception was going to cost $3500-$4000. This was to feed 150 people. I really didn’t think that many people would come and I told her that this wasn’t that necessary but she insisted. She insisted not because it was a “gift” to me but because she had to look good to all of her family and friends that she thought were coming. It was beautiful and I loved it, don’t get me wrong, but entirely unnecessary considering that none of us really had the money to pay for it. The next day we went shopping for the dress. I was very clear that I didn’t want to spend much. I also thought that I’d be footing the bill for my get up but again, she assured me that she would. Still, I didn’t want to pay more than $300 for the whole shebang: dress, shoes, tiara and veil. I also wanted to wear flip-flops and not dress shoes. I was all about comfort and anyone who knew me, knew that I wear flip-flops from March until November. I found the one that I wanted but she wasn’t impressed. She didn’t think that it was pretty enough. It was simple and kind of plain. I was ok with that but since she was paying… she had more say. They brought back others but they were more expensive. The dresses just kept getting pricier and pricier and my mother just had them keep coming. She kept assuring me not to worry about it. Then, they brought back a “princess” styled dress with the poofy bottom and a beaded, strapless top. It was gorgeous. It wasn’t even white. It was a pinkish, pearly, beige. I loved it but I still felt that it was too much. As soon as I put it on, she swooned. The drama queen came out and made a scene about how beautiful her daughter looked, blah, blah, blah. Yes, the dress was pretty but it was also $1200. I just felt that it was too much and it was very bulky. I was going to have a hard time dancing in it or sitting or anything really. I even mentioned, “I suppose I could buy a different dress for the reception.” She flipped and said absolutely not because everyone needed to see the dress up close. It looked good on me and was flattering. We went and picked the tiara and veil. They were about $150 and more expensive than the others because of the unique color. I also needed the petticoat- another $100. We were almost up to $1500. She did her best to assure me that everything would be ok. When we were about to check out the lady helping us said that I had to pay for the dress in full right then and there. Of course my mother didn’t have the money or credit. “You could open and line of credit with us,” the sales lady told us. My mother couldn’t do it because of her bad credit so I was put on the spot in front of everyone there. “This is your only wedding, your dream dress!!” Ugh. I knew better and I should have put my foot down. I didn’t though. If I didn’t give in, she would have freaked out. She promised she would pay the bill later. I didn’t have any choice with her. She made me weak and submissive. I hated it. So I opened the credit and charged the whole thing. I also knew that one of my bridesmaids wouldn’t be able to afford her dress because she was a student so I would have to foot the bill for her. My mother also planned on making the jewelry for the bridesmaids and I would use that as their gift also. I was ok with that because she if very good at making beaded jewelry.
Her visit came to an end and she went home a happy mother. She was so ecstatic over my wedding. Next, I needed to pick out invitations and shoes.