Our photojournalist wedding photographer showed up at the hotel at 7 a.m. I was wearing a silk robe that I got at Thrift Town in Sacramento for $10. It’s still one of my favorite things.
I changed into one of those horrifying velour tracksuits that was very popular at the time, and one of our groomsmen remarked that I looked like a movie star trying to go incognito. Mostly I just wanted a zip-front something to wear all day so I could change out of it without ruining my hair and makeup. Also I might have wanted to practice a cheerleading routine or something. You never know.
(That kissable bundle is little Evan Frasier; I was his nanny briefly. He is 43 now.)
My dream wedding dress was Audrey Hepburn’s bridal dress from Funny Face:
I’ve mentioned before that I have clothing nightmares. We were on a tight budget when we were married, and I was accordingly horrified by the idea of spending $1,500 on a dress.
I was set on a short dress, which I thought would be easy to find, but absolutely no one wore them at the time. When I say no one, I mean I went to every bridal salon and department store in San Francisco, and found exactly one short, white dress, for $1700 dollars. It was not cute.
Three months before the wedding I still didn’t have a dress, and I was beginning to hyperventilate and have tooth-griding nightmares. For those of you who’ve never been married, lots of women order their dresses a year out, and many bridal salons look at you like you’re nuts if you expect less than a six-month turnaround.
Bryan finally had enough of my whimpering and rocking in the corner. He said, “We are going to the Gunne Sax outlet and buying something.” We ended up buying two dresses, one that would become the bodice for $80, and a size 14 tulle monstrosity for the skirt, which was about $100. I asked my dear friend Lisa (Hi, Lisa!) from Stitch Bitch if she could lop off the skirt and smush the two dresses together. She did it for less than $100, because she loves me. This is how we ended up spending less for my dress than we did for the bourbon at the wedding. Fact!
Lisa didn’t want the dress to be too heavy, so instead of using 300 layers of tulle, she put some horsehair ruffs under the sides of the skirt to make them stand out. This meant that the skirt was nice and poofy, but I could still use the restroom withoutout aid. Bonus.
I got a satin headband at Britex, and my mom-in-law sewed a circle of tulle to a metal hair comb the night before the wedding. I’d hoped for a cage veil, but this was in the hours before Etsy, and they were impossible to find. I thought about skipping the veil entirely, but when my girlfriends pinned my veil in my hair, it was the moment I realized I was really getting married.
I grew up with a gardenia bush in the backyard, so I had a gardenia in my hair and one for each of the bridesmaids. They wore them in their hair or pinned to their shirts as they chose.
Thanks to tequila and vigorous dancing, my hair flower fell out, and no one mentioned it because they didn’t know I had 14 more in the back. Word to the wise brides, extra hair flowers ladies.
I also wore red shoes, which was strange at the time. One of our guests mentioned that he particularly loved my shoes because his mother always said red shoes were for little girls and whores. I like to think I fall squarely in the latter camp:
Later, I pulled on a red sweater with a rhinestone brooch, because it gets cold on the docks in San Francisco. The sweater was a merino Bennton cardigan, and I still wear it.
Bryan’s suit was a striped Donna Karan cashmere blend on sale at Nordstrom Rack. His tie was Calvin Klien. My maiden name is Berry, so the boutonnieres were Eucalyptus leaves with unripe blackberries, all collected on the wedding site. We asked our groomsmen to wear black suits, and we got them matching ties.
My bridesmaids were from size 0 to size 14 and were 4’11” to 5’10” — we even had a pregnant attendant — so I had to find something that would be flattering for everyone. I chose white cotton wrap tops and red wool skirts from Foley’s, which I asked the bridesmaids to wear full length or have hemmed to the knee as they chose. My bridesmaids actually did wear the pieces again, and the whole outfit was $70. Separates!
Pro tip: When you’re getting married, it’s helpful to have girlfriends who are all knockouts. I love you, girls.
Old? A penny in my shoe. New? My dress. Borrowed? My lipstick. Blue? My engagement ring, which is a giant ’60s era cocktail Aquamarine. Oddly, I do not have a close up photo, but it is lovely.
For the rehearsal dinner I wore a red, heavily embroidered shift, of which I also cannot find a single photo. By the end of our wedding I was so through with red that I could barely look at a tube of lipstick without shuddering, but seven years later I’m coming back around.