Hi and Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson Author Blog Post and Podcast. I’m your host, Jean coming to you from the beautiful Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada!! The blog post and podcast is an opinion piece and only reflects this author’s opinion and not that of any other entity. What do a $50 dress and Lady Gaga have to do with each other? First I have a lot of respect for Lady Gaga so it isn’t a critique. If you want to find out more, then stay tuned…!
So, what could a $50 wedding dress and Lady Gaga have in common? At first it seems like nothing. But, if I didn’t have any point to the story, I wouldn’t have started this. So sit back and enjoy this round about story with a moral to it.
I have noticed a trend that just keeps getting bigger and crazier. It makes no sense to me, but when I found a Quora question on how to respond to someone who didn’t like their wedding dress, I knew society had a strange problem. The questions was how to react to someone who didn’t like their wedding dress. There were statements about making snide remarks, etc. I found that disturbing. People nowadays spend more on a wedding dress than most people spent on a car when I got married (1980’s). Of the limited number of weddings I attended or had to give regrets to and see pictures later, most of the dresses were done with an eye to the budget. We didn’t want to put our parents in the poor house and we did what we could at the time. My sister-in-laws had family help out and make the dress. They had tasteful and beautiful dresses that meant something to them. I was going to use my mother’s dress, but after some attempts to make it fit me better, she had decided I could splurge and get a wedding dress. We were in a different Province at the time. I took my husband to the store that was having a sale. There was no appointment, there was no budget thing no big yes to the dress or audience…though there were a few shocked people that I didn’t bring a posse or girlfriends with me and that my husband would be seeing the dress. We were looking for a suitable dress for our wedding. We did all the planning. We found one. It was $50 had some lace and long sleeves and covered me. I liked it well enough. For $50, I loved it.
Now, for the reception. We didn’t rent out the local castle or whatever place or go to an exotic location. There was a little hall. It had orange curtains. Most people rented out their church hall with whatever coloured curtains that entailed. In the case of my sister in laws, they and family did the decorating. The cake was baked by someone…sorry that eludes me. You didn’t go out to tastings. Even far from family, you just got a regular wedding cake no 25 flavour tests. I likely had the least family hands on wedding as all the family were in different areas. We had to go order the invitations, order the cake…it was all up to us to do it…we didn’t have some exotic wedding planner hovering around…and neither did my sister-in-laws. We had to make sure everything was done. The family helped with the events, one of my sister-in-law’s cake had an unfortunate incident. The two brothers were bringing the cake to the location. There was a fast stop. The cake fell onto the passenger. They went to the house of one of the parents in tears that this happened. The family member fixed the issues…the cake was brought to the reception…likely the direction was made so pictures wouldn’t show the unfortunate incident but that is the last I heard of the incident and I doubt it is given much thought now. I think the point of this is that weddings are made to be special, and yet things can happen. Weddings should not be the kind of special that puts everyone in the poor house and gives bragging rights for a short time. It is special because there is love between two people and their families and friends. Not a public relations event. Some people have forgotten the reason for weddings and watch too much media event stuff and shows with people who have money and a bank roll to be able to do whatever they need to get a dress that colleagues and stars will ‘remember’. What about the memories with family and friends? Another sister-in-law, I helped wrapped the cake that they give out at the wedding. I happened to still be in the Province when this one took place.
Flash forward to our wedding. My brother in law’s dog got run over while they were out of town for my wedding. Of course no one thought to wait and tell him until after the wedding. He was a real stand-up guy and things still went forward. I had requested long dresses because I knew my mother would find something classy. My mother in law chose tea length. This caused a bit of trouble as my mother was upset that she had not been told. I had to tell her that I had just found out…which I had and what was I supposed to do? Mom wore her dress, Mother in law wore hers. Disaster between the Moms averted. The Maid of Honour wore a long dress I had chosen for her with a flowered headpiece. I knew it would look amazing on her and it did. It also was on sale. She was a student at the time and couldn’t have afforded a dress. Of course there was someone going around after the wedding and during pictures telling any people who would listen (including some passerby) that I would regret the choice of wedding dress later as it didn’t suit me. Of course someone had to report this to me. I wasn’t happy about it. What did I do? Absolutely nothing. Yes, absolutely nothing…what would be the gain…bad feelings, temporary feeling of justification or I could just ignore it and move along. It was my day, I had chosen my dress. I was happy enough with it. I wasn’t there to make someone else happy about my dress. It didn’t cost as much as a car so perhaps I was less invested, but it cost enough and I didn’t want to put my parents in the poor house. I didn’t cause a huge blow up or a family drama. Of course you’re not happy that someone chooses to talk trash your choices…especially when your husband was one of those choices…but hey, to each their own.
Here is where Lady Gaga comes in and the importance of something she said. I remember lately catching old footage of Lady Gaga being interviewed by someone about making a statement on whether she had male parts or not (they were more blunt). I was favourably impressed by her somewhat blunt answer, but it more or less came down to …”who cares”. I leave out unfavourable language and am just translating the statement. The point is that Lady Gaga is a star. It doesn’t change talent…whether or not there is a male part in the mix or there are partial male parts is actually irrelevant. Much like whether someone or another didn’t like my wedding dress. It was over 35 years ago and I’m still married to the same man. I made the choice, I wore it. It wasn’t a horror. Over 35 years of marriage makes it the right choice…no matter what anyone thought. It doesn’t change the dress for me. It doesn’t change the wedding or the love I had and still have for my husband. It didn’t change the fact that a really good friend came from Toronto to be there for me and another come to be my maid of honour and some family came. It was sharing love whether I wore a $10,000 dress or my $50 dress. Don’t forget what a wedding is about. It is about commitment of love for another person. A commitment of family time and energy. You don’t have to spend the earth to get to that point. You aren’t less married in a $50 dress or more married in an expensive dress. The dress is only as important as you make it. It is only going to ruin your day if you let someone do that. Nothing ruined my day. Nothing happened that could. It wasn’t the attitude of someone else that ran my wedding, it was our love for each other.
I think one of the main points to this is that it is only one day. It is only one event. Though undeniably an important day and event, how you handle yourself and the memories you create are important. You can choose to let one incident destroy it, or you can move forward. I showed coworkers at the time pictures of the wedding…and the only comment to come from one of them…he’s not wearing the right socks. LOL…Believe me when I tell you that in your life, you will have opportunity to create other memories and have other events. There will also be other people who will critique it. If you let that ruin your day, then you will have a long unhappy life because there will always be someone ruining your day…everyone from before, during and after the event and from then on. I laugh at those incidents now. Lady Gaga proves that that you can’t change things and it doesn’t matter what you wear or do. Lady Gaga proves it at every concert and with every album and in her refusal to get dragged into drama unless it is necessary. You don’t have to be Lady Gaga to reduce the stress and the drama in your life. You just have to be honest with yourself what is important to you. Be honest with yourself with what is important to your life. If it is worth it for whatever reason that you want a $15,000+ dress, and you can afford it, more power to you. I don’t say it is a bad thing, I just say make sure you choose what is important for you. Don’t worry about what someone else says about what you are wearing. If you like it, you can afford it and you enjoy it, then who cares what someone else thinks…as long as it is covering and not considered indecent exposure, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. It doesn’t take an expensive wedding dress or venue or anything else to make a wedding…nor to make a life. Memories will make your life and if you live long enough you will have many and pictures to remember by. Choose which memories you want to make and don’t let others choose them for you or destroy them for you. Not everyone has an unlimited wedding budget. Some can and some can’t. It shouldn’t stop you from being able to make some memories.
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