Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Reasons To Change Your Wedding Date

Save The Date

"I have my Save The Date for you!" I told Kelly Hutchinson excitedly during a break at our Paradise Lost rehearsal two weeks ago.

"I need to talk to you about that," she responded.

These were not welcomed words.

The long-of-the-short of it:  Kelly had been cast in The Master Builder by Henrik Ibsen at BAM starring John Turturro.  It's the kind of job I might've missed my wedding for.

BAM, best friend stealer.
On Saturday, May 25th, the day I was supposed to get married, she had a matinee and evening show.  The next day, May 26th, she had a matinee show.  So even if I moved the wedding one day, the most of Kelly I'd have is showing up at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, in Waterford, CT, our venue, at 8PM.

I can't change my wedding so that one person could make it for the last few drunken hours.  That's crazy.  I didn't even know if the venue was available, let alone The Old Lyme Inn, that cute WASPy establishment we had booked for two nights for the families to stay in.  And what about the caterer, Scoozi Events?  They were putting together this ridiculous seven-course meal that my heart was set on as a favor for Rafael, who'd used them for some of his big fancy functions in the past.  

So, Kelly wouldn't be able to make it to my wedding.  With sadness in my heart, I mailed out the beautiful Save The Dates that +Eric Sutton had designed.

Emotional S&M

Kelly as Olga, the eldest Romanov Duchess in OTMA, by Kate Moira Ryan.
A little cloud hung over me as I deliberated what to do.  Decisions are usually easy for me to make, so the emotionally S&M part of my personality relishes a conundrum, and this was certainly that.  I figured at some point I would get used to the idea that Kelly, to whom I introduced myself during the intermission of her middle school performance of ANNIE (she was in 8th grade, playing Mrs. Hannigan; I was a freshman in high school, scouting the talent at the other middle school in town, the one I hadn't attended) wouldn't be there when I tied the knot.

There are certainly greater tragedies in the world, like having your brand new bicycle stolen ten days after  your fiance gave it to you even though you locked it up nice and tight with the allegedly unbreakable, unpickable lock you spent a fortune on. (I try to find generosity in my heart for the bicycle thief.  I do.  I imagine some poor, destitute, brilliant young person who stole to pay for their education or food.  But it doesn't work.   I hope something terrible happens to that person, like having to live in an alternate universe where Romney won).

A few days went by, and I talked myself into believe that even to have contemplated moving the wedding date was crazy.  I was explaining this to a friend (okay - it was in therapy, but I've learned it's better to say "to a friend" because it makes people less uncomfortable), when I realized it wouldn't be so hard at all.

Kelly as Masha in my production of THE SEAGULL
I Am A Theater Person

I am a theater person, after all.  I'm adapting Paradise Lost for the stage with twenty actors.  I've cooked dinner every night for a week for a colony of seventy-five people at glorious Lake Lucille while they were rehearsing a mult-media, site-specific, deconstructed version of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull.  I have supported myself in New York City for 15 years.  How hard could moving a wedding be? 

I called the O'Neill.  They could do the new date.
I called the Inn.  They could do the new date.
I called the caterer.  They could do the new date.

I called my mom.  She told me that I shouldn't do it, because "something told her" I shouldn't.  And to cite evidence of the truth of her feelings, she offered the example of my sister's wedding.  My sister decided to get married on a Saturday, and my mother intuited that Sunday would've been better for her.  My sister did not change her wedding day based on my mother's hunch.  That Saturday when my sister got married was overcast.  The Sunday was beautiful.  Did I need more proof?

I wrote the email.  I compiled my guests' email addresses.  I remembered to ask Rafael what he thought.  He gave me permission, in the even and calm way he does most things, bless his beautiful heart.  Then I called Kelly to make sure she was free the evening of Sunday, May 26th.  And then I sent out the email.

It Takes 45 Minutes To Change Your Wedding Day.

Of course, the venue of the inn or the caterer might not have been available on the new day, and then, honestly, I don't know what I would've done.  But as much as the wedding machine wants to make you feel like the only way to have a good wedding is to spend more money than you have, or that you need to book everything at least in a year in advance, all of that is poppycock.  Poppycock, I say!  You get to make the wedding you want for yourself.  Rafael and I decided to have the dancing between the ceremony and the reception because the O'Neill has a little pub with a piano where we wanted to go after the reception and sing show tunes.

Some vendors have visibly blanched, like almonds, when I tell them the dancing is going to happen before the reception.  Gays getting married is fine, apparently, but violating the sequence of events is heresy.

Kelly as Prodigy in SAVE THE WORLD, a superhero adventure play I directed, by Chris Kipiniak.
The only wedding book I purchased, A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene (check out her great wedding blog here), is wonderful at debunking all of these myths.  In many intelligent, researched, wonderful ways, each section has the same message: just because something is often done doesn't mean you have to do it. 

Kelly Hutchinson was the first person I came out to.  I was the best person at her wedding.  I think the longest we have gone without speaking is a few weeks when she was studying at BADA in the summer of 1997.  When she was just an actress and I was just a director we worked together all the time.  Now that we're both writers, we read, critique and re-read each other's stuff.  She knew me when I was in high school, and I have never regretted following her advice.

 Moving my wedding so that Kelly Hutchinson could make it by the fifth course, then join us for show tunes at Blue Gene's pub and brunch the next morning was worth it to me.  And if the weather's terrible, my mother will get to say, "I told you so."

Eric Sutton was kind enough to whip 2.0 version up, so that I could attach it to the CHANGE THE DATE email I sent out.

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