Sunday, January 30, 2011

Never Too Old For Happy

One of 'my' pages from Weddings 2011.
It's a working copy, so there are some things that are blatantly wrong, including the folios!
Click for a bigger view.

It's hard to believe I'm still talking about my wedding.
It was four whole months ago!
I have a reason, though. This past week the papers I work for put out our annual Wedding Guide. It's 48 pages of love and dove, pretty pictures and prettier fonts. I lay out a lot of projects for the newspapers but the Wedding Guide is my favourite. Especially this year because I'm in it!
I've posted part of my story from the guide but you can see the whole story, and more photos, at the Huntsville Forester/Bracebridge Examiner/Gravenhurst Banner site here.
If I'm not enough to get you to check out the guide there are some other really great stories inside – like the heartbreaking true story of one bride, Tanya Swan, who had to rush her wedding day because her father was dying from cancer. Or the gorgeous story of my cousin Carly who married the dashing Jason Chow one week after Dave and I tied the knot. For sure don't miss Vic Burton's funny story about being a wedding officiant for the first time.
If you're getting married in Muskoka, you'll want to attend the Wedding Show being held Sunday, February 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Muskoka Riverside Inn, Bracebridge. Fashion show starts at 2 p.m. I dragged poor Dave to the show last year and, despite his complaining, we both had a good time. I brought home tons of free stuff and loads of ideas.
Without further adieu, my rather self-deprecating little bride story.

Being old takes a lot of pressure off a bride on her wedding day.
Like, you don’t have to worry about losing that last 10 pounds because 10 pounds is the least of your problems. Maybe 80 pounds would help but when you get to be 50, fat is your face’s best friend. It’s like natural Botox. Skinny old women resemble prunes. Fat old women are like ripe plums. So there’s no need to crash diet to fit into a dress. If you’re like me, you order a dress that is extra big so after a month of nervous binge eating it will fit you perfectly on the big day.
May I also recommend fat-squeezing underwear. (In case the month of binge eating turns into two.)
Speaking of dress, finding a dress that looks appropriate on an old broad like me is a bit of a chore. Most wedding dresses are designed for thin 25-year-olds with big bosoms. And almost all of those dresses are strapless! Strapless isn’t good when you’re old.
First of all, there’s no place for bra straps. You can’t go braless when you’re 50, unless you plan to tuck your breasts into your pantyhose.
Second, you’ve got those upside down arms that keep on shaking hours after you’ve waved good-bye. (My youngest son once said to me, “Mom, how come the muscles on your arms hang upside down?”) You want something to contain the wobbles; otherwise when you toss the bouquet you might thwack a bystander with flailing arm flab.
And unless you are blessed with good legs, legs that aren’t blue-mapped with varicose veins and bumpy with misplaced cellulite, you really should cover up those puppies, too. What I really wanted to wear on my wedding day was a burka, one of those tents that cover every part of a Muslim woman except her eyes.
My mother was no help. She was afraid I’d show up at the wedding wearing something resembling marshmallow fluff. She wanted me to wear a suit. I pictured war brides from the 1940s with shoulder pads and wings on their lapels.
“You really don’t want to wear a big white wedding dress, do you?” she’d say. “At your age?”
Funny the difference between a first wedding and a second (or third) wedding later in life.
At a first wedding everyone comes out to celebrate with you. The wedding is packed with friends and relatives; the showers are many; the stag memorable (if the guys can remember it).
At a second wedding, many people expect you to do it quietly. Is it because your first marriage failed? Are some people embarrassed? Well sure, there is some of that. I mean, you swore in front of everyone that you would be with Spouse #1 until death did you part. And yet neither one of you are dead. So here you are up in front of the same people, asking for their support (and hand blenders, towels and crock pots) while you do it again.
I see people’s awkwardness.
But you know what? When you find the Perfect Guy, when you never expected to, you want to shout it from the rooftops.
I was married for 19 years before my former husband decided he’d be happier with someone else. I believed, like so many others, that I would be married to the same guy forever. When he dumped me my whole world changed. You can’t realize how much it changes until you go through it.
Not all of it was bad, though. Like, I didn’t realize how unhappy I was until the relationship ended. As time passed I grew stronger, happier. When I met Dave, I had no intention of marrying him. He was just a date – a date that never ended. After nearly five years, he popped the question on Valentine’s Day last year. And on September 25th I married the nicest, strongest, most sensitive, honest, sweetest, handiest, hard workingest guy on the planet. I kid you not, ladies. He even cooks and cleans. Best of all, he loves me. Why, I know not. He just does.
So, you see, it doesn’t matter about the dress or the extra pounds or what people think. If you’re marrying someone who loves you, really loves you, the wedding itself doesn’t matter.


  1. Oh that's so lovely Cathy. Really happy for you. So glad you found the right guy at last!!!

  2. Awww. That is true Cathy style - funny, and touching, with a big old dash of handsome Dave. I love the photos. They really reflect your personality, I think.

  3. Beautiful Cathy, human, don -to-earth and truly inspiring - hurray!

  4. That's a gorgeous article, in every way.

  5. Hi Cath - great story. Auntie Ellen said there was a good picture of me in your paper. I never take a good pic. Well done Cath & many many happy years ahead for you & Dave. Mom

  6. What a wonderful extra way to commemorate your wedding. All of this, and you, are absolutely beautiful.


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