Wedding planning is something of an exercise in mind-reading, which is a problem since I’m, you know, not a telepath.
It’s because nothing is ever just itself. The food isn’t just food; it’s how hospitable you are, how much you care about your guests, how much you or your parents can afford, whether you’re Look East or Westernised. The dress isn’t just a dress — it’s a lifelong dream or it’s something simple you’ll wear again. Everything says something, in languages I don’t even understand.
These engagement photos, for example. I had in mind that we would have simple engagement photos and we’d get them done by my brother, who’s a talented photographer and has even done a number of friends’ weddings. Will and Kate’s formal but simple photos seemed a decent reference point, though we probably wouldn’t have as fancy a room to take them in.
But my mother wants us to have an engagement session done with a professional photo studio. They provide the attire, do your hair and make-up, and haul you out to a beach where you can take the old piggyback picture.
I suppose packages vary, but as I understand it, part of the photography package is a number of dresses you can wear on the actual wedding day.
And I don’t get it. Why can’t my brother just do these? I suppose he doesn’t have a Swiss maid outfit and lederhosen lying around for me and P to dress up in, but that’s hardly compulsory. Is it???
My mother said, “Don’t you want a set of photos you can look at and say, ‘Oh, I used to be so thin!’ And in future if P becomes botak he can look at them and go, ‘Oh, that’s what I looked like when I used to have hair!'” But we can do that just as well with a bunch of photos of P in Bermuda shorts and me in a day dress in the nearest park.
So what is this about? A professionally-shot engagement session wouldn’t be for me and P. Is it that my parents want an album of formal pictures they can frame and keep? Or is it just that my mother thinks I’d regret not having this?
If the only reason I have for doing or having something at this wedding is “I might regret not having done it”, then my inclination is to skip it. Future me will just need to man up and stand by the decisions she made in the present.
My mother also thinks I should hire the services of an “image-maker”. “She’ll look at your face type and your dress and she’ll tell you what kind of make-up you should wear, how to style your hair.”
I pointed out that the one thing I’ve been trying to prevent is having people tell me how I should look.
“She’ll listen to your opinions, of course,” my mom said airily. “She’s very good! She’ll help you decide whether to have your hair up or down … ”
“It’s got to be down, hasn’t it? I don’t have enough hair to put it up.”
“Oh, that one very easy! They got fake hair so they can do any style.”
This is gonna be great.