Here comes the bride…

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist,

I love a wedding. I really do. And, like the dork that I am, I am looking forward to watching William and Kate walk down the aisle. Because, doesn’t EVERY girl want to be a princess on her wedding day??

Wedding fashion has changed a wee bit since my wedding in 1993. Oh my, has it changed. Let me count the ways….

The overall silhouette is much more streamlined. My wedding dress could have easily been worn with a HOOP SKIRT, but, I felt that that was “tacky” at the time. Thank goodness, because the size of the puffy sleeve I was sporting was larger than my head. LITERALLY. I would have looked like a puff ball with eyes if I had gone with the hoop skirt.

Wedding Hair. Usually this statement in itself is NOT a good thing. You don’t want “wedding hair”. I, of course, HAD wedding hair at my wedding. It was back in a French twist (which, with the exception of all of the hideous “PROM” hair I was unfortunate enough to select, was not a hairdo I wore out on a Friday night) My Delco roots were teased enough to bring a tear to Snookie’s eye. I’m sure a can and a half of Aqua Net was used. If anyone had fired up a cigarette within 20 feet of me, I would have been a blazing inferno. Naturally, stuck in my hair was a headpiece adorned with seed pearls (EWWW) and, I’m sure, a sequin or two. No tasteful little gardenia tucked behind one ear….NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! We had to balance out my sleeves with a 40 pound headdress.

I must say that the best headpiece I ever had the pleasure of wearing was for my girlfriend Patti’s wedding. We wore a turquoise beaded Wonder Woman inspired thing that came down to a point on our forehead! And, it had a turquoise tulle veil in the back. If that doesn’t scream “PAR-TAAAAAAY”, I don’t know WHAT does!

My poor sisters and (now) sister-in-law were very young. And, I completely bossed them into wearing the bridemaids dresses that I selected. They were velvet (we were married in November, so, appropriately seasonal). The hemline was asymmetrical (shorter in the front and longer in the back) and the fabric had a subtle leaf pattern. It’s a safe bet that if that dress were to be put in a line-up today with 4,000 other selections, it would NOT be chosen. I say that with complete confidence.

They wore sheer black stockings and heinous  Grandma-looking black heels. No headwear, though (points for me!).

I did not purposefully want them to look ugly; although, I have been to many weddings where I suspect that the bride did, so as to have the spotlight directly and unwaveringly on her.

I carried a small shrub. It weighed about 60 pounds and, I think, still had the roots attached in case we wanted to plant it outside of our soon-to-be marital residence. It was (are you ready for this?) the SAME flower arrangement that Julia Roberts carried when she married Lyle Lovett. Yep. It was prominently featured on the cover of People magazine. I took that right in to the florist and making that arrangement was like her SuperBowl. It started at my belly button and the last ivy tendril hovered about a quarter of an inch from the floor. My biceps were bulging.

I will give myself some props for my make-up. Nothing too scary. French manicure. Light fleshy-colored lipstick. Same advice I would give to a bride today.  This is not the time for a heavy handed make-up artist.

Our wedding was one of the most joyous days of my life. And, given my career path as a divorce and custody attorney, I have seen my share of unfortunate outcomes. Eighteen years later, I am blessed to say that I would marry the same guy and live happily ever after. I would just re-do it in a gorgeous, simple sheath dress with a statement necklace, no veil and a flower in my flat-ironed long hair. My girls would be in a beautiful JCrew cocktail dress and sky-high knock ‘em dead heels. My bouquet would be tiny and tasteful.

Sigh. Should we renew our vows at the 20 year mark? Nah, I’d rather savor the memories of the original and wear a white bikini on some sort of fabulous vacation. I’ll leave the wedding stuff to all of you young chickens!

The most important piece of wedding advice? Marry the right man and everything else is cake (with buttercream frosting).

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