Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Growing out of 'Father of the Bride'

I've always been obsessed with wedding movies, and once I got engaged, I moved the 1991 version of "Father of the Bride" (starring Steve Martin and Diane Keaton) to the top of my Netflix queue though I've seen it plenty. It's one of the first DVDs my family bought, and I'd watch it practically every time I was home from college in Chico or work in Arizona.

I persuaded Greg to watch it with me last night, and as I heard his questions about only brides' families paying, Annie Banks' dress with sleeves down to her wrists, the seemingly short five-month engagement and crazy Franck the wedding coordinator (played by Martin Short, and my fave character), I realized I'd grown out of the magic that the movie once sparked.

I got slightly irritated when Annie and her mother wouldn't even think of considering George's idea of holding the reception at a restaurant (though I wouldn't be thrilled with the Steak Pit, either, personally). The formal church wedding decorated with lush florals and candelabras stirred up only thoughts of how much the florist bill would be (lots) and if it was sustainable to cut all that greenery for only minutes of display (not in my mind). Greg even paused the movie to ask me if $1,200 was really what a wedding cake costs and I said, "Yeah, it happens, but probably not with us."

I got a little sadder as I repeated this to other questions. This movie used to be my wedding bible, a little girl's fantasy of a time when we didn't know what $250 a head meant. The power of this film permeated my subconscious: I realize now that my dream home in a San Francisco neighborhood close to where my parents live now is almost a twin of the home in Pasadena where the movie was filmed.

The home in the movie (source) and my dream mansion (screenshot from Google Maps)

While I'm not disappointed in leaving the traditional, formal, dated wedding vision behind, it's really hitting me that our wedding is going to be a big deal — a very personalized expression of our love for each other and our families — something that'll stick with us forever. This is a great revelation to have so early in the planning process so as to not lose perspective.

As with planning a wedding (and a marriage), you can't lose sight of what's important. Sure, this movie was full of sparkles, spending and swans, but what I'll really treasure it as is something that brought my family together, repeating our favorite George and Franck lines and constantly rewinding the supermarket hot dog scene. :)

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite movies - even Dad loves the hot dog scene. What's this about only brides family paying? OMG, I didn't realize how similar the two houses look? Would you believe we bought you that house for your wedding present? Just kidding...When I read the ending I just wanted to run 3000 miles and hug you. I know you and Greg will be very happy together.