Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Finding a wedding treasure

THURSDAY, January 6 – Sometimes you’re actually searching for something, but more often these things appear an accidental discovery. Like the way sudden reminders of Jenn present themselves: brief but tangible memories that suddenly come to mind.

The most recent link with our past must have been lying hidden for over thirteen years: a folded piece of paper in a drawer of the hall table.  It was Jenn’s hand-written list of all our wedding expenses.

Dress material  $454.28

Appliqué?  $17.30   (No idea what this is, too lazy to check it out)

Shoes  $89.95

Bra  $26.00  (Can’t remember what it looked like)

Chapel fee $500  (Without air-conditioning.  Catholic cheapskates)

Deposit Cranbury Inn  $100  (Country inn, opposite a small but picturesque church. A different religion, but we inquired if Catholic services could be held there. Soon learned it was a stupid question)

Pattern  $5.47

Plane ticket  NL  $316 (My mom made Jenn’s wedding dress, and at one point there was a fitting)

H’s ticket  $420  (My Best Man, who in my view shouldn’t have to pay for his own ticket.)

Engagement ring  $404 (Bought earlier that year, a green ruby, if I remember correctly)

Deposit  wildflowers $100

Photography $400  (for the formal photos:  with parents, parents-in-law, without them, with brothers, with and without partners, this still irks me)

Plane tickets Mom/Jaap  $1107.90

Fedex dress to Steph  $20

Pre-Cana  $40 (obligatory one-day bullshit-Catholic course, that brought us up to speed on marriage. Felt like a rebellious adolescent being dragged into church by his parents)

Cameras  $49.95 (disposable gadgets on the tables during the reception good for some hilarious photos)

Invitations  $155.62

Postage  $75.25 (Stamped reply envelopes.  The Americans complied. Most of the Dutch didn’t bother.)

Hat form  $12

Dress bag  $12  (I think it’s still hanging in a closet at her parents’ house)

Rings  $519.60 (from Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue!)

Stockings  $4.28

Bracelets  $62.95

Balance of wild flowers   $403.50

Cufflinks  $26.90 (Don’t know what happened to them)

Underwear  $10 (I do remember this especially when she took it off)

Carol and Jay Smit  $200 (Sang at the service, including a harrowing version of ‘Ave Maria’)

Bracelet  $48.66

Make-up  $156.96  (Why the fuck so much of it? She was wearing an unnatural amount of make-up that day.  I wisely held my tongue.  All I said was that she looked beautiful.)

Dance lessons  $220  (Tango, goddamn it!  Went hopelessly wrong. We had to start all over again because the live band played much slower than the record we practiced to.)

Paper for programs  $10.95

Printing of programs  $25 (Yep, real do-it-selvers)

Film  $59.04  (The results with the disposable cameras were priceless, including a photo of one couple which made it look as if she was rooting around in his pants.)

Cranbury Inn balance  $5343  (food, drinks, open bar, maybe the bar was the part I enjoyed most)

2nd pair of stockings  $5.50

Steph’s shoes / Kathy’s stockings  $7.50 (A bargain, and Jenn got a real kick out of rummaging around in shady shoe shops.)

Photo album for reprints  $13.73

Rehearsal dinner  $70.75  (Actually the parents of the groom are supposed to pay for this, just as the parents of the bride tend to take care of the dinner on the day itself.)

Beer $20 (The pizza place didn’t have a liquor license, so we had to bring our own alcohol.  Liquor, and lots of it, was the message.)

Wedding night Bed & Breakfast  $90.10  (Was it spectacular sex? Nah, we were dead tired.)

Tim’s night at the Hyatt  $254  (Night before was spent elsewhere, and we didn’t see each other until we got to the church.)

Cufflinks for guys  $20

Lunch for guys  $70

Breakfast for friends  $30

Rental car $250 (Which I smashed into a truck in the Lincoln Tunnel on the way to the ‘rehearsal’. The truck was undamaged, but the hood of the rental car telescoped: instant line of traffic in Manhattan.  It took a while before I could see the humor.)

Dinner for Mam and the Nolans on Thursday  $90

Hairdo Jenn $30

Manicure/Eyebrows  $23

Donation for Father Jack  $200  (The priest had to give up watching the last day of the US Open tennis to perform the ceremony, and we sent a check to a project of his in Guatemala)

Developing film   $32.45

This came to a total of $ 13,349.06:  all things considered, quite reasonable. Jenn and I paid for the entire wedding ourselves and we didn’t have to go into debt to swing it. Which made us feel pretty damn good!

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