June 20, 2010 2:30:00 AM
Well, Beyonce said it best. "If you like it then you should put a ring on it." So, I found myself doing what most "bffs" with innate fashion sensibility do ... helping Ashley find the way through the oftentimes confusing maze of planning a wedding.
It began a few years ago when, just back from a romantic whirlwind trip around the world -- France, Italy, Spain -- the blushing fiancé, all giddy with love, tells me of the proposal. From what I hear the Eifel Tower sparkling with white lights in the night, seven dozen stargazer lilies and a French violinist serenading in the background can leave a person speechless, except for the obvious "yes."
I was and still am completely thrilled for my best friend because, to be perfectly honest, I never thought I would see this day. Yet, here it was and here we go to the bridal registry at Saks, a lovely little florist in Natchez (Do you know how hard it is to find hundreds of fresh stargazer lilies in December?), the bakery, the party planner, the printer ... and then there was the attire.
Since Ashley had been dreaming of this day from childhood, it was a carefully thought-out affair. "The tuxedos will be sterling silver complete with top hats and tails to appear just like in those old black and white movies, and the bridesmaids and flower girls will float down the aisle in blush just like Shelby''s wedding in ''Steel Magnolias''." Ashley had thought this one through.
One for the books
Everything had to be overdone and over-the-top, and why am I surprised? This is my friend, after all. There were ice sculptures of swans, Swarovski chandeliers (I believe there were 12), silver icicles dripping from crystal vases of vibrant pink Stargazer lilies at every step, the soloist a Grammy award-winning songstress belting out Ella Fitzgerald love songs -- and seven convertible Bentleys parked outside the chapel to whisk the wedding party away to the reception.
It was like nothing I had ever imagined on earth or in heaven, and no one could have been more ecstatic for the lovely couple than me. It''s been two years since walking alongside Ashley, nervous and giddy in love, as the wedding of a lifetime was orchestrated. So much has changed, but the love, commitment and magic of this lovely couple transcends all other love stories before it.
But I must back up to the most stylish part of the story, the hair right? Well, Ashley and I went back and forth between wearing the bangs down with an elegant (think "Gone with the Wind") side part, or a more Hollywood glamour vibe with all the hair off the face to reveal that glowing smile that Ashley just could not hide. In the end, I won and even Scarlett O''Hara would have been pea green with envy!
There is talk of weddings all around me this year. My stunning niece just got the surprising news that she will be a mother in eight months. Although you and I might have grown up to the old playground rhyme, "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Courtney with a baby carriage," my Courtney is a strong, confident woman who is talking about marriage one day.
Then there is my friend, the Columbus interior designer that I nicknamed "Buttercup," who texted me last week with the news that her boyfriend of five years proposed, and she has a wedding of epic proportions to design divinely. God love a diva!
Oh, and by the way, my parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this July. As the old Johnny Cash song goes, they "got married in a fever" at the justice of the peace 50 years ago, and we will all be present as they renew their vows at the ripe old age of 70 and 71.
Going to the chapel is a charming dream come true for so many ... Mama and Daddy, Courtney one day, Buttercup, and even my two gay friends Ashley and Kevin. May they all live happily ever after!
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at [email protected]