It would appear that my father has tipped the wedding scales.
Wait. Let me go back.
Remember back in October when my mother was telling me to call a certain wedding venue? And I put it off. I almost deleted the lady's number from my phone but I didn't. And my mother persisted that we should call the place and go look at it. With our self-imposed wedding deadline of Fall 2011, I started to cave in to the pressure if only to appease my mother and prove that this venue was going to be out of the (questionable) budget. And since Madre was in town this weekend to help Padre move into his new apartment, I scheduled a look-see yesterday afternoon with the family.
It's fucking gorgeous. French-Quartery without being obscenely opulent. A beautiful courtyard centered around a giant old magnolia tree and a great upstairs space overlooking Royal Street. I immediately know that we cannot afford this. I smile and nod and I start to freak out on the inside because I really don't want to go through this shit again. I cannot handle another wedding let down. Just let me accept my frugal lifestyle and walk my ass to the courthouse without getting my hopes up. I managed not to cry and start screaming at anyone (lately, that is a real accomplishment).
Meanwhile, my mother is talking about how perfect it is and my father is doing this thing that he does when his mind is made up but he doesn't want to show his hand. He just chills. After last year's budget meltdowns, my father keeps shrugging non-committally and talking about how all we really need to do now is set a date. The venue's coordinator and my mother are discussing how to decorate the fireplace mantels and where to put the band and all I can think about is who the fuck is paying for this imaginary shindig and where the hell is my stiff drink? If I'd known they were so set on this place I would've put myself out of my misery months ago.
We walk out of this place like it's a done deal. We go back to Padre's apartment and I have three vodka tonics for lunch while we start crunching numbers around the patio table and my parents appear to commit to a wedding that is at least twice as much as my mother even wanted to contemplate a year ago. To paraphrase my father: Let's just get this thing done. But I knew the deal was sealed when my father said to me privately that I should not worry too much about Madre's number crunching.
That's what we were waiting for: Dad. I suspected that his word would be the final word, that he wanted a New Orleans wedding, that he would step in when he liked something enough to say so and make it happen. But then he didn't. After all the drama of the Aborted Wedding Plans, Padre never intervened so I thought then that it was over. That was it. But yesterday he made clear that he wants this wedding at this place and let's just stop stressing out about it already. Just do it.
It took a fucking year of being engaged and I don't know what changed between then and now, but my parents seem to have come around to the truth that I accepted months ago: if you want a wedding in New Orleans you've got to be willing to shell out at least $20,000 or else you might as well elope and save yourself the stress. I'd accepted that I couldn't make that happen (okay...maybe I was still in mourning) but the 'rents must've been working some background negotiations that I was not party to (they do that - they're private folks even with me). Because now we're booking a venue.
All this is to say: THIS WEDDING IS ON.