Friday, April 14, 2017

Father Of The Bride Over The Years

I recently read an interview with Kimberly Williams-Paisley about the movie Father of the Bride, which was her big break-out role.  It is the 25th Anniversary of the release of the movie this year, and she was reminiscing about the role, and the challenges, and how much it changed her life.

Reading the article made me want to see the movie again, so I watched it last night.

I knew the movie was going to make me cry at some point, because it always does, and I'm a sentimental person.

What I didn't expect was to be taken back to previous years -- well, decades of enjoying this movie and how many emotions it would stir.

I remember the first time I saw Father Of The Bride because I was on my first ever family cruise to Alaska in 1992 with my parents, older brother and sister, and brother-in-law.  My sister, Tracey had already seen the movie and said it was hilarious, and that Steve Martin's character reminded her a lot of Dad and the process of planning her wedding, which has taken place a few years prior.  I was 8 years old, and too young to understand all of the comedy... but I do remember thinking that Tracey was crazy because our dad was NOTHING like Steve Martin's character in the movie.

Then, eight or nine years later, I was a teenager deep in puppy love with my high school boyfriend and we rented the movie.  We laughed at how my boyfriend could relate to the fiance in the movie and how nervous he was to meet my parents... and I began to see the similarities Tracey was talking about in how Dad might behave when planning a wedding.

Another decade later, I was the bride, so happy and in love and planning a wedding.  I loved watching this movie during that season because it was so funny, and I could understand what my sister (who had now passed away) meant when she said, twenty years ago, that Steve Martin's character reminded her of our dad.  Now, obviously the comedy separates fact from reality, and my Dad is, in my opinion, one of the most reasonable man on the planet... but there are certain traits that he shared with Steve Martin's character when it came to actually giving his two daughters away and hosting two big weddings.

Now, I'm watching the movie as a mother.  I'm watching the movie with two daughters of my own -- two little girls, who adore their Daddy.  I see how much husband adores his two baby girls... and its definitely a different relationship than it is with our son.  He loves our son, and has a special bond with him... but our little girls have him wrapped around their fingers.  What a different perspective to watch this movie as a mother, with my own tiny, baby girl daughters sleeping down the hall.

I watch the scenes where the Dad is trying to save money wherever possible, and I have a new appreciation because I know what its like, as a mother, to live on a budget and how big events, parties, and expenses are hard to swing within the budget.  Then, I see the father realize he wants to make his little girl happy, whatever the cost (within reason), and I remember when my Dad told me he was willing to buy the me the veil I wanted for my wedding.  I was wearing a family wedding dress, so the dress was not a major cost -- alterations, yes, but not like purchasing a brand new gown.  
But my veil was brand new.  
My veil was breath-taking.  
My veil was gorgeous.  
My veil was expensive.  
When my dad said he would buy me that veil and wanted me to feel like the most beautiful bride, I appreciated it then.  But I look back with a deeper appreciation of what he was really giving me, as a father making sacrifices to give his little girl everything possible, and planning a wedding that will take her away.  It is the same in the movie -- the father chooses to give his daughter the most beautiful wedding in his power, because he adores his little girl.

Here are some pictures of my veil before I go on, so you know what I'm talking about...

... So as I project forward -- in another decade-and-a-half, my daughters could potentially be the teenagers in puppy love, laughing at the movie with their boyfriends who were nervous to meet us (the parents).

And then, another decade later, our daughters will be the brides and I will get to watch my own husband as the zany Father Of The Bride, as he copes, in his own way, with letting our baby girls go.

I always knew this movie was special... but I did not know that this movie is applicable repeatedly to multiple generations as they travel through various rites of passage, and the circle of life.

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