Photographic Evidence

by Daisy on October 28, 2010

in Self & Body

When my Mom called to tell me she’d gotten a disc with all 3000 of our wedding photos on them, the stars were either misaligned or I was suffering a serious bout of hormone shifting.

I was incredibly nervous over the photos and before she could say anything, I asked her how I looked. And my MOTHER, my very own Mother, dared to pause momentarily before answering.

So, while I’m sure some very normal reassuring words came out of her mouth moments later, I was too busy convulsing on Chicago mass transit, muttering incoherently about wasted money and looking like a stuffed sausage on my wedding day. I think there might have been tears. Then I did what any logical Shriveled Up Old Bride -No Longer The Pretty Pretty Princess would do, and I begged her to email me a few and prove to me I didn’t resemble Miss Piggy in taffeta casing.

This folks would be what some people call a “fatal mistake.”

Apparently, in my infinite wisdom I underestimated the time, memory, hard drive space, moon dust, unicorn horns and what-have-you involved in sorting through 3000 images and my Mother, hearing the rabid foam coming out of my No Longer A Pretty Pretty Princess Bride mouth, just began sending what she could, piecemeal.

I, of course, deemed every photo she sent The Worst Photo Ever. She didn’t send photos of whole chunks of the evening, which of course meant OH MY GOODNESS, NOT A SINGLE PHOTO OF THAT MOMENT IN TIME TURNED OUT. HELP ME. AM UGLY. UGLY BRIDE. And, between you and me, who wants to be an ugly bride?  Or…a fat bride?  Or, even worse, an ugly fat bride?

My reaction was so…intense…that I’m sure you heard the screeching from Chicago. You probably blamed it on small children hopped up on Halloween candy, or a stray coyote that stubbed his toe.

I came home beyond upset,  storming in the door to discover B opening some delicious red wine and I told him, as I stomped off, that I didn’t really care for the wedding pictures. Which apparently is a syndrome I have been suffering from since the day after the wedding, when people started uploading photos on Facebook and I apparently began muttering “Who puts photos like that on the Internet?! DE-TAAAAG. DE-TAG! DE-TAG!” and generally shlumping around wondering why all my friends were so cruel.

I have since learned that apparently my iPhone screen scrunches photos in a way that makes a lot of high-pixel images look a little wonky on their wee little screens. Huh. Who knew?

I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t panic about flowers or worry about the cake or yell at anyone on the day of the wedding, but I worked myself up into a lather that I didn’t look quite right and that my photos reflected this perverse version of myself.

As it turns out, the day of my wedding, I flitted and laughed and drank champagne and ate two fried oysters and danced with (the photos tell me) my husband and my Grandfather and his Grandfather, and my Dad.  I was twirled by lawyers and fighter pilots and my brother, and I boogied to the ground and back up again.

My bridesmaids zipped my dress and tied their sashes and helped me put my earrings in and applied their lipstick and apparently all let out a sigh of happiness as my veil was nestled into my hair, because you can practically see the happy sigh on film. My cousins made friends with my college friends, and they sipped sweet tea vodka lemonades and mint juleps and somewhere, in the background, a watermelon carved like a tucan made the rounds on the dance floor.

We sang happy birthday with candles in wedding cake to my Maid of Honor, and there was a rousing rendition of Paradise by the Dashboard Light that included every ex-fighter-pilot in attendance playing “baseball” to the words, while B and I held hands and topped each other’s champagne flutes.  We hugged our guests and smiled and I wish someone had told me how pretty my veil was when it was draped over my arm because it was, it was simply gorgeous.

I don’t remember a single moment of it all, but there, in the photos it is, plain as day. Even the ones of me at an odd angle with my mouth wide open and flowers covering half my face. Even those. Because, as it turns out, photos don’t lie even if your memory does.

I didn’t look fat in a single photo.

Daisy is a lawyer married to a lawyer (insert lawyer jokes here) living in a small condo in a big city with a new baby and beagle. She breaks up the legal-speak by blogging about life in Chicago, which is filled with escapades of urban living. In the summer she enjoys patio dining and in the winter wonders what she was thinking when she moved here. You can read more from Daisy on her blog, Just Daisy.

Kim November 17, 2010 at 9:41 am

A very accurate description of all events. Pictures do not lie but they can be distorted by wonky cell phone screens.

Brittany November 17, 2010 at 11:03 am

We all have brief lapses in sanity :) Of course you looked gorgeous. You are a very beautiful woman! I’m a major opponent to unedited “sneak peaks” from well-meaning but too busy photographers. I have known several brides who were brought to tears by a few unedited images sent too soon out of goodwill, who then proceeded to freak out until the edited disc arrived, and then realized with enormous relief that they turned out wonderful after all. Stupid photographers!

Gwen November 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm

When I looked at my own wedding pictures there was one picture where I looked incredibly happy but I hated the picture. It ended up being one of my favourites once I calmed down and looked at it like it was someone else. It always amazes me how hard it is to look at ourselves with the same eyes we look at other people with.

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