My oldest daughter and her boyfriend came by not long ago and happily announced that they were engaged to be married.
   "That's wonderful news!!!" cried my wife, hugging them both. "Let's start planning the wedding!!"
   "And let's not forget," I added, after I gave them the compulsory hugs, "you never wanted a big wedding."
My daughter, her smile as wide as a $2000 wedding cake, gave me a pat on the back. "Uh, I think I'm kind of changing my mind."
   Uh, oh. Right before my eyes, Bridezilla was being born.
   "What about eloping?" I asked, sensing bankruptcy.
   "You always said you hated being the center of attention and would rather just elope."
   "I'm over it," she replied, looking at her mother, who was nodding happily. "Besides, I couldn't deny Mom her big day."
    It was clear I was sunk, but I wasn't going down easily. The talk moved towards the possibility of a destination wedding, which was all the rage. We had been to one in Cabo San Lucas recently. The good news is that it would cut down on attendees, and therefore the cost to me, if chosen correctly.
   "How about Zimbabwe?" I suggested, as everyone ignored me. "Or Iraq? That could work."
   Apparently, Tahoe, Santa Barbara and Carmel were better ideas, and all made the final cut. My last gasp suggestion of Botswana fell on deaf ears.
    "Those are terrible venues," I cried. "Everyone will want to go to those places. It will cost a fortune!!!"
I sensed disaster. Both Bridezilla and the Merry Groom had tons of friends. They once threatened to have a "friend-off" to see who had more. The wedding was shaping up to be the ultimate test. And then add our large families, and some of our friends, and……ouch.
My wife, as she often does, was ignoring my whining. "First of all," she said excitedly, "we'll have to hire a wedding planner."
    "NOOOOOOO!!!!!" I cried. "We don't need a wedding planner!!!. We have you, we have me, we have lots of people who can plan a party. IT'S NOT THAT HARD!!!!"
    "You have no clue," she replied, already making a list of things to do.
    I went over to a corner and slumped into a sad little ball. "We own a restaurant," I whimpered. "We could have the reception at our restaurant."
    That was met with some hearty guffaws.
Clearly, I was not going to be part of the planning process. I was the Father of the Bride, and I had only two duties: Walk my beautiful daughter down the aisle and pay up.
    Within weeks, Bridezilla and her Wedding Team had chosen a date (August 13th), hired the evil wedding planner, picked a venue (Carmel), contracted for a wedding dress (yes, it has to be made), put together a guest list (if you're not invited, don't blame me), hired a band (DJ's apparently aren't cool anymore) and began looking into bus rentals to drive guests from the reception back to their hotels.
    "BUSSES??!!" I screamed when I overheard the conversation the other night when my daughter was over for more planning. "What happened to designated drivers? Anyone ever heard of Uber?"
    In case I hadn't mentioned this, I was long past the point of being relevant. I went back to watching the Warriors, where I belonged. My only request was that they not tell me what everything cost.
   I held out for awhile, but eventually I decided I wanted to know. I was a big boy. I could handle it.
"FOR A ONE DAY PARTY?????" I bellowed when told the cumulative cost. "THAT'S INSANE!!!!"
    "That's what weddings cost," my wife replied calmly. "We're lucky enough that we can afford it."
    Yes, we are indeed lucky. It will be a beautiful, memorable day. And I'm secretly delighted and proud to pay for a celebration of two wonderful people who make a wonderful couple.
    I just hope no one minds when I leave the reception early. Someone's got to drive the bus.




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