Thursday, February 21, 2008

Boobs, Booze and Bullshit: The Wedding Dress Bacchanal

I’ve written often about my group of friends that refer to ourselves as BB&B (Boobs, Booze and Bullshit). We get together for dinner once a month, go to the lake every summer, and then every winter spend a weekend together doing something wonderful. Last weekend was that weekend.

What do you do with your wedding dress once you’ve worn it? You looked high and low to find the perfect dress. You look amazing in it. You spent a small fortune on it – and then you wore it once, just once. Chances are nobody’s going to wear it again – very very few daughters or daughters-in-law want to wear somebody else’s wedding dress. They want their own dream dress just as much as we did. Mom used hers to make the ring bearer’s pillow for my wedding and another for Jonas and Shaina’s wedding.

We started planning this one a year and a half ago. Mary Beth was the last of us to get married – so once she was married we all had wedding dresses. She’d been looking for “the dress” for a while when we all started talking about what we did with our dresses after our weddings. Some were lovingly cleaned and preserved, some weren’t. Mine was wadded up in a laundry basket somewhere in the basement. Michelle’s had spent the last year riding around in the trunk of her car. Some of us had no idea where the hell it was.

Remember the episode of “Friends” were Monica, Rachel and Phoebe all have on wedding dresses and take turns tossing a bouquet to one another while drinking beer in Monica’s apartment? We did too. It came up during this conversation. Finally we decided we should wear them again. But just wearing them wasn’t good enough. We were going to wear them OUT – all over St. Louis.

The Riverfront Times wrote a blurb about our evening out the Wednesday before our weekend. My interview with the reporter was about 45 minutes long, so she wasn’t able to use a lot of what we talked about – it was pretty cool anyway: (scroll down to WED DREAM).

We all got together Friday night at Shayla’s new condo and did our usual drinking, laughing, acting stupid Friday night activities. Saturday morning we headed to Go!Spa to pamper ourselves before the big night with massages, manicures and pedicures. Then back to Shayla’s place to get ready. Eight women showering, doing hair and makeup, and putting on wedding dresses with just one functioning bathroom was quite a challenge. But we did it and were only 30 minutes behind schedule. Keep in mind that getting into a wedding dress isn’t easy. At least two of us had to be completely laced up!

The limo (Mom paid for a limo for us for the day – THANKS MOM! – as a “thank you” to the BB&B girls for last winter) arrived at 3. And at 3:30 eight women in wedding dresses, and one really hot guy with a camera – we looked pretty damned good I must say – piled in and toasted the day with champagne.

Jill’s brother-in-law, Shea Behymer, joined us as our official photographer. We started at Tower Grove Park and took a few pictures on the rocks. Saw a wedding party that looked at us like we were nuts. The guys thought we were a riot – the bride… not so much. Whatever. After that we headed to the arch for a few pics there and in front of the old courthouse. Our final photo shoot was in front of Busch Stadium. We’d planned on taking more posed pics (Keiner Plaza and Forest Park) – but it was cold and we were ready to get our drink on.
From the stadium we headed to Broadway Oyster Bar. Had a blast. We danced, we drank, we took over the place. Grant Wistrom, formerly of the St Louis Rams and originally from Joplin, was there – so we had our picture taken with him. (I drunkenly proclaimed him hotter than when I met Kyle Turley, and he heard me - so that was embarrassing...) Beatle Bob (a St Louis legend) was also there – so we had our picture taken with him and the owner of Broadway Oyster Bar. The owner bought us a couple of rounds, which was very sweet of him.
From there we walked up to block to BB’s Jazz Blues and Soup for dinner. While we were there, Shaina took the stage to tell the whole place about BB&B and how she loves and appreciates us (we’d been drinking for a while at this point, so we all had the “I love you”s).

After dinner, we piled back into the limo and headed to Bailey’s Chocolate Bar. They don’t take reservations, but if you have a party of 10 or more you can call ahead and they’ll accommodate you. Or so they claim. I called ahead and the woman that answered that we’d be there in 30 – 45 minutes. We arrived and were told that we’d have a two hour wait. I told her that I’d called ahead and been assured we’d have a place to sit. She didn’t care and was rude on top of that. I’d only been there once before and loved it. Won’t be back – BITE ME, BAILEY'S CHOCOLATE BAR.

So anyway… we rerouted ourselves and headed to The Great Grizzly Bear. Where we danced, we drank, we took more pictures. We ended our evening at The French Quarter, near Shayla’s place to wrap the night up. As we walked in, a guy up front said, “Hey! I just read about you girls in the Riverfront Times!” Two or three other people earlier in the night mentioned the article – we’re famous now, ya know.

It didn’t take long for us all to pass out after we got home at midnight. It’d been a long day – and most of us were pretty drunk. As far as I know there weren’t any painful hangovers the next day – just a lot of sore ribs and backs. I now remember why I stood through most of my wedding day. Wedding dresses are made for looks – not for comfort.

Shea took almost 300 pictures of us and they’re hilarious. The posed pics are pretty cool – but it’s all the candid pics of the party in the limo and the dancing and everything else that I love. And frankly - I'm not about to share most of them with the general public!

We keep trying to top ourselves – but I just don’t know how we’re going to top this one! I LOVE YOU GIRLS!