"Please don't make me wear pink. Whatever you do, no pink!"
"Don't listen to her. Pink is very in right now. Carrie Underwood did pink. Hilary Duff did pink as an accent. There's nothing wrong with pink."
"Ugh, but it's pink! No self-respecting bridesmaid wants to wear pink. Who cares what those girls did anyway."
"I would wear pink."
"Of course you would."
"Fine then, what color would you wear?"
"Any color but pink!"
I listened to Taylor and Véro discuss—more like argue back and forth over—potential color schemes for the wedding. My wedding. Which I hadn't even decided on colors or themes or anything for yet. I let them continue to hash it out between themselves as I thumbed through one of the many bridal magazines V had brought over. It was actually kind of funny to witness.
"Taylor, you're being impossible. If Noelle wants you to wear pink, then it's your duty to suck it up and wear the damn dress!"
"But I'm not the only one here who is not going to like it. I know I'm not. Do you think any of the groomsmen will want to wear pink cummerbunds or vests? Um, definitely not. Guys hate pink."
"Marc looks good in pink. He would wear it. Hell, any of the guys would. They don't get a say in what they wear—they don't care anyway. They'll put on whatever you give them and deal with it."
"Ugh, V, you're saying this all just because you want to wear pink. Not your wedding. Not your decision."
Véro narrowed her eyes. "Not your decision, either, Taylor."
"Right," I interjected, finally speaking up. "It's neither of your decisions." I focused my attention back to the glossy pictures in front of me.
"So, what color then? Or colors?" Taylor asked politely. She probably just wanted to know if I was actually going to choose pink or not.
"Honestly, girls, I don't know. I look at this stuff in here," I explained, holding up the magazine, "and it all looks really nice. Like, if I went to a wedding like this, I would like it and compliment it. But none of it feels right for me."
"Well, what do you want?" Véro questioned. "What kind of feel? That could help us. You're getting married in the summer, so do you want a summery feel? You could do yellow, maybe a light green or blue?"
I sighed. "I don't know. I don't think I want something beachy. Maybe something more formal? Sophisticated. Not black tie, but simple and elegant."
At that moment, Sidney descended the stairs into the living room on his way from the bedroom to the kitchen. He nodded to the girls and greeted them with a very quiet "hey," not wanting to disturb our meeting of the minds. However, Véro was quick to suck him into it. "Sid, tell us, what kind of wedding do you want? Any color ideas?"
It was funny to see his reaction: first his face flushed, and then it turned pink. He shook his head and tried to escape into the kitchen. "No, uh uh, I'm not getting involved in this."
Taylor and Véro ridiculed and mocked him, telling him to get his ass back in the living room so he could contribute, since it was his wedding too. I just laughed. "Are you kidding? He thinks all I need to do is buy a dress, a bouquet, and get a caterer."
"What? Really?" V gasped. Even Taylor looked surprised at his naïveté, and she was a self-described ultimate tomboy. "Oh my God, Sid, get in here. We need to set you straight."
"You probably don't want to do that," I told her. "Ignorance is bliss, right? Let's not ruin this for him."
I don't think Véro understood how anyone could not be interested in a wedding, especially if it were their own. She called for Sid again, and he reluctantly returned to the living room with a fresh sandwich in hand. He sat next to me on the couch. "Now, Sid, surely you have an opinion. It's your wedding day, too, after all. We need a color scheme."
He smiled with a very mischievous look in his hazel eyes. I knew that he wasn't very interested in any of this stuff, so he was going to start some trouble. "Black and Vegas gold?"
All three of us girls groaned at his very uncreative answer. V wasn't shy about clearly nixing the idea. "No way in hell are we doing Penguins' colors. That is so tacky!"
He laughed and shrugged. "Well, that was my idea."
I began to think aloud. "Well, maybe black would work. That's formal, right? And it's flattering, so it would look good on all the girls, right?" Véro nodded. "Would you wear black, Taylor?"
"Yeah, I would. I mean, a nice black dress. No ruffles or any shit like that."
"Taylor," Sidney reprimanded between bites of his lunch, giving her a scornful look. "Language."
She rolled her eyes but otherwise ignored his comment. I kept talking. "No ruffles. It's summer, so like, short dresses? Knee-length, maybe?" I cocked my head to the side and looked at more pictures in front of me. "Or will that be too plain?"
"You can get dresses with a sash or something, to add some color," V suggested. Then she looked at Taylor and shared a look between them. They said at the same time, "Pink," and launched into a giggle fest.
Sid glanced at me, totally confused. I laughed and shook my head. "Don't ask." Flipping through some more pages, I rambled on. "Well, maybe some weekend I can get everyone in the bridal party together, and we can go try on dresses and pick something out."
"As long as it's before school starts," Taylor said. "Most of my games are on the weekends."
"Okay, so we'll make sure it's before training camp." I groaned. "Damn, that's, like, in the next month." I couldn't believe how difficult this was going to be to plan. Once the season started—even before the preseason, when people started to move back to Pittsburgh in order to get ready for camp—it was going to be next to impossible to get everyone together. "Maybe it'll wait 'til around Christmas, when you have a break from school, Tay. You're supposed to order dresses six months in advance, so we'll still have enough time."
"When are you going to try on dresses, Noelle?" Véro asked me, getting excited. "That's, like, one of the very first things I think you should do."
"Well, I guess I should start looking whenever I get back to Pittsburgh. You know, so I have enough time to find something I want. I looked through these magazines, and I'm not sure what I like."
She explained, "Oh, don't go by the pictures. You never know if a dress is going to look good on you until you try it on. We'll go once Marc and I get back into Pittsburgh. We'll invite your mom, and maybe even Trina will want to come down, you think, Sid?" She didn't wait for him to answer. "And bring Eva, too. We'll hit up some of the boutiques and see what we can find. Picking a dress is the most important part!"
I shook my head. "Most important, right now anyway, is picking a venue. We need to find some place to hold the ceremony and then the reception, so we can get everything ordered. Flowers. Photographer. Caterer. Cake. Limos. Save-the-dates and invitations."
V tried to correct me. "You need a date first."
"No, I think we need to find out what's available and when, and then we'll pick a date from there. A year away, we'll be lucky to find something. I should make a list." I reached for paper and a pen. "Where are some good places in the city?"
"Roethlisberger had his reception at The Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center," she suggested.
"That's a big venue. I don't think we need nearly that much space."
Sid offered some recommendations of his own. "There's Heinz Hall. Phipps Conservatory." I wrote both of those down. "I think I went to something at the Warhol Museum. We could always try there. And the Carnegie Museums, too. That's where we've had the Skates and Plates before."
I wrote everything down and flopped down on the couch. "There's so much to do. Is it supposed to feel this overwhelming?"
He put a hand on my leg. "You know, we can hire a wedding planner, and they can worry about all this. It's only gonna get more stressful once the season starts. Things'll pick up for you in the front office, I'll be traveling."
"But I want to plan it. It's my wedding, I mean, it's important to me. I just, you know, I didn't realize everything that goes into a wedding 'til now, when it's time to actually do it."
"I'll be there to help, if you need it," V said encouragingly and eagerly.
Taylor chipped in, "I don't know how much I can do, but if you need anything, you can call me."
Sid laughed. "Don't look at me. I'll get a tux, but I don't know what else I can do. Oh! I'll taste test."
I looked at him, his full, pink lips curled in a perfectly crooked smile. The stress of the wedding was going to be worth it in the end, because I was going to be married to the man I loved. The wedding was just a detail.
The next day, Sid drove me to the airport between his two-a-day workouts. It was the last visit that I was going to have made that summer to Nova Scotia, because he was going to relocate to Pittsburgh by the end of August to prep for the season. I made several appointments for wedding-related activities in the two weeks between when Sidney would join me in Pittsburgh and when training camp would be in full swing, so we could check out locations, pick a bakery to get our cake, and sample dinners for our reception menu. It was the most fun we had planning our wedding.
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