A Washingtonian Wedding: From Movie Reel to Reality

Emily takes a seat in Carrie Bradshaw’s chair and reflects on love on the big screen . . . and in real life.

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I’m feeling very Carrie right now—Carrie Bradshaw, that is. I just came back to my apartment after seeing Sex and the City: The Movie. I’m sure many girls like to imagine the same thing, but listen to the parallels. For instance, my heels: steep, silver, and hot—though they’re Nine West, not Manolo Blahnik. Carrie types away on her Mac laptop writing about her wedding, as I’m doing on mine—though she stares out from her brownstone’s window out onto NYC; my window yields a picture of Arlington. That’s where the similarities begin and end, but here I am, so I’ll imagine I’m as fabulous as Carrie and writing about love in New York.

Girls adore the idea of l’amour. Tomboy or not, the idea of being swept off your feet is a pretty sweet thought. Growing up, we wondered who would be the Prince Charming to our Cinderella, the Darcy to our Elizabeth Bennett (or Bridget Jones). In groups of girls, we flocked to the movie theater to see Titanic numerous times, but also Runaway Bride, Serendipity, Love Actually, and all the Disney princess movies. And deep in our hearts, we’d get this feeling—a fierce longing for a romantic love like the one we saw depicted.

This I remember distinctly: sitting in the theater with my mom, watching Pride and Prejudice, and just crying. When she asked what was the matter, I couldn’t even say, but I think the tears welled from wanting that authentic love, wanting to know the man I was meant to be with. And I totally think art has a way of stirring you, revealing feelings you didn’t know you had and causing you to face them. Some would argue that the movies I’ve listed couldn’t be considered art, but the effect remains the same.

Those romantic comedies are different now. I still definitely enjoy seeing them and even rewatching them on lazy work nights or weekends (I just watched The Wedding Date for like the thousandth time a few weeks ago), but I see them from a different vantage point. It’s funny. Ever since I started liking boys—not hating their guts, somewhere between fifth and sixth grade—I’ve watched those movies with pretty much the same perspective, a kind of waiting-for-my-own-man perspective. Now I know the man that I’m going to be with, so those previous heart pangs have vanished. That pre-Drew desire has been filled by this deeper gratitude for being given him. And it’s like my Disney fairy tale is about to wrap up because those movies used to always end with a marriage, but this is even better than the fairy tale because it’s real and will continue on past our actual wedding.

I hope I’m not sounding smug writing this because really I’m just so thankful for Drew, and I’m just so hopeful for my friends and those girls out there who cry in those movies because they want that, too. My advice: Have faith and don’t settle. And if you haven’t seen Sex and the City, see it, if only for Carrie’s wedding-dress Vogue shoot (also in the actual June issue of Vogue).


Emily, a Washington bride-to-be, writes every Friday about planning her wedding, which will be in Nashville this fall. To follow her adventures from the beginning, click here.

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