Growing up, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women was my favorite novel. I must have read it dozens of time. I started out on Team Laurie. Clearly, Jo should’ve ended up with the impulsive, funny, adorable-as-played-by-Christian-Bale Laurie. As I got older, I found myself completely falling in love with Professor Bhaer. He was smart, sensitive, and most of all, knew exactly what Jo needed–and what she didn’t need.
Anyway, there are a lot of weddings in Little Women, but I think Meg’s wedding is my favorite. Meg marries Laurie’s tutor, and he’s a good man, but a poor one. And you remember Aunt March, right? Ancient, crochety, and ridiculously settled in her aristocratic ways. So, of course, when Aunt March shows up at Meg’s wedding, she’s determined to put the bride in her proper place, but Meg will have none of it. Meg handles her wedding day with grace and ease, and I hope to handle this whole process much like she does (as I am definitely more of a Jo).
Meet Meg, on her wedding day:
“Meg looked very like a rose herself, for all that was best and sweetest in heart and soul seemed to bloom into her face that day, making it fair and tender, with a charm more beautiful than beauty. Neither silk, lace, nor orange flowers would she have. ‘I don’t want a fashionable wedding, but only those about me whom I love, and to them I wish to look and be my familiar self.’ So she made her wedding gown herself, sewing into it the tender hopes and innocent romances of a girlish heart. Her sisters braided up her pretty hair, and the only ornaments she wore were the lilies of the valley, which `her John’ liked best of all the flowers that grew.
‘You do look just like our own dear Meg, only so very sweet and lovely that I should hug you if it wouldn’t crumple your dress,’ cried Amy, surveying her with delight when all was done.
‘Then I am satisfied. But please hug and kiss me, everyone, and don’t mind my dress. I want a great many crumples of this sort put into it today.’ And Meg opened her arms to her sisters, who clung about her with April faces for a minute, feeling new love had not changed the old.
There were to be no ceremonious performances, everything was to be as natural and homelike as possible, so when Aunt March arrived, she was scandalized to see the bride come running to welcome and lead her in, to find the bridegroom fastening up a garland that had fallen down, and to catch a glimpse of the paternal minister marching up the stairs with a grave countenance and a wine bottle under each arm.
‘Upon my word, here’s a state of things!’ cried the old lady, taking the seat of honor prepared for her, and settling the folds of her lavender moire with a great rustle. ‘You oughtn’t to be seen until the last minute, child.’
‘I’m not a show, Aunty, and no one is coming to stare at me, to criticize my dress, or count the cost of my luncheon. I’m too happy to care what anyone says or things, and I’m going to have my little wedding just as I like it.'”
There are just so many things about this instance that I love, and that I would do well to remember.