Well, I finally did it.
It was the world’s longest walk down the aisle. Only a few short yards, and yet it took 50 years. My long journey to the altar had more twists and turns than a Hitchcock movie, more starts and stops than a NASCAR race, and more bumps and bruises than a mixed martial arts match.
That’s what it feels like when you’re single forever: a long, never ending slog, with just enough high hopes and heartbreak to keep things interesting.
But on May 24th 2014, I finally did it. I GOT MARRIED. All said and done, I went from Miss Brandon to Mrs. Scharf in 50 years flat.
Catch your breath everyone, it was record time for this late blooming bride, who all but gave up on marriage after turning 49.
I didn’t walk the aisle alone though– I had a lot of help getting there. From friends who kept me strong, to family who never gave up, to celebrity designer Bob Mackie, who designed my dress three decades earlier, it was a team effort.
Looking back on that day, I can truly say it took a village to get me married!
The gratitude starts with my stepmother, Suzanne Charny, and her incredible wedding gown she passed down to me. It’s an original, one-of-a-kind Bob Mackie, designed for her first wedding about 35 years ago.
(She’s now on husband #3, my father!)
Suzanne was smart enough to keep the dress preserved all these years, and I was lucky enough to be able to wear it.
For my wedding, I was given something new, something borrowed, and something blue. This dress was my “something old”– and by old I mean take-your-breath-away vintage and precious.
Suzanne Charny, if you don’t know, is a TV and film actress and dancer, best known for her role as the lead dancer in the movie “Sweet Charity.” You can’t miss her. She’s the Bob Fosse babe with the swinging ponytail and legs for days http://youtu.be/rw_M-ai1I0k.
Anyway, back in the 70s, when Bob Mackie was designing all of Cher’s sexy, fabulous costumes, he took some time off to help Suzanne create the wedding dress of her dreams. Together, they sketched and they stitched, using fabric from Paris, and hand beading courtesy of the wardrobe department at NBC.
It was the first dress I tried on when I got engaged. Even though it was slightly tight around the back, but I knew it was the one. Just to be sure though, I tried on 27 more gowns, but no other came close.
So thank you, Stepmother. I hope I did you and Bob Mackie justice!
It’s been a few years since the big day, but I will always remember my awesome wedding pit crew:
Alterations expert and tailor to the stars, Mario Gonzalas www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/moviesnow/la-et-mn-ca-tailor-to-the-stars-20140223-story.html#page=1. You put up with me for like, 472 fittings and never lost your patience. I just can’t thank you enough for your time, generosity, and above all, your incredible artistry. You made that dress totally mine.
Mike Messex http://www.messexindustries.com, the genius graphic designer who brought our Save-The-Date, wedding invitation, and party favor shot glasses to life. He knows me, gets me, and puts up with me because I’m the bride goddamn it!! Thanks Mike!
To my friends and classmates, all Beverly Hills High School alums, who came through in the clutch:
Make-up artist extraordinaire Jeanine Kabrins Canter
www.facebook.com/pages/jeanine-Canter-Make…/193329035942. Wow, holy shit, and thank you! You made me look like a beauty pageant queen! Your countless touch-ups throughout the night drove me crazy, but that’s how you roll. You’re a true artist who loves her work!
Photographer Alex Berliner http://gaia.abimages.com/. Thank you for capturing every nuance and moment. From under the chuppa, to the Soul Train line dance, you were everywhere you sneaky little bastard! I’m surprised you didn’t catch me on the toilet. Or did you?
Videographer Adam Ritz antishadow.com. I’m not sure who had more fun at my wedding, you or me. I love a vendor who not only has creativity and vision, but enjoys the job too! Looking forward to doing more tequila shots with you soon, Adam! Bottoms up!
A special thank you goes to Cantor Gary Shapiro http://youtu.be/o-ZhVpbW5Uk, who just passed away this week. He was a man of faith AND a stand-up comedian, all at the same time. His heartfelt ceremony was touching, personal, and fall off your chair funny. If you weren’t laughing, you were crying; if you weren’t crying, you were cringing as he recounted stories of me as a young virgin.
I will never forget you, Gary. Sending you a big kiss and bong hit in heaven.
And finally to my husband Robby Scharf, for waiting 50 years for me at the end of the aisle, I thank you and I love you.
I Do, I Do, I Do!
Treva Brandon Scharf is a writer, coach, and dating expert. With over 35 years in the fitness industry, and 50 years in the singles world, Treva helps clients achieve peak performance in both life and love.
As a first-time bride at 50, Treva writes about dating and finding love later in life at her blog, The Late Blooming Bride www.thelatebloomingbride.com. She’s also a dating and fitness contributor at Huffington Post, LA Progressive, Midlife Boulevard, Curves Connect, and BetterAfter50.