Wednesday, July 13, 2011

for the record, there will be no elephants

A little while back, I compared wedding planning to the third circle of Dante's hell. That was a little dramatic. And a little premature.

I actually LOVE thinking up creative ways to make things/make things look pretty; which is essentially what wedding planning is--finding the best way that you can afford to make the show of you and your love promising to love each other forever, in front of God and everybody, be a nice experience.

What I do NOT enjoy is calling fiftymagillion people to get the best deal on xyz tiny portion of the festivities, then meeting with another eleventyhundred people to think about what you want. THEN you have to figure out how to let the not-quite-as-good vendors down easy after you find one you like best. Then you MUST have everything picked out and ready to go WAY BEFOREHAND when there's all this time that you might find a much-better idea. Oh and all the while you have to figure out how the eff to PAY for it all. A little background:

a) I don't like shopping: I mean for myself, when I need something (ugh, it seems wedding shoes I'd like do not exist). However, when cc needs a birthday gift for her aunt/blazer for work/new boots I will happily skip along to 20 stores hold up hundreds of items for her perusal. And enjoy it.

b) I am a perfectionist procastinator: If I leave it until the last minute, then I have an automatic reason for why it's not the bestest ever.

c) I cannot function without a deadline. If I have an open-ended date to finish something, it won't happen. The tweaking never stops.

d) I cannot have too many choices: I read somewhere (probably WIRED) that if human beings have something more than a few options, they will have a really hard time choosing, if at all. The Internet makes this almost always the case.

e) Because of that last one, I am a HORRIBLE decider.

That all said, when I've completely made up my mind, then it really is made up. Case in point: the groom.

I never was the type of person to sit around as a little kid and dream about why my wedding would be like. Instead, I spent time thinking about what cool way The One was going to propose to me. I always knew two things: 1) I didn't want to wear a gown like most everyone else's and 2) I wanted to get married outside. In fact, I told my mother those things before I was in junior high and now it's happening.

The thing I was looking forward to was invitations. We designed them ourselves, and I hand-calligraphed each one. Also, I was super annoying about trying to get names and addresses right because in another lifetime it was my job to make sure the nittygritties were correct. People who know me in real life are sometimes scared to email for fear that I'm going to point out some mistake. Pshaw, what they don't know is that I make more than plenty myself. For example, forgetting to put the date on a portion of the invitation. The badump-chhhh is that, while cc saved my butt reminding me to put the date on it before sending it to the printer, she unfortunately had to break it to me that when I'd added it, I had put on the WRONG date. After they all hit the mailboxes. So now I have to call up a bunch of people and say that yes, I know Thursday is not the 16th, it's on THURSDAY, not on the16th (which is a Friday).

It was during the madness of psychotically trying to get invitations in the mail that I wrote the Dante's Inferno post last week. My loved ones were calling every day, asking if I had gotten them out already or what. My mom finally said, "OK beta, you need a deadline, TOMORROW is your deadline. GET TO IT." So Madelyn and I frantically stuffed envelopes and licked them shut, having a contest at 2 a.m. to see who would get sick of the envelope-glue taste first (Neither, we're both toughguys. Jon was sleeping).

After everything was sealed, I thought some of the inserts might not have return postage. I also worried that I hadn't fixed the tiny little typo (missing a dot in a language only about 1/8 of attendees can even read) on the stamp on the liner on some of them. Hello, can we say micromanager? Also, I had been told by several magazines and a friend who recently got married to put a tiny penciled number on the corner of each RSVP that corresponds to each person on your guest list so you know who it is if they forget to write their names on the card before sending it back.

Within 12 hours I worked myself into such a frenzy because it had been so much work just to screw it up in a rush at the end. It would ruin the envelopes to open them all. I just had to do what I never seem to muster enough courage for, which is to LET IT THE EFF GO. In fact, that's probably the point when I wrote that post. Because I got home and totally broke down about it in a mess all over Jon. Poor guy handled it like a champ. He stayed calm, made me dig up the wax paper the stamps came on and we used simple arithmetic (!) to figure out that I probably didn't miss any postage on RSVPs*. I felt a little better.

I think I was just smooshed under the pressure. Jon doesn't seem to get as many questions: How's it going? How's the planning? Did you get the dress? Did you get the cake? Did you get the invites out? Do you have the rings? Do you have the DJ? Did you taste the food? Did you book the limo? Are you even having a limo? What about a photobooth? Are you doing a videographer? Wait, so you waited too long and all the videographers are booked? Are you already finished with the fourteen million flowers you're purporting to make yourself? There's only 2 months left and you've only completed six!??! Do you have a backup florist? Are you doing your own vows? Did you book a honeymoon? Did you even get that requested time off of work? Are you going to have a band? Are you having a signature cocktail? Are you having junior bridesmaids? Are you having a helicopter bring you in? Are you having a white horse? Are you having elephants? ARE YOU EVEN HAVING A WEDDING?!?

Seriously, people, I don't mind talking about it, but I really wouldn't mind if you threw some questions Jon's way to ease the load a bit. It's his wedding, too. Sometimes I wonder if he even realizes how much stuff we have yet to do in the next 66 days.

Writing this makes me realize just how frakking ridiculous I sound. I am aware of this. But for some reason, after those invites went out, I felt a rush of calm. It doesn't matter that we're two months away and still haven't checked off a bunch of things we were supposed to have done four months before (get off my back, theknotdotcom!). I guess after doing the one thing on the prep list that I was most invested in, the rest seems like not SUCH a big deal.

Plus, with the majority of the deciding taken care of, I can get busy with the part that I like best of any project, which is staying up till 3 in the morning making stuff that, hopefully, will create a nice experience for us all.

*Except for Jon's older-younger sister. Sorry, A, I'm pretty sure I missed the 29-center on yours.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

if i had written Dante's Inferno

I would have made wedding planning* one of the punishments in the third circle of hell.

But that's just me.

*Let me clarify: planning MY wedding is a nightmare. It would so much fun to work on a wedding for a friend or family member, where THEY would be the ones making all the decisions and I could come up with thousands of cool ideas and then pull a few all nighters making them happen. But when it's me answering for why stuff isn't done (YET!?!) when I spend basically every moment on it that I'm not eating, asleep or at work, then that there is where this earns a spot in the Inferno.