Don’t worry, this isn’t my actual dress
When people ask me how wedding planning is going, there’s only one answer they want to hear, Tony The Tiger-style:
“It’s going grrrrrreat!”
The reality is, it’s full of ups and downs, highs and lows, exciting moments and killer stressors. If you had talked to me yesterday about it, I would have been all, “Lalala, fun fun, whoo hoo!” But today I am an overwhelmed, wedding-planning Eeyore.
Here’s the utterly ridiculous thing about our wedding: we’re actually having two of them.
Due to a combination of poor planning, misplaced optimism, and, I don’t know, sheer and utter dum-dum stupidity, we decided to have one very small event nearby in Santa Barbara, mostly for friends, and one big party in Dallas for my family, since my grandmother is too old to travel and it’s been a long time since my huge extended family (we’re talking 60 people +) has all been together for something other than a funeral. We’d make Santa Barbara small but lovely (thanks to the genius wedding planner Merryl Brown, who has been my godsend), and would make Dallas bigger but casual.
Again, I really don’t know what we were thinking.
Santa Barbara is all but shorn up: weekly phone calls with Merryl and her team mean that we have a budget, a schedule, somebody to watch our back with the vendors, and a helping hand and third opinion to vote “Yes” or “No” when we’re like, “Well….damned if I know.” I know the Santa Barbara wedding is going to be amazing, and I’m thrilled with it and not worrying about it. It’s a well-oiled machine (and our Bliss and Bone invitations are gorgeous!).
Dallas is where it gets tricky.
My bridesmaid Katherine from The Dual Life in London with her RSVP card for the wedding: our first received!
As opposed to Santa Barbara, I don’t have any support for the Dallas event, which is all being done remotely (I won’t see the venue in person before the wedding). E. is being wonderful and helping as best he can, but realistically, that’s not much, and when he tries to get involved, it only ends up stressing me out more, not getting anything of import done, and putting more to-do’s on my plate. What it really comes down to is: I’m not a planner. It seems like people are disappointed if I respond to the “How’s wedding planning going?!?!?” question with anything less than lobotomized excitement, but the truth of the matter is that the phrase “wedding planning” still contains the dreaded word “planning,” which is not my forte.
I am a great experiencer. Can we make “wedding experiencing” a thing? I believe I will excel and be featured on the cover of Details Are Boring So Let’s Focus On The Big Picture Instead magazine.
Give me unexpected rain, torn and stained dresses, burned food, clumsy waiters, and crying bridesmaids. I have a terrific ability to let calamities (real or minuscule) roll off my back. Bring me another glass of champagne! Someday we’ll look back on all this and giggle.
But the planning bit? The spreadsheet-keeping, flight-organizing, distracting-from-real-work, money-sucking, pissing-off-your-friends-and-family-decision-making, multi-tasking, juggling juggling juggling, anal, boring, overwhelming bit of it? I want to throw a toddler-worthy temper tantrum and scream, “I don’t care!” while flipping a desk RHONJ-style and then going in a corner and sulking about how I just want to elope and save money because damn it no amount of lighting and lace will turn me into Kate Middleton and I am not a stupid Princess and I really miss my mother.
I know. I know. I’m being a baby.
But seriously: wedding planning can go to hell.
I think one of the things I resent is the idea that this has to be The Best Day Of My Life, and that all this annoying, pointlessly-expensive planning is for ONE DAY. (Well, okay, in our case: two days.) I feel like all we’re doing is setting ourselves up for giant letdowns after the fact because a day is a day is a day, and honestly many of our days are not that damn bad to begin with and are a hell of a lot cheaper and less stressful.
Tux shopping with my handsome hubby-to-be
I have to keep reminding myself that, at the end of this, I will have my dream man and I will be celebrating my life-changing, serendipitous love with E. in front of the people I care about the most.
All of this stress shall pass (to be replaced with new stress, of course, but still). There are important things going on in the world, and nobody’s playing sad violins for another bride who’s whining about her wedding planning.
Get yourself together, Jolie!
I turn to you, my bloggy friends. Those of you who’ve been there before…any advice? The best piece I’ve heard recently has been repeated by two different brides: Don’t beat yourself up trying to please everybody–because you’ll never please everybody!–focus on yourself and your new husband, and just have a good time.
Eyes on the prize! We’ll be getting married against this backdrop. How can you still be cranky looking at that?
(And, psst: you know what’s funny? While going through my iPhoto, looking for pictures to include in this post, I found myself focusing on all the fun aspects of wedding planning: the dress, the shoes, the tuxedo, my friends sending back in their invitations, our engagement photos. Sometimes, all you need is a little perspective and a blog that you can vent to your friends on!)