The Other Kind of Wedding Favor

I’m supposed to be packing right now so I can get some rest, but I wanted to get in one last post before the (exciting!!!!!) craziness of the next two days.

I’ve realized over the past few weeks how humbling getting married can be. So many people have helped us, said a kind word, bought us a lovely gift, or written us an encouraging note. I really feel undeserving of everything people have done to help make this wedding a reality. T’s best man and his wife have put in countless hours helping us, keeping me sane, and just being generally wonderful people. Just tonight, two of our friends went all the way to the next big town, 30 minutes away, at 9:30 at night to pick up some equipment for setup tomorrow. Other people helping put favors together, delivering decorations…the list goes on and on. Seriously, I owe so many favors right now!! I hope that I can be as much help to other people after the wedding as they’ve been in the days leading up to it.

Like I said, with the exception of the “yay, we’re married” post I’m about to schedule, this will probably be it for the next few days at least. Tomorrow is going to be crazy with finishing up the last few details, and then it’s the big day! I can’t believe the time has flown by so fast.

Au revoir for now: coming up, my first post as Mrs. C!!

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Published in: on June 17, 2009 at 11:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Finding the “Oops, oh well”

I am the first to admit that I have been a stickler about the details of the wedding. I told T early on that if we were going to do this (as opposed to eloping, which I’m still a little wistful over…), I needed two things: I needed to be able to run this like one of my events, and I needed us to do a lot of it ourselves, because I couldn’t bring myself to spend crazy amounts of money on it. I knew it would be a lot of work, but I also knew that it would be worth it.

And it has been a lot of work. I mean a LOT of work. But it’s exciting to see everything coming together, and see a light at the end of the tunnel. That “end of the tunnel” goal is what I wanted to talk about today.

T and I were talking last night about finding the “oops, oh well” point. Throughout most of your wedding planning, little technical difficulties are “oops, need to fix that” moments. But at a certain point, you need to reach a place in which the little stuff is good enough. Just for the record, I’m not suggesting that you leave something major half done. It’s the little, “nobody knew that was supposed to happen but you” or “nobody else is likely to notice that” things that I’m talking about. 

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Published in: on June 11, 2009 at 9:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Sappy Emotional

Those of you who know me in real life know that I cry at the drop of a hat. Sweet speech by a kid at graduation? Check. Sad scene in a movie? Check. Hallmark commercial? Sadly, check at least once. But that said, I’d say I’ve always been more emotional than sappy. I roll my eyes at Romeo and Juliet. I hate hearts and anything else that makes love cliche, or is *the* way to do romance (T knows what terrible things would happen to him if he ever brought me red roses on Valentine’s Day, which we don’t really celebrate anyway). And I never really thought too much as a little girl about what my wedding would be like, other than the fact that it would hopefully happen one day.

But a funny thing happened on the way to my wedding. Maybe it’s a surfeit of stress and emotions that have no place else to go. Maybe it’s not having slept in two weeks. Maybe it’s just the knowledge that we’re doing something big and unknown and wonderful, very, very soon. But the last week or so, I’ve turned sappy. 

Seriously, there’s no other word for it. Chick flicks that I would have laughed my head off over before? So sweet. Yesterday, when I was going to pick up my dress (!), every other song on the radio made me tear up, especially if it mentioned love, marriage, relationships, parents, family, friends…the list goes on. And have you ever tried to listen to country music without hearing one of those themes?

I found that Maggie was right. All of a sudden, the vows were a big deal. Not that having vows wasn’t a big deal before, but the choice between “plight my troth” and “pledge my faithfulness” never seemed so momentous. I’ve always been the one who liked tradition, but preferred it with a twist. But I found myself rejecting lots of vow options because they weren’t traditional enough. I want to use the words that millions of couples have used before us, that have this huge weight of tradition and many happy and successful marriages before us.

If this keeps up, I’m going to be a mess on our wedding day, and do you know what? I don’t care! If there’s one day that everything can touch me and make me tear up, it’s the day I finally get to marry my favorite person, and we promise forever in front of God and our friends and family. And after the wedding, I can go back to being my usual emotional-but-not-sappy self, although with a little better understanding of the sappy side of life. 

P.S. I still hate hearts. Apparently it’s a chronic condition.

Published in: on June 10, 2009 at 8:11 am  Leave a Comment  

The Editing Process

When I read Brandi’s description of her wedding planning, it really struck a chord with me. I think “editing” your wedding is one of the most important, and most challenging, aspects of planning a wedding. 

Sad but true: as much as we want to, brides cannot do everything. Trying to do so leads to mild insanity and nervous breakdowns (please don’t ask T how I know!!). Which means that at some point, if you want to make it to the wedding with all mental faculties intact, you have to do two important things: editing and delegating.

With any event, whether that’s a small birthday party or something as major as a wedding, I’ve found that there are usually one or two things that you personally care the most about, things that are closest to your heart. These may or may not be “big ticket” things in the strictest sense of the phrase, but they are the things you’re willing to put the most resources into, whether that’s time, money, effort, or all three.

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Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 9:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Capturing the Smiles

I was really gratified to see this post yesterday. “DIY” photography, if you will, is not something you hear a lot about. In fact, most wedding resources, and other people, sometimes make it seem as if your married life will be a misery if you don’t spend X thousand dollars on wedding photography. Which is probably not the case. Certainly, there is a reason that people are worried. We’ve all seen vacation photos with the top of someone’s head cut off. But you know who those people are: just don’t ask them to shoot your wedding photos!!

Yes, there are amazing professional photographers out there (who doesn’t love Max?). Simply stunning:

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{Max Wanger via Oh So Beautiful Paper}

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Published in: on May 13, 2009 at 9:53 am  Comments (1)  
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Reminders

Today I’m fighting bridezilla moments. After my initial anxiety about getting the big decisions made, I feel like I’ve done pretty well with not letting my inner control freak take over and make everyone’s life miserable. Today, though, I’m struggling. T’s best man is in the area for work, so we’re going to see him tonight, and to the best of my knowledge he hasn’t gotten measured for his tux. At the moment, the voice in my head is having an imaginary row with him, along the lines of “What do you mean you haven’t gotten measured yet?? At this rate, you’re going to be wearing SWEATPANTS for the ceremony!! Are you trying to ruin my wedding??” However, since I don’t want to ruin his visit by nagging about the tux, it will remain an imaginary row.

But then I read this post, and it made me feel better. I still want to yell, just a little bit, but at least I have a reminder of why I’m putting myself through this. I love the question Abby asked at the end of her post. She didn’t ask “what made your proposal perfect?” She asked “what made your proposal perfect for you?” Big difference. When T and I got engaged, we had just had two of the worst days of our entire relationship. Like, I literally cried myself to sleep for the first time I can ever remember. And it was totally outside our control. When we finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel, T just dropped to one knee in the middle of our church parking lot and proposed. It wasn’t the elaborate proposal he’d been planning, but it was perfect for us. We’ve had a lot of obstacles to overcome as a couple, and we’ve definitely got the whole “for better or for worse” thing down pat already, and it felt a little like our life together — maybe not exactly what we planned initially, but at the end of the day, being together is the most important part. Our faith is a big part of our lives, so the location ended up being just right also, and I was so relieved that I started laughing and crying at the same time, and laughed for at least two minutes straight after he proposed (which sounds terrible, but he knew me well enough to know it was just emotion overload).

As Meg would say, eyes on the prize. I guess tux measurements really don’t matter so much –two months and two weeks from yesterday, I’ll be walking down the aisle to marry my favorite person ever. I doubt I’ll notice if the best man is even wearing a tux!

Published in: on April 6, 2009 at 12:21 pm  Comments (1)  

Um…No

I just saw this post on The Bride’s Guide. It is very seldom that I am rendered speechless. But there really are no words. I’m not a big fan of using your blog to slam other people, so I will try to word this delicately.

I’m in communications. I get gimmicks. Really. BUT. I just don’t think your wedding is the time to do it. I know perfectly well that not everyone has the money to pay for the wedding they want. I have been very blessed in having a fiance who is very fiscally responsible, and has helped me to be the same, and we’ve saved up.

I too am paying down my student loans, which is one of the major reasons we’re being as conservative with our wedding budget as we are. I too have “dream locations.” A castle in Scotland being one of them. Or one of any number of gorgeous venues in DC. But you know what? That’s simply not realistic, and I’m ok with that. I love our historic inn in a little-bitty town in Delaware. Love it. It took forever to find someplace that fit our budget AND fit my concept of our day. But we did it. And if we hadn’t been willing to do a little legwork, we never would have found it.

I adore, adore, adore Sara’s wedding. It looks like they had so much fun. And they definitely didn’t have dry halibut. But you can read her blog, and she’s honest– there were times that she drooled over all of the WIC temptations. I’ve definitely done the same, and found creative ways to work some of them in. Others, we’ve realized we can do without. Every realistic bride goes through this process: figuring out what you can live without to have the wedding you can afford.

Every single blogger bride I read has at some point talked about prioritizing. Deciding what parts of the wedding were most important, and going from there. It’s a process you go through as a couple. But I’ll tell you what should be the most important thing at the end of the day — being married. And you’re just as married if you get married at the local courthouse as you are with a $20,000+ wedding.

I realize that I have the luxury of having wiggle room. Our budget is small because we’ve made a conscious decision to keep our wedding expenses under control. I have to be honest, though — it offends me that there is a bride who is so unwilling to go through that process that she’s willing to ask strangers for money so that she can put on a show. I don’t know her family and friends. But if my family and friends were so shallow that they would expect me to go to such lengths as to solicit strangers for money to pay for a wedding I couldn’t afford, just to please them…I’d elope, and then find some real friends!!

I certainly would never wish ill on anyone, and I certainly do wish this anonymous bride the best of luck. With this kind of beginning (she hasn’t even told her fiance about this “brilliant” plan), I hope she’ll need it less than one might think…

Published in: on March 31, 2009 at 4:12 pm  Comments (3)  

Really Real Moments

I just placed the orders for the invitation supplies. For some reason it felt very big and momentous. Even more so than putting down the deposit for the reception venue. Or buying my dress. No idea why. I’m just weird, I guess.

Has anyone else had any of those “wow, this is really real” moments lately? Do they strike you at weird moments too?

Published in: on March 31, 2009 at 2:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Welcome to the WBC

First off, a disclaimer: I love wedding blogs. Adore wedding blogs. Wedding blogs make my days happier. However…

I was just catching up on some 2000 dollar wedding posts that I’ve missed in the craziness of the past two weeks (I’m wrapping up a project at work). Sara’s posts from the last two Mondays really caught my eye and got me thinking. A lot of us feel pressure and anxiety about our wedding, especially from the “Wedding Industrial Complex” (WIC). And at the risk of making every other wedding blogger out there annoyed with me, I’d say there’s also another force at work: what I’ll call the WBC, or Wedding Blogging Complex. This is the phrase in Sara’s post that really started me thinking about this:

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Published in: on March 19, 2009 at 3:39 pm  Comments (1)  

Partner Publicity

As you can imagine, I adore blogs that talk about etiquette, and one I love is Ashley Brooke Designs. Today, I opened up her “How to be a Lady” post (companion to last week’s “How to be a Gentleman“), and read through it. I was finishing and just about to close the tab when I read the last one, “Never points out the imperfections of her mate to others.” Well, I just had to write something on this one.

Not being a team player is probably my biggest pet peeve ever. If you’re part of a team, stand behind it; otherwise, get out! I don’t think there’s anywhere this is more important than in a relationship, especially a marriage. It absolutely makes my skin crawl to hear one partner say something degrading about the other in a crowd. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think there’s a big difference between that and gentle teasing in the company of friends.

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Published in: on March 17, 2009 at 12:29 pm  Comments (3)