As you can probably imagine, life these days is filled with a lot of wedding planning. Dylan and I make sure to take time with every new step though, to remember that this is all leading up to a one-day party, followed by a five-day relax, followed by…well… back to business. It does consume your life, though. How was your day quickly turns into relaying a conversation had between my sisters and me about bridesmaid dresses and which hotels we want to consider for the honeymoon. Rarely do we talk for long about anything else, unless there’s something pressing. I didn’t want it to be like that, but it just is. From time to time it gets tedious and we change the subject, but mainly we’re treating ourselves with some positive reinforcement in the shape of fancy beers after every milestone. Book the caterer? Fancy beer. Pay for the room? Fancy beer. Find his suit? Fancy beer. Honestly, it’s pretty good therapy and keeps it fun. I recommend it for all important life moments. I should mention that before we started dating, he didn’t even care about beer. Now that dude seeks out sours and lambics like a shark, and I have him on the stout and porter train slowly and surely. I’m so proud.
Work is going exceptionally well and my boss told me the other day that I can take as much time around the wedding as I need to, my job is safe. I get five days’ paid as part of my salary, but he said if I need a few days in front and a few days after in addition that I could take them. Unpaid, but fine with him. I about cried. Last year at this time I’d just left a job where I worked for a narcissistic, abusive crazy person. I’ve never had a job I love that challenges me, that’s healthy, productive, and has a great boss to boot. Truly, it’s amazing.
It would seem that during big deal life things, you sort of learn about yourself a bit. In all this, I’ve learned that I’m actually pretty good at picking my battles and that maybe I don’t put my foot down about stuff as much as I want to for fear of upsetting or offending those I care about. Frankly, I have three hard-to-please girls standing up there with me and while one has her dress sorted, two more don’t. One has tried on several and has a problem with all of them, and the other hasn’t started yet. It’s frustrating because what I really want to do, is tell them BUY THIS DRESS, IT IS THE ONE YOU ARE GOING TO WEAR, SUCK IT UP. Not because they’re poofy or hot pink, but because girls – people – are vain and there’s always something wrong with a body that will keep someone from seeing themselves clearly. I never thought I was passive, no one would call me that who knows me, but these times are telling me that perhaps I am when I ought not to be. The foot has gone down a few times, though. Once regarding the shower and bachelorette parties’ dates and locations, and the other about these damn dresses. Sub-lesson: don’t give people options, they can’t handle them. I had to stop the 100 email exchanges per day that asked which dresses had this and am I considering floor length or chiffon (no)? Where else can I find these dresses if not in a boutique? Seriously? Google it, figure it out, tell me when it’s done. There’s been a lot of that.
I have my dress (love it!), the caterer is booked, the site has a deposit, the flowers are chosen, the suit is selected, the honeymoon destination is set. Everything else is details, and of most of them I am clear. Once I get the girls dressed and the boys’ outfits nailed down, the rest is decoration and timing. All those people that tell you that you need at least a year to plan a wedding are completely full of crap or totally incompetent. We began two days after he proposed and all the big things are done almost two months later. Don’t listen to anybody that tells you it can’t be done, watch me. THAT is a lesson I have also learned: when laser focused on something, get out of my way. Quickly.
Funny enough, hobbies have taken a backseat. Or I guess you could say, THIS is my hobby. My beer group is still meeting monthly, but I am taking off April-June as planning gets more intense. The girls seem perfectly happy with that and I’m happy to relinquish the controls. A sad drop off, is in my more creative pursuits. I’ve promised a friend I’d adjust an ongoing project of his for some new ventures, but frankly, by the time I get home from staring at a computer screen for seven hours, the last thing I want to do, is that for another two. We’re due for a snowstorm beginning Saturday evening so that will be my job for the weekend, but it’s clear that once I am home for the evening, designs are something that are last on my list. The cobbler’s children have no shoes, right? I made our save the dates and am making our invitations, but even those I feel I may be too close to to do the ways I want. I should have outsourced them, I think…
The takeaways are these, and they apply to everything (not just wedding planning):
- When it’s right, you know it, don’t fight it and don’t keep looking
- Don’t give yourself too much time between decision and action. Pull triggers
- If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. Sand ceremony? Unity candle? These things feel forced and we’re not doing them, tradition or not
- Hold tight to what you want and don’t budge. Sure it’s time-saving to do photos ahead of the ceremony when makeup is fresh and crowds are thin. But we want to see each other for the first time that day at the same time as everyone else does. Sorry, mascara
- Be firm in your expectations and wishes. Express them nicely, but intentionally. Be direct but kind
- Keep it simple whenever possible. In our case, we’re only inviting people who keep up with our lives and vice versa. Each person is a dollar sign at a certain point, but each person is also a memory. We don’t want filler
- Take time to stand back and watch it unfold. Appreciate the work. Enjoy the process
- You can’t please everybody. Someone doesn’t like a color, wine choice, date, time…whatever. It’s one day. They’ll all live (and probably forget)
- It’s ok to splurge on things you will probably never have or do again. Do it. You deserve it, it’s earned
- Remember the endgame. There’s a point and purpose to it all and that is the thing that matters most
Life is going to be so much sweeter in 128 days and the days after. It’s been sweet for over a year and it just keeps getting better each day. Whatever I did to deserve this, I think I finally get it now.