This Is What Wedding Planning Looks Like

This was not supposed to be a wedding post. In an effort to prove that I can totally talk about things that don’t involve bridal lace, I’d written most of a smart, socially conscious post on fast fashion. It was simultaneously funny and hard-hitting. If there were a Pulitzer for snarky bloggers, this post would have been a contender! It was also not what I actually wanted to talk about today. I spent twenty minutes staring at it, thinking “God, this is depressing. I just want to tell them about my wedding crazy!”

So, that’s the new plan. The socially conscious post may happen on Thursday. Or never.

bride_of_frankenstein_01Y’all, I’m crazy. Planning a wedding has turned me from sane, rational Grace to a blathering whack-a-doodle. I blame arrogance. I thought this would be easy. Despite all the warnings from pop culture, despite consoling Girl on the Contrary through multiple wedding crises last year, I thought it would be a breeze. With a clear vision and ruthless decision-making skills, I would prevail over the wedding industry. I would get exactly what I wanted at a fair price, with minimal complications.

I was a moron. Picking a venue showed me the light. There is no getting exactly what I want, because I don’t know what that is and there are too many decisions and – holy buttered crumpets! – why is everything so expensive? Since we’re getting married in less than the prescribed 15 months, (Seriously, kittens, that’s the recommended engagement time. Magazines want Professor McGregor and I to plan a wedding for longer than we’ve known each other.) we needed a venue and we needed it quick. It would determine everything – the date, the feel of the party, and even what I wore.

Armed with a budget and visions of a high tea wedding, I perused venues. Austin is filled with pretty places, so it shouldn’t have been hard. Good one, Grace. Renting a space is fucking ridiculous, y’all. Some places wouldn’t let us pick our own caterer, while others wanted to charge an extra thousand bucks for chairs. One venue was lovely and had our date available, but wouldn’t let us do a morning wedding. When I threw up my hands and started looking at restaurant-hosted receptions, it got even worse. After two weeks and an embarrassing number of tears, my dad and I came up with exactly two viable options.

imagesIf we didn’t want to get married on a Thursday or eat bland wedding chicken, it was either a grand, Edwardian mansion or a relocated West Texas church-turned-venue. Lovely and completely different, I couldn’t make up my mind between them. Did I want a fancy Jane Austen affair or a funky South Austin fiesta? Did I want to get married on the 21st or 22nd? High tea or food trucks? I was overwhelmed. The crazy, it crept upon me.

In an effort to stay rational, I talked to Professor McGregor about it. We sat down, went through the two options, and came to a mutual decision. We’d book the church-turned-venue and plan on an intimate, personal wedding with our nearest and dearest. It was settled! With minimal angst! I called my dad, sent an e-mail to the venue manager, and breathed a sigh of relief. Until I woke up early the next morning, couldn’t go back to sleep, and had the following conversation with my dear fiancé:

Grace: Are you awake?
Professor McGregor: *unintelligible grunting* What is it, love?
Grace: There could be an ice storm.
Professor McGregor: *eyes fly open* We should wrap the pipes!
Grace: Not today, in December. When we get married.
Professor McGregor: Love, we live in Texas. If there’s an ice storm on our wedding day, the universe is telling us something.
Grace: But it could rain! My grandmother might slip and fall in the parking lot. We have a lot of older people coming to our wedding. Someone might break a hip!
Professor McGregor: Darling, no one is going to break a hip.
Grace: But they could. They could be getting food from the P. Terry’s truck, slip on the stones, crack their skull, and need emergency help!
Professor McGregor: Good thing you’re a doctor.
Grace: What if everyone hates our wedding, because they have to stand in line at a food truck and it takes forever?
Professor McGregor: We’ll just get a regular caterer, if it will make you feel better. Then, no one will break a hip or wait in line. *patiently kisses Grace’s nose*

Five minutes later…

Grace: We should tell people to bring coats, just in case
Professor McGregor: In case there’s a freak ice storm?
Grace: Yes. And, even if it’s just a little chilly, we’re getting married outside, so I don’t want them to be cold.
Professor McGregor: I’m sure if it’s cold outside, they’ll be wearing coats anyway.
Grace: Maybe we should have spare ones, just in case.
Professor McGregor: 100 spare coats? Yeah, that seems totally rational.
Grace: And we should serve apple cider, when they arrive.
Professor McGregor: As long as it’s spiked, love… *patiently kisses Grace on the nose*

Three minutes later…

Grace: What if people think we’re heathens, because we’re getting married on a Sunday?
Professor McGregor: They’ll be correct.
Grace: This is not funny! And don’t distract me with an adorable nose kiss!

1-Bride-of-FrankensteinThanks to the above paranoia, we spent the weekend re-discussing our venue decision. And after all that angst, what did we decide on? The same place on the same date. I couldn’t trust it, until I’d looked at every possible complication. Twice. Suddenly, this decision seemed life-or-death. Our entire future happiness was hinged on whether we could put up a tent, in case of rain. Which is totally, certifiably crazy, friends.

Outside of getting to marry Professor McGregor, nothing else truly matters about the day. I’ve already come to that conclusion, right? It will rain or it will shine or it will snow (probably not), and we’ll still get married. I thought about getting that tattooed on my forehead, but then Great Aunt Glenda would really think we were heathens…

– Grace

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8 thoughts on “This Is What Wedding Planning Looks Like

  1. Oh the wedding paranoia sets in! I had horrible irrational nightmares for a few weeks somewhere in the wedding planning process. Things involving my dress not fitting, the venue falling through…oh boy does the list go on. Here is one of my old posts about it: http://turtleinseattle.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/wedding-nightmare/

    I think the stress we ladies go through is a one last safeguard for our men. If they can handle us planning a wedding, they can take on anything.

    Have fun with it all!

  2. It’s true, no matter how prepared you are, or how clever you think you are, melt downs are inevitable. Just last weekend I was panicking that everyone would hate our wedding. You know, because we’re only spending months planning and thousands of dollars on it. I’m sure the panic will pass…once our wedding day has.

  3. I get an anxiety contact high whenever friends (or complete strangers) talk about weddings. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the actual almost-marrieds.

    Also (and at the risk of sounding like a creepypants stalker), if you find yourself with any idle time, I’m sure you could find a space for your serious, fast-fashion post.

  4. I know how you feel Grace,I too getting married on a Sunday and I got complaints all around about that. I’ve also been told I shouldn’t have paid so much for someone to marry us and just join a church instead (this came from a person who also had a photographer who charged $5,000 for everything). In the end it’s about you and your man and if you excuse my language but f*ck everyone else and what they think (unless they love every bit of it :D). And no matter what you do, you’ll enjoy the day.

  5. “Outside of getting to marry Professor McGregor, nothing else truly matters about the day. I’ve already come to that conclusion, right? It will rain or it will shine or it will snow (probably not), and we’ll still get married.”
    TRUE. Just keep breathing. Everyone really will love the wedding and so will you. It really will be okay. And then you really will fly off to some luxurious honeymoon where you forget you ever worried so much and made a complete fool of yourself and was actually quite mean to your best friends in the process. Or maybe that was just me.
    Good luck! It’ll be great 🙂

  6. Wedding planning sounds stressful! 😦 But, I’m glad that you and Professor McGregor found each other and are so blissfully in love now. 🙂 Good luck on the wedding planning! I’m sure it will all turn out well for you. 🙂

  7. My daughter got married recently, and towards the end we were both basket cases. She even developed a rash and then had to worry about that, too! Actually, we agreed on most of the wedding plans, except for the guest list, that is. She and the groom wanted to invite 300 people — all their friends and family and all their children! Finally, after much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, we wheedled it down to 200 guests — no children except the flower girls and new infants. It turned out to be a wonderful day.

    You might want to read about our preparations for the wedding as well as our advice to other brides and mother-of-the-brides on my blog at birdonthewire.org/

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