Thursday, August 30, 2012

State of The Union #4: Top 5 Things I've Learned By Planning A Wedding

With all this buzz about the RNC and heated twitter debates about the State of The Union, I decided it was about time I wrote one of my State of the Union blogs about my wedding coming up here at the end of October. My, oh my, how quickly the anxiety-riddled time flies! In short order, here are te top five things I've learned in planning a wedding:

1. Always have an answer. Never say "I don't know" or people will take the liberty to tell you just what you should know. Don't know about hiring a DJ? Well, you should. Don't know about having a cake? Well, you should. Don't know if you will have a registry? WELL, YOU SHOULD. (And when you do create that registry that you think you will only put a handful of home goods on, let me warn you that once you get that scanner gun in your hand, your deepest material desires will go buck-wild and you will find yourself convincing each other that you absolutely need that pizza stone even though you live in Brooklyn and would never in your right mind pass up the chance to get a slice in favor of slaving away at making your own sub-par pie.

2. Hammer out the guest list with an iron fist before even thinking about making the invitations. Mike and I have had more stress over the guest list than anything else. We both have families on either sides of the coast (60 in mine alone), friends from home, from high school, from the camp where we met, and current friends and work friends that all feel vital in sharing that special day with us. But the bottom line is, at a certain point you have to make cuts. It's a shitty process but the best advice I got was from a friend who said when she made her cuts she had to get over the idea that people would be devastated if they weren't invited to her wedding. Just because it is one of the most important days in your life doesn't mean everyone else feels the way. The people who you do cut really might not give a shit.

3. You have to learn how to roll with the punches. After gushing to everyone that my favorite part of planning had been listening to our amazing DJ spin- the DJ that was clearly sent from the universe to spin for us specifically because he just couldn't be more perfect - backed out a couple weeks ago. I could feel my stomach sink when Mike told me. Turns out the DJ was getting married in October, too, and his fiance's parents bought them an extended honeymoon which fell over our date. Three months ago we weren't even going to have a DJ and had started jotting down songs for our awesome iPod mix, and suddenly I felt like I was going to throw up in the middle of Anthropologie when I heard DJ Russian Bear had canceled on us. Mike told me no one will know that our second choice DJ is not DJ Russian Bear. But now we have DJ Vida who is a hot female DJ so some people may know and if you read this blog, now you know. But I had to force myself to let go of that disappointment quickly in order to find a DJ replacement. And, in the end, it's all groovy.

4. Go Big. Months ago, before we had even found a venue, Mike and I sat at the Pier along the Hudson River and tried to decide on a vision. But we both kept saying the same thing: good food, good music, a good time. Well, that could be a BBQ or a Gala. We kept trying to pin down a vision but instead decided to be simple. In an effort to avoid some big affair that we knew we did not want, we went the polar opposite and tried to keep a small vision. We just wanted a best man and a maid of honor. No wedding party...okay, maybe our siblings, too...cut to eight weeks from the day and we both realized we want a fucking wedding party. I did not get that simple lace frock. I got a wedding gown. We did not do an iPod, we got a DJ. In our efforts to stay small, we reacted against that and now are being big in every right (due in large part to the generous help from our parents). The idea of a vision is to find out what you DO want and then see how to make it happen. Mike and decided what we didn't want first which has made for an interesting way to plan a wedding.

5. FIND A VISION... but be flexible. I can't stress this enough. I was not a girl who grew up dreaming about my wedding. I honestly did not know what I truly wanted when we started planning this. I knew what I didn't want, and I thought I wanted to get married outside and barefoot, maybe in Vermont (where we met) or on a beach. Turns out I always wanted to get married in New York City. I just didn't think it was possible. I also wanted a fall wedding which would make and outdoor, bare-feet, East Coast wedding quiet uncomfortable. (Last year it snowed on the day that is our wedding date this year). Planning a wedding has actually made me realize how quickly I drown out what I truly want because I think it is something I can't afford or something I can't make possible. It has taught me to ask for what I want and see what happens rather than to assume I won't get what I want so why even bother. With our wedding, the vision really found us. Maybe it was always there and we finally surrendered, we finally could see it. We are still being flexible, rolling with the punches, and calling in favors, hiring friends who cut us deals, etc...but I'm proud to see every detail of the wedding feels personal to us. You will see our touch on everything and that is what we really wanted.

As the day quickly approaches, there is of course, more excitement and more stress. How are we going to transport the flowers? What about pictures- before or after the ceremony? When will the sun set in late October? And what about those goddamn party favors? But last night Mike and I talked about our vows and started actually thinking about ourselves all old and maybe even sick. I asked him, "But, what if we don't even get to that part? Like, what if something happens and I get paralyzed or just so old I can't take care of myself? I mean, that is the REAL in sickness and in health question. I mean can you really promise you are going to stick around and wipe my ass when I'm all old?"

Mike laughed, "I'd wipe your ass now."

At least we've got the true love thing down and what is more important than that?


Unknown said...

I didn't think I needed a pizza stone either...but I did!

daleboca said...

the most important thing to do now is to enjoy! if you have a place and a dress and food, nothing else is important. make sure you eat and drink at your wedding (i think i forgot to) and dance and laugh. oh, don't forget to take a picture with us:) so excited for your big day. woo hoo!

erika said...

Who woulda thought I'd get choked up at the statement, "I'd wipe your ass now?"

Carmen said...

me too. the best line :)
and i support dale boca's comments/suggestions. i would add that if your second dj also falls thru and you end up making an ipod mix - don't put it on shuffle

Erin said...

Those wedding favors better be awesome or this wedding is going to suck. - jeff

Violeta said...

Congratulations !! Have a great wedding and more important, have a great life together :)