Friday, January 28, 2011

In Which I Discuss My Personality Flaws, My Future Mother-in-Law, My Lazy Fiance and the Gestation Period of Humans. Oh, And Also List Some Stuff I've Done Related to My Upcoming Nuptials.

Here's the thing about wedding planning: it requires, like, an overwhelming amount of work up front ... for something that takes place approximately light years later. Or, that's how it feels to me. I've actually gotten a lot of shit done in the past couple weeks - more on that later - but I'd be lying if I said that it was easy to motivate myself. My father could tell you that patience is not a virtue of mine - or rather he could tell you that *I* told *him* that it was not my virtue sometime during my toddler years. (Hey Daddy! Like the shout out?) I've always been very self aware - and I am more than aware of the fact that I prefer immediate gratification.

Weddings do not provide any sort of immediate gratification. In fact, the engaged to married process goes like this:
Fiance: "Hey, so wanna get married and stuff?"
Me: "Sounds good. Let's do it."
Fiance: "K, awesome. When?"
Me: "Um, how 'bout Fall? I like Fall."
Fiance: "Sweet. Now what?"
Me: "Well, The Knot says I already have 37 overdue items on my checklist and we just got engaged a second ago ... so there's probs lots of stuff to do. Immediately."
Fiance: "Oh, okay well you should like tell me stuff you want me to do and I'll do them."

... Great, so at this point you can see that, on at least one occasion, Fiance asked me to delegate things to him. Which I did, including but not limited to: please get the addresses for your mother's ginormous Catholic family, please get me the addresses for your friends with whom I am not Facebook friends and therefore cannot ask myself, please call hotels regarding hotel blocks for the wedding party and guests. Okay, actually the aforementioned list *was* limited - in that those were in fact the only things I asked Fiance to do.

Guess how many Fiance has done. Go ahead, guess ... Did you guess? You're probably wrong because he has actually only done like 3/4 of 1 of these things. He has gotten me a few of the addresses for his friends (note: a few. Not all. Therefore Fiance does not get the full point). He sent his mother an email in November regarding the addresses for her ginormous Catholic family - and I have heard him on one occasion ask her about the status of said addresses in a phone conversation (I'm not sure this gets a point at all. In fact I may deduct points because of my annoyance at Future Mother-in-Law to whom Fiance is related by blood. You can be fairly incessantly snotty to blood relatives. I lack that ability without looking like a raging bitch. It's decided. I deduct points). And finally, Fiance *has* actually blocked hotel rooms at multiple hotels but he doesn't get the full point because he did so under duress.

Here's how the hotel conversation went:
(after weeks of asking nicely and then nagging, I call Fiance during my break between shifts at work)
Me: "Hey, Fiance - any way you feel like calling some hotels? Because seriously I need you to do that. And it would seriously take like 4 minutes tops."
Fiance: "Mare, I have a job. How do you expect me to do these things during the week?! I have a real job. Is there something you could delegate that I can do on weekends?!"
Me: *head explodes with utter annoyance and deep seated resentment at having to plan this whole stupid affair for Fiance without any of his help or input*

So, obviously to prove a point, I called a hotel and set up a hotel block in approximately 3.5 minutes. Seriously, I'm not even exaggerating this time. I really like to be right - and in this case the warm fuzzy feelings of superiority and rightness made me stop wanting to punch Fiance in the throat. So, you can clearly see how Fiance has done like 3/4 of 1 thing on the list of THREE DAMN THINGS I have asked him to do for HIS damn wedding.

This brings me back to the fact that we have gotten stuff done! I ordered Save the Dates and stuff and I have addressed most of them (You can guess which ones aren't addressed - all of the ones that Fiance was supposed to get). We have blocked hotel rooms. We have finalized the guest list. Our honeymoon is booked. The ceremony and reception venues are good to go. I have a dress (fine, I don't *have* a dress yet - and I blame my mother for that - but that's another blog post entirely) but I totally tried on dresses with Lawyer Bridesmaid and that should count for something. What else? I'm pretty sure I've done other stuff but I can't remember it right now *because* I have seen no pay off from these things.

I've done all this stuff and I see no payout. In fact, I will not see any sort of benefit to all this stupid work until October. October is a billion years away. To those of you who are probably thinking "No, Mare, October is actually only about 8 months away. Eight months is clearly not equal to a billion years" I say this: Um, it's a long ass time. I could gestate a human! A HUMAN! I could grow a human inside my body in the 8.5 months til my wedding.**** So clearly, if that's enough time to make a person, it is more than enough time to make me feel irritated about all the work I'm doing without benefit. So you should all feel super proud of me for doing things and not procrastinating. And you should vocalize that pride because I thrive on praise. K, thanks!

****Knock on wood. Do it right now. Everyone knock on wood. There will be no pre-married gestation of humans. It was hard enough to get myself to try on normal dresses - can you imagine anyone convincing me to try on maternity dresses?! HA! No.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Eff The Knot - Or: How the Wedding Industrial Complex Makes Me Feel Stabby

Being the daughter of a member of the Wedding Industrial Complex (my padre is a wedding photographer) I thought I was impervious to the siren call of the WIC. But, here's the thing: you never see a simple, affordable wedding on TV or in movies. Have you seen Bride Wars? Even Anne Hathaway's public school teacher character (with accountant fiance) gets married at The Plaza. I call bullshit. Fiance was a public school teacher and has a degree in accounting - we could never get married at The Plaza. In fact, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't even be allowed inside The Plaza.

Prior to getting engaged, my dad and I went to a couple of wedding expos in Williamsburg and Norfolk. These weren't even big affairs, they were held in hotel ball rooms, but the sheer volume of crap I didn't know I had to have in order to have a wedding was overwhelming. Did you know that in order for your wedding to be legitimate you need to have flowers on every available horizontal surface (and some vertical ones)? How about that in order for your guests to continue to love and support you that you have to give them tiny origami boxes full of confetti and personalized candy? Or, the fact that it is absolutely imperative that you cut the cake with a custom made silver cake cutting set engraved with your personal monogram? NO? YOU DIDN'T KNOW ALL OF THAT?

You fail at being engaged.

I clearly understand that I do not *need* these things - and really, nor do I want them. But I am constantly inundated with messages from the evil Wedding Industrial Complex and its minions that without them, my wedding will be tacky and lame and horrible - also that I will be fat and apparently have the legs of a 90 year old. I kid you not, my email inbox is consistently full of wedding related emails. Here is a sample from today:
"Get 50% Off Spider-Vein Treatments For Your Big Day!"
"Opulent Golden Centerpieces - A Must Have!"
"Soon-To-Be-Mrs. Shirts - Show Him You Care!"
"Your Wedding Diet and Fitness Plan - Be The Best You For The Most Important Day Of Your Life"

Oh, and here's the kicker: "9 Months To Go! View Overdue Items on Your Wedding Checklist" ...

Clearly, The Knot did not read my last blog post. Yes, I brought this on myself in my overly-excited-omg-I'm engaged-mindset I signed up for The Knot. MISTAKE. I am inundated with Knot related emails telling me all the things I need to do and buy and not eat in order to have "The Wedding of My Dreams". Not only from the website itself, but from all of its evil corporate sponsors. You are probably thinking, why doesn't this woman just delete the emails? Why? Because I'm a masochist, apparently. Today, I opened that "9 Months To Go" email from The Knot. And I followed the link to my checklist. MISTAKE. According to The Knot, I am not getting married because I clearly do not care enough about my wedding. I have not purchased my dress. I have not finalized a contract with my florist. I have not booked a hotel block. I have not notified my bridal party of my "non-negotiables" and "expectations" - what does that even mean?! Should I have contacted a lawyer to draw up some sort of bridal party contract? Girls, you hear that? I have to have "non-negotiables" - you may want to rethink our friendship.

In order to maintain my sanity so that I end up in a wedding dress and not a strait jacket at the end of this whole mess, I have decided to clean house. I am clearing my cache of wedding blogs. At least, clearing out those that do nothing but make me feel like my wedding will look like a hobo camp decorated with Goodwill cast offs and that I have to spend all my life savings (HA, that's funny, I don't have savings) on a day that will be the absolute peak of my existence.

Because, I certainly hope it isn't the peak of my existence - I've hopefully got a long ass life left. And if I peak at 25 I don't really have much to look forward to. I just have to keep telling myself that my wedding will have the things that are important to me. My wedding is going to be a sweet-ass party with an awesome bar and the best food my guests will ever have at a wedding.

Also, I will not be fat or have spider veins. Hopefully.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Just Don't ... Or, Your Countdown Does Not Amuse Me

Two posts in twenty four hours, whaaaat? Not really, this will be relatively short. It's more of a caveat, to the universe, since the only bridesmaid who reads this would never assume this behavior was helpful ...

Why yes, I am aware that my wedding is nine months from Saturday! Stop looking so excited and chipper when you say it! I do not find this cute. I have done none of the things you think I should have done and I haven't become excited about the things you think I will gladly blather on about. In fact, most of what I have done regarding wedding planning is drink.

Drinking helps. Gets the creative juices flowing - for instance, I have fully confirmed my love of raw cotton bolls in place of flowers. Also, drinking makes me forget the facebook statuses of an "ex" friend (never really a close friend of mine to begin with, but someone I spent a lot of time with senior year) who is entirely too excited about wedding planning. Now, excitement is not a bad thing, but she is making me feel completely inadequate in a way I find to be terribly offensive. She got engaged the week before Christmas (Yes, three weeks ago, that is correct) and had listed numerous statuses regarding her wedding planning. Most recently, that she has a venue and a dress. A VENUE AND A DRESS?! IN THREE WEEKS?! I HAVE BEEN ENGAGED FOR THREE MONTHS ALMOST! WHAT THE F*@# AM I DOING?!

I think that this is partially a matter of funds. I do not have the funds that "Ex-Friend" has - and that makes wedding planning harder. But, I choose to believe that eventually I will find this process more rewarding for the fact that I did it on a budget ... or something ... something that makes me sound like a grown up, with personal growth and stuff.

The entire point of this post is that the next person who makes super happy face at me while saying "OMG you're wedding is so super soon! October is the new June! Etc Etc" is going to get hit in the face. The world has been warned.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

How Fiance and I Spent a Week Away at a New Year's Eve Wedding and Saw Each Other For Approximately 37 Minutes and How Fiance Started To Consider Eloping ...

I couldn't come up with anything catchier or more concise. Sorry.

Fiance and I spent the the week between Christmas and New Years at the wedding of my college roommate and Fiance's Boyfriend Best Friend/Best Man. The lovely, wonderful, incredibly attractive couple are also responsible for my relationship with Fiance (Thanks, guys, if it weren't for you I wouldn't have to plan this damn wedding). Fiance was also the best man. That is your necessary back-story.

 Fiance and I left VA for New Orleans on Monday night at about 7. He thought it best that we drive through the night - a plan which would be veritably impossible if I were conscious, as I am the most neurotic, night blind and easily scared passenger on earth. "We" decided that the best way to go about accomplishing this all night drive would be for us to go to B-Dubs to watch Monday Night Football and for me to drink approximately ten beers and then take a handful of benadryl in order to pass out in the car for the majority of the 16 hour journey. So I did just that, except I didn't pass out immediately and proceeded to nag at Fiance and whine uncontrollably for approximately two hours that he was going to kill us while driving through the mountain passes of Southwest Virginia. No worries, he did not kill us and I woke up around 7 am feeling alarmingly well rested and not hungover somewhere in the middle of Alabama. Eventually we made it to New Orleans.

I will spare you the details of the first afternoon, although I will say I came to the realization that Fiance had rarely traveled anywhere that required a hotel stay and we ended up having to make multiple trips to multiple ATMs in order to pay for our room in cash. Oh and then we had to do it again so that Fiance could check into the bachelor party suite in a separate hotel. We looked like total hobos. Not the kind of people you would want in your hotel. Ever. So as the best man, Fiance spent the majority of the week away from me, doing Best Manly duties. I pretty much thought that those duties would include going to strip clubs, buying rounds of drinks, and weeping uncontrollably because he was losing his Boyfriend. I was right on most counts, except for the strip clubs - those were disallowed by the bride, also I totally underestimated the amount of work that actually goes into a wedding.

There were errands. Lots and lots of errands. Tuxes that had been delivered to the wrong city and pralines that needed to be picked up and the loading of various things into cars. You don't even know. Also Other College Roommate and myself were given "Greeter" duties - our names were in the program, be jealous - and we had to collect all the pew flowers (Pew flowers?! Did you even know that you needed those? Because I didn't. Add it to the list of things I will mess up at my own wedding). We had to collect them all and then beat the shuttle buses full of guests back to the reception venue and hand them over to a coordinator so that he/she could place them about as decor. There was no coordinator. And we got yelled at by a bartender because cocktail hour was outside - eventually we got them placed all around the cake seconds before the buses arrived and we were unceremoniously kicked out of the hall to join the outdoor cocktail hour (Also it was raining). I'm sure you are all on the edge of your seat with the suspense of that story, but it was very stressful. Very. Stressful. There is no hope for me and this wedding business.

All I know is that over the course of the week Fiance and I did not spend a single night in the same bed and I am reasonably sure that the time spent in each others company amounted to approximately 37 minutes. Mostly during the reception. I actually lost him during said reception while he went outside to smoke cigars with the rest of the wedding party and my ex-boyfriend. Yes, you heard me. I got ditched by Fiance so that he could smoke cigars with my Ex-Boyfriend. This does not bode well for our wedding weekend, I don't think.

I will tell you that I hope I can enjoy my weekend as much as the Bride did, but given my stress level at the prospect of picking up flowers I somehow don't see this happening. The bride was the very picture of calm and happiness - something I simply cannot understand given the logistics of planning a New Year's Eve wedding in New Orleans and NOT ONLY in New Orleans but within eyesight of the French Quarter. I'm already bitching about my wedding and it will be held in the middle of nowhere and with very few logistical considerations (because I'm lazy, also because I live in the middle of nowhere). Again, this does not bode well at all. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in New Orleans and the wedding was spectacular in a way that makes me think "Why even bother, you could never accomplish this" but also in a way that I really admire and appreciate the time and effort it took to plan.

But mostly the first part - the self defeating part. I think the moral of this story is that the days leading up to my wedding should be dealt with in the same way as the all night journey to New Orleans. I should probably be unconscious for most of it. Or at least drunk. Wake me up when it's time to get married.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Brief Introduction

As 2011 has started, I have had to come to terms with the fact that I am to become a "grown up" in many regards this year. I will exit the 18 - 24 age bracket (I call this early adulthood) and enter the 25 - 34 age bracket (which I call the "Holy Shit. I am old and what the hell am I doing with my life, no seriously, what the hell am I doing" years) and I will also be getting married. I am far from a child bride but I realize I would be considered rather young by many people, including many of my potential wedding guests. Also: my parents say things like "We're so glad you found [Fiance]. What in the world would you do with out him?" This is not meant as hyperbole or flattery; they seriously doubt my ability to exist in adult life without him. Insulting? Maybe. Also, probably a little more than a little bit accurate. More on that later.

Given my blog's name you may have gathered that the prospect of planning a wedding does not excite me. Don't mistake what I'm saying as meaning that I am not excited to be married. I am very excited to marry Fiance and to continue the life we've started together. What I am, in fact, saying is that I was never the "Barbie's Dream Wedding" type. I never imagined what "My Day" would look like, in fact I never thought about the wedding at all, just about what I wanted from being married. Being from a divorced family this probably makes sense. The prospect of having my mother, father and stepfather as well as the entire blended family in the same room for what is supposed to be a "joyous occasion"- read: open bar and delicious food fueled fun fest - scares me shitless because I am relatively sure it will amount to an open bar fueled family feud and CNN (or at least local news) worthy rumble. Fine, maybe that last statement was hyperbole, but not by much. My family brings the crazy.

So, you may be asking yourself "Why is this chick writing a blog about planning her wedding when she seems completely opposed to the whole idea; and also wants to have like a billion bottles of wine between now and her impending October wedding date because of the stress of wedding planning?" (Yes I may have imposed some of my own thoughts into what I assume you are thinking, but I'm not omniscient, okay?!) Well, to answer your question, I am writing this blog to chronicle the challenge of planning a wedding for my husband-to-be, who apparently swallowed the Disney princess pill at some point during childhood, because being married is all about compromise and because he loves and supports my crazy ass in so many ways (not least of which, monetarily). And also because if I complain about the wedding to Fiance as much as I will likely complain about it here, he would probably be like "Fuck that noise - I'm out. Pay your own bills and stuff" or he would at least be sad about it and that would make me sad.

Soon to come: How Fiance and I Spent a Week Away at a New Year's Eve Wedding and Saw Each Other For Approximately 37 Minutes and How Fiance Started To Consider Eloping ... (Or a more catchy and concise post title I will come up with prior to posting)