July 16th, 2007


how to plan a wedding in 10 weeks

I wasn't sure when to make this post but always planned to make it... here's our story: the man and I had talked about getting married for a while, but in late April we decided we were really determined and went ahead and told parents, bought wedding bands, and declared ourselves engaged. In addition, we're both sort of, well, anti-wedding... we're non romantics who love throwing parties so we definitely wanted something awesome, but I haven't exactly been dreaming of this day since I was 10 so it was easy to be flexible. Anyway, I'm in grad school so I spent most of May taking finals and planning a vegas wedding, and then my parents talked me into not going to vegas and doing the real thing (shoot, huh?). Our date is August 4th, so this post won't be whole yet, but it's here...

Week 10 - The parents drag me off my finals-induced coma to look at reception venues. We make calls to find out who's got slots available the last few weeks of July/first few weeks of august, so I can slide this thing in before classes start up again.

Week 9 - Somehow the church, our schedules, and a reception venue cosmically align to be available on the same date. We put down a deposit. Mom & Dad state what they're contributing to this things so we have a budget idea, which helps to determine headcount.

Week 8 - Meet with church wedding coordinator to determine times, pick out paper and template for invites, register at Target, start bridesmaids looking for their own dresses with the guideline, "It should be blue-ish or something". MOH leads this particular aspect of the campaign. Take a vacation day on Friday to buy a wedding dress. I went to three places looking for dresses, and the first one had the one I really liked, so really this could have just taken an hour instead of all day.

Week 7 - Invitation week. Get everything drafted and printed up by Thursday, and then meet with FMIL for addressing and assembly help. Printing stuff happens after work, address-gathering happens, well, during. Register at Bed Bath and Beyond. The Man picked out his tuxedos.

Week 6 - Almost burnt the whole pile of invites after a fight with parents, but opt instead to mail them. Met with bridesmaids, who'd gotten their dresses, for a revue. Stole a dress to meet with florist #1. Registered at sears. Dad snaps a picture of us outside the church to send to newspapers. Assure friends who got invites that no, I am not pregnant, we just wanted to minimize our time in Wedding Planning World.

Week 5 - Canoe trip. Did manage to sneak in a meeting with florist #2, which inspired me to book florist #1. E-mailed MOH with invite list in case she wants to throw me a pre-party.

Week 4 - July 4th week, but somewhere in there we met with our pastor for pre-marital counseling and a photographer who we, incidentally enough, met on the canoe trip last week. I also ordered shoes & cocktail napkins.

Week 3 - Met with our DJ on Tuesday, pastor on Wednesday, the cake lady on Thursday, parents on Saturday (to decide seating arrangements). The man books honeymoon stuff like a crazy person.

Week 2 - Hair trial. Print the backs of table cards, because we're using cute symbols. Bug people for RSVPs. Meet with ceremony musicians. Return shoes that didn't work out.

Week 1 - I'm going to an airplane festival all week.

Week 0 - meet with DJ for the final time. End of the week: Get married!

So in conclusion, all those bridal magazines that flaunt a six month planning period as crazy just don't know what they're talking about! We're surviving... not married yet, but things are really coming together! And you'd be surprised how people just roll with it; sure the tux shop would like to have all measurements in 8 weeks ahead of time, but they also say that it never really happens, so many people wait until the last minute it's almost refreshing to have someone like us who starts at the last minute, that way there are no pretenses.

A few other notes that helped us...

  • The venue is almost a luck thing, if you can't get that booked you're doomed and that's okay. It really was cosmic alignment that got us our date.
  • You have to book the venue before you can print invites, and you have to mail invites six weeks out. Those are just hard deadlines that make me thing ten weeks really is the minimum, if you want a traditional wedding.
  • I was able to buy a wedding dress straight off the rack because I wear an 8 or 10... again, luck.
  • My wedding workout plan went out the window as soon as things got crazy. I will not have the best looking arms/back that I dreamed of. But who's counting?
  • We obviously skipped save the dates, formal engagement shots, reception favors (well, might have skipped those anyway), matching shoes for the bridesmaids, ice sculptures, etc.
  • okay, more things we were skipping anyway: cake serving set, toasting flutes, engagement ring, pew bows... you name it, we cut it.
  • I feel like I have no life. I didn't know it would get to that, but it has. turns out planning a wedding does consume things.
  • My parents freaked out all the time around weeks, well, all of them, because they're hosting this and are scared it's not coming together. there was at least one screaming fight on the phone, and several other near-misses. and not just me! the future husband had a good one with his folks too! but we relied on each other during those times, and admitted that even if this is bringing out the worst in our families, we are going to be our own family unit together after all this is over and it'll make up for all of that. he was my rock through any and all drama encountered during this thing.
  • We were counting on a friend of ours being the DJ and he totally let us down by wanting major funds and being somewhat unprofessional about it, sorry to say. The DJ has been a saga. But the photographer we stumbled upon... awesome! Just know that you will sometimes luck out, and sometimes not luck out, but there's so much going on I think it evens out.

So yup. Besides helping out anyone else doing a fast wedding, I also wanted to use this post to assure everyone that no matter what your timeline is, it will feel like you're behind. Go with it. Keep making a phone call or two or five a day and don't let anyone tell you that you're not doing it right. We wanted attendance of 100 people, sent out 90 invites (=180 people) to make up for the fact that we didn't do save-the-dates and people would already have plans, and you know what? We're going to have about 120 at this shindig. Everybody just rolls with it. Don't sweat the small stuff.

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marc had a weekend off, which was crazy! I used it to force him to cook dinner for my parents; we grilled salmon saturday which was yummy. we also had some green beans and portobello mushrooms, both purchased that morning from the farmer's market a block from our apartment. when I first moved here I figured I'd get all my food from those people but to tell the truth, I spend a lot of saturday mornings not feeling like going out in the sunshine if you catch my drift.

sunday we went to breakfast and then church, and then spent the afternoon outside. we went to the zoo because we haven't been in forever, and that was fun... they had a giraffe born on Friday so we got to see it, and the girl working with the giraffes turned out to be someone marc knows from the clubs so she told us all about it. I guess little giraffes just sleep most of the time. I feel like it would suck to be born a baby giraffe... they're kind of tall and awkward anyway, if you add that to the awkwardness of babyhood it sounds miserable.

then he had a work picnic in a park so we took our sweaty selves to grab some free food and got, well, sweatier. I came home from that all exhausted, took a shower and we went to bed around 10 but now I'm awake for some unknown reason.

oh, marc also used his time off to research and show me pictures of guinea pigs. he adores them and thinks we need one, you know, since we're going to be married and that makes people want to start a family and pets are our preferred family route right now. the issue is that he's allergic to most furry things, and I'm allergic to cats, so I'm not sure how the guinea pigs will work out. last week we went to petland and snorgled some to test it out, and it wasn't so awful, and they were adorable and squeaky, so we'll have to see on that one. I would love to have a small furry animal. we're not allowed dogs in the apartment. but we could get parakeets too... marc and I have both owned parakeets before and aren't allergic to them, so that might make them the option.
beep beep beep bonk

flickr conundrum

question of the day: if you have your own server, do you host your own photos?

I used to run gallery on the spacefem site, but as the years go on, it gets to be a pain. I have to worry about when to update it. I forget the admin password and have to go into the database to reset it. But since I have my own server, I just figured it's the right thing to do. and I don't have *tons* of photos anyway... it's secured, I show it to friends after road trips.

Recently I've been thinking I should just ditch thing thing and start a flickr account like everybody else. I mean, there are a lot of things that I use other servers for... I blog on livejournal, for example, even though I could easily start my own on sf (hell, I could run livejournal on sf, it's open source). I use my college e-mail more than my accounts on my server for important stuff.

I also know people who do tons of work on their own cars, but still go to wal-mart or whatever for oil changes. they just say that once you tally up the time, effort, disposal, and weigh it against the $30 it costs to just go pay someone to change it, you might as well just have someone else do it. The Man is more efficient than you. Most of us don't grow our own food anymore, even though it might be healthy to try once in a while (incidentally, I have changed my own oil before, just to learn what it's like) because the greater system is just easier. So it's hard to tell where those lines are, you know? And it's hard to tell where hosting online photos falls into all that... if it's like my forum, which I'd never give up in a million years, or my journal, which I just want to log into and not deal with any other details.