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I See, I See


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

I think I have discovered the why and wherefore of the atrocious bridal to-do list. Five weeks out, my hands are largely free of tasks, as we have all but finished our list (Type-A alert). I’ve noticed that my newly free hands tend to start wringing themselves.

It’s not that I’m nervous about the wedding, per say, or about our marriage. Its that now I have time to think about the vast unknown (what does a wedding feel like when you’re a bride?) and the way our lives will never be the same after we marry (together five years or no). I have time to think about my emotions.

I think this is why favors were created, actually, as a monumental distraction from the truth.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12516721149332008201 jg

    i read the original 'list' post and i am definitely with you on the sentiment. however, i am glad that the list is there so at least i can use it as a guideline and eliminate the steps i know i won't be needing. if i don't have deadlines, it won't get done (or alternately, i'll try to do it all at once at the beginning).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03584431220332308431 Lisa

    Ha! I am so there with you. I'm 2 1/2 weeks out and seriously have NOTHING to do. There is a lot to do once I get to my hometown where we're getting married, but nothing to do NOW and it's stressing me out! It's hard to concentrate on work, hard to care about regular household chores, when I feel like I should be working on the wedding. And it's so odd, for the first time in six months, I have no shopping list! Everything has been purchased! It's just an odd place to be, and now I want to fast-forward time until our wedding day.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18209861350905135093 LPC

    Thus spoke the Buddha:).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06814302207938982159 Ariel

    Never thought of it that way, but I think you're on to something here, Meg. Seriously! Wedding details as distraction from the large, scary unknowns of marriage. It's like your brain goes, "What will it be like after we're marriage? NO MATTER! MAKE ANOTHER TISSUE POM-POM!"

  • Anonymous

    It's amazing how fast you get over that "omg we'll never be the same again!!" and all the other anxious feelings that come along pre wedding. I find they usually go away the first week back at work, when you're back to getting annoyed at the alarm clock again. Things will be surprisingly the same, only you'll get to say cute things like my husband.. and have lots of pictures lying around

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    You crack me up Ariel.

  • Kristin

    This is why I am so so thankful we had short engagement. (Only 3 months!) I didn't have time to focus on frivolous things that didn't really matter to me. I'm sure if I had a normal-length engagement I would have come up with all sorts of ridiculous expensive ideas that I absolutely HAD to do. As it was, I didn't even look at one bridal magazine. (although I did read this blog while I was at work!) And I think my wedding turned out absolutely perfect.

    During the wedding, it felt like time was on warped speed. And I was incredibly nervous (about all the attention I would be getting from SO MANY PEOPLE). My arms were definitely shaking during the ceremony. I had expected to be really emotional, but for some reason that came during the rehearsal, not so much the actual ceremony. Before I knew it, the whole day was over and for some reason I was exhausted even though it only felt like 30 minutes.

    The changing of your life afterwards is the absolute best thing EVER. Things definitely feel different for us. It feels like coming home instead of just coming to my apartment. It feels like we really are "two become one" instead of just two people who know each other really really really well. You will love it and never be happier.

    ~Kristin
    http://unorthodoxmarriage.blogspot.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15286031970770408787 Mandy

    I was nodding reading your post and all the comments. Yep, having nothing to do makes me nervous. Now I just want to get married and get away with my dear one.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16706255556393303773 Ms. Debbie G

    I'm with Kristin. It is mindblowing how fast it goes. I did SO MUCH thinking and planning before the wedding, and I didn't even create a blog and a whole new practical wedding culture! Afterward, the first thing I wanted to tell every bride-to-be is that seriously, it is actually only one day. I don't think I quite believed that before. I tried to drink it in as best as I could.

    But something you wrote a long time ago comforted me, which is thinking of the wedding not just as that one day but as the whole process of planning and considering and now, all the memories of it.

    And honestly, for me, despite the fact that I thought more about the party after than anything else, the ceremony is the part I treasure most and went the slowest. I thought I would be all emotional/weepy but actually I was just so happy. It was all the guests who teared up.

  • http://snpdragn.wordpress.com/ snpdragn

    I can agree with this as well.
    I have so few things to do that I'm worried that I'm missing things – hence the hand wringing and whatnot.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00409541531549254367 Tris

    Ahahaha tissue paper pom poms are so much more manageable than the gaping abyss of the unknown… bring it on, sudden desire to make 150 paper-flower topped stir-sticks…

  • Stephanie

    No surprise, but you are much more organized than I was – though it didn't help that seven people decided not to come the Tuesday before, so in addition to all the things that can't be done too far ahead I had to reassess the seating chart – seriously a task like no other when dealing with recently divorced parents.

    But, I do envy you the time to reflect a bit. It went by so fast. What is it like when you are a bride? For me it was a whirlwind, a lovely, loving and fun whirlwind.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12051581432652556410 Marina

    Wow, I'm very impressed by your absence of to-do list. I'm 2 weeks out and mine feels like it's a mile long. At least it's all the "optional" stuff I looked at months ago and said, "Eh, I'll do it if I have time." Guess I have time now… The Void isn't concerning me much at the moment at least. I'm looking forward to being married much more than I am to the wedding.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03422424697050612621 love-v

    Meg – you deserve to have a zen day. My only advice to you is that you should only be responsible for yourself on your wedding day. Don't worry about other people and plan a relaxing morning. For me, knowing I had not just wedding elves, but a wedding army, helped. I only worried about myself and had a memorable, relaxed stress-free wedding day. Everyone deserves this. Planning ahead means you should go read a book, get a massage or hang out with friends. Hold onto those moments of real life and don't give yourself more to do.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00648258555208275088 WideEyedBride

    I was wondering why I keep making new things to do…

  • http://juliannesmith.wordpress.com/ julianne smith

    great post – so honest, thanks for sharing! don't add to the list b/c you are bored or need something to do. it is an odd feeling to not have a to do list, i know. but just try to enjoy the moment you are in. this is the calm before the storm, so enjoy it! better yet, enjoy it with your husband to be! go on a date instead of doing something for the wedding!

  • Cate Subrosa

    Five weeks!

    Gosh, you're organised. And funny. I think that's exactly what favours are, and exactly why, ahem, screw'em.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05750659066802561501 Erika

    My husband and I now refer to last summer as our "lost summer" because of wedding to-do lists. We didn't make it to the beach, we didn't take weekend trips, we didn't have long lazy summer evenings. Now I tell every engaged person I know to plan a spring wedding so all the busy planning happens in the winter instead of the summer. Just my way of saying, I hope you can relax enough to enjoy a little summer. And whoever said to get a massage, I second that.

  • http://accordionsandlace.wordpress.com/ accordionsandlace

    We have been talking about our hypothetical family a LOT lately…

  • One Love Photo

    Oh I love this and yes that is where favors came from-definitely

  • http://sochicsocheap.blogspot.com liz @ chic on the cheap

    next time your brain goes into overdrive, i'll send you some of my to-do list to knock it. ;)

  • http://www.weddingjewelrygifts.com/ bridal expert

    Funny thought! But it is all true.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14757441474371776203 {The Perfect Palette}

    oh our dreaded to do list. great insight.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08170120825583173366 Geezees Custom Canvas Art

    take a deep breath that day , and remember to be in the moment and enjoy it…too many people get caught up in the thank you's and the hellos and forget to have fun…it is your day!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16774816589101208646 skatej

    I found my mom's original list from 1982 while I was going through old boxes. Of course, this was the first time she planned the wedding before they canceled and rescheduled it for later. My mother planned her wedding twice in one year. Apparently only once using the list.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06206689296805893265 east side bride

    So. You're gonna make the favors, RIGHT?