Wedding Undergraduate: The Shotgun Wedding Part II
After having Marian’s Wedding Graduate post on waiting to get married after being an un-wed mother, it seemed the perfect time to post a follow up on Rachel’s post on the shotgun wedding* (well, actually, we now know Rachel as Shotgun Shirley in the comments. Long story.) Because here at APW, we love presenting both sides of every discussion, and for everyone for whom waiting to get married was right, there is another lady ready to embrace the ever-traditional shotgun wedding. I would argue that what Rachel has learned about planning a wedding quickly are fantastic lessons for planning any wedding. So listen up. And then let’s toast Rachel, who is getting married THIS WEEKEND!!
Happy new year Team Practical! I thought I’d send a quick update, since my wedding is now, um two (yikes!) days out.
There are a couple BIG silver linings I’ve found in planning a shotgun wedding.
Less time to plan means less time to stress. I am so glad this will all be over with soon! I’m very excited for the party, but dang I’m glad that it will all be over soon and we can start being an old married couple. He’s glad it will all be over soon and he can focus on bar prep without my bugging him to get all his RSVPs figured out. (They are all pretty much figured out now, but last week I was pestering him a ton.)
We’re already focusing on “the big stuff.” We found out right before Christmas that it’s a girl, and just before NYE I started being able to feel her kicking. I held his hand over my belly and he felt it too. Very exciting. We are discussing baby plans (what strict parents we’ll be) way more often than wedding plans, and I’ve been procrastinating on figuring out my hair and jewelry by reading What to Expect and Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. As has been said time and time again on APW – at the end of the wedding day, we’ll be married, and that’s what matters.
Another take away that I think is more applicable to the general population is that priorities do change. We set up our must haves – family/friends, booze, funk, food – and those did not change. However, when we first started, I had invites pretty low on the list and flowers pretty darn high. Well, it turns out I love paper – so I ended up spending over twice as much as I was originally going to, but my invites were over ten times nicer than I would have had. I got an awesome deal from an amazing friend who’s starting her own business. I absolutely LOVE them. The design process was really fun, and we’ve received tons of compliments on them; people from all different age groups of our guest list have called them the best they’ve received.
As for the flowers, I realized that what I really wanted was the fun experience of hanging out with my girls, playing florist. I’m DIY’ing the flowers, and I’m really psyched. I’ve already had one test run at the LA Flower Market, have another one planned for this weekend (I volunteered to take care of flowers for my shower), and have a good sized crew helping with arrangements/bouquets/bouts the day before. It’s gonna be sweeeet. And WOW am I saving money. After the test run, I cut my already low budget estimate in half; everything was even cheaper than I expected. So I guess it wasn’t that the priority of the flowers changed, but the method/budget definitely did.
The biggest challenge in the wedding planning process has been learning to deal with family money and communication. Part of our family is paying for a good chunk of the wedding, and well, they are as annoying as they are lovable. It is good that I’m basically being forced to learn how to communicate with them, crash course style, but it still sucks. If I had to do this all over again, I would have said thanks but no thanks, stuck with my original budget and spending plan, and told our family to put the money away for the kid’s college fund. Which reminds me, I gotta start a 529 already!
*Editors note: Rachel and I decided to use the term shotgun wedding because we think it’s hilarious. We know some of you don’t share our sense of humor on the subject, and that’s ok. In the meantime, we’ll be over here giggling.
Liz Coopersmith of Silver Charm Events is perhaps best known around these parts as the creator of the Olive Garden Rule, a super smart catering maxim that reframes how to think about food and drink prices per head. That pro-tip is no surprise, as Liz was The Broke-Ass Bride’s advice columnist for five years and has written two wedding planning guides (both available on Amazon: The Mad Dash Down the Aisle and DIY Your DOC). But when she’s not doling out this kind of no-nonsense wedding planning advice around the Internet, Liz is a wedding planner based in Los Angeles that you can actually hire to make your planning process easier in real life.…