Eric and I sort of took the summer off from wedding planning; we agreed that we’d get back to it after we were done with all our summer traveling. True to our word, we spent the entire three-hour drive home after the second wedding we attended early last month talking logistics for our wedding. And you know what? It was downright fun.
Wedding planning is fun! Am I allowed to say that?!
It seems like in response to the “WEDDING PLANNING MUST BE THE BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE OR SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU” bullshit most of us have been subjected to, there has been a lot of, “WEDDING PLANNING IS SOOOOOO NOT COOL, IT’S ACTUALLY THE WORST AND ANYONE WHO LIKES IT IS THE WIC’S BITCH.” So depending on the company you keep, it’s entirely likely that you’ve felt the need to put on a too-cool-for-school attitude of “Pinterest, ugh, anyone who has time for that is a total loser.” (And then later start a secret Pinterest account because you know deep down that it’s simply convenient, but you still have to save face. Finding you actually like or need the thing you previously mocked: reason #1387347 why I will never bother with trying to be cool.)
But no secret Pinterest boards for me! Because right now, I am totally and unabashedly enjoying wedding planning. With approximately five months to go until our wedding, we have made it through the meltdowns and are now kinda cruising. Most of the big decisions have been made, and though we still have things to cross off our to-do list, I’m not dreading them. In fact, I’m having a great time and, as far as I can tell, Eric is too.
Here are some completely shallow things about wedding planning that I’m probably not supposed to admit that I’m really enjoying right now.
The paper. A couple weeks ago, Eric and I received thick envelopes filled with invitation samples from Minted and Wedding Paper Divas. “What are you doing?” Eric asked as I closed my eyes and smelled each one. “Uh, trying to choose our invitations?” I said. “Hm…I’m really curious if we could have our invitations printed on paper that smells like the pages of a Pleasant Company catalog circa 1993, because hot damn, that would be amazing.” Beyond smell, there is letterpress, calligraphy, typography, A7 envelopes, gold foil, borders…I find considering each of these things absolutely delightful, and it’s rare that I actually have a reason to consider them. In the age of evites and email, no one can take this opportunity to be all up in your mailbox with a tiny piece of art away from me! Do I think our guests care about the invites that much? Nope! Do I care that they don’t care? NOPE!
LOGISTICS. I like solving problems. I like getting shit done. I like pulling things off. (Events, my pants at the end of a long day.) Turns out, having a morning ceremony that is a good thirty minutes away from our reception venue is going to involve a lot more logistics than we had originally thought (so much for that “easy” courthouse ceremony and brunch reception!) but you know what? I don’t really mind. Because I am good at this shit. Maybe I’m just feeling arrogant right now because my Google-fu is at an all-time high or because I just discovered these sixty-nine cent pies that are a hell of a lot cheaper than the $600/hour custom ice cream sandwich food truck I’d been in contact with about our rehearsal dinner but right now, I’m just like, “A rental house that can hold twelve? Transportation for twenty-four that doesn’t cost a million dollars? BRING IT ONNNNNNNNN!”
The favors. If you had asked me a few years ago what aspects of WIC weddings are the biggest sham, favors would have topped my list. But I’ve since realized that favors are essentially gifts; gifting is not only my love language…I consider myself fluent in it and would love to be employed full-time as a translator. And now you’re telling me I now have an excuse to buy gifts for everyone I care about and they can be centered around a particular theme? (Themes: another weakness of mine.) Uh, yeah, I’ll get married for an excuse to do that! Since we’re having what is basically a destination wedding, I was looking forward to doing welcome bags, but have since realized that distributing them would be way too difficult. So we’ve combined the idea of welcome bags and favors and are planning to put together juiced-up gift bags for the wedding that feature plenty of local Austin flavor (i.e. booze). Eric and I have been bouncing ideas for what we’ll include for quite some time; we’re really excited to thank our guests for flying across the country to be there and to give them some great souvenirs for their trip to Texas (a first for many of them). We haven’t bought anything yet, mainly because I knew that if we started collecting little things here and there as we thought of them, guests would end up walking out of there with more gifts than we do. But! I’m really excited to get on that very soon.
The decor. Much like the cake, the decorations and flowers were aspects of weddings that made me think, “Eh, we can let that go if we can’t afford it.” One of the things I like about winter weddings is that you can get away with having less flowers, and courthouse ceremonies and restaurant receptions mean you don’t feel as compelled to make room in your budget for linens, lighting, or centerpieces if they aren’t your jam or you just can’t afford it. But over the summer, I realized that I do actually like some types of decor (namely garlands and paper flowers) and, since we intentionally chose venues that didn’t require decor, looking for a few fun items to incorporate is more hobby than required task. Trying out DIY projects isn’t a source of stress; it’s an excuse to tap into a creative side that I don’t get to explore as much as I’d like to. I just like doing arts and crafts! I get a lot of this during the holidays, but really, when else am I going to get to make a bunch of sprayed honeycomb décor and then turn it into an awesome garland? (Just kidding…I might just make that for fun and hang it in my office over my desk.)
I often hear a wedding dismissed as “just a party” by those who find them shallow or frivolous, but…I actually don’t host a lot of parties. (Because I’m not cool, like you, you know?) And this will probably be the only time in my life that I’ll get to host a party wherein all my people are in attendance. I’d love to host so many awesome ragers with everyone I love there that I could be blasé about this, but until everyone I love moves to a commune together and I convince the powers that be that Halloween and Christmas should each come twice a year, it looks like this is going to be The Party, and…that means I’m kind of geeking out about it.
My openness about these things is probably why I sat at the decidedly uncool table in high school but whatever. The uncool table now has sweet centerpieces, so I’m okay with it.
Photo by APW Sponsor Gabriel Harber