Rachel: Countdown to the Wedding Mercury is in fucking retrograde by Rachel W. Miller I’m getting married this weekend! As you can probably imagine, the past few weeks have been a blur as we get into all the little details that sometimes feel too granular to put onto a to-do list. (On the other hand, nothing is too granular to go into our spreadsheet.) It’s been busy, but it’s been surprisingly not stressful and honestly… pretty fun. Three Weeks to Go At the end of January, it felt like we still had a lot to do… and yet it felt like we still had a good amount of time to do it. Here’s what we were doing with three weeks out. Spray painting everything gold and then covering it in glitter, including the banner for our guest book table and the vases for our paper flowers. Trying not to die from the fumes coming off of the clear acrylic gloss coat I used to seal my projects. Shampooing our carpet and unclogging our guest bathroom’s tub (which was filled with enough dog hair to make a coat). Buying everything we’ll need to assemble our wedding favors. We’re… going overboard in that area. Most of our guests have never been to Texas so we want to send them home with good souvenirs. Starting a love affair with Zazzle and giving them all our money. (Except not really because everything is always on sale!) Rehearsal dinner invitations, favors, stickers, labels—Zazzle has been so good to us. Getting a package delivered at least once a day. Seriously, we’re buying everything we can online. Shopping. Because we can’t buy everything online, we’ve still been spending a lot of time shopping and running errands. This weekend we picked up an assortment of things including socks for Eric and his groomsmen, paper on which to print our programs, and candy and mini bottles of liquor for our piñata. Loving my wedding watch. I had no interest in getting a second ring to replace or accompany my engagement ring, so Eric bought me a vintage watch from the 1930s instead. I’m really excited to start wearing it! Looking everywhere for affordable cake stands, ordering them, discovering that one was broken, and then realizing it didn’t matter anyway because the domes that covered them were tiny. Like, the-only-cake-that-could-fit-under-there-is-a-pancake tiny. I had all but given up hope on finding new cake stands that fit our budget with domes that fit our cakes when Lisa, Eric’s friend who is baking the cakes that will be going on said stands, found lovely Martha Stewart ones that fit the bill on super-clearance at Macy’s. Wedding magic! Shouting at each other. We had a huge fight at the three-weeks-out point but we’re filing that under “the last huge big fight before we got married” and moving on! Two Weeks TO GO The first weekend in February was the weekend we set aside a few months ago to get shit done. We’d still have one more weekend after this one, but I didn’t want to spend that weekend running a ton of errands or feeling stressed out. So the first weekend in February was our deadline for pretty much everything. And… it went great! Busy but not exhausting and not too stressful at all. The highlights: Having our house deep cleaned. I think this is why the rest of the weekend felt relaxed… our house was literally sparkling after the two cleaners were done with it. Now we just have to keep it clean for the next two weeks. Coating all glittery DIY projects in Mod Podge, which works way better than the clear acrylic spray. I can now confidently say our vases will not shed more than our dogs. Assembling all of our packaging and starting to put our favors together. Decorating the broom for our jumping the broom ceremony. Having little moments of wedding magic. At Target, after grabbing two boxes of Crest Whitestrips (one for him, one for me), I found a gift set containing two boxes… and it was on clearance for less than the cost of one of the boxes I had already picked up. And when I received the custom monogrammed handkerchiefs that I ordered as gifts for my mom and grandma, there was a third one included. Apparently they had printed one in the wrong color at first—and their mistake solved my “something blue” problem. TEN DAYS TO GO We have a marriage license! That went about as smoothly as one would expect from what was essentially a trip to the DMV. Wrong time, then wrong location, spent fifteen minutes looking for a Chase ATM only to learn that the right location did, in fact, take credit cards. It was ridiculous. The funny part is that if we’d just gone to the nearest Houston branch (the one we figured would be super busy and inconvenient based on past experience) from the start, the whole thing would have been totally painless. This week has been a little weird; it feels like this lull where there’s not a ton we can do, but we also know that there will be a bunch of things to do next week that we simply can’t do right now. It’s been odd. But getting the marriage license made me feel like we’ve crossed that threshold and now it’s “final tasks” time. My brain flipped a switch today and now I’m in “OMG my family arrives in a week!” mode and “Eeeeee it’s almost time to get a manicure!” mode and then also “DAMNIT WHY DID OUR DISHWASHER JUST SUDDENLY STOP WORKING!?!” mode. I’m beginning to regret our decision to get married during Mercury in retrograde. Nine Days to Go The repairman just left. We’re now shopping for new dishwashers. God dammit. Eight Days to Go Et tu, printer? One Week TO GO Eric and I get up and go shopping for a new dishwasher. After spending twenty minutes looking at different models and calculating the cost and the installation of each, we finally settle on one that can be installed on Tuesday or Wednesday. We found something in our price range, but ugh, I hate spending a bunch of money on some big-ticket item that I can’t even be super excited about. After we buy our new dishwasher, we go to a beauty supply store so I can buy new hair, as I’m getting a new weave sewn in on Tuesday. I buy four extra inches because I want it to be extra fabulous for the wedding and the price increase for the longer hair is significant. I walk out feeling quite sad about this and say so to Eric. He agrees that it was pretty steep. “Yeah,” I say glumly. “And I still have to pay to have it installed!” Six Days TO GO We have a lot to do today because we spent the majority of Saturday shopping because I’m suddenly bound and determined to wear a midi skirt for our rehearsal dinner, and despite the fact that every fashion website has been calling them a hot trend for months, and the fact that I’ve seen every fashion blogger photographed in multiple cute ones online, they do not exist outside of the Internet. And the best ones on the Internet are sold out. I finally just ordered one of my second choices online; I paid for rush shipping and I really hope I like it and that it fits. In other shopping success(ish) stories, we finally found a cake knife and server that fits our style! I learned I should probably get both the knife and the server after I sent Team APW a confused, “Cake cutters: how do they work?” email. I had fourteen tabs open and needed some assistance. Five Days to Go THE DREAMS WON’T STOP. And I wake up from them before 5 AM each day, which seems… unfair. On the flip side, I’ve been working out quite a bit, because what the hell else is there to do at 5 AM? Four Days to Go Our to-do list is winding down. A man put our new dishwasher on Monday. A woman is putting my weave in this morning. Once that is done, I think I’ll feel ready. But…I just woke up to a text from my mom that her flight to Houston for the wedding has been canceled thanks to bad weather in Atlanta. Apparently Mercury still has a few more things on its to-do list this week. Rachel W. Miller Contributor For most of her life, Rachel has loved the sound of her own voice. She loves reading, doing yoga (she still refuses to call it “practicing”), hanging out with her dogs, and talking Eric’s ear off. She lives in Houston, TX. You can read more from her on her blog.