I am finding flexibility is key when taking on such a crazy task as a December wedding. As in this December. (Yeah, there’s the crazy part. Or sadistic; take your pick of adjectives.) Organization is a close second, but I am finding that the more I am willing to bend with the situation, the saner I will stay.
In all honesty, it is going much more smoothly than I had anticipated. I mean, how in the world I was able to book a Victorian home with less than two-month’s notice is still a puzzle. It may not be what I originally envisioned, but it is a far cry from the cement walls I thought we’d be working with. And really, I couldn’t expect an outdoor wedding to be well received in the dead of December; no amount of layers was going to fix that. So when planning a wedding quickly, don’t settle for something you hate, but be open to the possibilities.
Next, Andrew and I were not sure who we were going to have officiate. I always had a couple of women in mind (one secular and one religious), but neither options were going to pan out. Andrew had a friend with a retired preacher for a dad, but we had never heard him give a sermon or officiate before. I wasn’t comfortable with my granddad doing it because he is a bit unpredictable in what he might say. Then my grandmother (not attached to the formerly mentioned granddad) offered up the preacher of her tiny little congregation. I had met him several times. He was young and seemingly pleasant. What stood out to my mind is that, once when we were making small talk, he mentioned really liking that indie movie Rachel Getting Married. I had just seen the film and loved it, so he got personal cool points from me. He was also available for our date. I know, this is not a lot to go on for deciding on someone who will have such a role on our day, but hey, time was and is of the essence. So I called him up after discussing the option with Andrew, and man, am I glad I went with my gut.
I was dreading talking to a candidate because I was afraid of how he or she would react to me saying we wanted to write our own vows, have say in what would and would not be mentioned, and were completely against having “obey” anywhere in the ceremony. Turns out, I didn’t have a thing to worry about. He was the first to say that he would say or not say whatever we wanted and that the more personal we wanted to make the ceremony the better. He also reassured me that no one wants that pesky “obey” clause anymore. The he gave me important information about procuring the license. But the best part came toward the middle of our conversation when he mentioned that he had performed a Harry Potter-themed wedding. Now that is a sign if I ever was looking for one! I mean, we are considering Pop! figurines of Ron and Hermione for our cake topper!
I am currently exchanging emails with him to set up possible premarital counseling Skype sessions. And if I may just ramble for a second, I always intended that we would have time for counseling. We may just not have time now.
Fortunate circumstances allow me to go back to my hometown in West Tennessee after Thanksgiving to deal with all this wedding madness. That means Andrew and I will be separated for about a month before the wedding. (Insert sad emoji of your choice.) As if this is not stressful enough, that gives us very little time to sort out our license application. For the couples who are as unaware as I was, the couple getting married has to go to the clerk together to get the license. Also, if a couple wants marriage counseling (which will give you a discount on the application fee), they have to have their counselor sign off on a form that must be presented before they apply for the license. All of this is well and good for most, but Andrew and I will soon be six hours apart from one another, so the chances of having all of those ducks in a row beforehand is not likely. Back to the premarital counseling bit, regardless of the discount, I think it is something every couple should do. So even if we can’t have Skype sessions, I fully intend to break out these questions (courtesy of A Practical Wedding) one evening with Andrew coupled with maybe a box of pizza or take-out. We have had many talks about the future and our values over the past three years, but probably not as condensed and thorough as this in one setting.
Okay, rambling over.
The third box checked of the list is–drum roll, please–I ordered my dress! I have read that it takes forever to find the right dress, but I did not have forever and did not want to spend a fortune. So I got on ModCloth and looked at their special occasion dresses. This little beauty is what I found. Now let’s just pray it gets here on time and fits! I know ordering online without trying the dress on is a huge risk. I read 90% of the current 465 reviews of this dress, picked my size according to those reviewers and their emphatic proclamations of sizing up, and crossed my fingers. Now remember what I said about flexibility being super important in all of this? Well, I think it is fine that I ordered the dress because if a.) it doesn’t fit, b.) I don’t like it, or c.) it doesn’t arrive in a timely manner to figure out a or b, then I will send it back and go on a wild hunt for in department stores and local shops with my mom back home. I am even going to keep my eye out this weekend for a backup dress while we look for Andrew’s attire.
The dress may be a bigger priority for some than me, but I never had my heart set on a particular gown or designer. I am also very fond of paying less than $200 for a dress that I will most likely only wear once. If you, dear reader, are also looking to plan in a wedding in a condensed amount of time, have a less formal style, or just want to save some dough, I recommend hitting up your favorite shopping haunts, online retailers, and big department stores. (Every blog and book I have read so far encourages this for smart shopping!) You never know when a prom dress for 100 bucks may be just what you are looking for.
I know this post is getting long, but I just want to talk about organization for a hot minute. I know what has to be done and am okay at organization but not a master. To pull this off, you need to bring in the masters. Either you are one yourself or you are lucky enough to be friends with one. I have such luck and wish to give a hearty thanks to my friend Steph. She lives about seven hours from me presently but wanted to help me from afar by lending me her powers of organization which are mighty. I mean, she has a planner solely to keep up with the books she’s reading! And after seeing the binder that she sent me priority shipping, I am pretty sure she was a wedding planner in a past life.
This thing has folders, note paper, calendars with to-do lists for November and December, a pocket for important papers, a portable hole punch, and a pouch full of highlighters, post-its, pens, and clips. There is also a copy of the list of she made of everything we said needed to be done while we FaceTimed. And as a bonus, she even sent three bags of dark chocolate to ward away the stress. She is amazing!
So if you have a friend who is good with lists and scheduling, ask her for help to keep you on track.
Well, I have a whole weekend full of boxes to check off, so keep the love first and…
Keep your fingers crossed for us,