Forgot to RSVP

I can’t believe I am getting married in 6 weeks.

I also can’t believe I haven’t blogged about the process.#bloggerfail

It has been the most exciting and most trying process ever.

Even though I have known that I am getting married for a few months, I haven’t really felt “excited” i.e. giddy (not to be confused with happy)  about it until this past weekend and I know exactly why. This wedding planning process has confirmed that I am an OCD organiser. Unless every item on my “to do” list is either completed or in-progress-with-a-clear-plan-and-timeline-to-complete-with-sufficient-room-for-error-margin-time-wise, I feel unsettled. I have finally achieved that state of relaxation and excitement and I love it.

I have learnt a lot of things about myself, wedding planning and interacting with people throughout this process. The most valuable of those lessons are these: know what you want and what is important to you. If you don’t, you will drown in the waves of well-intentioned suggestions. In addition, knowing what is important to you will mean that you will know what you are willing to compromise on and what you are not. This sets the tone for your budget and for negotiations with suppliers. Give and take is inevitable. If you haven’t figured out where you would rather spend and where you would be happy to save, you will spend an unnecessary fortune. Knowing what you want also allows you to sift through all the lovely suggestions you will get and to pick the suggestions that make your vision better. Even more importantly, it allows you to make quick, confident decisions. If you don’t know what you want, you will end up having someone else’s wedding and paying top dollar for it.

Be it friends, suppliers, family or the pastor, communicate succintly. Giving them the vision is not enough. You might think it is but it isn’t. Your loved ones and suppliers can’t see what you are imagining so if you leave room for interpretation, they will interpret and they will might come up with something entirely different. Tell each person exactly what you want or else the resulting confusion will exhaust you at best, or at worst, result in a wedding you don’t want.

Go for pre-marital counselling. Period.

Almost finally, once you pick and pay for a dress or shoes….stop looking!!! There will always be a better dress or a better pair of shoes accompanied by that pesky voice in your head that says “you will only wed once. It’s totally worth the money.” Don’t. Do. It. Sometimes the voice takes the form of a very persuasive salesperson. Be wise.

Finally, be unapologetically yourself. Don’t try to recreate someone else’s wedding experience. You can learn from others and be inspired by others but ultimately this is your day to celebrate in the way that makes you (and your mother) happy. For example, instead of a traditional wedding website, my fiance and I launched a blog. It’s a platform we can use to blog about marriage, love, kids, challenges and good times. The idea of continuity and preservation of the memories in writing is important to me and his enthusiasm and the delight we both took in working on the blog together is a very special memory. Even the parts where we disagreed intensely about themes and content and deleted and re-did attempt upon attempt punctuated with a little sulking from both of us here and there all contribute to how special it is.

For the record, I chose, ordered and paid for my wedding dress within 3 months of getting engaged, without ever stepping into a bridal boutique. The wedding dress was one of the things I was willing to compromise on (shocker. I know.) and I was lucky enough to get one that I absolutely love with minimum fuss and at minimal cost #score. I feel like I should be in the Guiness Book of Records or something 😉

Oops, I almost forgot… I promise this really is the final finally… finally, be patient and long-suffering. You will be tried. Losing your cool wont help (unless you are supposed to try lamb shank on a bed of sweet potato mash accompanied by root veggies and the chef serves you lamb shank pie in a pot with a bone sticking out and you absolutely refuse to eat it and send it back to the kitchen #truestory) You may not be understood. You may struggle to find what you want. You may need to haggle back and forth for some time. You will need to follow up on RSVPs you didn’t get. You may need to explain to the decor person that adding votives to your quote and to your decor when you gave them a list of exactly what you want that didn’t have votives on it is trying it. You may need to explain the spice palette to the chef a couple of times. You may need to send a multitude of pictures to your hair dresser and compeltely dislike the result (this is why you have trials). You may need to push things along. You may need to look through a million options of a million things and not spot anything you like and then randomly happen upon a picture of a cake that makes your heart skip a beat. Patience isn’t really an option. It’s your only choice.