Archive for June, 2018

June 4, 2018

How’s Wedding Planning Going?

by Tabitha Kidwell

People keep asking me: “How’s wedding planning going?”  I find this stressful not because I find the process of wedding planning overwhelming or upsetting, but because of the expectation that it should be.  Before I planned a wedding, I thought it would be stressful, too.  I’ve asked many people this question, and had a vague assumption that they spent the 6 months prior to their wedding trying on veils, tasting cake, and licking envelopes.  I have done all of those things, and they were time consuming, but then they were done.  Wedding planning is often portrayed as a season of life, but for me it has been more like a checklist.

This is great news, because I love checklists.  I have found great satisfaction in finishing each little project – setting up the registry, mailing the invitations, ordering the flowers – and once each is done, I don’t think much more about it.  I’m also helped by the fact that there are many items that I have basically crossed off the proverbial wedding to-do list.  Actually, it’s not proverbial – it’s’s checklist.  I just deleted half of the crap on there. Envision your wedding. Have been doing that since I was 12. Save groomswear photos. Not my problem. Book your cocktail hour musicians. Not having any.  Other stuff was “checked off” within about 1 second. Decide on a city and season. Columbus, Ohio, as soon as possible. Book your officiant. My uncle, who is a minister at my family’s church. Think about wedding flowers. Okay, thought about ’em.

So, I haven’t put a ton of energy into the details.  Every  now and then, I come across photos of some gorgeous wedding on Instagram or Pinterest, and I feel guilty that I have not poured my heart and soul into having a stunningly unique event.  And then I feel angry that I have been made to feel guilty by social media’s unreachable and unreasonable standards.   And then I remind myself that very few people will even notice if I have a lot of cute sayings written on chalkboards,  if guests release Chinese lanterns as we depart, or if my 17 bridesmaids all have wisteria tucked in their updos. It’s a lot easier to plan a wedding when you’re in your thirties and have attended approximately a bajillion weddings.  Some of my friends obsessed over wedding details, some of them spent a ton of money, but I don’t remember much as a guest besides how much fun the party was.  And we know our friends and family are bringing the party.  We’ll have a good DJ, an open bar, and filet mignon.  Otherwise, I’m not pulling my hair out over centerpieces or cake decoration.

I’m also helped by the fact that my mom and Jim’s mom did a lot of the legwork at the beginning. Since Jim proposed approximately 8 hours before I left for Indonesia, we didn’t have time to find the perfect venue.  Here’s how the early stages of wedding planning went: 1. My mom drove by a place she thought looked nice; 2. She called them to ask what dates were available; 3. We booked one of those dates.  It’s fine.  What I like most about it is that it is a 5 minute drive from the church and next door to the wedding hotel and the after-party bar. The theme of the wedding is “easy to get to.”

And probably the biggest reason that I am not stressed out by wedding planning is that I have a super flexible schedule right now.  I’m writing my dissertation and doing freelance work online.  Writing a dissertation is a huge project requiring a lot of brainpower, with an indeterminate end date. Planning a wedding is more like a series of easily accomplished tasks that each require very little brainpower, with a very set end-date.  Planning has been very satisfying and a good break from dissertation writing.  Plus, I have the flexibility to take those breaks.  When I went to Columbus for a week in April, I visited the church, met the florist, tasted cake, tasted reception food, dropped my dress off at the tailor, got engagement photos taken, and made no progress on my dissertation. And that was fine.  When the invitations came on the Thursday afternoon 8 weeks before the wedding, and I felt like I needed to send them immediately, that’s what I spent the whole afternoon doing.  If I were working full-time right now, I would have had to take time off work to travel back and meet with vendors.  I would have made Jim help me stuff and mail the invitations after work when we were both tired and cranky.  And I would probably be way more stressed.  So that definitely helps!

So, that’s the extended answer.  Wedding planning is going great.  There’s a lot left to do in the next few weeks, but plenty of time to do it.  So far, I am enjoying the planning process and trying to keep the stress to a minimum.  It will not be the most dazzling affair in the history of the Internet.  But it will be a day for Jim and me to celebrate our union in the company of all the people we love most in the world.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.