Yes, I said it. I know this is supposed to be a food blog, but this post is not really about food. I suppose the subject of this post could promote eating habits that may not be wanted. Oh well. Wedding stuff. Yes. This is where it gets real. Most people think wedding planning is fun – I beg to differ. The frustrating F’s. Finances and Family politics. I’m going to break it down – from my perspective of course, and what is happening with us. Please note: this may not be the case for you. If so, you are one lucky SOB. No joke.
Ok so you get engaged. SWEET! It’s exciting right? Everyone’s super happy for you, and literally, not even 12 hours later, people are asking THE dreaded question…”So how is wedding planning going?” My first thought is… wait, are you serious? I can’t just enjoy the fact that our relationship took it a step further into a truly wonderful state which we are still in total bliss about! No. No you cannot. Where are you having your wedding? Have you picked a venue? Have you chosen your bridesmaids? What are your colors? Have you gone wedding dress shopping? What does your dress look like? How many people are you inviting? And so fourth. You get the idea. Not even 24 hours later, these were the questions that I was being asked. Can’t a girl breathe a little? Maybe soak it all up for a couple days? Lesson learned – if one of your friends just got engaged, let them breathe a little bit and then ease it in. I, am of course at fault for doing this at times, and it is merely from an excitement stance. Therefore, I apologize!
Next, the wedding planning starts. Literally once you pick the time of year you want, or the location you’d like to have it… the rush to lock in your date at the venue of choice is SO important. It’s funny because Tom was actually getting frustrated with me because I was pushing to get this done first, and to get it out of the way. He soon realized why this was the case. Places book up FAST! Things to also take into consideration is if your family or your fiance’s location. Will you pick a destination location? Or will you pick a location that is accessible for both sides of the family to attend? Do you want a big wedding? Or small and intimate? In this case we wanted a small intimate wedding. Big weddings become a blur. Sure, my parents had a 400 person wedding. But do you think they remember anything of the reception? Probably not. Do you think they knew everyone there? Definitely not. We are not a fan of having a wedding where your mom and dad invite their colleagues, friends, coworkers, executives, 25th cousins etc…. Why do these people need to be there? Obviously for the parents or whomever to flaunt their stuff. Again, not our style. We decided to keep it small. We wanted to remember and cherish every person and situation that happens on our day.
So, the other dreaded subject and factor comes up… Finances. Dear goodness this one is a killer. In the bad way, not the good way. This determines everything. Literally… How much can you afford by the time your wedding day comes around? How much can you save? Will you have help? IF you have help, will that person make demands? If you have demands from parents, how do you handle them? This is the major kicker. This is what could make me want to take a shot of gin – and I despise, gin with a deep passion. But no, I haven’t. Here’s what happened to us. We decided to keep ours low-key (or try to), low-cost, and small. We basically have been planning it like we are to pay for everything.
A couple family members pitch in – Tom’s side helped and they said here you go towards the wedding. No requests, suggestions, or anything. They are quite experienced with the wedding deal having three children married, and two of the three having children now! So, we are so lucky that Tom’s side of the family has been so laid back and understanding of everything. Fast forward two months. On my side, a family member whom I will not name, gave us a contribution to our wedding. Upon receiving it, that VERY moment, I of course said thank you at least a dozen times, but also asked if there was anything specific this was to go towards. Venue? Dress? Decorations? Photographer? This person said, no there is nothing specific. You can do what you would like with it. This person said this multiple times because I asked multiple times to be sure. I was hesitant because I had a gut feeling there was a hidden agenda. Something in me said that this is not going to end well. Granted, at that point, you are torn between 1. this is generous and would help a ton. and 2. something bad is going to happen. We decided to go with number 1 since I asked probably 10 times – are you sure? There were absolutely NO ties to what we were receiving, otherwise, we wouldn’t have accepted it.
Fast forward THREE months. By now, we had already picked out our location, venue, photographer, ordered the dress, made our guest list, created our wedding website and our invitations. I receive an email DEMANDING that 1. I have to invite 15+ people, most of whom I never see, or haven’t since I was 12, 2. our chosen officiant should not be our officiant (basically because of a personal vendetta and bitterness), and 3. that my sisters NEED to be my bridesmaids and I am “wrong if I don’t do it”. Oh and the best part… ‘IF I choose to disregard the above information, the check needs to be in my hands by the end of this week.’ Please note, it was Wednesday. I read this email and of course my first reaction was PISSED. Many, many thoughts were running through my head, many of which were inappropriate words which I will not state for good reason. As I eventually calmed down, and consulted a few people I hold very close and dear to me, I came to the conclusion that is this: if we were to have known that there were any terms to the money given, we would NOT have accepted it. We accepted based on the the terms at the time. Threats are not accepted. Usually this doesn’t go over well with most people.
I spent many hours, days, weeks trying to figure out how I could try to meet everyone in the middle. Also in the midst of the chaos, I’ve noticed my craving for french fries, cookies, ice cream, wine and pasta increase TONS! How could I work things out so that at least there was some effort on my part to please them? I tried, I really did. But every single time I did, something else was requested, or not good enough or someone else was upset about something or another. It started to feel like an endless cycle of failures, and disappointments. I realized that nothing I could do could make it exactly right for anyone. Literally. You could call this giving up, sure. You could say I said ‘F it’. While I didn’t make such a dramatic, prominent announcement in my effort to change the way I was dealing with everything… I just kind of did everything how we would like it. We want it to be our day, right? It’s not a family friends day that I knew back when I was 12, it’s not my tennis coaches day from my middle and high school days, it’s not my 5th cousin’s day, or my mother’s day – it’s ours. That’s it, right? Ha, if only it was this simple. Easier said than done of course.
All in all, we want to make this celebration a day to remember, and specific to us. EVERYONE has an opinion, and an idea of how it ‘should be’ done. Parents will be excited, and wanting to plan things how they would like. It is true, it is a big day for them as well. But all in all, what matters most? I can tell you what everyone says to me. It is your day, make it about you both. In the end, the most important thing is the marriage between two people, and two families coming together to become one.
I’m still craving french fries, noodles and chinese food. Darn it.