I haven't written much here on the blog about our upcoming wedding, only to post this and this. So, all in one post, here's my experience and thoughts (so far) on wedding planning.
One of the first things I did after getting engaged was buy a wedding magazine. It just seemed like the right thing to do. I remember thinking, Now I can buy wedding magazines! As I flipped through it in the backseat of my grandparents' jeep, I remember being excited, but also thinking, Wow, there's a lot of ads. Why are there so many ads for engagement rings? If I'm reading a wedding magazine, shouldn't I already have a ring? What makes wedding dresses so expensive? It's just a white dress with some fancy, sparkly details.
I turned down only a few pages: an ad for registering at Target because I thought, Yes! I'd much rather register for board games than kitchen appliances! (Target, please don't leave Canada!); an ad for a fancy wedding dress, only because I liked the neckline; an article about changing your last name; and a tip for wedding dress shopping if you're "busty." Other than that, there wasn't much that interested me.
And yet, I bought two more magazines because I was newly engaged; isn't that what I was supposed to do?
I have yet to read them.
Once I came back to China, I didn't really do anything wedding-related except tell people that I wasn't excited about the wedding, a statement usually followed by worried looks and a hurried explanation, No no! I care about the marriage, just not the wedding.
And it's true, until a week or so ago, I wasn't excited.
Early in October, I created an account on theknot.com, something my friend had been encouraging me to do for a long time. I entered my information—wedding date (Uhh, sometime during summer vacation), wedding colours (Uhh, I don't have any?), style (Oh good! This I know! Oh... there's so many options... okay, I'll check "offbeat," "outdoor," and "DIY")—and then was given a list of a hundred-something things I needed to do before the "Big Day"—34 of which were "overdue."*
Until a couple weeks ago, I had searched Pinterest for wedding things exactly once: I typed in "backyard wedding," got excited by the results, and then quickly became overwhelmed.
All along, I've said that all I wanted was a tiny wedding. Ideally, we'd be married outside, by a tree or something, with only family and a few friends. Then we'd have a reception more like a small family gathering. A BBQ, maybe (heck, I'd be okay just ordering Dixie Lee), Picaroons and Blueberry Ale, twinkle lights, and later, a bonfire and s'mores. And laughing, lots of laughing.
Finally, a week or so ago, I started to get excited about wedding planning. I asked for location ideas on Facebook. I searched "wedding" on Songza.** I started pinning things. I went from wanting a "barbecue reception" to a "picnic reception" to a "brunch reception." And man, there are a lot of cute brunch wedding ideas. Mimosa bar! Coffee bar! Crossword puzzles about the couple!
Melissa came over this past weekend. Our plan: to watch Parenthood (I can't stand that it's almost over!) and plan a wedding. We spent 6 hours on wedding planning Friday night. I picked a date. I called 3 locations. I emailed 2 photographers. I called Service New Brunswick to ask if there's anything different required for getting a marriage license if you're marrying a foreigner (This was a laugh and a half. Not.). We searched and pinned and pinned and searched. Through it all, Melissa took notes, and we laughed. Oh boy, did we laugh.
And we came up with a plan: Wedding ceremony in O'Dell Park, 40-ish guests, a BBQ, a bonfire and s'mores, twinkle lights. I went to bed excited and happy.
And then I woke up the next morning and felt stressed. Even a small ceremony in the park would be stressful. Even a small BBQ reception with 40-ish guests would be stressful. And it would all be expensive.
I talked it all out with Melissa.*** I blathered on and on, spilling all my thoughts, I do want my aunts and uncles and so and so there, but I can visit them and celebrate afterwards; it isn't a big deal. I do want twinkle lights and a bonfire and s'mores but I have the rest of my life to have parties with those things. Etc, etc, etc.
Finally, Melissa said something like, It sounds like you do want all of these things so why are you trying to talk yourself out of them?
And I had a lightbulb moment: Yes, I do want those things, but I want to save money and be less stressed more.****
So, the current wedding plan: 12 guests. Small wedding ceremony in O'Dell Park. A picnic "reception" and/or beer and food at a restaurant. (I'm really excited about drinking Blueberry Ale on my wedding day.) That's it. Small, simple, fun. We'll be married and happy and there will be lots of laughing.*****
*As of the writing of this post, I have 52 overdue tasks.
**The playlist I've been listening to ever since (I listened while writing this post): "Rustic Outdoor Wedding."
***I know, you might be thinking, Um, where is Tony in all this? Don't worry, I asked him for his opinions and talked it out with him, too, but the reality is, my friends and I care more about the wedding than he does. Don't worry. He cares about the marriage.
****It was nice to realize that although we could afford a $10000 wedding, we don't want one. We don't even want a $5000 wedding.
*****I still want some traditional things: I'm going to wear a white dress. I and the bridesmaids will have bouquets. I want to send Save the Dates. I'm still going to Pinterest cute ideas for photos and other miscellaneous stuff.