Friday, July 11, 2008

Wedding Tips No One Tells You

The most common wedding tip I always hear is to "enjoy the planning process." As you know, I have not been enjoying it and I can't wait for things to get back to normal.

What kind of tip is that, anyway? What is there to enjoy about an overflowing guest list and a small venue, worrying if so-and-so even ordered her bridesmaid dress yet, having all-out brawls with that one jackass family member, deciding how you're going to wear your hair in pictures you'll look at forever, researching countless limo companies to see who's reliable without robbing you blind? I'm sorry, but none of these things are appealing to me. Being married, yes. Planning, no.

I think brides out there need some better advice than to revel in the chaos. So, I came up with a few different wedding tips. Some of these things come from my experience, others come from other people's experiences. All I know is that I wish I had this list in front of me when I got engaged...

1. Don't get all giddy and start telling everyone you know that you can't WAIT to send them an invite. You can wait. And you should. Engagements make us think we're best friends with everyone we've ever talked to. We're not, so get under control.

2. For the same reason, don't send out your Save-the-Dates too early. A friend of mine sent hers out about a year before her wedding and regretted it many months later when she was stuck inviting people she was no longer close with.

3. Don't give your crazy Jewish grandma her own guest list so she can invite people you wouldn't recognize if you fell over them in the street.

4. Don't get crazy and immediately tell your 5 BFFs that they are SO going to be bridesmaids -- especially if you're planning on a long engagement.

5. Different styles of bridesmaid dresses in the same color seem like a good idea, but it only works if you stick with the same fabric by the same designer. Just because two different designers have the same name for a particular color doesn't mean it's going to look the same. Plus it's just hell to coordinate.

6. Try on the wedding dress you think is too plain. Simple isn't a bad thing, and you don't need layers of organza and sequins to be beautiful. I hardly gave one dress a second look, but once my mom told me to "just try it on," I knew I'd found it. No pouf, no frills, no bustle, not strapless. Just a sleek, beaded drop-waist silk gown from Nicole Miller, the one and only place I bothered shopping. Done and done.

7. Before you put 10 fluffy towels on your registry, go to the store and buy one. Use it after your next shower to make sure it's as absorbent as it is fluffy. No matter how comfy it may feel, a wet towel in the morning is as jarring as getting to happy hour only to realize they took away your favorite specials.

8. Don't change stuff on the registry without discussing it with your fiance first. I did this. Big shocker. Little did I know that when I removed all of the individual, pricey knives Dave wanted in favor of one big block of knives (cheaper, more efficient, same brand) that I was undoing a few hours of research he did to ensure he was getting the best knives at the perfect lengths.

9. Don't add random items you don't need/want to your registry just because your guests want you to. You'll end up shoving a bunch of new household items in storage because you can't find room for them in your tiny apartment. So what if they want to buy you something "cooler" than a blender? Gift-giving isn't about the guest, and if you don't need extra random items, don't register for them.

10. Random items you DO need: a towel warmer, a wine preservation system and a food processor. You'll thank me later when you're warm, drunk and well fed.

11. Don't bother registering for china if you don't even have a kitchen table. You can buy china later (besides, your tastes may change by then anyway).

12. When registering for plates/bowels, get more than the standard eight. It may seem like a lot, but some clumsy drunk may break them or you may be shocked to find that you have more than six friends/family over for entertaining. Either way, 12 is a safe bet.

13. Don't wait until after the wedding to open all your gifts. The last thing you want when you drag yourself home from the honeymoon are a shit-ton of boxes that need to be opened, sorted, accounted for and put away.

14. Start putting aside money for the honeymoon IMMEDIATELY, even if you don't know where you want to go yet. I started by automatically transferring $200 each paycheck into a savings account... until I realized how much that interfered with my shopping habit. I cut back a little bit until I had enough saved up, and even though we're all covered for Australia already, I'm still putting a token $100/month in just to be sure.

15. Hire a calligrapher. The money you spend is SO worth it. You'll save yourself the time, stress and hand cramps that come with handwriting your own 100 invites, realizing that the invitation company can't send enough blank envelopes for all your screw-ups.

16. Be very clear with said calligrapher. The way I set up the Excel document with all the info was apparently confusing to her (come on...) and she ended up writing completely separate inner envelopes for babies and children.

17. Don't freak out about stamps.

That's all I can think of for now. My wedding is about two months away, so I might come across a few more tips to compile in a follow-up blog. Got your own tips to share?


Anonymous said...

"you'll thank me later when you're warm, drunk and well-fed."


And I love love love my towel warmer. Everyone take this woman's advice!

l.michelle said...
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