Tag: Wedding

Sitting Waiting Wishing

“I’m finalizing everything this week so I can spend the weekend panicking uninterrupted.”
-C.

Yes.  I am painfully aware of ny neurosis, thanks.
Yes. I am painfully aware of my neurosis, thanks.

Good grief, I’m getting married in nine days…and worst of all, mostly everything is done!  I get to make a million and one confirmation phone calls this week, and then sit around twiddling my thumbs and waiting for everything to come crashing spectacularly down. 

Any second now J. is going to awaken to his danger and take off running.  My immediate and extended family will decide not to show up…or they will, and get into a huge fight culminating in a salad slinging war throughout the luncheon site.  The florist will die of swine flu and they’ll send her final creations to her funeral in tribute instead of the reception.  My family’s luggage will tumble out of the plane halfway between London and Chicago.  Mika (my loveably but hyperactive dog) will sneak her way into a suitcase and reduce my gown to shreds in her excitement.  There will be an awful gas leak at the salon which, thanks to the oceans of hair spray that are going into my, Mama, Snickers, Venice, Marie, and Peregrine’s hair, will result in a doubly horrific explosion when a stylist goes outside for a ciggy break.  One of J.’s exes will kidnap me to prevent the nuptials (seriously, could happen.  Our department is running security on an wedding that’s happening on campus for this very reason).  I’ll stumble groggily to the car way too early in the morning to go get my hair done and halfway to the city realize I’ve forgotten everything.  The wedding license will spontaneously combust.  Despite all my careful working out and eating, I’ll wake up the day of so plumped up with stress that my dress will pop open at the seams when we try to force me into it.  I’ll trip going down the stairs at my flat and end up in a bodycast and with a mouthful of broken teeth (this one is actually most likely…).

Though ludicrous, and yes I do realize they are, these are real fears.  But I’m not alone.  Yesterday both Darling and Mama gave me slightly more realistic-but no less-terrifying possibilities to consider: my family’s luggage could not arrive (never mind being left at Heathrow!), and everyone could come down with food poisoning!  J.’s family, on his mother’s orders, will probably be eschewing all restaurants ‘twixt now and then, and I’ll be popping vitamin C likes it’s candy to ward off the cold several helpful and loving friends insist is coming (you jerks!).

Horrors!

“Calm me down.  Tell me I should buy the croissants instead of make them!”
“Holy mother of baking…buy the croissants, woman and don’t be ridiculous!  You’re throwing a small shower not a presidential ball, I forbid you to bake a single french pastry!”
-Venice and C.

Vicky's going to get me killed...
Vicky's going to get me killed...

Venice is throwing me a bridal shower tomorrow…J.’s mom and sister are coming…and all of my friends have been asking me my lingerie sizes.  If I never post again it is because I have either A) died of humiliation, or B) been killed by his affronted family! 

At least we’ll die well-fed!  Venice just called me at work to confess she’s gone overboard with the cupcakes (red velvet of course) and has dozens.  But when I said, “Yeah!  More for us!” she came back quickly with, “Wedding in less than three weeks.  Dress, dear.”  She is such a good friend.

A Freak Out In the Style of Margot

Disheartening : knowing that your fitness goals (lose about one pound every two weeks) are attainable and therefore you have absolutely no excuse not to achieve them.
Soul-destroying : working out religiously all week only to discover you have gained a pound instead of lost it.

GAH!, C. cries out to you in angst.

But, C., you say helpfully and soothingly, you know that muscle weighs more than fat and you have been sticking to your weight lifting with admirable regularity.  You spend an hour in the gym every weekday, and sometimes saturdays, and you try really hard to eat a balanced diet, you even take vitamins.  And look how flat your stomach is!  The arm flab is gone too!  Do try and have a little perspective here.  And C., you say a little more firmly and with much less patience, it is one pound.  Surely your melodramatic tendencies can be put to more effective use on another angsty problem. 

I will not be consoled!
I will not be consoled!

No!  (C. wails)  I am picking up my wedding dress on Saturday and already in a nervous panic to see what they alterations girls have done to it and now I am the size of a walrus!  And it’s not even about the wedding (C. howls, swathing herself in sackcloth)!  I know it’s just one pound.  It’s just one of those days: I’m fed up with my job, my internet keeps cutting out, and I gained a pound.  And I really…want…a brownie…!  !

You, shaking your head in disgust and turning about sharply, merely curl your lip.  C., you are being ludicrous.  Let’s talk when your sense of reality reinstates itself.

(Humbly) Ok.

Eve vs. The Apple

 “Look for the woman in the dress; if there is no woman, there is no dress.”
-Coco Chanel

It never fails.  Whenever I recommit to frugality (and, though I don’t mind spending money, I already do live well within my limits) I remember something I need to buy, find a place that tempts me to dump money into it, or go shopping with Venice.  Usually some combination of the three. 

Why?!
Why?!

Last night was the third option.  I told the girls I asked to be bridesmaids long ago that I want them to pick out a dress they liked, that flattered them, and that they could wear again…I had no idea it would mean frantic searching and agony on their part, I thought I was doing something nice!  Venice and I went on the hunt for bridesmaids dresses, and since we live in wedding central, we reasoned, surely there must be something.  Two hours later we had encountered monstrosity after monstrosity (long, hunter’s orange, chiffon with a BOW!  I didn’t know they actually were legally able to sell something that ugly!) and I could tell she was getting frustrated enough to chew nails!  David’s Bridal was explored and discarded, some pretty dresses but ridiculously priced and the alterations would cost a separate fortune.  Other bridal shops were the same, the dresses in varying degrees of loath-ability.  We’re about the same height (aka short) and let me tell you, no one makes pretty petite bridesmaids dresses.  In fact, I’d say that very few people make pretty petite clothing for women in their early twenties period, but that’s an entirely different rant for another day.  As if finding a nice bridesmaids dress wasn’t a chore to begin with, finding one in a “specialty size” was pretty near impossible, we continue to be confounded by our height (or lack thereof).

Finally we through in the towel (after we had both stopped into Anchor Blue for flip flops because we both needed a pair, were still both in our work heels, and dying) and slumped home in defeat.  Then!  At 10 o’clock she called (ironic, since we now live two doors down from one another) and I hurried over to see this marvelous site: Shabby Apple.  Another friend had introduced me to it months ago but the memory of it was long gone.  It’s a small business run out of Salt Lake City, UT and they sell nothing but fabulous dresses!  She found one she really liked (it’s so classy, and not something vile that one tosses in the back of a closet never to be seen again) so we ordered it and we’re now a step closer to being done with this whole parade! 

I think I may be channeling...
I think I may be channeling...

…of course, there were repercussions…I’ve had next to nothing to do at work today so I spent the day cruising the website, having to physically restrain myself from whipping out the credit card!  I’m currently drooling over a few and debating which to buy first when I’m no longer out of my I’m-getting-married-and-have-better-things-to-spend-my-money-on hell.  …that and today I’m buying a pair of stunning emerald earrings to wear on the big day.  A girl can’t have everything.  At least not all at once.

For your horror/viewing pleasure you may check out the following.  I can’t belive so many people are this cruel to their friends!

Dude, Where’s My Pants?

“We’re going for the law of probability here: if we take enough pictures then one of them has to turn out!”
(Later)
“Good grief!  If he’s not looking stoned then I’m looking like a gargoyle!”
-C

A closet full of nothing to wear..
A closet full of nothing to wear..

So, after being engaged for months and getting married in just two, J. and I finally took engagement pictures to send out with our announcements.  What a migraine!  First I had to figure out what to wear (a war in and of itself).  This required a mad dash through the mall, trying on and discarding a number of dresses, falling in love with a fabulous white linen one, dropping way too much on it, getting it home, lovingly pulling it out the next day to admire it and being seized by a horrible rush of, “I’ll look like a Stepford Wife!” before finally being calmed down by well meaning friends. 

Then we actually took the pictures.  After a day of perfect weather, by the time we got to our shooting site there were threatening clouds, of course, and an atmosphere of dust that had blown in from the desert.  Didn’t matter, we manned up and smiled bravely while Kays (darling and patient girl that she was) clicked merrily away, delighting mostly in the pictures in which we looked particularly ghoulish.  Kays and I then decamped to her house for selection and editing (J. went to Five Guys with the boys.  Men). 

After everything, the editing was the adventure.  By 11:30 pm Kays and I were giggling hysterically as we scrolled through indiscernible blobs,  improbable facial contortions, and the occasional good shot (I can count the photos of myself that I’ve liked over the years on one hand, I think I must look very different in my head than I do in real life… ).  She, being the photoshop whiz that she is, tweaked a few things like brightening colors, and fixing my hair when I had a fit of narcissistic angst. 

Then, just when we were about to pack up for the night, something caught my eye.  We’d just spent half an hour on this one picture but something…something was wrong.  What was it?  My hair was flowing and my hips were at an angle that didn’t make them look huge, J. was annoyingly handsome and smiling, the colors were vibrant…WAIT A SECOND!  I looked closer at J.’s trousers and nearly choked.  Somehow, by trying to make the colors richer, we had turned his trousers into a gaping pants-shaped black hole!  You couldn’t see any pockets, pleats, belt, or anything, it was just a black splotch where light went to die.  AND we hadn’t saved the version of the photo we had worked on to fix everything else.  We stared in dismay at the screen at the pre-edited photo and the creepy post-production, until I blurted in almost-midnight-and-exhausted panic, “Can’t we just crop in the trousers from the original picture?”
“I’m not sure if I can…”  but Kays tried. 

Art is exhuasting...
Art is exhuasting...

Eh voila!  The Black Hole is no more, you can’t even tell that it was cropped.  Of course we still have to make a final decision and for all I know we won’t even choose that one…but midnight drama with an old friend is worth it!  Plus, if we decide today, I can order the prints and get started on announcements finally!

Topping It Off

“Do NOT cut with something sharp!!”
-Label on veil box… (C. puts down knife a little shakily)

368-july-13-19-2008-decisions-decisionsThe wedding is now just 2 months off and not only is my stress level starting to rise, I’m also acquiring a small pile of rather fabulous stuff in the back corner of my closet!  I’ve got the jewelry I’m planning on wearing, lingerie (courtesy of some bad influence friends), my amazing shoes, and my veil just arrived today.  The veil was a major hangup (of all the things to stress about…I’m embarrassed for me), I went back and forth between a veil, a headband with side detailing, a headband with an extra small veil, flowers, brooches, nothing…FINALLY I found something I liked (that wasn’t fantastically out of my price range!) and ordered it.  It’s a very petite birdcage style veil, very chic and haute couture without even coming close to breaking the bank.  My mother once told me she raised me on champagne tastes with a soda pop budget, she was right.  Unfortunately for her, this long-suffering woman has had to listen to me agonize over what I was putting on top of my head for weeks now, so I bet she’s as glad to have the issue resolved as I am!

Dress, Distress, Duress

“I had my second dress fitting.”
“How’s it looking?”
“Fine.  The only problem is me in it.”
-C. and Venice

Small Dog has body issues.
Small Dog has body issues.

I work our regularly, my weight hovers between a very healthy 115 and 120, I have low blood pressure, and I’ve achieved that rare state in a woman: I think my body looks pretty good.  Or at least I did.  On saturday I went in for another wedding dress fitting and my confidence crumbled at my feet.  I don’t care if you’re freaking Gisele Bundchen, put on a form hugging dress in a really light color, turn on glaring, unforgiving fluorescent lights, and stand in front of nearly 360 degree mirrors and even you would suddenly feel whale-ish. 

In other depressing wedding news, our invitations have come and while they look lovely, my mother wants them hand addressed.  ?!?!?!  I may have to get all my girlfriends together one night, promise them food in exchange for services, and beg them for their help because not only is my handwriting atrocious, the idea of addressing even just my share of our 400 invitations makes me want to cry!  I’m fully aware that the reception is my parents’ party, they are paying for it, they are throwing it, they are hosting it, but I have this small whiny child inside me who wails, “Do I have to?”

I Want That One, And That One, And…

“Marriage, a market which has nothing free but the entrance.”
-Michel de Montaigne

Something else I’ve discovered: I’m pretty good at being a pre-wife.  Flat found, furniture bought, basic appliances purchased (which I haven’t  ruined, exploded, or dropped yet!), and organization of said flat taken care of.  Utilities set up, bills paid on time, and I even got into the spirit of registering, even though the guiltis still painfully acute.  And J. is an excellent pre-husband!  He put our dresser and bookcase from IKEA together, reminds me of wedding stuff we still have to do (i.e. registering…could I blame the guilt on him?), bemusedly tolerates me running around like a headless chicken when I think something has to be done immediately, and does the heavy lifting.  And he’s very fun to look at!  Mostly planning the wedding has been an unenjoyably chore, even though I think it’s going to turn out beautifully, but planning the marriage itself has been rather fun.

money1Besides finishing trawling Bed Bath and Beyond with a registry scanner yesterday (Target’s our next victim), and deciding to buy a comforter set because it’s half off and on clearance, we also decided to buy a computer (finally, since I’ve been without for months now and J.’s laptop seems to have decided to tank on us).  So while it seems an expensive week, with tax refund money and a returned security deposit from my old condo, it actually won’t be too bad!

It’s surreal sometimes to no longer be a starving university student and having a legitimate income to spend however I find best (…or if I really, really need that pair of shoes…).  It seems the more money you have, the more places it has to go.  Where the topic of hot internal debate used to be, “Can I afford that or should I continue to just use my boot as a hammer?” it’s now become, “I know I can buy that but should I get it now, put it on a credit card, wait until payday, or spend the money on something else?”  Often it’s not a choice between can or can’t, it’s a choice of when. 

The most annoying species known to man.
The most annoying species known to man.

On a completely different topic, Marie has asked me to come talk to a group of nursing students who are going on study abroad to the UK about living in Britain, culture shock, and cultural perceptions on both sides.  I’m particularly looking forward to lecturing these girls (none of whom besides Marie have been out of the country in their lives) regarding American tourist behavior abroad, a subject of which I have many vicious opinions!

Yes, We Get It, I’m Short!

“Well, we’re going to have to hem quite a lot.  Let’s put your shoes on and see if that helps?  …Not really…”
-Seamstress

I have to pay HOW much for the ability to walk?
I have to pay HOW much for the ability to walk?

Could someone please explain how the alterations for a wedding dress cost half as much as the dress itself?  Does this seem right?  I don’t care if they have to take three yards off the bottom so I can walk (slight exaggeration), it still seems horrendously exorbitant!  On the upside, it’s still a gorgeous dress, and I saved it from near ruin.  When I went in to get it altered the seamstresses were working on the same dress for another girl…and they had turned it into some sort of Jane-Austen-wanna-be-meets-prom-dress-gone-horribly wrong mistake.  I am not spending money on something like this only to have it turned into some monstrosity.  Gah, what an escape!

Somebody’s Poisoned the Waterhole!

“I wish guys got some sort of engagement ring.  Here I’ve got this thing that says, ‘BACK OFF,’ and what’s he got?  His integrity?  Fah.”
-C.

Something’s in the water, that’s the only excuse.  We have four, possibly five I’m not sure, upcoming marriages in my office alone and my fingers are crossed for Hennessy and her man (no he should not buy a big screen TV, he should buy her something much smaller and shinier). 

SCARY!
SCARY!

Best of all, my friend Kays is engaged to her boy, congrats!  Never thought that my roommate from freshman year and I would be sporting rocks at the same time, but it’s pretty fun.  I think she’s either exceptionally brave or recently sustained a devastating amount of brain damage because her big day is in mid-May and she’s got a little over two and a half months to throw things together.  Her family is all nearby so she’ll have plenty of help (which may or may not be a good thing, families in this area being a particularly “frenzied about weddings” breed and all very opinionated) and she’s going to be a beautiful bride.  I’m so excited for her, even if I think she’s adorably nuts.

Caring too much about ridiculous stuff can produce the above effect.  Avoid!  No one wants to marry Bridezilla.
Caring too much about ridiculous stuff can produce the above effect. Avoid! No one wants to marry Bridezilla.

There is a dangerous side to well meaning friends I’ve discovered.  Daae, who took over Hennessy’s position when she moved up, used to work for a wedding planner and occasionally asks about my wedding plans when she walks by my desk.  And when I shrug helplessly she gets this big grin and starts giving me ideas.  Dangerous, interesting, attractive ideas where previously I was happily apathetic.  Ignorance is bliss.  Besides, with so many other engaged people around me, no one’s going to want to talk about mywedding plans and the more I’d think about it the crazier my ideas would get and with no one to bounce them off of I’d go quietly mad.  I’ll let my friends have the psychotic freakouts and just keep a supply of ice cream in the freezer at all times.