Tuesday, April 21, 2009

(K)not a Bride's Best Friend

I've been avoiding going back on The Knot web page I started ages ago (truth be told, even before we officially got engaged to become Mr. and Mrs.). I got it because, at the time, it was the only source I could think of for all things wedding. Right around the time the Boy and I started ring shopping, I glimpsed The Knot wedding planning book and scooped it up. It was my introduction to the wild ride of wedding planning. I was overwhelmed and we hadn't even gotten engaged. By the time it happened, I was well versed in both the book form and the website. I happily checked every day to see if anyone had looked at our profile, browsed wedding dresses and took quizzes that purported to tell me what kind of bride I was. It was fun and frivolous, like eating cotton candy--lots of fluff but not that must substance.
Then I discovered that there were other (gasp!) wedding websites out there and tons of fabulous blogs to read through.
I first found peoniesandpolaroids and from there fell in love with other sites (see the side bar for my favorites, folks). And after awhile, I found myself less and less on The Knot. I grew more resentful for the intrusive nature of the site, how the weddings seemed to blur together after awhile and it started bleeding into my vision of what I wanted for our wedding, twisting and winding itself around until I didn't recognize it at all.
Thus, I began to avoid signing onto The Knot. Silly, I know, running and hiding from a website. But I never said I was the most courageous gal around. Today, I finally logged on after months of ignoring it and found that our checklist of things to do (never mind the ones--that's right, more than one version--I have on several sheets of paper hidden in all sorts of pockets, purses, under stacks of paper) was overwhelming, to say the least. According to The Knot, this is what I should have accomplished three months prior to the Day:
The Knot's List (the biggies!) and Where We're At:
1. Decide on the Caterer
After much hemming and hawing, we were able to go with a fun barbecue type of meal for the wedding. We're getting the food dropped off at the reception style, served buffet style. Super casual and easy. We're serving pink and regular lemonade and iced tea in mason jars. We're also planning on doing some baking ourselves the week of for a little dessert buffet station that goes with the food. I think we may opt to make some Asian and vegetarian foods as well. How 'bout homemade lasagna, pasta, egg rolls and fried rice? I know, what an odd combination of food but it seems more homey to have such a delicious smorgasbord as our wedding fare. Must make sure there are enough napkins present.
2. Decide on the Officiant
I admit, we are sorely behind on this one. We've looked but not seriously. People have been giving us business cards, trying to set up meetings for us but we cannot make a commitment. Did I mention we have less than 3 months to the wedding? I think part of our problem is that we haven't really sat down and discussed what we want from the ceremony itself. I do want to incorporate some cultural things from my side into the ceremony but I'm fuzzy on which details I want to actually add. The Boy has mentioned that a friend of his can play the bag pipes at the ceremony as well as a nod to his Scottish heritage (luckily both of us really enjoy it and it reminds us of our adventures in England). I think we need to decide what we want before we decide on who it is that will be marrying us, don't you think?
3. Finalize your Guest List
Uh, we sorta did. And then I invited one of two (or more) people because I didn't factor in (why I didn't I'll never know) that most people will be bringing their significant other or a date. Which puts us at our original count (about 80 or so). I was a little disappointed. I had begun imagining a small ceremony and reception for 50 people. This is what happens when one doesn't pay close enough attention to one's Excel spreadsheet.
4. Hire Your Photographer
Done! They're awesome. More detailed post on them later.
5. Narrow Down Your Gown Choices and Make a Decision
Another one I got right! Whoo! It currently sits in my best friend's parents' home waiting for the first dress fitting that should take place next month.
6. Book Reception Band or DJ
I have mixed feelings on this. You see, the Boy and I have very eclectic musical tastes and one of the few genres we agree on is 80s music (I know, a strange choice). So we decided to go with the ipod plus sound system. However, I have mixed feelings on this now. I still love the idea of being in control of what music is being played (I am a tad bit neurotic when it comes to this) but I wonder if we should hire someone to DJ to help control the mood of the party, introduce us and special moments at the reception. Currently, I am thinking of asking my brother to help out with this part. He may be a little too happy to oblige but I'll have to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't slip one of his personal (yes, he writes music on the side) songs in there. I may ask our more musically-minded pals if they would sing/play at the reception as well.
7. Book Your Honeymoon
Not booked. But we finally decided on a destination.
8. Choose Your Florist
No florist. We're going DIY folks. Thankfully, my pals and I are fairly creative individuals so I think it will go well. Plus I have a friend who once worked as a florist so if I really needed advice I could ask her about it.
9. Order Invitations
Another DIY project. It actually echos a bit of the Save the Date cards we made earlier. I handmade this fun little scene and will be using it on our invites. I should be making them this weekend so I'll post the process when I'm doing it. Oddly enough, making this has inspired to to possibly launch my own little shop on etsy. But more on that later....
10. Reserve Rental Equipment
Again, we're behind on this too! We should do this for the ceremony and reception sites!
11. Groom's Attire
Uh, I have some notions concerning vests for the Boy. He is thinking suits. Maybe different colored ties? I think he is shopping for this with the groomsmen this weekend or next.
12. Purchase Wedding Bands
Mine are done (he got it as a set when he bought the engagement ring) but his has yet to be purchased. Ugh, I hate trying to drag the Boy ring shopping.
13. Arrange Day Of Transportation
Thanks to the future MIL, this is not mine to think of! Whoo hoo! Cross that one off my list of things to do. I do hope she leans towards a cool pink Cadillac. That would be awesome.
14. to 100. A million other little things that make my head spin. Really, my head is catching some air right now.
But you know what happened? Instead of hyperventilating and crying in frustration, I had a moment of Zen-like calmness, an epiphany, a revelation if you will.
Here's the thing:
Our wedding would never be the kind in magazines or TV shows or other people's blogs, let alone the kind featured on the knot. But our wedding would be filled with love from the people who knew us best, lots of fun times and personalized touches that meant a great deal to us. In short, our wedding would be very US, a celebration of who we are and our commitment to continue loving each other as best as we can. It's going to be messy and a little unpredictable, but who wants a boring wedding? Not me.

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