My fiancé and I are getting married in October. At least, that is the plan. It has been the plan for about nine months when we were finally able to decide on a date. Unfortunately, like much of the rest of my life the past year, the planning has not been going smoothly. Honestly, the planning has not even been going at all.
Well, now we have two months before the wedding and we have a venue.
Yes, that is it. Just a venue. Oh, and we have an officiant.
If we were younger, I could say that we had needed to research things like: "can we get married when we have so much student loan debt?", or "can we afford the house and the wedding we want?" Fortunately, we are both older and neither of these is relevant. Our only concern has been his parents being upset we are not getting married in a Catholic church.
No, it just seemed like there was always something else going on that took precedent. First, I moved into his house. Next, my dad died. Then I had to help my mom move. And then, I started a new job that is keeping me very busy…okay, so now I am just whining. My point is that somehow, something has always seemed more important than the wedding planning. Oh, did I mention I wanted to lose 30 pounds before buying a wedding dress? (Yes, I know! Crazy.)
Anyway, panic is setting in. At this point, do we move the date, do we cancel, or do we just elope? As I am writing this, I am thinking, this is actually humorous. Then I remember, "This is my life!", and panic sets in again. To decide which direction to go, my fiancé and I talked about whether we could make this wedding work in two months. We had a revelation. We realized for us, many of the details can be simpler or eliminated without a loss of meaning. Frankly, the ceremony itself is the important part, followed by our guests feeling welcomed and fed. With our shortened time frame (and honestly, shortened budget) everything else fell into the category of "it would be nice, but not necessary."
We had always planned on a smaller, daytime wedding so many issues were easier to solve. We aren't competing for high-end caterers or cake decorators. We decided we can get everything done. I have started on what we deemed the most important pieces: rings, caterer, cake decorator, and tables, chairs, and linens. Following are the shortcuts we decided on for the other parts of the wedding, or in a couple of cases, the reasons we decided to eliminate them.
First of these was my dress. Yes, I would love to have a beautiful dress. Unfortunately, because I wanted to lose weight before buying, I have waited too long to be able to order a dress. Therefore, I am going to look through second-hand shops and then off the rack to find something I like. I always wanted something simpler. Now it will just be a few sizes larger than I wanted it.
Tying in with that, I am going to ask my two bridesmaids to do the same thing. I want them to find a dress they love, in dark blue, and wear that. It is important that these two women share my joy in the day not that they are wear matching clothes. In a small nod to tradition, I am going to get them matching jewelry sets, which will help tie everything together.
The men will just rent, including my fiancé. I believe this is standard and if we get on it right away, should be feasible.
Obviously, we cannot eliminate this one. I love graphic design and paper art so I really wanted these to be special, but there is not enough time. Getting everyone invited is the important part. There are many services, both online and local, that can print stock wedding cards with a quick turnaround. We do not have a theme, so we will just find a design we like. Simple.
We both want pictures to help us remember the day, but neither one of us cares very much about the posed shots. We really are more interested in pictures during the ceremony and then pictures of people enjoying the reception. If we cannot find a photographer in our short timeframe, we have friends that enjoy taking pictures. We will ask them to take pictures for us. I have found some fantastic services online which will take our pictures and create beautiful, layflat albums. It will be as nice as a professional photographer's product.
I have to admit, I love flowers. If I had unlimited funds, the church would be buried in flowers. My practical side, though, has always said that since I don't have unlimited funds, it doesn't make sense to spend a lot of money on them. Flowers are at the bottom of my to-do list. If we don't completely eliminate them, we might just carry a single stem of something in season.
For wedding favors, I think we will see what we can include with the cake. I love the idea of sending our guests home with a cupcake or petit fours. We can order plain boxes and decorate them with home printed labels. This will be a quick, simple DIY project. We will see what our baker says about cost and timeframe. If not feasible, we will survive without party favors and so will our guests.
Finally, the only other item I had planned on, way back in the very beginning were decorations. Frankly, they are not necessary. We are in a pretty church for both the ceremony and the reception so we don't have to worry about hiding warehouse walls. I have a couple of ideas for simple DIY centerpieces for the tables and that will be it.
If I had just planned a little better, I would not be writing this article. In a way, though, I am glad it has happened this way. It made both of us seriously consider what about our wedding has true meaning for us. If it became necessary, I believe we could have just the ceremony, in front of people we invited by phone and be just as happy. With the extra time that we do have, we are able to add in the few extras that make the event a true celebration.