Wedding stuff is all around me right now, I can't seem to escape it – or turn away from it, for that matter. I'm in the middle of planning my wedding (or rather, making the plans come to fruition). Also, there are like 20 other people in my office who are also engaged and planning weddings. We've just published our winter edition of New Orleans Bride Magazine. And everyone is running around like mad, trying to get everything ready for the Bridal Showcase we've got going on tomorrow at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.
Yep. Wedding overload.
And I just watched a "celebrity wedding" special on E! to top off an all-around overdose of weddingness. It was quite awesome to organize my wedding guest list as I was listening to "wedding experts" talk about Kim Kardashian's recent side-show nuptials as well as Katy Perry and Russell Brand's wedding in India featuring a few elephants for good luck.
Maybe they should have gotten a few more elephants.
But weddings are all around me – literally – right now mostly because I'm in the middle of addressing my wedding invitations and there's cards, envelopes, stamps and pens in a big circle on my floor. I spent the day pacing around my house yesterday because I figured, since I graduated from art school, that I should be able to do my own calligraphy, with some practice.
(yeah, this didn't happen)
I was wrong.
Calligraphy is hard, you guys.
Anyway, after a box of wasted envelopes, I decided to throw in the towel and just write the addresses out normally – no ornate loops or fancy lettering. Sometimes you just have to learn to go with the flow and if something is not working, you need to be able to change something, compromise … otherwise wedding planning will inspire a mental breakdown.
Here are a few other things I've learned:
• Don't keep dress shopping. It can drive you mad. Once you've picked out your dress, don't watch Say Yes to the Dress on TLC; it'll just make you wonder why you didn't have 25 people with you while you picked out your dress. Don't flip through any more magazines and don't go to any more wedding dress websites. It will make you constantly think Did I pick the right one? And the answer is, yes! Of course you picked the right one. Just stop thinking about it.
• Don't let people make you second-guess your decisions. I've been very very lucky in that my parents are the most awesome people ever and are pretty much letting my fiancé and me make all our own decisions about everything. I don't have family butting in with their thoughts on the way things should be (mostly because they're just not like that). I've heard some absolute horror stories about the torture of planning weddings and dealing with crazed family members at the same time. The only thing that's been brought up is the fact that we're not getting married in a church. I brushed it off; since there are a lot of people coming in from out of town, I don't want them driving all around the city getting lost while going from a church to a reception venue.
But honestly, I just don't want to get married in a church. Simple as that. Try not to let people make you feel bad about this kind of stuff. Just brush it off. It's impossible to please all of the people all of the time.
• Not everything has to conform to the "wedding rules." I wrestled with this several months back. Obviously, there's going to be a dress and, most likely, a bouquet, a wedding party and a wedding cake. But all of these things can be done in such a way that they reflect your personality as a couple. Not everything has to be "cookie-cutter." If you've never heard of a unity candle and don't want one, then don't get one. Just because everyone else does something doesn't mean you have to. And that's okay.
• Enjoy the process. I think there's too much emphasis on planning for this one day. I mean, way to put a lot of pressure on a span of 24 hours. I think a lot of the time we lose out on wonderful moments here in the now because we spend too much time and energy looking towards the future. And once the future is here … well, there's always something else to worry about, in the future. We need to stop and enjoy the process. I enjoyed picking out our colors and our menu and all that stuff. My fiancé is enjoying putting together what he thinks is the best playlist ever. Make it fun, make it enjoyable, don't focus all of your energy on the end result. Think about how awesome things are right now. Enjoy the showers, the bachelorette parties and all that to the fullest. That way, when the day comes and some tiny detail goes wrong or something unplanned comes up, you won't have a total nervous breakdown because all of your expectations revolved around a few hours.
• Some decisions can be saved for later. Don't worry too much about those. Case in point, the name change thing. Just like my fellow blogger Eve wrote about last Friday, I'm still very much undecided on what to do about my last name. Leading up to the wedding, I've been pretty adamant that I want to keep my last name, but now I'm just not so sure. There is something appealing about having the same last name as your husband as it unites the two of you in a very fundamental way. The problem is that I've had my last name for 30 years and I'm quite in love with it. I identify very strongly with it and the idea of giving it up to take on a name that doesn't have nearly the same meaning to me is really quite frightening. It's not as if it's a few hundred years ago and my father is selling me off for a few goats and I have to go live with another clan and identify as a part of their group.
I just really feel like there's a transition going on here with modern weddings and we're going through some growing pains right now while we figure out what we're doing as a society. Are we all going to go the "Jolie-Pitt" route in the future and just merge the two names? What happens when people's names get too ridiculous like "Jolie-Pitt-Cruise-Holmes-Knowles-Carter?" What then?
I just don't know. All I know is that I've been collecting "Drummond" things since I was given my grandfather's tie when he died. It's made out of the family plaid. I went to Scotland to see the "Drummond" castle in Perth. I have no idea if my future husband's ancestors had a castle somewhere. But then again, this is all because of my strong affinity for my family and this is, in fact, what my new husband and I will be creating, right? A family?
It's all making my brain bleed.
And will I start really caring if and when kids come into the picture? Will I feel the need to share their last name? I don't know. Only time will tell, but for now, I'm thinking probably not. They'll probably be "Jolie-Pitted." Whatever, I'm saving all of this thinking and brain bleeding for after the honeymoon.
And after all of the wedding stuff has settled down.
And speaking of wedding stuff …
If you're in New Orleans and you're getting married or know someone who's getting married make sure to check out our magazine New Orleans Bride. Our new winter issue just came out and those of us that worked on it are all pretty proud of it. You can also "like" the New Orleans Bride facebook page for all sorts of cool stuff and contests (like recently a Drew Brees-signed football). And you should definitely stop by the New Orleans Bride Magazine's Bridal Showcase tomorrow at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside from 5 to 8 p.m. All the details are here. It's going to be pretty cool!