My Many Stages of Wedding Planning

Date: June 23, 2015 at 2:24 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 27

I’ve gone through several stages of wedding planning.

The first stage, immediately post-engagement, was EXCITEMENT. Everything was love love love and I was happy and glowing (“glowing” = riding a steady champagne buzz for the first month of our engagement) and couldn’t wait to start the planning process. What kind of wedding would we have?!

Being happy. Feeling joy.

Being happy. Feeling joy.

The second stage was FRUSTRATION. Once we decided we maybe wanted some kind of barn wedding or rustic-type thing upstate or on the North Fork or maybe even in the Hamptons (even during the off-season, LOL), Brian and I immediately hopped on the task of finding our date and venue. And people laughed at us. “You want to get married in the fall? Of 2015? LOLOLOLOL.” Direct quotes. For real. Places were either booked through the entire year or they were just so outrageously priced that I don’t know how anyone could get married there (and yet, booked solid!).

These will help me plan my wedding! JK They will scare me.

These will help me plan my wedding! JK, they are mostly just ads.

The third stage was RELIEF. We came up with a cool idea that was basically the result of us saying “I wish we could just blah blah blah blah.” Followed by, “Wait, can we do that?!” It would be something different from anything wedding we’d attended (and we’ve been to a whole lot), which was what we wanted. We got a pretty perfect date — not only will our wedding be the day before both our parents were married back in the day, but it’s the same weekend as the Hamptons Marathon so hi, anniversary marathon every year, and September 26 means a lifetime of making wedding date/marathon references (because 26.2…).

Brian says I should not wear my engagement ring whilst bike riding. Something about being "a liability."

Brian says I should not wear my engagement ring whilst bike riding. Something about being “a liability.”

The fourth stage was OVERWHELM-MENT. Now that we had our date and venue, we actually had to start conceptualizing the whole thing. And while I am a generally organized person, I am not a creative person when it comes to this stuff (bride fail, sorry Pinterest). I don’t have dreamy visions of how a wedding should look, and as excited as I was to jump on Pinterest, I got very overwhelmed very quickly.

WHAT.

I don’t understand.

I know what I like and don’t like immediately, always, but I can’t look at a big open space and say, “This is where the cake should be and this is where the Selena Gomez will be stationed and this is where Celine will perform.” So for a while, I just could not picture what our wedding would look like. And people wanted to know about our “color scheme” and I was like “champagne colored BYE FELICIA.”

I took all four magazines to Central Park one Sunday afternoon and vowed to read ALL of them. I fell asleep before I made it to the editor's letter in the first issue. And practically broke my back carrying them there because these things are heavy! Gotta do more Shake Weighting...

I took all four magazines to Central Park one Sunday afternoon and vowed to read ALL of them. I fell asleep before I made it to the editor’s letter in the first issue. And practically broke my back carrying them there because these things are heavy! Gotta do more Shake Weighting…

The fifth stage was SHOCK. This arose during the aforementioned Frustration Phase, but the deeper we go into wedding planning, the more I am consistently shocked by the upcharges on all things wedding. Oh, you want your hair done for a party? $50. Oh, it’s for a wedding? $250. Ohhhh, some flowers for your home?! I can make you a lovely arrangement for $30. Oh oh oh, this is for a bouquet for your wedding? $300. Each. Part of it is because we’re in New York City, but it’s just the whole wedding industry in general.

Nightly dance parties keep us sane. Well, they keep me sane. And they make Brian laugh and sometimes roll his eyes.

Nightly dance parties keep us sane. Well, they keep me sane. And they make Brian laugh and sometimes roll his eyes.

The sixth stage — the stage I’m in now — is GREAT JOY. I am really really really excited now. It’s like a switch flipped a few weeks ago and I went from being overwhelmed and worried about stuff to just being like “this party is happening, hell yeah.” We’re about three months out and we have a lot of the big, important stuff done. The hotel block, after much frustration, is locked down, and I’m obsessed with watching peoples’ reservations pop up. It’s exciting to know that people are really, truly coming to celebrate with us!

Practicing stepping all over each others' toes. First dance is gonna be a shit show.

Practicing stepping all over each others’ toes. First dance is gonna be a shit show.

Brian and I were at a wedding in Vermont earlier this month, and we realized that the next wedding we would attend would be our wedding. Whaaaaat?!

Posing with Bridesmaid Extraordinaire L-One. HI LONE!!! SEE YOU THIS WEEKEND!

Posing with Bridesmaid Extraordinaire L-One. HI LONE!!! SEE YOU THIS WEEKEND!

Other noteworthy-only-to-me things we’ve accomplished:

We picked out our wedding bands!

THIS LOOKS WEIRD.

THIS LOOKS WEIRD. If you thought to yourself back in December, “Oh, Ali is engaged! I wonder if she will start tending to her nail polish now!” Well…sorry.

That was a fun day.

SORRY YOUR WEDDING BAND ISN'T MADE OF LIKE A BIKE CHAIN OR SOMETHING, BRIAN.

SORRY YOUR WEDDING BAND ISN’T MADE OF LIKE A BIKE CHAIN OR SOMETHING, BRIAN.

We wandered toward the jeweler where Brian got my engagement ring and there was this huge crowd gathered outside. I was all, “Is this the line to get in??? Daaaamn these people must be popular!” And then some paparazzi guy was like, “Naw, Floyd Mayweather’s in there.” Oh. OK. So in we go, to get our rings while he was sitting there with one suitcase at his feet filled with cash and another filled with diamonds (no joke). He also had an entourage of about 13 people with him.

He's the one in the gray sweatshirt. Next to that butt.

He’s the one in the gray sweatshirt. Next to that butt.

The crazier part? Brian and I left to do something terrible (go to Saks Fifth Avenue to try on shoes — why why why would you do that, Alison, when you knew you would fall in love with an $800 pair of shoes?), and as we were leaving Saks, Floyd and his entourage were pulling up and rolling in! I was like, “FLOYD STOP FOLLOWING ME,” and Brian goes, “Don’t talk to him.” His entourage was not friendly. And Floyd would not pay for our rings or those shoes I wanted. He really is a shitty human.

Big mistake. HUGE. (I didn't buy them. But I did set up about 12 price alerts for them on various websites, so...I'm on it just as soon as they get knocked down 95% off.)

Big mistake. HUGE. (I didn’t buy them. But I did set up about 12 price alerts for them on various websites, so…I’m on it just as soon as they get knocked down to 95% off.)

I finally got my ring resized! Yeah…should’ve done that sooner. It fits now! And it’s very shiny again.

It was just sliiiightly too big before. Which did not bode well for my wild jazz hands. I had to contain them a little bit. Now WE ARE BACK IN BUSINESS.

That nail polish… Oof. Sorry, look away.

The invitations have been sent! I thought hand-addressing them would be some big project, but it took me fewer than 24 hours. I loved it. Then I stamped the RSVP envelopes, stamped the big envelopes (put half the stamps on sideways like an idiot — please no one notice), stuffed them all, and sealed them. I anticipated this being quite the to-do (who says that?), but it was a really easy, mindless project. Minus the stupid sideways stamps. I hate myself.

And then I went to the post office and, as the websites suggested, asked for the envelopes to please be hand-canceled. LOL. Should’ve known how that would go over in New York City, even with my sweetest smile and kindest words.

GONNA MAIL THESE INVITATIONS. But first let me take a selfie.

GONNA MAIL THESE INVITATIONS. But first let me take a selfie.

Post Office people, why you gotta be so rude? No matter what I do, mean mean mean. The guy at the post office said, “We don’t do that here,” and sent me to the post office further south. So I went to that one, and when I asked, the woman rolled her eyes at me for making such a ridiculous request (Style Me Pretty and A Practical Wedding said to do it!). She then said she would “go out of her way to do 50 of them,” but said each additional would cost five cents. So I counted out 50 (family, bridal party, and anyone with acute attention to detail) and put the rest in the regular mail. BYE AGAIN FELICIA. SEE YOU AT THE WEDDING.

Brian sent this to me after I confirmed I had dropped off the invitations to be mailed. DID YOU JUST CHECK MY BATTERY LIFE? I always do that when people post screenshots. I try to keep mine fully charged at all times. But not that day.

Brian sent this to me after I confirmed I had dropped off the invitations to be mailed. DID YOU JUST CHECK MY BATTERY LIFE? I always do that when people post screenshots. I try to keep mine fully charged at all times. But not that day.

We got our first wedding gift!!! That was especially exciting. Registries are such a weird thing, because you pick out exactly what you want. But the day we got our first gift (champagne flutes and wine glasses from my super awesome cousin/fellow champs-lover), I was really really genuinely excited. Even though I picked it out.

EVEN THOUGH I KNOW WHAT'S INSIDE, IT IS VERY EXCITING.

EVEN THOUGH I KNOW WHAT’S INSIDE, IT IS VERY EXCITING.

My dress is here. It actually arrived three weeks ago, but I’m putting off scheduling my fitting because I’m terrified it won’t zip. My mom is coming to visit in a few weeks, so I’ll just wait for that. I’m sure she’s super excited at the potential for a major meltdown! LUV U, MOM.

SHEDDING FOR THE WEDDING. Just a little morning Shake Weight. BEST GIFT EVER! Thanks, Conroy!

SHEDDING FOR THE WEDDING. Just a little morning Shake Weight. BEST GIFT EVER! Thanks, Conroy!

The menu is set. Taco bar, mashed potato bar, lobster rolls, and mac and cheese. And a lot more. Like pigs in blankets, because Brian really wanted them.

Our officiant is officiated! One person here actually correctly guessed who would be marrying us, which I think is awesome (and a testament to being a longtime reader! well done!). Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to introduce for the very first time: Pope Cane! We are so so so excited for Coach Cane to be marrying us because he’s known each of us for a long time, both separately and together. Plus I really think Pope Cane is catchy. (He has not yet agreed to that nickname.)

We still definitely have some big things to tackle, and time is ticking right along, but I’m not worried about it. My bachelorette party is this weekend, which doesn’t seem real at all. I’m the bachelorette this time? Strange!

...next stop, NYC! I'm already here. But everyone else is coming now!

…next stop, NYC! I’m already here. But everyone else is coming now!

#GoTeamCristiano

Because everyone said we needed a hashtag.

PS How do we get a marriage license and how long does it take and is it hard? Do we have to go through an interview and someone will decide if we’re worthy of marriage? I Googled it earlier but got distracted and never learned the process.

27 Responses to "My Many Stages of Wedding Planning"

Yay, so excited for you! Can’t wait to see pictures. All you have to do for your marriage license is go within 30 days (in Ohio) of your wedding date. Bring cash or check. We had to go to our county courthouse. They will ask a few questions to make sure you aren’t being forced into marriage. You solemnly swear. Sign. Boom. I can’t remember what all we had to bring (ss card? license?), but it’s probably different in each state so check that first! 🙂

To get your marriage license, you just go to the courthouse, and you tell them what you’re there for. I think you can even pre-fill out the paperwork by printing a form off line. They just ask you if you and your spouse have answered all the thing you filled out to the best of your knowledge under threat of perjury and you say you do and that’s it. So easy.

Your menu sounds awesome! I’m still int he stage of all my friends being engaged and getting married so I’m sure I’ll go to a ton of weddings before I ever do. It all seems really stressful and expensive though.

Katrina in Seattle says: June 23, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Here you go!

http://www.cityclerk.nyc.gov/html/marriage/license.shtml

The highlights:
*$35 (credit card or money order)
*You can start the paperwork online
*You both need to be there to get it from the City Clerk
*Valid anywhere in New York for 60 days
*You have to wait 24 hours after receiving the license to actually have your ceremony…so you can put off getting it for awhile, but don’t wait until the very last minute (…or I guess, last 24 hours)

I loved this post for a number of reasons.
1) I am going through the EXACT SAME FRUSTRATION over the cost of this whole wedding situation. I can do my own damn hair but I’m going to pay you how much because it’s my wedding day and that’s what I’m supposed to do? WHY IS A MAKEUP TRIAL OVER $100 DOLLARS? WHY DID I INSIST ON HAVING A FORMAL WEDDING? We can see how this spirals quickly…
2) Little details… my OCD self is so overwhelmed.
3) Love the hashtag – it took me way too long and way too many conversations to settle on mine (#BucklinUpForGood .. too many conversations…)
4) I’m so excited to get married too!!!!!
5) I can’t wait to see more of your plans and how the whole things comes together. Please eff the haters and do an entire wedding recap post because I will anxiously await it and then want all of your ideas.

Have I creeped you out enough with my crazy can-we-be-bride-friends comment yet? Okay, I’m done. Bye.

AGREED! Love it all:) I want more details! I am planning my wedding in October:)

Where did you get your invitations?

Congrats on all the planning! The final stage is the best part where you can just kick back and relax until the big day.

And the hashtag…yeah, we ended up doing one of those too. Apparently it’s a “must” nowadays.

Chrissy says: June 23, 2015 at 6:35 pm

I remember when the RSVPs started to arrive. It was so exciting because everyone put special comments on them and I looked forward to going to the mailbox! It made things seem more real. That and when we got the marriage license and she asked if I was being coerced into this relationship.

I do remember about 2 weeks prior to wishing we’d eloped because I was tired of answering questions. I really don’t care where the canoe goes for the beer. As long as there is ice and the beer was cold, we’re good!

Promise me you have a manicure scheduled prior to the wedding and a shellac one so it will last 😉 teasing…

Mashed potato bar? *bowing down – we’re not worthy*

Pope Cane! Could never have guessed that! But I guess in a way, the most appropriate person.
Psstt…wedding planning sounds stressful.

Haha your menu sounds great! You and Brian are adorable:)

Those shoes!!!!!!!! I really hope you end up with them. Also, your arms look so ripped in the shake weight photo. Jealous! 🙂

YUM to the food! I planned my wedding majors in a matter of 3 weeks, and we got married within 6 months of engagement! Key is to think outside the box for the venue, and that’s what we did. Marriage license process (according to almost 7 years ago OMG, in Connecticut nonetheless) involved licenses, both being present, signatures and taking a paper to be signed by officiant and witnesses, and asking them to take a picture of us! Pretty uneventful. It gets signed the day of, and assign a SOBER person to place it in the mail 😉 But don’t be like us and put the license in a “safe place”…never to be found again! We had to order a new one so I could do name change, passport etc. (I’m convinced my husband threw it out accidentally)

I did not get my invitation, so I am going to assume it got lost in the mail. I will talk to the postman today. This is unacceptable!

Yayyyyyy! I can finally read your wedding posts without anxiety in the pit of my stomach because MINE IS OVER! I look forward to welcoming you to married life. The water is fine!

I love that you are having Coach Cane officiate. We also had a friend who had known us both longer than we were together, and it made the whole thing really lovely and personal. We put off getting the ceremony together until the last minute, but I loved it. We had perfect readings and good friends helping us with everything. I wish you the same.

In my city, only one of us had to go in to the office to complete the marriage license, but we both went anyway because it was exciting. My favorite part was eyeing up all the other couples in the waiting room. You could tell who went with who… the couples just looked like they belonged together. It was adorable.

Three months out! Focus on the stuff that is most important to you, and then just get the rest of it done. It’s happening either way and the most important part is that you both show up. I hope you have a blast! 🙂

Lauren W. says: June 24, 2015 at 2:39 pm

OMG! Couple of things here: I have that grey Lulu flowery shirt and am obsessedddd. Also, I’m an event planner for a living and 1000000% understand your frustration with the hand-cancelling. I have to do it once a year for a big gala I plan, and LEGIT dread going to the post office more than anything in life. Fun fact: you’ll get a different answer from a different person on a different day every.single.time. And finally…have a BLAST this weekend girl! All the best.

LOL on the post office people. So kind of her to stamp 50 of them! not. They’re mean here in Ohio too. I guess that’s a requirement of getting a job there!
Thanks for the update – I love to hear about how it’s going. Bachelorette party this weekend? Have a GREAT time!

Genevieve says: June 24, 2015 at 6:51 pm

But wait, is the shake weight actually good???

I love that Coach Cane is marrying you guys! Full circle and all that. I say “to-do” all the time – haha. AND, I’m just going to assume my invitation got lost in the mail 😉 “US Post Office, more like US Lost Office. What are they, Irish?!”

Your menu sounds amazing! My dad actually told my mom that having pigs in a blanket was his only non-negotiable at their wedding (they just celebrated 28 years this month). I plan on pigs and ideally a MD blue crab feast – if I ever find a husband that will agree to that! 🙂

Ali – there are some Jimmy Choo gold strappy heels on Rue La La today. They’re not quite 95% off retail, but the discount is pretty good! You could also check 6pm and bluefly for some major markdowns. Also, my logic was that it made sense to splurge on my wedding shoes since they were the one thing I could actually wear again. Good luck!!! Also – I love the wedding posts, keep em coming : )

YESSS!!! I guessed Coach Cane!! I don’t know if I should be proud or feel like a stalker. I’m gonna go with the former to make me feel better. Can’t wait to read more about your wedding planning. When those gifts start arriving and RSVPs come, it’s so exciting!

By your lobster rolls, you should have a sign about being each other’s lobster 🙂 Mate for life!

Coach Cane! That’s amazing. Your wedding sounds amazing. I thought “hand-canceled” was a typo and now I am all freaked out. What other well-known wedding planning information am I missing?!?!?! I also started putting my stamps sideways.

I realize I said “amazing” twice. I am now posting too fast.

DO NOT tell Brian I said this but he’s right about riding in the ring. I wore my wedding ring trail running (obviously, because I don’t want any handsome, half-naked trail running guys thinking I’m available as I fly down a trail like a gazelle) and then I fell (because I’m not a gazelle) and lost two diamonds. They’re tiny diamonds but even so. And I dented the ring so badly the jeweler couldn’t replace the diamonds properly so he had to fill it in with white gold. So Brian is right.

“anniversary marathon every year” I LOVE this! I need to find myself a man that runs 😉

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