One of my very lovely friends is one of those people who seem to do everything at half speed. You know – eating, putting on makeup, getting out the door… Her dad used to say that this was due to the fact that she was born 3 weeks late, and she simply never managed to get up to speed. Well, it looks like my upcoming nuptials are suffering the same fate. At least according to Brides Magazine, or whatever that massive collection of diamonds and white silk, that is currently sitting on my living room table is called. Despite having been engaged for almost 6 months now, I have only purchased two wedding-related magazines. Why? Because they are a little scary. The first one was acquired back in September, when I was newly engaged and didn’t know any better. Another one made it into my possession on an early December morning at Gatwick Airport, under the excuse that I needed something to read on my flight home for Christmas. And this particular magazine had an added bonus – a wedding planner, including something as brilliant as ‘a stress-proof countdown.’ Not so scary, right? Wrong. Because as I was working my way through said countdown, I realized that I’d never had a chance of being up to speed, simply because there is less than a year between my engagement and my wedding. Apparently, you need to decide on your guest list 12 months before your wedding, send out save-the-dates 11 months ahead of time and confirm the menu for the party 9 months before you’re actually sitting down to eat it. Oh, and half of the points on the list are about reminding your future husband of his duties – such as making sure he has something to wear on the big day. I won’t even comment on that.
Yes, planning your wedding is a massive thing. And yes, there are important decisions to be made. But when push comes to shove, isn’t it just about gathering all the people that you love the most and then have the time of your life with them? I’m honestly not trying to be all holier than holy here, but of course you’ll need an entire year to plan everything if you’re handwriting all your invitations in calligraphy and you haven’t taken Calligraphy 101 yet. And don’t even get me started on all the other things that you apparently need to have printed. I love pretty stationery as much as the next girl, but is it really necessary to chop down an entire rain forest every time somebody gets married? Sorry, veering into holier-than-holy-territory again.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am ridiculously excited about the fact that I’ll soon be married to the love of my life. And I am equally excited about the actual wedding, because I have no doubt that saying yes to the man will be one of the biggest moments of my life. And of course I want to look pretty while saying yes, and I’d also like to have a few nice shots of the day to look at in years to come. But I have absolutely no intention of showing up on the big day with dark circles under my eyes, because a good night’s sleep has been replaced with tying bows on to wedding favors or hand-stamping name cards.
The funny thing is – despite stress-inducing countdowns in daunting magazines; I don’t feel like I’m running behind. Whenever a big decision has come up, the right choice has just been so obvious that the decision was a really quick one - which means that it never felt that big and time-consuming after all. And the wedding magazines? Well, they’re still a bit scary. How can they not be, with things like a list of 55 mandatory wedding pictures – from ‘bride having her hair and makeup done’ to ‘groom with (insert name of every single family member or wedding guest)’. But I guess that’s the wedding industry for ya’. Personally, I have reached a point where flicking through pages of dresses, flowers and music choices mainly makes me relax. Because our flower-guy lives right around the corner from us, and we know him because we walk our dogs in the same parks. Our band consists of some of the man’s fabulous colleagues, who are very talented musicians in their spare time. And my dress - my dress is being made for me by one of my dearest friends who happens to be a kick-ass designer. That’s how I plan a wedding.