Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Crunch Time, Part 2

Last year at this time, every conversation started like this:

"Katze! Hey, how are you? Did you get your bar results back yet? No? When will they come out?"

Somewhere around June of this year, most of my conversations began to start off like this:

"Katze! Hey, how are you? How are the wedding plans coming? Are you excited?"

The last thing I ever wanted was to become That Bride. I was at a party with Ash last summer and it was one of those parties where the men go off together and the women hang out in the kitchen. I knew only a handful of the people at the party, mostly men, and I didn't even know any of them very well, but I had gotten this big pep talk from Ash about meeting new people, so I was bound and determined not to just hang on Ash's arm all night and be bored and anxious. I joined the ladies in the kitchen with a glass of wine in my hand (ahhhh, social lubricant). The topic of conversation? Weddings. One girl's upcoming wedding, another's recent wedding, another's wedding later that year, guest lists, caterers, flowers, colors, blah blah blah blah blah insignificant details that no one should get so worked up over blah blah menu choices blah blah blah favors blah blah linens blah blah gahhhhhhrrrrrgggggggggeiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, there isn't enough wine in this house to make me want to continue this conversation. *

The thing is, it's very hard not to get sucked into the wedding vortex. It would be very easy to let myself get consumed by the sheer volume of stuff to do, and I don't even care what color the table napkins are. In fact, a week ago, the length of my to-do list, which includes several things, all of which must be done NOW NOW NOW and which are truly important-- necessary, even.

Which meant that everytime I'd end up in a small talk kind of situation-- being in the elevator with a coworker, for example-- I'd find my blood pressure rising involuntarily at the inevitable query. How are the wedding plans going? NOT NEARLY WELL ENOUGH, THANKS FOR ASKING, WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP ME ADDRESS ENVELOPES, FIND A SEAMSTRESS, PICK AN ENGAGEMENT PHOTO FOR OUR GUESTBOOK, ARRANGE FOR A SOUND SYSTEM, PICK OUT THE DESIGNS FOR THE CAKES, wait! Where are you going?? I was just getting started!

The biggest thing that we hadn't done yet, as of last Monday at any rate, was to get our invitations out. I'd already spent several hours hand addressing the envelopes for the RSVPs and for the invitations themselves, but as of Sunday night when we went to bed, I think I was only 2/3 finished. I hadn't made the final edits to the text, set up the template, or even found the exact right ink for the starry tree (the same one I used for the Save the Date cards). I'd bought a DIY invitation kit from Target-- ivory with an ivory pearl border. My original vision involved using a matching pearlized ink to put the tree at the top of each invitation, with the text centered directly under. The only problem is that no matter how shiny or pearly or opaque an ink claimed to be, it simply could not be seen unless you held the paper just so under a bright light.

Hulio and I discussed this problem at length in the week leading up to our visit to Ash's sister, Elizabeth. Once we got there, Elizabeth got in on the action, and the next thing you know, we were wandering the aisles of a Hobby Lobby** somewhere on the outskirts of the city, pondering whether or not a hair dryer would work in place of the $20 heater for melting embossing powder. Just as we were about to give up, we found an ink different from any of the others I'd seen in my multiple trips to various craft stores: dark blue with a gold underlay. I wasn't exactly sold on the idea-- I figured it would clash with the pearl borders-- but since I wasn't exactly brimming with other, superior inspirations that would make Martha Stewart cry with a mixture of awe and jealousy, I bought the ink and figured we'd give it a whirl.

Monday night, I spent the better part of the evening cruising wedding invitation websites, trying to polish the wording. One site in particular provided us with hours of entertainment over the past several weeks, as we read the cheesiest and most obnoxious examples of rhymed couplets full of puns for various wedding "themes".

They turned out better than I expected.

Ash and I were up waaaay past our bedtimes, but we got the invitations out, hallelujah! Because, see, we have to get the final headcount to the caterer, ummmm... right after Labor Day. I swear to you, I didn't mean to procrastinate and put things off to the last minute, I really didn't. It's just that somewhere along the way, what with recovering from the accident, dealing with the insurance company, dealing with getting the new car, going to physical therapy, and trying to dig out from the enormous pile of gifts that have been arriving ever since Ash's family held a wedding shower for us about a week after the accident, we just got a little behind schedule.

The seamstress was turning out to be a sticky little problem, too. Back in My Hometown, I know of a couple of people who could either do the alterations for me or would know someone who could. Here, I hit several dead ends with the handful of recommendations I was able to garner from the few people I know who have gotten married here-- lots of retired seamstresses, and I mean, really now, how could someone pass up the golden opportunity to come out of retirement and hem my wedding gown? I just don't understand people at all.

Finally, I lucked into a conversation with someone who had ended up with a hideously missized David's Bridal bridesmaids gown that required extensive renovation, and lo and behold, she used a woman who she described as nothing less than a miracle worker, and an affordable one, to boot.

I am ALL ABOUT affordable miracles.

The great thing about this woman is that she came to my house. In the evening. At my convenience. She brought her little box and a stepping block, I climbed into the dress, she started pinning and measuring, and 20 minutes later, she sailed out the door with my dress, leaving me with a bill to be paid upon delivery of the dress the first week of September. For hemming the dress, reshaping the bodice, shortening the straps, fixing the broken fastener and adding a bustle, she is charging me only $90. I was very recently charged almost that much to have four pairs of dress pants hemmed at a local dry cleaner***

And the funny thing is, now that I got those two big things off my to do list, everything seems managable again. But the to do list is still three pages long...

* So I guess I'm a dirty hypocrite for writing this blog entry, but then, if you don't want to read this, hitting "Next Blog" is a lot less socially awkward than extricating myself from that little hen party was.

**The aisles and aisles of Sunday School supplies probably shouldn't have surprised me, since apparently, much like Chik-fil-et, they are closed on Sundays to allow their employees to worship and spend time with their families. Still, I was a little mystified at first as to why so many items seemed to have religious overtones in a craft store.

*** I'm pretty sure I got ripped off. Last time I choose convenience above all else.



At 9:24 PM , Blogger Sonja said...

I almost envy you the That Bride vibe, because I spent the five months leading up to the wedding in Germany (we got married in the US) while The Husband took care of everything. Yes, everything. I simply showed up with my dress.

At 5:48 AM , Blogger NiceOrc said...

Just in case you're interested, a hair dryer doesn't work for embossing powder, but a toaster does. All the best for your wedding day - and afterwards!

At 4:38 PM , Blogger katze said...

A toaster? I'm intrigued. How does that work?

At 11:16 PM , Blogger Krista said...

Oh, I completely understand your insanity. You know what was a bad time to be a bride? First year of law school. Sigh.

I can't wait to see you in your beautiful dress! You are so pretty, you'll just be amazing. :) If you need to vent about the stress, you know where I am, honey.

At 11:01 PM , Blogger Rebecca said...

Holy crap, those are pretty invitations...but I swear to you, I had the same wording. Or close...mine was "together with our families, Rebecca and E invite you to share in our joy"


I'm very happy for you, hope all continues to go well!


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