June 30, 2008

The Amazing Stretch Guest List!

So, in the spirit of following the rules, I asked everyone to prepare a preliminary guest list for the wedding. I did this because the two sources I am spending the most time studying claim that this is an excellent way to get a rough head count so that you can begin planning everything else. Not that I am going to follow the rules about the formula (X guests= Y formality and Z number of attendants), but it would be nice to be able to be honest with the reluctant possible caterer about the numbers (especially since my dad put the estimate at 100 to 150, which I felt was reasonable even though I figured 100 was probably too low a number).

I came up with what I thought was a pretty comprehensive list. It included my close friends and my mom and dad's sisters and brothers and my cousins. This gave me a total of about 60 or 70 people, including relatives. Ben's list had about 30 additional people, so that gave us 100 (not including people from work). Then I passed the list off to my mother and asked her to fill in where she thought I had missed people.

She added 60 couples to the guest list. Yes, that's right--120 people (not counting children) IN ADDITION to the list I already had!

How did she accomplish the amazing feat of more than doubling the guest list, you might ask? Well, as far as I can tell, she added another tier of relatives!

I have a large extended family on my Dad's side, so there are tons of relatives floating around Iowa and Wisconsin. They are mostly my Dad's cousins and aunts and uncles (my second cousins, great aunts, and great uncles). I have always been bugged by many of these people. (There are a few exceptions--some are quite nice, but I left this tier off the list in the interest of saving space...I was planning for a smaller, more intimate wedding.) I have not seen any of them since my grandfather's funeral; before that, it had been since before my grandma got cancer since after that they couldn't freeload and live in her house for weeks at a time any more. Frankly, I don't care if I never see some of them again because they are not very nice to my mom and dad.

To put it in a nutshell, they are mostly a bunch of assholes.

These are the people my mother feels compelled to add to the list. I said, "Mom, why are we inviting them?"

"Well, I think you have to invite them; they're family. They won't come, anyway!"

"Then let's just save some stamps and not invite them."

"You have to invite them."

"What if they do come?"

"They won't come."

"Then why do I have to invite them?" and so forth.

Now, to be fair, my parents have offered to pay for the food, so they will be bearing the brunt of the cost of an expanded guest list, but there are other things to consider, such as postage, favors, church capacity, and the fact that the things I'm reading suggest that you should plan that 80% of the people you invite will come, not 60% like my mom has decided in her head is the magic number. :(

I had assumed that she would add something like 40 people, making the grand total (even if everyone from work came, which they probably won't--it's a little far to drive) under 200 people. Now my easy, breezy wedding is turning into a large-scale formal affair. Grrrr.

Thus, the wedding madness continues with the amazing stretch guest list: it bends; it twists; it grows. Where it stops, nobody knows!

Vegas is looking better and better every day. ;)

Posted by LoWriter at 09:33 AM | Comments (5)

June 26, 2008

In with the In Crowd

So, one of the weirdest things I've found lately is that since I got engaged, every married woman or mother of a married woman is my new best friend.

Now, of course I have friends who are married, and they have always been my friends. I'm talking about women who previously may have given me the cold shoulder or just seemed distant. Or maybe even women who liked me fine before. Now, suddenly, they can't wait to talk to me about their daughter who had a wedding or how they pulled their wedding off for under $5,000 or how they painted their son's wedding invitations by hand. A woman from another department who I barely knew before congratulated me profusely when she learned of the engagement. Today, she stopped me in the hall to ask me if I was getting used to it yet, and then she showed me her ring that her husband had purchased her for their anniversary. (It was lovely; it looked like little diamond flowers.)

Suddenly, I'm in with the in crowd.

It just struck me as a little weird. Don't get me wrong; I like it. I like feeling that I have extra mothers and friends and sisters. It's great. It just struck me as interesting today is all.

P.S. I am going to New Hampshire. And Boston. And Maine. And Niagra Falls. :) And possibly Chicago.

Posted by LoWriter at 11:00 PM | Comments (1)

June 21, 2008

What To Do?

I'm taking a poll. Should I go to New Hampshire to visit my sister and then drive back across the country with her or not.

--I'll get to see Maine, New Hampshire, and Niagra Falls.
--I've always wanted to see Niagra Falls.
--I'll get to see the Atlantic Ocean.
--If we can get on the $200 flight, I'll get to spend a day in Boston.
--It might be a good chance to mend fences with my sister.
--I'll get to spend time with the sisters.
--It might be my last shot at a real single girl road trip. (I've never been on a road trip.)

--We might kill each other.
--It will be three to four solid days of driving.
--Due to my wedding, I will have only three days off at Christmas and no time off the rest of the year except holidays.
--They're mean to me.
--I'm cutting their trip off early to get me back in time so that I can even go, so they might resent me for it.
--My boss may not give me the time off.
--If my boss gives me the time off, she'll act like I owe her something.
--It may make it hard to get time off next summer.
--It's going to cost between $200 and $400 for airfare (more willing to spend $200 than $400).
--I won't be able to work overtime that week.
--I will be busy every weekend in July if I go.
--I'm stressed out.
--I kind of want to see things with Ben these days.

Posted by LoWriter at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2008

The Knot Freaks Me Out

This morning, TheKnot.com informed me that we have only 366 days to go until our wedding date. (If we in fact go with the date we are considering. Please do not save anything yet or consider this entry an official announcement in any way, shape, or form. I am still torn because, apparently, I am an idiot.)

Now, aside from the fact that I am panicking even though we have about a year (A YEAR) to pull this all together, why does The Knot feel compelled to freak me out by adding copious amounts of "To Do"s to our list (including things like a limo ride to the church--PLEASE) and extra items to my budget in numbers I don't like (like a wedding coordinator, which would be divine, but severely out of my price range unless she likes being paid in homemade pickles). And let's not forget its inherent desire to inform me that some of these items are overdue already! (Their calculator also doesn't want to believe me that I can probably pull invitations off for the amount I think I can pull them off for, and there is no place to add "My husband-to-be is a printer, damn it!" to its instruction manual.)

I have made a committment above all else to be sane as I plan this thing, and yet, this morning, I found myself looking at "Over 60 Polka Dotted Cakes." Do I need to see 60 polka dotted cakes? Do I even need to be thinking about cake at this point? No, no I do not. Anyway, our cake is going to be unique. And I am not promising matching plates and napkins, no matter what my coworkers think about it. Not everything has to match. In fact, I think it's funnier to mix informal with formal church dishes. That's more like me. I hope it's more like us.

I have even found myself looking at invitation designs that would require me to tie a hundred little bows around the edge, something I swore I would never do (or would at least hire done if I had to have it). I keep thinking "But I want something fancy." Who cares? You could do some of one kind and some of another and have guests collect all six like trading cards. How often do people even exchange comments about the invites? You could send a different style to everyone, and no one would notice.

So, the moral of this story is that I think it doesn't matter how reasonable you try to be. As soon as the sheer number of items to choose from overwhelms you, you start thinking that it's reasonable to expect yourself to hand tie 100 to 200 little black bows. You start thinking that it makes sense for everyone you ever knew to have large rose corsages even though you like Gerbera daisies because, good heavens, that's what everyone on The Knot does, and you wouldn't want people to look like clowns. (Gerbera comes in mini versions; it's not like I'd pin a full sized Gerbera on anyone [before anyone freaks out about style here].)

Seriously, I am really starting to want to elope. I know I'll regret that; I really want to have a wedding, but I just want it to be breezy. I don't want it to be so rigid and stuffy and full of rules and junk. And I don't want it to cost eleventy billion dollars or take a million hours to plan and put together. And above all else, I don't care about 80% of the stuff brides are supposed to care about. I just want to wear a pretty dress, stand in front of people I love (and people Ben loves), say a few vows, eat a yummy meal, dance (or not dance if we decide not to have a dance) to a few good songs and begin a new life with the guy I love. I just wanna have a party; I don't wanna have a production.

Is there any hope for a bride like me to stay a bride like me? Or is she doomed to become one of those people who freaks out because the netting on some of the flower arrangements doesn't match the netting on some of the others?

Stay tuned...

Posted by LoWriter at 11:12 AM | Comments (10)

June 06, 2008

By Popular Demand

Since demand for them is so high, here are pictures of the ring on my hand. :)

Ring from above

So pretty!

Out on the balcony.

There are the pictures of it on my hand! Hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I do!

Posted by LoWriter at 08:16 PM | Comments (2)

June 05, 2008

Ring Pictures!

I know you are all just dying (DYING) to see my ring pictures. So, without further ado, here are some shots of my engagement ring. (Thanks, Ben, for taking the pics!)

Here it is in its box.

This is what it looks like from the side.

Here it is being all sparkly with its bad self.

Here's a close up.

I think the sparkly shot is a pretty good shot of how it actually looks. (The close up shots make it look less dainty than it actually is.)

So that is my very pretty ring! :) I love it!!

Posted by LoWriter at 08:05 AM | Comments (6)