I just want to be married already...
Last night, I dreamt of my wedding and it wasn't what I had imagined. It wasn't in the hall we had booked (it was in a much smaller one) and the decorations were anemic. I don't remember much about it except that it wasn't what I had wanted. I do remember, however, that at the end of that day, however disappointing the party, that Ariel and I were married.
I have discovered that planning a wedding is mentally draining and emotionally exhausting. I used to plan weddings and parties for a living at a five-star hotel in Dearborn, Michigan, but it's not quite the same (since that actually was my job). Now, I am planning the wedding, working as an attorney and entrepreneur, and packing/moving all my stuff in order to move, and have things weighing on my mind (finding a place for my future husband and me to live).
My truly wonderful fiance, a dual-citizen, currently lives in Efrat, Israel and isn't moving to the States until the third week of July. In addition to being extremely difficult being apart from him, he's limited in what he can do to help plan.
Technically, we got engaged on April 2, 2012, but for personal reasons, we didn't announce it officially until the next month when I returned to Israel for a week in May. Our engagement is only five months long, so in the meantime, I was productive: I picked out a dress and started all the research necessary to plan a wedding. I ended up finding a place to hold the wedding (that will actually seat 300), and since the engagement party, I have chosen a videographer, and have narrowed down the photographer, band/music, and am now looking into the caterer.
Honestly, the catering is what I'm dreading the most. I have to make many phone calls (in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Chicago), ask all the questions, possibly travel to taste food, discuss cost, and make decisions without my fiance.
Our wedding is a destination wedding, taking place in South Haven, Michigan. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the lovely state of Michigan, the sunset side on Lake Michigan is stunning. It houses cities such as Muskegon, Fennville, St. Joseph, Holland, Saugatuck, and, of course, our gorgeous wedding city of South Haven. If you've never been to South Haven and western Michigan, I suggest strongly that you put it on your bucket list.
Another stressor: Since this is a destination wedding, guests have to book hotel rooms far ahead of time (because it is a resort town on a holiday weekend), and I was limited in how many I could block. I'm an alpha female for the most part, I'm a planner, and it's difficult for me to have to rely on other people to get things done (i.e. booking hotel rooms and airline tickets). On the one hand, I need to let things go what I cannot control. On the other hand, if people don't book their rooms, they will have nowhere to sleep... Ah well, I suppose that won't be my problem (unless guests decide that means they cannot attend the wedding and screw up my numbers).
Sometimes venting helps...
My fiance does immensely. Thank goodness!!
Even seven hours ahead of me, he keeps me as level-headed and calm as possible, is always asking what he can do to help (and does it), and makes me laugh. He can tell when I'm stressed, when I'm tired, and adjusts beautifully to each. I am so incredibly lucky to have him in my life.
All in all, I really can't complain since it could be worse. At this point, what I would suggest to brides:
(1) don't get engaged unless you're able to fully announce it;
(2) keep the engagement long enough to get everything planned, but short enough to make it a transitory period of time (you are only engaged to plan the wedding);
(3) listen to your friends who are getting married, who recently got married, and use their advice! They have just been through everything you are going through. Why reinvent the wheel when you don't have to? Save energy (and money if they know someone) - you'll need it elsewhere. That being said, use your judgment and don't be afraid to say no. It is your wedding and it only happens once.
(4) be organized!!! Keep track of all your receipts, to-do lists, who you have to call by when, and don't be afraid to ask vendors what you think are stupid questions. I've asked questions that vendors were surprised by, and were glad I asked.. and lastly, advice I have heard from many people:
(5) something will go wrong at your wedding. Accept it. Once you have that in mind, when something does indeed go wrong, you'll have anticipated it and it won't throw you for a loop on your most wonderful day.
Just remember, no matter what happens, at the end of the day, you'll be married to the most wonderful person on the planet who was designed in the heavens just for you. That's all that really matters.