No, this is not necessarily a Spain specific post. But seeing as it has consumed an inordinate amount of my time for the last few weeks I thought I would take a few minutes to jot down my thoughts.
I have always loved all things wedding…I think I started subscribing to Martha Stewart Weddings when I was about 23, and for just about as long, I have had a wedding folder where I would rip out and keep all the beautiful things I saw and loved. Yep, a little bit of a wedding freak. I love going to weddings, I love being in weddings. I even used to think I wanted to be a wedding planner. Well. Let’s just say I’m glad that wasn’t my career choice, I applaud the people who decided to follow that road, AND I understand why they are needed. Bless their souls, their patience and their ability to organize and multi-task.
First of all is the challenge of how to please the majority of the people. I say “the majority” because it is nearly – in most cases – impossible to please EVERYone. And for someone who is not happy unless everyone else is happy, this is similar to Chinese Finger Torture (remember those things?). Or plucking out your eyelashes individually. Along those lines. Eventually you can probably find the balance, or like me, you just come to terms with it. But the road to get there is, well, like the road we were driving on the other day. Rocky and bumpy with steep dropoffs, and sometimes so foggy you can’t see where it ends or where you are going.
THEN there are the endless decisions and millions of details to work through. Where? When? Do we have coordinating dates? Music? Clothes? Ceremony? Food? ACK. Emails on top of emails, especially with the added challenge of trying to research from Spain, who can skype and who can’t, folders, lists, paperwork, contracts. Holy Moses. It took me like two hours the other day to clean through my inbox and organize it. No, seriously, two hours.
THEN? Then as you are researching and looking back at your wedding book you realize that the dream wedding of your 25 year old world, full of Martha Stewart hand crafted everything and more flowers than your local botanical garden, not only will cost you two million dollars, but will also require a small staff of full time helpers. Oh, and all the bridesmaids you wanted back in the day, they are all 40 now too, many with kids, and probably can find a better way to spend the $250 they might have had to spend on a dress they would never wear again. Hello reality check.
The constant throughout the process that cannot go without mention, is working through this all with your better half. And in my case, not a better half who is 25 and doesn’t give a rat’s butt about the details. The Church says you need Pre-Cana, I say you need 40 days walking across Spain with your fiancee and a few solid months of wedding planning. If you come out smiling on the other side, I think you’re good to go. It’s a test of everything – patience, communication, listening…the list goes on. Let’s take decision making, for example, because that has been one of the funniest parts for me. Well, now it’s funny at least. I more or less decide based on basic information and what my gut says, whereas C needs more information. Like…the two dates we could do were April 7 or April 28th. Me? I’m thinkin, well shoot, April 7 because I can get married while I’m still 40. C? C looked up average temperature, average rainfall, and time of sunset (nope not kidding). I have come to call these CNDP, or Charles Necessitated Data Points. I keep asking him if he’s sure he’s okay with the priest who is marrying us or does he need his GPA from grammar school, cholesterol level and BMI. 🙂 Oh, and on top of that? He’s a little like Gus, about 55 seconds into this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy-CBs0XNlM. (How much do I love that movie…)
Having said all that, what I have also learned is that in the end, it all works out just fine, or in my case, better than fine. I am lucky to have my parents in the states to be my feet on the street and help out with the kind of stuff I just can’t do from here. I am thrilled with the Church and our reception site, and have continued faith that we will find a DJ who won’t be leading our guests in the chicken dance or the macarena or show up with some fluorescent underlit DJ table. With the initial stress out of the way, I actually feel like I’m getting MARRIED! YAY! And now more than ever I am convinced we will have a beautiful wedding, and an incredible party, and I’ll look back and realize how silly it was to be a big stressball in the first place.