I’m a pretty organized person. More than “pretty organized,” actually. Like, I’m one of those people who color-codes things and makes lists and, basically, creates some sort of system for just about everything. And although I HATE to plan things like day trips and weekend getaways (I’d rather fly by the seat of my pants), I’m excellent at planning things like fundraisers and other big projects.
I always thought I’d make a great party planner. Or wedding planner. Like J.Lo in that movie — the one where Matthew McConaughey says, “But I know the curves of your face and I know every fleck of gold in your eyes…” [*swoon*] Why can’t real-life boys read from a script?
But I digress.
I thought that, if I ever got engaged, planning my big day would be a cinch. I mean, I’m organized, I’m thorough, I know people who could assist along the way and, most importantly, I work for a bridal magazine, so it’s not like I’m a complete rookie when it comes to all things wedding-related.
And then I got engaged and none of that actually mattered. My mind went completely blank. I had absolutely no idea what I was supposed to do first.
We got engaged on a Monday night. We made some immediate phone calls to family, and saved a few others for the next morning. By 10 a.m., the texts started rolling in. And as much as I wanted to give each one the proper attention and response, that’s impossible after the sixth or seventh. So we had to put the phones down and decide how to announce it before social media and friend/family phone chains took over.
I remember my fiancé watching me just stare blankly at my phone for a minute and asking, “Are you getting nervous now?”
About the engagement? No. Not at all.
About how quickly word spread out of my control? Yes. Absolutely.
It doesn’t matter how many to-do lists wedding magazines and planning professionals put out for newly engaged couples — real life doesn’t work that way. Sh*t feels out of control super quick, excitement pretty much takes over, and it becomes hard to think straight almost immediately.
So here’s what we did — we posted a picture to social media. Made our announcement the same way most people do these days, and then we watched our phones light up.
To be honest, I wish we wouldn’t have announced it that way. But here’s the thing — word spreads. People talk and social media is at everyone’s fingertips. So someone who probably should have been among the first to know could have possibly been one of the last if we had tried to keep it to ourselves. Someone would have found out, and then mentioned it to someone else, who would have then posted on my Facebook wall, and then BOOM! That quick.
And I thought I had my sh*t together. At this point, I had only been engaged for about a minute and I already screwed up! And I don’t think it’s cause a first-timer — I just think wedding planning is a lot and there’s no right or wrong. I know I’m not alone in this…
The next few days were definitely fun — impromptu work parties, congratulatory gifts and cards, champagne toasts, chocolate cake. You know, all the good stuff!
But then the questions: Have you set a date? Will you have a big wedding? What’s your dress gonna look like? Are you having it here or in Pennsylvania (both my fiancé and I are “transplants” to the beach)? Where will you live after the wedding?
WHAT?!? Honestly, people. I’ve been engaged for, like, 30 seconds. I announced my engagement with freakin’ Facebook post and I’m still trying to remember to put my ring on after a shower — do you REALLY think I’ve actually got it together enough to have given ANY of those things any thought just yet?
In hindsight, I wish I’d taken a day or two to just be with my fiancé, and to keep it all to ourselves — just like the wedding magazines and planning professionals suggest. But, when it all goes down, it’s SO hard to do that. It really is.
And then there’s a list of things you need to do shortly after your engagement. Insure your ring, pick a wedding date, call venues, schedule appointments at bridal shops. Oh, and also go about life as usual.
Oh. My. God.
We got engaged in early June. I knew EXACTLY where I wanted my wedding to be, and I had my heart set on a specific photographer, florist and deejay. And we nailed down those few things immediately. Oh, and we set a date — Oct. 14, 2017. Outside of that, not much got done. By July, wedding plans took a back seat to our busy lives.
That was a mistake. There’s so much to do, apparently, and it’s mindboggling. Overwhelming is a better word. Planning your wedding could really be a part-time job. Even if you decide it’s going to be a small, simple wedding, like we did. It’s still the same amount of research, planning and decisions. And keeping order is hard. Doing it all in the right order is hard. Even for someone as organized as me.
But, as I always say, “It’ll get done.”