September 21, 2015

Five More Things You Don't Realize Until You're Engaged

I'm a firm believer in the power of jinxes, so I say this with a full "I'm intentionally not jinxing myself" disclaimer: I think that we may have decided on a wedding state, and possibly even a wedding date.

I'm probably not going to say where and when the wedding will be until after the wedding because, you know, internet creeps. (My bridesmaids are all hot so I can only imagine that some cheeseburger graphic T-shirt wearing internet creep would love to know where and when he can consolidate them all, you know, for stalking purposes.)

Anyway, Derrick and I have come a long way since getting engaged in April and it kind of seems like this thing might actually happen. So to celebrate, today I thought I'd list five more things you don't realize until you're engaged.

1. Dress shopping does not need to be like a TLC show.
Ok, so I've never actually watched "Say Yes to the Dress" before. But my experience with buying a wedding dress went like this: I walked into the bridal boutique and said, "I like X, Y, and Z things on a dress." The lady at the front said OK, disappeared for a moment, then came back out holding a dress with X, Y, and Z things on it. I tried it on and said, "Yes, very good X, Y, and Z's here. I would like to get this dress."

The lady (and my mom) convinced me to try on a few more (just to be Sure with a capital "S"), so I did spin around in a few ballroom dresses and form-fitting umbrellas. But in the end, I decided that I was Sure, and got the first dress that I tried on.

So unless TLC makes a show without a plot twist, climax, or literally anything interesting, I can say that wedding dress shopping does not have to be like what you see on TV.

2. At one point, every color will be your wedding color.
After getting my dress before even picking a date, I decided to just throw all of of Lauren Conrad's "12 month wedding planning calendars" to the wind. So the next thing Derrick and I discussed was our wedding colors.

If you remember, I originally decided that my wedding colors were going to be grey and yellow. But after some discussion with my mom and sister, we decided that a plum and gold theme might go better with my dress. So briefly, I was a plum and gold type bride... until I talked to Derrick. Derrick likes blue, and so I thought, "Maybe blue will do, too." So my colors were navy, cranberry, and champagne just long enough for me to realize that I was essentially planning an awkwardly American flag themed wedding. (To be clear, I love America, just not on my bridesmaids.)

I was stumped... until my mom redid her dining room with green walls and Georgia O'Keeffe's Oriental Poppies. If I didn't fall in love, it was at least a strong case of lust. Which is how we ended up here:

By the time we get married next year, I'm assuming that we will have made it through an entire 150 count box of Crayola crayons.

3. Everything that sounds too good to be true, is too good to be true.
Venue shopping can be tiring, overwhelming, and infuriating if you're on a budget. Because most "budget venues" are not what gets pinned on Pinterest.

Of course, this doesn't mean you can't still hold out for the Pinterest-worthy venue; you just have to go into it knowing that if that downtown art museum with marble columns is advertised at a Polish Sausage Making Convention Center price, it's probably a trap. Specifically, a trap to get you into the marble columned ballroom only to be told about the $500 napkin fee. 

4. You will become very judgemental.
Not so much the "I refuse to SoulCycle next to anyone wearing that hideous shade of not-Lululemon" type of judgmental; it's more of the "we're going to objectively rate all our friends' relationships now" sort of way.

One of my friends decided that she was only giving +1's to couples who had been dating for over a year. Another said that she was only inviting spouses. Derrick and I are spending our energy planning how to discreetly ensure that all of our friends are single by next fall, which I feel is a much more practical use of our time.

5. Wedding planning doesn't happen according to Southern Living's instructions.
A few months ago, my mom bought me a Southern Living wedding planner. One of the very first things in the book was instructions on how to use it: you were to sit down with your fiance at your scheduled weekly wedding meetings, because something as important as a wedding should not be planned via phone calls between work meetings.

However, despite Southern Living's passive aggressive suggestions, phone calls between work meetings is exactly when the (little) wedding planning we've done has taken place. And texts during lunch. And Facebook message before the gym. Because to my extreme letdown, life does not stop just because you're planning a wedding, even if you hold the Holy Bible of Coordinating Linens. Work is still there, still stressful, and still necessary. You still have to sign leases and take out the trash and dog-sit Jack Russells even though you're engaged.

So there's no point in worrying about if you're doing it right; you've just got to try to enjoy the fact that you're doing it at all.