Saturday, September 24, 2011

Seven Quick Takes: Wedding planning is consuming my life

1. I am *almost* done printing the invitations. (Many, many thanks to my dad.) When I get actually done, I will do a longer update with pictures. Maybe. I make no promises.

There are many Tales of Woe surrounding these invitations, so if you're not in the mood for first world problems, I'm warning you in advance not to read that post.

2. The bridesmaid dresses got ordered successfully a few days after my last update. The invitations have so consumed my life that I've almost forgotten the Tales of Woe surrounding the bridesmaid dresses, but I'll try to recreate that process.

First I had to get everyone to decide what dress they like best. This was actually shockingly easy but took me a long time because I have social anxiety and stuff. First, I asked Grace to hunt down dresses that were modest, came in blue, and cost less than $100. Turns out that's pretty much impossible unless you go the direct-from-China route, and I didn't feel like doing that. So we ended up looking mostly at Totally Modest, which had the widest selection of dresses in styles that I liked. I think I sent Grace about 5 or 6 styles and asked which ones she liked best. So she ranked them in order of preference. Then I showed Andrea the dresses and she liked them too. While we were looking, we came across this dress, which wasn't one of the ones I'd shown Grace because it doesn't have a price listed and I didn't want us getting our hearts set on a dress that would end up being too expensive.

I showed the dress to Grace next time I talked to her, and she said she liked it too. (I think she even said she liked it best, but I might be revising history a little bit there.) So then Emily and I finally made our schedules intersect so I could show her the various dresses, and she unknowingly picked as her favorite the one Grace and Andrea had both liked the most.

So then I finally emailed The Only Sister and sent her links to the current top 4 or so (telling her to ignore the prices. That was between me and her mother.) I was careful to be very objective about it, and she unknowingly picked as her favorite the one the other three bridesmaids also liked.

Yay! That hurdle was crossed. So then I emailed the company asking the price of the dress in question. It was within the budgets of three people, so I told fourth person I'd just cover the extra cost because I didn't want to go through finding a dress everyone liked that was half the price.

So then I had to get everyone's measurements. Grace emailed me hers; Andrea submitted to being measured by Mom and I in turn (we wanted to make sure we got the measurements right). I emailed Emily and she said she had gotten her mom to take her measurements during her last visit home, so I should ask her mom. So I emailed Emily's mom, but then my mom said that Emily's mom never checks her email. So my mom sacrificed herself and called Emily's mom. They talked for an hour and a half. Fortunately, in the midst of all that chatter Mom at least remembered to get Emily's measurements. So then I emailed Mrs. Cobbler and asked her to take TOS' measurements. She did, and emailed me, about 12 hours before my self-imposed "order the dresses" deadline.

Oh, also? Pretty much everyone fit EXACTLY into a given size on one or more of their measurements. So then I had to email Grace and Emily again and ask if they wanted Size That Fits Exactly or One Size Up. They gave me their answers and I noted them down. (I ordered TOS One Size Up because she's 12. She's going to grow. I hope.)

So then I agonized over which shade of pale blue to order, and ended up deciding on cornflower. (I asked Mom and Grace and they both agreed that cornflower was closer to what I wanted than ice blue. I decided that a second and third opinions were good enough and didn't ask the other people, who had all agreed that blue in general is an acceptable color.)

So THEN I painstakingly filled out the order form and sent it off. I got sent a toll-free number to call, and called, and found out that the company doesn't open until 11 a.m. Utah time. So I had to call back that afternoon. After some more calling back and forth Mom finally gave them her credit card information, I assured them that I was sure of the sizes I wanted, and we waited for them to email us a receipt for Mom to sign.

48 hours later no receipt had appeared, so we called them and they resent it and then Mom printed it, signed it, scanned it, and sent it back. We were told to wait for a confirmation email.

Another day or two later, none had appeared, so I called AGAIN and mentioned this fact. Within a few hours a confirmation email appeared in my inbox.

So now we wait until mid-October. The end.

That wasn't a very quick take, was it?

3. Relatedly (but not in the same take because that take was starting to take over the world), Mom pointed out that since the bridesmaid dresses are going to have a white sash the bridesmaids really ought to wear white shoes. So once I'd had a little while to recover from the Ongoing Saga of Dress Ordering, I started communicating this fact to the bridesmaids. (Except Andrea; Mom just went to Wal-Mart and got her the same flats I have. Teresa has some little ones.) I Skyped Grace and she asked what shade of white. Me: "Umm...the white shade of white?" Grace took pity on my confusion and explained that she was asking because she owns white sandals and off-white flats. She didn't think the sandals would work for November in Ohio and was wondering if the flats would work with the dress. Since they won't, she's borrowing white flats from her mother. I don't know what Emily is doing, but she is aware of the need for white shoes. I was going to email TOS, but Mrs. Cobbler emailed me asking about it first. So I told her and she went to her local Wal-Mart and found that there were still a few pairs of the white flats on clearance.

I never knew until this year that there's apparently a famine of white shoes after Labor Day. Also, I thought about clothes and shoes more these past two months than the rest of my life combined. I hope I don't have to do so ever again.

4. Teresa has a flower girl dress. I will hound my mother for pictures shortly. (It came when I was out of town; otherwise I would have taken a picture myself.)

5. Scott and I met with the organist. It ended up being easier than I expected in some ways but harder in others. The organist said that in general the processional music is instrumental, so we picked some semi-random stuff for that. The offertory is apparently also instrumental during weddings. So we're letting her do her thing there. Then we picked the Pange Lingua for Communion. That was the one thing we were sure of going in. Then I told her I wanted the Agni Parthene for when we give flowers to Mary and she had of course never heard of it, but we ended up working it out such that if we find a vocalist who's willing to sing it they can just do so a capella. Otherwise we're just doing Ave Maria as a backup. Then we're doing Ode To Joy instrumental as a recessional.

Also, we were talking about the Sanctus and I asked, "Will that be in Latin or English?" and she said, "English," and I said, "Okay," but I must have sounded terribly disappointed because she backtracked and said we could do it in Latin if we wanted to. So we're having the Santus and the Agnus Dei in Latin. Yay!

I'm having a hard time keeping track of all these Mass parts, but I'm thinking the Psalm and the Memorial Acclamation are the only things that aren't going to be Latin, Greek, or instrumental. Apparently the organist is not actually too worried about there being a lot of singing. (Our Steubie friends would totally sing in Latin and Greek, though.)

6. We also met with our FOCCUS couple again. There were a few areas in which we didn't give the "preferred response" so we discussed those and explained our reasoning and the couple didn't seem to have a problem with anything. They're going to pass our results along to Father and he's going to do whatever. (We're meeting with him again on October 8.)

Here's something that's come up several times that I just don't get: "How will you divide holidays between your families?" I wouldn't say my family is necessarily low-key about the holidays, but neither side of my extended family is the kind to pitch a fit if you don't spend Christmas Day together. Growing up, we usually spent the weekend before Christmas with one grandmother and the weekend after with the other. (My one grandfather died before I was born; the other set of grandparents divorced when my mom was about 12 and Grandpa lived in Florida. We went to visit him whenever we went to Disney World.) We never traveled on Christmas Day. I'm pretty sure my mother would be offended if I DID try to visit on Christmas Day. Does that count as a family tradition that we need to incorporate into our new family unit?

So for now I've told Mom that Scott and I will come help decorate the tree on Gaudete Sunday. Then I can take all my ornaments and our spare fake Christmas tree home with me. >:) I'll have to ask Scott's mother what she thinks. Maybe I'll offer to visit for Mr. Cobbler's and/or Eldest Younger Brother's birthday. (Which are a few days before Christmas and a few days after respectively.)

7. Normally this is the part where I would list the things I still have left to do, but we're celebrating my dad's birthday tomorrow (his actual birthday is on Monday), so we've lots of baking to do now.

Not to mention I'm a bit tired of that since the other day I wrote Scott a 2-page single-spaced list of everything we still have left to do. (He made the mistake of asking what was left.) Maybe I'll post an edited-for-personal-info version of that sometime later.

Visit Jen for quick takes that are actually somewhat quick.


Melanie B said...

We didn't really discuss the holiday thing and for us it did turn into a bit of a to do. We spent our first Thanksgiving with Dom's family, of course, since they're local. At the end of the evening my sister-in-law asked about our Christmas plans. We hadn't actually discussed it or made plans so I hesitated, trying to frame an answer. Then Dom jumped in saying we'd be there.

Oh I was almost in tears on the way home (keep in mind I was pregnant, queasy and hormonal) as I felt so hurt. I'd just assumed we'd go to Texas for Christmas. I'd never not been home for Christmas in my life and couldn't handle the thought of Christmas so far away from "home". I wanted midnight Mass at the parish I grew up in.

Well, fortunately Dom is very patient and as soon as he realized it mattered to me he bought plane tickets and we spent our first Christmas with my family. After that we went to Texas after Christmas until last year when I was too pregnant to travel.

So I'm just saying it could be the kind of thing that catches you unawares if you assume you're on the same page but don't actually talk about it... even if you think you're on the same page, you might not be.

The Sojourner said...

Oh, I get that it *can* cause conflict. I just don't get why it seems to be the example of potential conflict that comes up over and over again. Maybe I'm just totally unsentimental about the holidays. Or maybe it gets used as an example so much because it's an "amoral" sort of conflict. Nobody can be faulted for wanting to spend time with their families, right?

I did talk about it with Scott, by the way. He doesn't care what we do as long as he gets to be with me. 8^)

Liza Jane said...

PS: you actually do know me, I've a pseudonym for my account/blog too. :p

Wow, you're nice. I've basically decided on the dress the girls are wearing, the length, color, and shoes. I'm going to show them a picture of it to make sure no one hates it and if they do... they'll have to show me alternatives that suit MY taste (I'm a meanie)

Yes, I realize James hasn't proposed yet, but I'm planning everything I can right now without being able to set a date.

As for holidays, I find it weird that it's THAT big of a deal, too. I mean, James already made it clear to me that unless we separate for them, all holidays are with his mother (who can't travel due to illness). I'm fine with that, my folks are fine with that, no big deal. I suppose if there was no circumstance like that it might be harder to determine, but... whatever. I'm not that sentimental about holidays, either.

The Sojourner said...

Liza: Hey, I didn't let them pick anything that didn't suit my taste. Remember, they each only had 4-6 choices out of all the dresses in the world!

(I'll admit, therefore forever sealing my reputation as a softie, that I wasn't committed to them all wearing the same style. It just worked out that way.)

I also didn't let them pick the color at all; I just did a ceremonial "You like this color, right?". I'm not sure what I would have done if any of them had been horrified by light blue. Then again, if you're horrified by light blue you probably shouldn't be my friend. Small children don't recognize me if I'm not wearing light blue, that's how often I wear it.

Nobody has said if the dresses are pretty. Maybe you all secretly think they look stupid. Or maybe my walls of text caused your attention span to shrivel up like an injured starfish and you didn't actually notice the link.

I'll say a prayer for you. Relationship limbo is the worst thing in the world. (Okay, probably mass starvation and war and whatever are worse. You know what I mean.)

The Sojourner said...

Both people: I think it would make a difference if:

1. Scott and I planned on living out of state. I can see the holidays being more important then because they might be the only time you have enough vacation to make a cross-country plane trip worthwhile. (Or a daylong drive.) At least this year, Scott and I are going to be about 15 minutes away from his parents and about 2 hours away from mine, so it won't be a big huge deal to visit them on normal weekends and stuff.

2. Either of us had siblings who only congregated at Christmas. Because then you're seeing several people all at once; not just seeing your parents who you can visit at a different time of year. My siblings both still live at home so I can also visit them every time I visit my parents. Scott's older brothers live out of state, but Elder Elder Brother works for the Church so it's especially hard for him to get away at Christmas. The last time he visited for the holidays was 4 years ago. (Unless you count 4th of July as a holiday.) Come to think of it, Younger Elder Brother's wife works for the Church, so even though they live somewhat closer I doubt they'd make a habit of driving over for Christmas dinner. If that ever changes Scott and I might reconsider our potential ban on Christmas Day visiting.

Emily G. said...

Hey, I saw your wedding invitation. It looks great! I think you worried too much (or maybe it's that the fussing over it made it look so great). I would not have guessed that you printed it yourself.

Hmm, should I tell you how I picked my wedding colors/bridesmaid's dress? It is going to make you jealous. Much less headache. I had only a maid of honor, my sister who was fifteen at the time. I knew I wanted sage green, and the flowers were going to be pink roses. We went to Dillard's together, and on the clearance prom dress rack was a cream dress with a big, tulle ballerina skirt and strapless bodice covered with gold brocade. It fit her perfectly. On the spot, I decided that sage green was going to be the accent (the jacket and mantilla I made her) and cream was the main color. The dress was $15. I made my flower girl, my youngest sister, a dress in cream with a green sash and mantilla.

I wonder if blue is popular this year? I don't keep up on what's popular for weddings. But I did attend a 'cornflower' wedding this past June. One thing I got out of it: don't use 'cornflower' blue flowers. She had the bridesmaid's calla lilies dyed the same blue and you could not really see them against the dresses.

Hope the plans are going along nicely!

The Sojourner said...

Emily...A lot of my friends have done blue lately. One girl did almost the same color as I did because she figured you can't go wrong with the Blessed Mother's color. I'm not sure why the other girls picked blue. (One did a pale aqua and the other a dark aqua.)

My flowers, if I can get some, are going to match the flower in my profile picture. (I was scouring Google images for a suitable picture and then realized...duh! Notice the bit of pink on the flower. I don't care if it goes or not; I just like both of those things. (Cornflower blue and white-roses-with-pink-tips.)

The Sojourner said...

Also, thanks for the compliment on the invitations. :)