Thursday, June 9, 2016

Wedding Planning for Introverts

My wedding is two weeks from this Saturday and I've finally figured out what it is that I don't like about wedding planning: it's an introvert's nightmare! I'm a serial hibernator: I tend to really like alone time and often go off the grid with emails if I don't need to check them for work. This is not a useful trait if you're planning a wedding, which involves contacting a zillion people who want to ask you what you want about things you don't really care about. I have a hard enough time calling people that I know really well to catch up, and I often need to psych myself up for a while to call the cable company or  phone in a prescription to CVS. Cold-calling wedding vendors is basically a waking nightmare. When you consider that wedding planning is also lazy-person hell, I have twice as many reasons to not really enjoy the planning process.

A zillion invitations, painstakingly addressed in my ridiculous chicken scratch.
So as you might've guessed, I am basically the world's worst bride-to-be. The summer before Jeff and I got engaged, I developed this strange fascination with wedding blogs and websites. Even though we weren't engaged yet, I'd read all the advice/sales pitches on The Knot, devour common-sense planning tips from A Practical Wedding, and obsessively google "Wedding Industrial Complex" in the hopes of finding an insightful think piece that I hadn't already read.

In retrospect, I think there were three reasons for this. First, I dove headfirst into the Brideosphere because I just wanted to be married to Jeff. Since there aren't a ton of websites devoted to the marriage bit of a wedding, I settled for the next best thing and read all about things I never wanted any part of planning. Second, I think I was sort of hate-reading up on the wedding industry to escape from the reality of packing up my life in LA and moving to Chicago. Third, I was hoping to figure out what sort of nonsense to avoid at all costs.

Then we got engaged, and once the shock and exhilaration wore off, we got down to wedding-planning brass tacks. We ironed out the location (New York, so my grandma would be able to come), I found a venue and a super-awesome photographer and sorted things out with them, and after spending a ridiculous amount of time searching for the perfect wedding dress instead of applying to jobs, I bought one over Christmas vacation. I was done, right?

Wrong. So invitations were ordered and sloppily addressed (hey, I did my best; it's not my fault that my handwriting is awful), flowers were selected (despite my misgivings about having flowers at all), and we found an officiant. My family threw me a super fun bridal luncheon, with extra-bridal decorations. This part was actually totally awesome!

Those wedding bells were actually the only sign that the luncheon was a wedding-related event. Bonus: they matched the little BB-8 my mom found!
My mother and me at my final dress fitting. Spoiler alert: it's white. (Well, ivory).

But with a little over two weeks to go, I feel more than a little overwhelmed with irritating details, like the cards that tell people where to sit (and, ahem, the seating chart), finalizing the playlist, how people will walk into the ceremony, how to do my hair, and omg is the officiant going to show up but I don't want to actually call her because that involves talking on the phone. Here's how I plan to deal with that: wait till the last moment and then the panic about not getting married will supersede the anxiety about calling people, get my mom to do it, psych myself up and then call her once I finish this blog post.

To deal with this ridiculous and rather unexpected stress, I'm trying to remind myself that 1) I don't care if it's perfect, 2) no one else cares either, and 3) as long as we're legally married, I'll consider it a success, and that helps a lot.

I realize that wedding-planning advice from the self-described "world's worst bride" isn't super appealing, but I have some to offer anyway.

Can't Somebody Else Do It?

First, if you can, go with a venue that handles everything (tables, linens, sound equipment, food, and drinks), and pick someone that you feel comfortable dealing with. I considered places that would've required tent- and fancy Porta-potty rentals, and I cannot express how glad I am that I didn't have to iron out those details with a separate vendor. We chose our venue in large part because the woman we'd be dealing with was so much more pleasant, easier to get ahold of, and more responsive than the woman from the other place we'd seriously considered.

Trim the Fat

Second, if you know something (flowers, a videographer, whatever) will cause you more headaches than it's worth, just don't do it! In my case, I knew I didn't want flowers for a variety of reasons, but I still went to a florist to ask about bouquets, and ended up getting steamrollered by my well-meaning family into getting centerpieces. So then I had to figure out all these details that I didn't actually have any interest in and talk to the florist on the phone. This added an unnecessary layer of things I'd need to psych up for/decompress from. I should've just gone to the grocery store and made a bouquet from whatever they had.

Control Freak's Gotta Control

Third, and relatedly: DIY is your friend. I'm using my iPod instead of getting a DJ, and while it's a little more work to track down a zillion all-ages songs and load them in, it saved me from having to assert myself about my control-freak music tastes to a stranger, and it means we won't have any emceeing. This means that people will do more normal-party hanging out, and less quietly staring at the bride and groom! It also means that if I want to play the Rains of Castamere during dinner, I can do that.

Keep It Simple (and Small)!

Fourth, keep it small. If you don't want to deal with planning, your wedding will likely not be a super elaborate, stage-managed affair. Even a low-key bride like me will start to feel the pressure to perform once the guest list goes beyond "people who have changed your diapers/people whose diapers you have changed." The less randos you invite, the easier it is to trim unnecessary details from your planning to-do list!

I'm sure on the actual day, I'll have an amazing time, since all of this planning nonsense will be out of the way and I'll be surrounded by people I love. I'm definitely excited about being Facebook-officially married! But until all of the details are sorted, you can find me hiding under my blankets/stress-cooking an elaborate meal.

Any other introverts out there? How do you handle things like this?

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  1. Oh my goodness....such great advice!!

    First, had I known you were going to get married in NY, I would have asked where in NY and could have hooked you up with a very good friend of mine who is as sweet as pie and you would have been in good hands. Alas, it's two weeks away and I'm glad you found someone who puts you at ease....or as much as possible :)

    Second, my "package" came with my bouquet, my MOH bouquet, the grooms boutonniere and the Best Man's boutonniere....everyone else, I went to Hobby Lobby and got fake flowers. Our tables had fake flowers and any other flowers were fake.....I hate spending so much money on something that dies.

    Third, I made my own track of music too! If you have a hard time finding some songs you want, let me know!

    The best advice I ever got: it's your day....don't let the small things bother you.


  2. Aweee, Emmy, just get your gregarious Mom to make the calls! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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  4. You have shared a nice post. It's important to pre-plan your wedding in order to avoid last moment mess. I'm looking for nice and elegant San Francisco wedding venues for my cousin's wedding which is in couple of months.