The comment I hear from people most often these days is that I look very calm. I assume that this is because a week before one’s wedding one should be breaking out in hives, dealing with the Great Napkin Disaster of 2018 and being a breath away from packing it all in and cancelling the wedding. The comment is understandable in part because I can be Anxiety Central. And yet, I’m very zen these days.
Here is how I did it. Might be useful to you one day, you never know when someone will randomly pop the question.
Our families freaked us out early
Seriously, this is the best gift our families could have given us very early on in the process. If you read the story about our trip to Greece to introduce our parents to each other, you know that we went through a bit of shock therapy. Our parents are stuck in their ways and we are way past the age where we are willing to accommodate what they think is right. This was such a surprise to both me and Pelennor and it helped us decide that the important people are first and foremost him and me. End of. Not gonna lie, we did seriously consider the alternative of eloping to New Zealand and getting married under Bilbo’s tree with two witnesses plucked from Mordor.
Do this: Create an opportunity for friction with your families early enough in the process. If you don’t kill anyone and you manage to support each other then you are probably ok to get married.
We had a deal
Before we told *anyone* about us getting married, we made decisions about the wedding. Alone. We very honestly asked each other things, we explored options, we seriously considered the big awesome wedding and the intimate celebration. Las Vegas was also in the mix. Once we found something we were happy with, we agreed and just announced it. We made a deal early on and stuck to it. This means that I’ve been certain about what we are doing and why so other people’s questions or comments don’t worry me.
Do this: Have a big cork board, post-its, string, a secret handshake and nickname the wedding planning process “Operation Permanence”. When anybody asks you about the wedding lower your voice, practice your conspiratorial look and always give cryptic answers.
– When is the wedding?
– When the sparrow flies the nest, the noble steed shall come forth.
The Great Napkin Disaster of 2018
To get a small wedding organised you basically have to deal with a lot of logistics – which in any other context would have been insignificant. I actually spent time choosing napkins. For a buffet. Napkins. We called people to determine the type of nails (yes, NAILS) we will need to make sure some ivy stays up. I accepted early on that I’m a glorified (and unqualified) project manager and that a lot of the things that we’ve been obsessing about will probably not be important on the day. So if the wrong napkins arrive, it’s no big deal. This statement is a huge surprise to people who know me and even to myself. I am a total control freak normally but I’ve found that weddings are completely different – you are not necessarily going with who you are – you are probably dealing with it as a couple and so I guest some of Pelennor’s cool demeanour rubbed off.
Do this: If you cannot let go and this stuff is important to you (and it should if you’d like it to be), then HIRE AN EVENT PLANNER. Find someone you trust (I would have chosen Rock Paper Scissors if we were having a bigger wedding in Greece) and let me make your life easier. Be the undecided Bridezilla. Let someone else source the best of everything. Go for massages. Turn up on the day and have an awesome wedding.
Find things to be excited about
Even though I could not be excited about napkins, there were things that were really important to me and I insisted that we think about them and get something creative and personal done. Our invitations and our rings are two examples of things that have excited me. Every moment we spent finding the right person, working with them, creating something was a moment that made me happy. This significantly helps my zen approach, I’ve got some stuff that make me happy and everything else I just deal with.
Do this: Unless you want to go insane don’t try to make everything important (if you want to, look at the advice above about hiring a pro). But find things that will be exciting to you. Apart from rings and invitations I think food is a good thing to be excited about. But then, I am food crazy, so…
Have a life. As a couple and alone.
The closer we get to the wedding the more important our normal stuff becomes. I cook, he plates games, we read, we go to shows, we meet friends, we have exciting things coming up *after* the wedding. It has helped me enormously to not view this wedding as the beginning and end of our coupledom.
Do this: Find a new hobby that you can try together. Dancing is a good idea I think, unless you discover that one of your is a horribly awkward dancer and then you make it all about perfecting a choreography for your first dance and then you are back to obsessing. Get a grip.
These all have helped us incredibly so far. Come back in a few weeks to see if they held until the actual wedding day or if we freaked out.
Featured image: Zen by Thomas Hawk.