A Wedding Recap

 

HeartCluster

Well, it’s over, and thank god for that. ;)

I’d say I was kidding but then I’d be lying – it is a huge relief not to be planning, worrying, checking up on or otherwise managing some step of the wedding process. And in a more positive light, there’s an unexpected sense of fulfillment after going through a small part of the familial traditions. We’ve been legally married more than two years, it’s a surprise to realize that the ceremony truly had deep and significant meaning and I’m now glad that I insisted on retaining that much of it.

The Funny:

1. The morning of, my hairdresser/make-up/friend got so fed up with my damnable eyes refusing to STOP BLINKING while she applied make-up that she slapped fake lashes on me and said: Deal with it. Never having worn fake lashes before I scrubbed them off that night thinking that was it, and went around with a leftover clump obscuring my vision the whole next day. What IS that?
2. There was a costume change and before I could get into the big puffy dress, 7 girlfriends hollered at me: GO PEE!! Talk about peer pressure.
3. Both PiC and my dad forgot what to do during the ceremony. We got to the top of the aisle and they just looked at each other. Bossy Mcbossypants (hi) had to coach them: SHAKE HANDS. Now HUG ME. Now you go there, you come with me this way.
4. Rehearsal. I’ve seen the tea ceremonies conducted in many variations, and figured we’d do whatever worked for us. Um, no. How could I forget that Dad would have OPINIONS THAT ARE FACT? At that point I just didn’t care how it was done, but I’d like to say for the record, I have video evidence that my perfect perfect cousins did it the way I was going to. So there.
5. We bought PiC a bowtie. Neither of us knew how to tie it. Ooops.

The Favorites:

1. Our ceremony music. I hated hated hated the idea of walking down the aisle. But there was no way around it with our venue, I had to come out SOMEHOW. So I insisted playing awesome music that I loved and that would MAKE me smile. No sappy classical for me. And sure enough, it made me grin. If you were there, I was absolutely grinning at you guys. If not, I was just tickled to death by my music.

2. Not having a bridal party. I had reasons. Asking a group of people to dress up in color coordinated clothes they’d never wear again (alert: I own 7 bridesmaid dresses. No, you can never wear them again) seemed like the opposite of keeping a low profile. Instead, I thought I’d just let it go and anyone who loved us enough to help on the day of, would. And it’s true. We were absolutely blown away by the level of help on the day before. My cousin commented somewhat enviously, with a touch of puzzlement, that I had really good friends. I do. For all of my antisocialness, I am Very Lucky in my friends.
3. Our photographers. We paid a LOT for them, and while we haven’t seen their finished product yet, they themselves were fun and easy and not weird at all to work with.
4. Doggle wore a bowtie and laid on my dress every chance he got. And he was such a good boy, just hanging out, even when being swarmed by a horde of cousin children.
5. Things we got done. We were working literally up til 1 am the morning of, and I was fine with tossing everything if it didn’t get done. But I was really happy that we found gluten free cupcakes for celiac friends, that the cake buffet was gorgeous and I have a whole cake left over for myself. That we made little gift bags for visitors. That we did hire a photobooth and I made up a lot of a scrapbook ahead of time.

The Suck:

1. Some of my obnoxious family kept monopolizing my time and getting into photos they weren’t asked to be in. Very very annoying.
2. Thanks to the above, we ended up wasting double the amount of time outside taking pictures, missing a huge part of our reception.
3. If I weren’t so damn sick, I could have asserted myself more. But my brain was stuffed up and on drugs, I was just faking my way through it. Well enough that people didn’t know I was sick, so huzzah for that, I guess.
4. The food. No wait, the food was good. Or at least I think so. I was surrounded by all that lovely food and literally did not eat more than 7 bites all day. Stupid stupid sickness taking away my appetite.
5. I pretty much collapsed after we saw off the out of town guests. Turns out I was fighting a losing battle against both the flu and an infection curiously like pneumonia since Christmas. No wonder I was just holding it together the whole day.

The Money: 

We spent a fairly significant amount of money on the event – another thing that baffled my family. Normally, you do the ceremony at a house and a cheap (comparatively) banquet dinner, and the monetary gifts are enough to pay for the whole wedding and a vacation on top of it. My aunt advised we get it over with and have a vacation – her daughter had enough left over after her wedding to go to Hawaii fully paid for.

I was paying for convenience (full service location), entertainment, and getting my own way. It was enough worth it that I’m not upset about spending a bit more than twice the usual: I was pandered to just enough to keep me from starving or coughing up a lung, the entertainment kept people busy so that I didn’t have to be on my feet and talking to them the whole time.

We cashflowed the whole thing, out of the incidental money I’d set aside in the last couple of years and stretching our paychecks a little more; it might be a family thing to pay for the wedding out of gifts but I’d been determined to foot the bill myself rather than hoping the gifts would pay for it. Our friends and family were terribly generous but it wouldn’t have covered the bill so I’m glad we did it my way.

We haven’t totaled up all the costs but we probably spent $21K for the whole thing and will come out of it with: 2 suits that Dad and PiC can wear for years, enough candy to last til next Halloween, a fun scrapbook and set of photos we’d never have gotten in a normal setting, a set of professional photos, and most importantly: a strengthened relationship with each other and the family and friends who showed up for us. I wouldn’t recommend it as a means to reconciliation specifically, but for me, it became a means of rebuilding a once-treasured relationship thought to be lost years ago.

The Summary:

As PiC retells it, I “kept him honest” with the division of duties. We split a long list of things to do, but after a spat over when to get things done, I backed off. Instead of giving him grief over the things he committed to, or his version of time management, which were both giving me anxiety, I cleared the critical items and let him get on with it at his leisure. Of course,  his frustrated late nights and slow progress were then entirely his burden to carry. Fair’s fair. :)

The wedding was just one day, but it was the culmination of a lot of days where we learned, even after ten years together, how to work as a better team even when sometimes that means not working together at all; how to accept help from loved ones; how to be reasonable; and how to take care of each other when we’re both stressed out by circumstances and each other.

 

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29 thoughts on “A Wedding Recap

  1. I want pictures!!!! I know it is too early, but are you planning on sharing??

    Congratulations to you two – I am so glad you were able to celebrate your love with those who care the most about you.

  2. You’ve spent about 21 times more than the most expensive of my three weddings, but then I’ve never had the whole she-bang in the style that others seem to prefer – mine is a different culture I expect. It sounds as though the good outweighed the bad and from my experience that’s the best you can hope for. No one ever has the perfect wedding they hope for, life’s just like that. It sounds as though you are mostly pleased with the event and I hope that brings you some contentment. I read somewhere recently some profound statement that ‘a marriage is not about the wedding’, in fact I’d say it had very little to do with the wedding, but from your last paragraph I’m guessing you already knew that. Well done on organizing the day you wanted.

    • I had wanted to spend MUCH less but in the end, it wasn’t really possible to do it as cheaply as we wanted (backyard or park BBQ style) much less in a way that fused what we wanted and my family’s cultural expectations. And we can afford to not fuss over having spent that money, which is a luxury in and of itself that I can appreciate. It was interesting, navigating these compromises!

  3. Congrats! Weddings are always a whirlwind (mine was for sure!) Since you guys saved up for the wedding, I wouldn’t feel bad for spending what you did, I believe that’s the average in the US and weddings are expensive! Too bad you were sick, but hopefully the pictures will fill in some gaps and those last forever :)

  4. Congratulations (again!) and Mazel Tov, too! I’ve been waiting to say that to you for at least 10 years (I remember that PiC was already in the picture from the time we first became acquainted). I remember how we once discussed marriage ceremonies, and you didn’t want to slavishly follow the traditional cultural requirements (something like a 4-hour ceremony, IIRC), but you didn’t want to turn your back on tradition either. It’s great that you found a way to make everybody happy–especially yourself (and PiC, of course). Wishing you a lifetime of happiness together!

  5. Congrats, newlyweds!!!! Second SP, would love to see photos if you’re emailing them out at any point :D Including ones of Doggle.

    They are a whirlwind aren’t they? I’m so very sorry you were sick, but glad to hear your loved ones rallied around.
    I think you guys came out of it with a pretty good haul, not least of it, you know, the MARRIED part. I’m a little embarrassed about a couple of aspects of our day in hindsight but not terribly so and I had a blast with our friends and I love our photos (was terrified about the heavy makeup my friends put on but they know their stuff, being dance performers, and the pics look awesome – which is probably more important than looking normal on the day).

    • Thanks!! On balance, we truthfully wouldn’t say we had FUN , not the way we planned to, but we did enjoy the company of our loved ones and we decided that was good enough. I haven’t seen more than a few photos myself and it’ll be weeks before we see the pro photos but I’ll let you know. :)

  6. I’m so envious of everyone there because I had to miss it due to Baby Bun….! But I expect photos. LOTS OF PHOTOS.

    Sounds like you still had a good day, even with being sick and all. $21,000 is VERY low considering the average is $33,000.

    *sigh*.. You’re MARRIED!!!!!

    • I know – I wish you’d been able to come but you can relive it in photos :) It was good enough, which is to say, again: It’s over! Thank God! Now we can move on. <3
      Yay for Baby Bun, though!

  7. Whew! What an adventure!

    Congratulations on pulling it off. And on your now highly celebrated state of matrimony!

    Hope you feel better soon. And next time there’s 21 grand laying around, you two will spend it on a nice cruise to, say, New Zealand via Tahiti and Brampton Island. ;-) Stopping in Hawaii on the way back.

    • Thank you kindly!
      It’s so weird that I actually did feel … good…! after this. You would have thought I’d have been more happy after the courthouse.

  8. A big, huge CONGRATULATIONS to you and PiC!!!!!!! I somehow missed this on twitter (I think it was wedged between the tweets of feeling super sick) and feel really bad about that, sorry =( Wishing you two a lifetime of happiness after such a great celebratory event.

    I love your recap and chuckled over the false eyelashes, hey you had remnants of the ceremony the next day, haha. And those are such great personal touches under the favorites (would love to see that pic of DoggIe. I have always heard that the gifts from family and friends would cover the wedding but with the prices of some American weddings I always wondered how true that was, good to hear some input on that. Are you feeling a bit better??

    • Thanks Jenny! I, surprisingly? didn’t tweet much on the day of and was just trying to stay alive the days before and after ;D

      I think that American-style weddings are just too inherently expensive to be covered unless all the friends and family were in a position and chose to be as generous as some of the most generous guests we had.

      I’m finally feeling better – THIS WEEK! I swear, being sick for a month really does a number on you.

    • Thanks! It’s funny that we both agreed on how we felt about it and it wasn’t exuberant but neither of us regret it or wish we hadn’t done it. …. which is the same as regret, I guess.

  9. O MY GOSH! How did I miss this post?! So many Congrats to you and PiC, belatedly. I know you are glad it is over–it is SO interesting to hear about it from your POV, particularly because I don’t go in for all that pomp normally, either. Sounds like it was worth all the hassle and money–you only do it once!

    What fun and fitting music. :) So cute about Doggle and you having to direct your Dad and PiC! I love it!

    Hope you feel better soon, love.

    • Thanks, darlin! And definitely we’ll never do this again ;) But I am super surprised that we felt that it was worth doing, even after the fact, even after being sick through the whole thing, etc.

  10. I thought I already commented by YAY and congratulations on pulling it off! With our still several months away, I keep thinking about the actual day with lots of happy anticipation mixed with occasional dread (none of the vendors show up, it pours for 18 hours straight, my dad decides weddings are too conformist for him and doesn’t want to walk me down the aisle, etc). But reading your brutally honest thoughts and summary, I see the day is worth it in the end, and especially you two get to continue living together happily, which is the whole point.

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