I usually try not to write about myself on this site. Not that I do not want to sell out for the site or for the three or four of you out there who read my work diligently... it just would not fit within the context of the site.
But every now and again, something will happen in my life that I feel is something that everyone can relate to if I decide to write about it. And currently something is...
So sit back and relax folks...
Let me tell you about getting married...
Walkin' the Mile:
I. Spreading the word...
Seven months ago, my girlfriend's standards got low enough to accept my marriage proposal after about two years of "dating" (we were living together at the time). And for a little while, life was good.
An overwhelming sense of joy and accomplishment filled both of our lives. After all, this is kind of a big deal (it is her first marriage and my second. And before you go rolling your eyes, anything under marriage number three is a "big deal". Three weddings or more and it is obvious that someone is not taking this too serious so there is no reason to go nuts or anything...). But after a few days, the utopia of well wishers and champagne toasts fades as the serious business of wedding planning begins.
Step One: Figuring out who you want to come...
Figuring out who you want to come to your wedding is one of the single most pain inducing and mentally taxing processes I have ever had to endure. And it shocks me because from the onset, one would not think that it would be so.
On the surface, the process is somewhat flattering. Listing names of people whom you know that you are going to invite to be present for what may very well be either the best choice or worst mistake you will ever make in life. But it is not figuring out who you want to come. If it was just you, it would be easy.
But after you get all of your names down, you have to go and sit down with your fiancé and go through both your list and hers (She gets to invite people too, ya know...), as well as taking into consideration the list of people your mother wants to be there, your future mother in law wants to be there, as well as anyone whom protocol states you have to invite (the priest/minister, the dress maker, the florist, ect.). And it is from all of those lists that you will flesh out an "Invite List" (because don't forget, these are just the people whom you are going to send RSVPs to... they still have to tell you if they are coming and whether or not they are bringing someone with them).
Now a strange symbiotic problem kind of comes into play. When figuring out who to invite, you have to take into consideration where you are going to staging this event. One would think that this is something that you do before you start inviting people. But, to the contrary, you need to have a roundabout idea as to how many people you are going to have attending this shindig in order to make sure you get a room big enough (that fits within you budget, which at the end of the day will always dictate what you are going to end up doing for your Big Day). The availability of these places also plays a big part as to when exactly you are going to have to hold this shindig.
Upside is there are not that many places where you can hold one of these things. Restaurants, Hotel Ball rooms, Convention Centers, private owned halls and pavilions, and parks and beaches are all pretty good ideas for locals to hold your reception. Calling those places and getting rough ideas for you location is a pretty good idea. You may not want to sign your name to anything just yet, but remember that the good places tend to get booked fast and might have a bit of a waiting list. So if you like some place, just go for it. Better to get what you want than to have her wedding be anything less than perfect (and believe me, it is her day and in the end, it only matters what she wants...).
Unless you come from one of those disgustingly wealth families from MTV's My Super Sweet Sixteen, there is going to be a hard ceiling for your wedding, and that is going to affect who you get to invite as well. After all, if there ain't enough money to feed them, then they can't come.
Not everyone is going to get to come.
There is going to be a hard ceiling.
I am trying to plan this shindig on a somewhat shoestring budget of roughly $10,000 (amazing, isn't it, that only when you are talking "wedding" is a personal budget of ten grand considered "shoestring"). And the room we have selected (at a local restaurant called The Columbia) has a room limit of about 120 people (with a micro dance floor) or 100 (with a somewhat spacious dance floor). We are hoping to keep it as close to 100 bodies as possible.
But low and behold, after our first initial crack at filling out our invite list, we came up to about 154 people (no one with dates unless married and no children invited)
So outcome the steely knives...
She and I sat like Oskar Schindler, looking over the rolls of the Polish ghettos of Paszow trying to decide whom to save and whom to send off to the work camps. This was really hard work!
Who you invite to your wedding says a lot about your relationship with that person. You invite them, you're friends for life (or until you have kids). You forget (or purposely do not invite) someone to your wedding, and good luck on hearing from that person again.
From there, the process devolves as you and your lady fair begin to go at each other's candidates.
"Why are you inviting your ex-boyfriend? VETO!"
"Oh yea? Well, why are you inviting the big titted bartender from The Boneyard? VETO!"
And it continued like this, for hours. The slings of insults and slander upon both sides friends are numerous. Too fat. Too gay. Too cheap to give a good gift. Will end up drunk puking on my mother. The list will go on and on.
But in the end, we go ourselves to a number we believe we can work with:117.
And of course, like stated before, there is a chance that some people are going to bring in an extra person or two. But it is what it is...
All I know is that I got a party for no less than 117 people to plan (and pay for)... and less than six months to do it in...
TO BE CONTINUED....