January 05, 2011

Step Three: The Wedding Planner

While I was waiting for the hundred "PLEASE HELP" emails I sent to my preferred wedding planner to do their thing, I tried to do as much by myself as I could.  Unfortunately, my "bride's helper" wedding planner book weighs approximately one ton, and has checklist after checklist full of wedding "must haves" I've never even heard of.  I was completely and totally overwhelmed.  Even with a detailed list of what do to and when to do it, I had no idea where to start.  First: find a venue.  Sure.  No problem... but HOW?!

So many brides are all over this.  They revel.  They get to make every decision, they get to be the center of attention, they get to tell people what to wear and where to stand.  Grand entrance and fancy dress, everything just the way she wants it, because without all this junk, her wedding day will be RUINED.  And nobody wants that.  So somebody pays for it (or she eats PB & J for a year to pay for it herself) - often just to make her happy (read: shut up about it).  We'll call this type "the Princess bride".

Other brides want all these things, but understand the value of a dollar.  This type of bride is called "the DIY bride".  This type of bride wants to have the amazing wedding, but either doesn't want to or can't pay for it.  Her solution is to Do It Herself.  She can get her flowers at the grocery store and arrange them.  She can bake a cake.  She can print her invitations off her home computer and hand-address each and every one.  She can and will personally tie each little "Thank you for sharing our special day" tag onto all one-hundred-and-forty wedding favours.  She will hang the ribbons and set the tables, and damn it she will HAVE her fabulous wedding if it kills her (and everybody she's strong-armed into helping her).

Then there is what we know as "the Offbeat bride".  She does not want the grandiose wedding, she is not interested in spending a lot of money.  She will wear a second-hand, vintage gown and serve a barbeque to her guests.  She will wear an adorable little hat with her wedding dress and play that funky music at her reception.  She will come up with some of the cleverest, uniquest ideas that will make you and I embarrassed for our traditionalism, and she will laugh instead of cry when someone drops their cheeseburger on her dress.

I am none of these brides.  I do not have jillions of dollars in my bank account, or generous parents, or scads of credit I'm willing to piss away on one freaking party.  I also am not a baker, or a flower-arranger, or a calligrapher, and would not be these things even if I had the time, energy or desire to try.  I am not particularly creative or quirky, unless I masterfully and shamelessly copy someone who is.  I do want to wear a dramatically gorgeous gown, but I do not want to ride an elephant into my reception.  However, I would rather have a set of whimsical cupcakes than the traditional cake.  I want rock and roll instead of classical, but I want a traditional floral bouquet instead of one made of brooches.  I want a mix of everything.  The type of bride I am HAS no name, and I've been unable to definitively identify others of my kind.  Most importantly, what I am is NOT a wedding planner.  Which is why I will be hiring someone else to deal with all this stuff that I am secure enough to admit is completely and hopelessly over my head.

I'm not sure if people actually realize how affordable a wedding planner can actually be, depending on your budget and the style of wedding you want them to produce.  I know I was pretty shocked at the package prices I found.  I wonder this because I have caught peripheral glimpses of people rolling their eyes at me saying "my wedding planner" and because I have had to defend my reasons for wanting one ("Can't you just do it yourself?").  It's mind-boggling that people are so snobbish about what essentially boils down to calling me a snob.  I'm not a detached socialite who hired a wedding planner to just deal with it for me.  What I am is useless and overwhelmed, and there are people out there who can be paid to compensate for my gross ineffectuality.  I'm not ashamed, I'm relieved - which frees me up to be excited about my wedding.  What a deal!

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