Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Sorry, Not Sorry

I went to a bridal show this past weekend with my sister (who is my Matron of Honor).  It was a small one out in the boonies, in a lovely lodge overlooking an animal sanctuary. It was a beautiful day for a ride in the country, and I had been looking forward to spending some time with Colleen.  We don't get much opportunity to do that these days between our respective jobs, family obligations, and other commitments, in addition to living 90 miles apart.  So even though I have most of my wedding stuff in place already (seeing as I've been engaged for, like, years at this point), I thought it would be fun to walk around, get some ideas and inspiration, maybe enter a contest or two to try and win free stuff, and of course nibble on some free snacks.

As we maneuvered around the various tables hawking DJ services, limos, flowers, and cakes, we naturally discussed my wedding.  I held a vanilla mini-cupcake up and before I popped it in my mouth, I mentioned that I'm getting my cake from a local supermarket, and then ticked off my reasons why.  This vanilla mini-cupcake was one of them. It was not delicious.  But you know what IS delicious? Cake from Tops Market.  So there.

One of the vendors (I think it might have been the limo guy) asked how many guests would be at my wedding.  I wasn't sure if it was the not-so-delicious vanilla mini-cupcake or the question I'd just been asked, but my stomach flipped and I said, "I haven't really figured that out yet. It's kind of a sensitive topic right now; I'm trying to decide who I can get away with offending if I don't invite them."

As we passed the food table I plucked a frilly-toothpick-impaled meatball out of a chafing dish and said something about having only cheese and fruit for cocktail hour and a buffet for dinner.  I promptly followed this with some apologetic sentiment about potentially disappointing people who might prefer/expect passed hors d'oeuvres and/or a plated dinner.

Colleen turned to me and said, "Look. I'm only going to say this one time, so listen up.  STOP APOLOGIZING for your wedding, for your choices.  It's YOUR wedding, do it YOUR way. I understand you want people to have a good time. But stop worrying so much about what other people think, and do what YOU want. And besides, I like buffets better. Lots of people do. How many people know three months in advance if they'll be in the mood to eat fish or chicken on your wedding day? Not me!"

I was still too busy chewing my mouthful of meatball to say anything, but I nodded in acquiescence. Because she's right.

I wrote in an earlier post about doing our wedding our way and being pretty uninterested in what other people had to say.  But with the wedding being pushed out a year, we've incurred some extra expenses in the do-overs and have had to rethink a few things.  We lost our deposit on the initial venue and went with a different one, decided on a different direction with the food, decided against the trendy donut tower.  And while I'm not trying to "cheap out," our budget is squeaky tight - and more or less fixed - so a lost deposit translates into cuts elsewhere, because that money isn't coming back.  Ever.  (Fuck you, Beaver Island Clubhouse). And now we have the house renovation to contend with, so...yeah.  I've yet to find that magical money-tree, winning lottery ticket, pot of gold, or 6-figure job, so the budget is something that needs to be monitored closely.  We were already operating on a shoestring for favors, centerpieces, and decor, opting for a lot of DIY and a little help from our friends.  I'm notoriously thrifty, so I've found ways to save money on a lot of stuff that could be way more expensive (e.g. I found my dress - brand new with tags - on eBay.  I found Colleen's dress - nearly-new - at the Goodwill on Dollar Day. A floral designer friend is doing my bouquets, etc).  And I'm not ashamed to admit it.  In fact, I had thought about starting yet another blog, called "Bride on a Dime."  I still might.  There is an art to balancing class with frugality, and I like to think I'm able to pull it off to some degree.

I can decorate with inexpensive mums and pumpkins, make centerpieces from stuff I bought at the craft store for 80% off post-season, create cute eclectic favors out of repurposed stuff, and save hundreds by ordering a small tiered cake with a backup sheet cake from the supermarket.  I don't need matchy-matchy colored linens, or chair covers, or top-shelf liquor.  I don't need a Photobooth, a s'mores bar, a late-night hotdog station, or a $200 hairdo.

What I DO need is my dear friends and family present to witness Wade and I vow to love, honor, cherish, and amuse the hell out of each other for the rest of our lives. People who don't care if the cake is buttercream instead of fondant and lacks a fruit filling (because GROSS).  People who don't care if it's a buffet with pasta and chicken and roast beef instead of plated prime rib and salmon hollandaise. People who aren't offended by having to sit on a chair that isn't sporting a cover and a coordinating tulle sash and bow. People who like to have fun, people who like to dance, and people who can figure out how to get to and from the venue and wherever they're staying, because I'm not blocking hotel rooms or hiring shuttles - it's 2018 and I trust everyone's ability to navigate the Northtowns.

It's my first instinct to follow that last one up with, "sorry," but I have to stop apologizing, remember?

Coming up...negotiating the guest list and how I can possibly avoid apologizing in the process...


  1. What is wrong with a buffet with pasta and chicken and roast beef? Isn't that what most people like anyway?
    Personally, I loved our Toni Pepperoni outings? Pizza and pasta buffet sure works for me. If your friends are like you, most will like the same type of food - and the others will endure it. Because people do NOT go to a wedding for the food, y'know?!
    If all you had to eat was bowls of potato chips, we'd still love to be there to see you get married and put a happy ending on your HTG story.

    BTW, the venue that ate your deposit has no bad reviews from you yet, you should change that:

  2. I like your sister

    my one thing to add? ditch the favors. really. 90% of them are going to become landfill, no matter how cute or clever they are. if you feel like you absolutely have to send them home with something, make up platters of your favorite cookies or brownies and leave them near the door with little paper, waxed paper, or those clear plastic candy bags. stamp the bags with the date and some motif if you want. bonus: you can bake everything weeks in advance and freeze. Just take them out day before and plate.
    we had the caterer (who was my cousin) bake up about 6 or 7 of my late grandmother's signature cookies and leave those out, and I had little moo cards made up with a link to a website where I posted the recipes. So, I had a black tie saturday night manhattan 5 star wedding for 200 - and everyone got cookies. and they loved it
    also hit me up if you want - i diy'd so much of my wedding. i had the guilts that my folks were paying so i tried to lower costs everywhere i could, like making my own table number cards and seating cards