Folks may or may not know that at the end of April I became engaged to my wonderful boyfriend Chris aka RevolvingDork.
I used to ask my mom what her dream house would be like, and she’d reply “I don’t dream about houses.” I thought this was a weird response until I started looking at wedding stuff. And realized… I don’t dream about weddings. And at first, navigating the behemoth that is the wedding industry seemed very daunting and off-putting. I positioned myself squarely as the anti-bride, determined to have the smallest wedding possible with the least amount of drama.
When it turned out Chris wanted what I kept referring to as “a big stupid wedding,” well, it became clear I was going to need a bit of an attitude adjustment. What’s happened since then, in regard to the wedding and all that it encompasses, has been really interesting and not at all what I expected (in a good way!).
The Engagement Ring
Before we got engaged, I told Chris that a flashy ring wasn’t important, and that if he wanted to propose, he was welcome to do so with a twist tie if that’s all he had handy. Of course, then I proposed to him, throwing everything off entirely.
A few weeks after we were engaged, we took a trip to the jeweler and had a custom ring designed. And it’s gorgeous. I love it, and I think that’s a little surprising to me because I still hold to the idea that if you think the ring is the most important part of the engagement, you’re doing it wrong. But it turns out that when you’re getting engaged for the right reasons, having a bauble that symbolizes that is actually really fun.
I’m almost used to wearing it. I’ve started using my left hand again, at least.
It’s important to Chris that we be married in the Catholic church. I’m not Catholic, but if it’s important to Chris it’s important to me, so off to meet with the priest we went. It was surprisingly not too intense! They asked us some basic questions like “are you related” and “have you been married before,” and then walked us through the logistics of getting married in the Catholic church. Since I’m not Catholic, it’s actually a smidge easier. There’s less paperwork for me to fill out (though it’s not much anyway). I just said I wasn’t opposed to the idea of having a Catholic wedding or raising my kids Catholic. Which I’m not.
I was surprised how stress free it was. No one asked me why I’m not baptized (it’s a long story). No one told me I need to run out and get baptized before the wedding, or that I’d need some remedial Catholicism classes. Though I do need Chris to teach me about this whole kneeling/crossing thing. It’s kind of awkward when everyone else but me does it.
I had a lot of reservations going into the whole reception planning process. Receptions are boring, all there is to do is drink in an attempt to make the supremely awkward DJ seem tolerable. Bridesmaid dresses are a horrible thing to do to your friends.
Luckily, it turns out you can do pretty much whatever you want for a wedding reception. I decided that what I want involves a lot of LEGOs, Rock Band, and craft beer. And you’re totally allowed to put those things in a wedding reception! Take that, theknot.com!
Miss Manners is opposed to theme weddings. She says weddings already have a theme: marriage. And while I generally agree, I can’t think of any way that Chris and I might be joined for life that didn’t involve LEGOs and video games.
Bridesmaid dresses are curious. I don’t understand the desire to put everyone in the same dress. People aren’t all the same shape, and frankly some dresses look awful on some shapes. Also, what is with the cheap polyester satin? I’m looking at you, David’s Bridal. That stuff is rough. On the one hand, I don’t want my bridesmaids to have to spend a ton of money on a dress they’ll likely never wear again. On the other hand, no one should be forced to don a brightly colored polyester sack for any occasion.
Alfred Angelo seems to have a variety of materials, only some of which are horrible, so picking a color and letting folks choose the dress design of their liking is one option. I also found an interesting dress on Etsy (shown above) which can be worn a dozen or so different ways, and is even something one might wear again.
I think wedding planning is only as irritating as the people doing the planning. Chris and I are very lucky, we both have parents who are supportive but not invasive. But far from being a stressful foray into bridezilladom, planning this wedding has been really fun.