Thursday, October 23, 2008


Being in the midst of wedding planning, I am naturally interested in everything wedding related. We won't even discuss the giant stack of wedding magazines in our apartment (and that's after I gave a huge pile of them away to two engaged friends). But I read tons of wedding blogs, and I love movies about weddings, and I love looking at pictures of weddings, and I love reading books about weddings.

And in the process of surrounding myself with everything wedding, what I have learned is that I am very, very lucky.

Everyone says that they are so impressed with how organized I am, how calm I am now that the wedding is fast approaching, what a great bride I am and how this is proof that if you just do things in advance, it is possible to remain calm. And that's true, to a certain extent. I have been organized, and my goal always has been to get everything done ahead of time so that we did not spend the week before our wedding super stressed and sleep deprived.

But part of it is luck. I read the blogs and the advice columns and I see incredible problems that brides face. And I don't mean the really huge stuff like a family member dying or the groom suffering a huge medical problem or something. I mean the stuff like bridesmaids going crazy, and guest lists tripling through no fault of the couple, and then, what I think would be the worst thing, families acting insane.

And really, we are so lucky. I have definitely done my share of complaining about my future mother-in-law on here, but I know that pretty much all the problems that I've had with her stem from circumstance and cultural difference, not from innate meanness or dislike on either end. And when it comes to the wedding, she and Torsten's dad have both been fantastic--giving us money to help pay, and then being curious and supportive but not interfering.

And my parents have been the same way. My parents paid for the majority of the wedding costs, and while according to the wedding magazines that gives them a pretty strong say in how the wedding goes, with them it hasn't been like that at all. And I'm not saying that I would have been opposed to them having more say in wedding-related decisions if they had wanted to. But you read about parents who put 100 acquaintances on the guest lists, parents who insist on doing everything their way with no regard for the desires or personalities of the couple actually getting married, parents who start huge family feuds over wedding-related trivialities.

And my parents? Well, here are the issues on which they have offered an opinion (not including moments when I have turned to them for advice, at which times they have been supportive but still not insistent):

1. What time the cake is cut. (I did not have an opinion about this. My mother, to my surprise, did. So, I went with her suggestion.)

2. Who sits at their table. (Fair. And we agreed. In fact, their suggestions solved pretty much the only seating dilemma I was having. So it was easy.)

3. That the DJ play music they can dance to. (They take ballroom dancing lessons. And they're good at it. We picked a good DJ. All set.)

4. Actually... I can't think of a fourth.

See what I mean? Part of the reason why I have been able to remain so calm, and get so much done, is that people have been supportive and accommodating. Nobody has tried to create conflict, nobody has taken anything overly personally, nobody has made anything more difficult than it had to be, intentionally or not.

We've been really, really lucky. And I'm so glad that at our wedding, we can just sit back and relax and not worry that there will be some sort of unexpected fighting or drama. Everyone will be relaxed and enjoying themselves, us included. We have really great families.


  1. having accommodating/supportive parents is really important. my in-laws pretty much had nothing to do with the wedding planning. they helped if i asked them to, but other than that they stayed out of it. it was awesome. :) joe's sister had a BIG problem with her mil butting in, especially on her wedding day.

  2. I just got married in June. During the planning I was worried about divorced parents not getting along, a difficult stepmother, working 2 jobs with a 1.5 hr commute each way and finding time to do everything.

    It was crazy and a dash to the finish line, but it was a beautiful day that everyone enjoyed and was impressed with. It brought people together and made many people happy.

    But -- since then, starting about 1.5 months after the wedding, my Dad has started nitpicking how things went. A couple of things weren't perfect, but not huge.

    And he's revising history -- why didn't this happen (b/c you said you didn't want it), etc.

    He's sending me awful blame-y emails that have really hurt my husband and I.

    My family's always been highly dysfunctional, but for a while there it really did seem like things were good....

    Now I'm so upset that I don't even feel like putting my wedding album together.

  3. That is fantastic! I agree that you are one lucky bride :) Your wedding day is going to be wonderful!

  4. I was worried about the divorced parents thing too - but everyone behaved! It was no problem.

    I had no problems at ALL with any family members. Everyone came when they were supposed to- they worked on the things they wanted too and things we had agreed upon beforehand ... everyone was on time all days ... rehearsal went well. Everything was good. I could not have asked for anything better.

  5. Saturday is my 12th anniversary and I rememeber my wedding as if it were yesterday. My parents paid for all the wedding costs and were so helpful in every little thing that we had to decide on. My husband's parents had died so he paid and orchestrated the entire rehearsal dinner himself ( he insisted and he's older so it was appropriate) and paid for the honeymoon. Family and wedding logistics can be crazy but it doesn't have to be. Our daughter( my step-daughter) is getting married in Aug 09 - but she deserves all the props for making the process both cost efficient and fun!

  6. You are definitely fortunate to have supportive in-laws and parents! We were very lucky too in that we only had a few minor hiccups along the way with our families and their opinions too.

  7. Since I can't post it on my own blog because my mom reads it, I will hijack and post it here. Because it's hilarious and relevant.

    (First of all, good for you for *recognizing* that you're lucky!!! I am, too, but all I've been doing is complaining about my mom this week. But here's one reason why...)

    We're hosting a party at our house the night before the wedding. Our driveway is really dark, and guests are going to have to walk a little bit to get up to the house. My mom was [understandably] concerned about the lighting on the driveway and front stairs and was adamant about coming up with a solution. Hers? LEAVING THE CAR RUNNING IN THE DRIVEWAY FOR TWO HOURS WITH THE HEADLIGHTS ON.

    Brilliant, Mom.

  8. In this case, it's sure a bonus that your MIL is so far away. I was glad of that too when we were planning. My Mom had a few suggestions too, but it worked out in the end. She had a pretty clear understanding of it being our day since they had already had theirs.

  9. Yay, I'm so glad this has been such smooth sailing for you guys! You deserve it!

    Sending happy thoughts your way for the big day!

  10. That is awesome that both of your families have helped but have not been overbearing in trying to have things they want at your wedding.

    Mine and T's families were the same way. They offered help when we needed it but never forced anything on us or invited tons of people we didn't know. It was a nice feeling. And our wedding weekend was one bog party where everyone came together from both families.

  11. this is why i'm thrilled that both my parents only have 1 sibling each who they want at future weddings, and have given my sister & i the green light not to invite the other 60+ members of our extended, dysfunctional, family, who i only see about once every 10 years anyway. AWESOME :-)

  12. Yes, you are indeed lucky. I was lucky too, but only because for once in my life I put myself before anyone else. We still get told that our wedding was the best party anyone had ever been to, and it was 6 years ago.

    I’m interested to know when you decided to cut the cake. That was one thing I *DID* have a strong opinion on.

  13. You are really really lucky. :) My Mom is really nitpicky and Will's Dad is, um, unhinged and likes to create drama. To say that I'm a little scared would be an understatement,

  14. That's so great. I'm so glad for you both. :-)

  15. Can I trade in my parents for a set of yours? Haha...that's great that they are being well...great!

  16. I think you've been as wise with your wedding planning as your family has been accommodating. A very good balance. :)

    I have this nagging question in my head - because I'm struggling with 2 brides for whom I'm a bridesmaid. One bride I'm close with, the other I was surprised to be asked.

    This isn't my first go-around at bridesmaid duties. Actually, this will be my 4th and 5th - with at least one more looming in the distance. I've learned several things from these experiences - but most important are: Never go into David's Bridal and Never spend big money on an ugly dress you'll never wear again.

    Both brides are looking at the most hideous dress designs I've ever seen. So bad that I want to quit before shelling out $500+ in dresses and alterations.

    I'm willing to shell out good money like that for a flattering dress I'll wear again - but not for a messy generic satin bridesmaid sack. Shoot me if one of them picks yellow.

    Do I suck it up, empty my wallet, and burn these dresses later? Or speak up to these brides, and let them know my thoughts/feelings? Help! I've never been a bride, or a soft-spoken gal.

  17. You are so lucky. I wrote a post about wedding planning and how it was stressing me out because I have three sisters, a mother, a sister in law, a mother in law and I'm trying to keep everyone happy. Then they all started commenting like crazies and it proved to everyone that I wasn't making this up!!


  18. You're lucky your parents are so supportive - it sounds like you've had amazingly good fortune so far :)

    (Also, there's a specific time that cake should be cut?? The mind is boggling...)

  19. It's nice that you give credit where it's due this way. You always do that. It's refreshing.

    We had a pretty laid-back approach to our wedding, though my own family can act crazy sometimes. Like, LITERALLY crazy, not in some just-wedding-related way. But it all turned out good in the end.

    IT'S ALMOST HERE! I'm really excited for you!

    You know what's gonna be wierd for the rest of us? When we don't read a post from you for a whole week+ when you're on your honeymoon.

  20. It sounds like you are all set to have a lovely, perfect day. You are almost out of the teens!

  21. I think that I am going to have the same awesome deal with my parents. I keep asking what they want to do and they are always responding "oh whatever you need us to do." Etc.

    Glad to hear that you are stress-free!

  22. That's wonderful; it's so great that your parents have been supportive and willing to help but not overbearing or difficult. I think you'll have an amazing wedding!