5.08.2012

Wedding Week: Why we should've eloped

Today is all about the wedding planning. It's all the background craziness that will help you fully understand the chaos that ensued on our wedding day. It's also so I can remember everything that happened. And this is super condensed.
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I was not the little girl who had her wedding planned since she was 5. I wanted to save the experience and wait to plan my wedding when I was engaged. The downside to this was that I was clueless when I started planning. All I knew was that years of watching Say Yes to the Dress taught me that all I only wanted to try on mermaid/fit & flare dresses. And see the dress in the picture below? I wore that to my cousin's wedding in California right after James and I started dating. During the ceremony I remember looking down at the dress and tapping my dad on the arm to tell him that someday my wedding colors would be royal purple and turquoise, just like my dress.


Let me just preface all of this by saying, I would do everything so differently if I could do it over. So differently. As in, elope. Run away. Get hitched in the county courthouse in my sweatpants. Wedding planning is not worth it. In my humble opinion. At least not when you're a senior in college with your bridesmaids and mom 600 miles away. However, given our circumstances, I'm quite happy with how most of it turned out. Seriously, I think our wedding was beautiful. I gawk at our pictures at least once a week. Even though not one thing turned out the way I thought it would. This is a theme that will punch you in the face.

From the very beginning, I made my wedding demands clear: no way, no how am I getting married in Greenville. Nope! Not happening. I had my heart set on a destination wedding. My very first choice was  California so my grandparents could be at my wedding since I knew they weren't up to travelling. Budget? What's that? Santa Barbara? Catalina Island? Yes. I'm there. But wedding planning from the other side of the country during my senior year of college? Um, no thanks. Then it was the Outerbanks, Myrtle Beach, maybe even Charleston? Wilmington? Raleigh? Greece? A stranger's backyard? Anywhere but Greenville.

So, the wedding venue? Which one do you think it was?

Drumroll please.


Greenville.

My life. It always does this!

After much arguing, debating, crying, tantrum throwing, screaming, stressing, it was decided that Greenville would be the place. Mainly because James's dad was battling cancer, and we had to make sure he was at the wedding. I was sad no one from my family other than my parents would make it, but it was definitely the best decision in the long run.

Picking the venue was enough to undo me. I'm going to be honest, I did not want to get married in a church. That sounds terrible, doesn't it? I mean, we go to church, we met in a church, most people get married church, why wouldn't we? I just wanted something different. I would've loved to get married outside, but I was concerned about the humidity (see hair in engagement pictures) and unpredictable spring weather. Plus, Greenville seriously lacks in decent wedding venues. After meeting with our photographer to get some ideas (seriously, I can't say enough how she saved our hind ends over and over), we decided to visit one of the two churches in Greenville that allow non members to get married in them. I was reluctant but desperate to find a venue.

I took one step on those marble floors and I knew this is where I was getting married. It's your typical grand southern church. I'd get married there ten more times if I could! The church even had an awesome bridal suite the size of my apartment, complete with a kitchen! And they had a wedding coordinator to "take care of the details and make sure things run smoothly." Let's just say she made me go all bridezilla more that once. Harrrumph.


Next, we needed a reception venue. My dad has a friend who is a member of a beautiful country club a little outside of Greenville. The clubhouse is gorgeous, much like the church with its southern white pillars. It boasts red brick patios that overlook the green golf course and tall pines. We were able to get a good deal, so we booked it. We met with the staff caterer who took us around, gave us sample menus and decorating ideas, and assured us everything would be great.

We thought everything would be smooth sailing. We nailed down the venues, and I made impromptu appointments at a few wedding dress shops during a trip home. I found my dream dress during my last appointment of the day where I showed up to find that one of the bridal consultants was a girl I went to high school with. Awkward.

Here's where things get interesting.

Sometime during the fall we decided we needed to meet the caterer again and finalize some plans. I wanted to nail down a menu and get things like that taken care of.
So James called.
I called.
James called.
My mom called.
I think my dad called.
James called.
James called.
We stopped by.

No response.

Panic mode.

Around Christmas time, we found out through a reliable source that the country club had been bought out and our caterer had been fired. So glad they took the time to tell us!
Several panic attacks and phone calls later, we were told that they would be hiring a caterer to take care of the weddings that spring. I was told we would be contacted.

More on that in a couple days.

I'm going to be honest, that spring was a nightmare. I had so many research projects and papers that demanded my full attention, and I had so many wedding details to wrap up. I think my spring break that year was more stressful that classes were. The day after I got home, my dad was put in the ICU for heart problems. I had several wedding dress fittings and bridal showers and so many things to figure out. I still had to find a baker for the cake, figure out bridesmaid accessories and jewelry, pick out tuxes for the guys, figure out decorations and flowers, the list goes on. All my bridesmaids but one, and my mom were in Ohio, so I felt like I was completely on my own. My mom helped and supported as much as she could, but it wasn't the same as bringing them to appointments with me and things like that.


At one point we seriously considered cancelling everything and having a simple wedding on the beach in the carribean with just immediate family. Aside from losing the deposits, I think the only thing stopping us was that I only had one week between my college graduation and our honeymoon (I was crazy for scheduling it that way, I know).

My parents came down for my college graduation on May 6th. Having them there changed everything. They helped me fight with the country club and the wedding coordinator. They hugged me as I cried in the Panera parking lot over flower choices. They took me to the Outerbanks for a day to give us all a break from the wedding stress. They helped me move my things into the apartment I would share with James and pointed out the awesome exposed brick wall when I was crying over smelling the cigarette smoke from the skeezy neighbors.






And my mother in law planned the sweetest bridesmaid luncheon the day before the wedding at my favorite cafe. My mom took us out for mani/pedis and bought us fro yo. My best friends in the world left their jobs and school to fly to North Carolina to be part of my wedding. I will never be able to thank them enough for that. There were spur of the moment beach trips, late night prank calls, and coffee overdoses. It was amazing.




It was the perfect reprieve after a hellish semester.

stay tuned: tomorrow will be all about the morning of the wedding, the ceremony, and the first inklings that things were not going to go as planned.







14 comments:

  1. oooo, you've got me hooked!!! I'm feeling stressed out just reading this!

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  2. What a nightmare! Are you able to laugh about it now, or will it forever be "we should have eloped"?

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  3. That really is what I envision when I think of a Southern church! This is reason #23084 I'm eloping, if I ever get married!

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  4. I feel like God uses all of that stress to teach us that it's not about the wedding. That's just a day and it will be over in the blink of an eye. It's about your relationship as a couple and the covenant that you are making.

    I feel you as far as doing things totally differently. My husband actually had to talk me into having a wedding. I had wanted to elope since I was young. I had seen the stress and chaos that my sister's had gone through. Plus I'm not one for being the center of attention.

    I can't wait too hear more!

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  5. I'm a new follower from Kelly's corner...feel free to follow me as well :)

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  6. love this! can't wait for tomorrow!

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  7. again... the more I read the more I want to read!
    Oh LORD... i'm not going to lie I kinda get anxiety just reading this I cant imagine LIVING it...and from what I gather this isnt even the worst... my my.

    at least we know how it ends... happily ever after!

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  8. i can't wait to see the wedding photos! and you've made me a little scared to plan my own wedding, lol

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  9. Oh geez cannot wait to read more about this tomorrow! Crazy but at least you are happily married now (:

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  10. It's so nice to read about someone who doesn't love the wedding planning process. My wedding is June 16th, and as much as I want it to get here, I might want it to be over with more:)

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  11. I got engaged and then three months later got married. We did our whole wedding for 2000$. BEST DECISION EVER. No fuss, just fun and family and closeness :)

    I wouldn't change a thing :P

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  12. Haha, I am loving reading your blog right now! Love the way you tell stories! Also, North Carolina, eh? That's where my boyfriend lives... and that's where I will be in a few days!!

    Anyway, haha, I am like you in that I haven't had it planned out and am waiting until I am engaged... haha... maybe I should get started now, though? Based off of this? Haha

    http://www.chimerikal.com

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  13. my husband and i eloped after only knowing each other three months. whooo!

    so i know absolutely nothing about wedding planning. my best friend is getting married next september and i'm the maid of honor. i had no idea how crazy this wedding planning stuff is! it's super stressful and it's not even my wedding!

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  14. I love that you planned a wedding for 8 days after your graduation. I wrote an exam three days before mine. I found it oddly soothing, though, because it was all exam stress then boom wedding. I can't imagine how stressful it must have been not having your people around.

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