Monday, November 07, 2011

The Wedding Party.

aka soliciting advice from strangers about the people I classify as "least-strangerish" in my life.

In the aftermath of Halloween crafting, I've been trying to get back into a regular, creative, groove. Nothing really impressive to share quite yet, but I'll get there.

Made some slippers out of necessity. I like them, but they're not like, "make some for other people" quality, if you know what I mean.

I tried to make a skirt last week that I was all excited about it until Fiance came home, saw me wearing it, and said "you... made that out of your old curtains didn't you?" ... Most of the day I had been all pumped to write a post about the "Scarlett O'Hera Skirt," because it was indeed made from old curtains that don't fit the windows here/ have been abused by Bubba's claws, but it's not as cool that you made something from curtains if it's OBVIOUS that you made them from curtains. (Carol Burnett makes even your sewing blunders better.) So back to the drawing board on that one.

Insert a topical seg-way here that make sense.
Fail. Moving on.

So... THE WEDDING is starting up. We've successfully hired a wedding planner, the first step in getting everything sorted. Honestly, I feel so pompous sharing that we hired a wedding planner, like we're too hoity-toity to plan our own flipping shin-dig. But really, we need someone to help us with the footwork of putting together a wedding in a city that we're currently a couple thousand miles away from. Plus, the lady we've chosen promises to save us enough money with her excellent connections to more or less pay for herself.

I've been geeking out over some wedding mags that Kate was kind enough to send me. You may know Kate from my previous incarnation as a foodie blogger for the city of Kalamazoo. She's still going strong over there, and she posts some pretty amazing recipies from time to time as well. So... plug for Kate and her bad self. :) And also plug for me - if you have some wedding mags that you aren't finding any real great use for (I'll take old ones, I don't care, I just like looking at the pictures and day-dreaming as a bride-to-be is wont to do!) let me know, I'll be happy to provide a shipping address.

nerding out as my potential ring-bearer looks on.

I feel like thus far Fiance and I have talked about some fun touches that will make the wedding and reception(s)* OURS (see above photo caption), and I really like that feeling. But I'm stuck on the biggest part of customizing any wedding... namely, my wedding party.

I've been a bridesmaid. I've done the time, yo. I get that it's a lot to ask of someone. I get that to ask means I'm really asking, not expecting, and that the people I ask have the absolute right to say no. But in a very self-centered part of my head, I find myself thinking; well, who the hell would I ask if they say no?

I have the 'fortune' of not only being an only child, but also having all of my very best friends stretched to the far corners of the country. Which is convenient for couch surfing road trips certainly, but not so much for this application. And I'm kind of late to the wedding game, so many of them either have started a family, are still adding to their family, or are otherwise in the midst of "maybe baby," and I feel guilty wanting to add more expenses, and travel, and time commitment on top of those very important things.

*Compounding with the time commitment concerns, we've decided to have two receptions - one following the ceremony in Detroit, and one a few weeks later in Green Bay. The two cities are just a bit too spaced out for our respective extended families, so this seems to be the best way for everyone to celebrate the occasion with us. The wedding party would be most important at the actual wedding, obviously, but it would be nice for at least one of my attendants to pull double duty and be around to help me pee in my dress while we're in Green Bay (but really, being a bridesmaid is super glamorous).

One plus side? It gives all of us a reason for us to get together a few times so I can finally meet/ hang out with their little ones. These are good friends we're talking about people. Minus distance issues, I want to be that faux aunt who introduces their kids to stuff their parents will forever rue. Like silly string. And blowing bubbles in your milk with these. And glitter. And drums. Or maybe tambourines. I'm not set on the obnoxious instrument yet.

Are you married? How did you navigate this area? Is this something you put any worry into? 'Cause honestly - here's my biggest concern: What if I ask and they say 'no.'?

I tried to talk this out with Fiance last night, but being classic Fiance, his answer was a little less than helpful: "You haven't asked anyone yet? I've got mine all set. Just tell 'em you want 'em there with you. No big thing." It's not a fair comparison though - he's got two brothers and two great friends that all live within 2 hours driving of Detroit, and none of them have little ones or little one plans. Plus we don't have a date yet. Ugh - how did Fiance already check this off his list?!

And why don't I just ask my friends for advice instead of posting this all out on the internet like a dweeb?
Because the people I would ask for advice are the same people I would then turn around and ask to stand up for me, and that seemed... somehow wrong.

So hey there internet. Someone has to have had similar worries. Help me out. Comment or e-mail me . I need some advice.


Just Me said...

I say first decide how many attendants you want. Then make a list of every female you would consider asking. Rank order them. Proceed from there.

Personally, if someone is offended that you didn't ask them, they need more hobbies/better priorities in their lives.

And there are ways to make being a bridesmaid not so super duper expensive/stressful.

My gut says that 99.9% of the potential people (Kate, Jilly) will all say yes.

And if you have too many, let them pick Detroit or Green Bay.

Heather said...

As someone who has been a bridesmaid SEVERAL MANY TIMES (and all except one included a pink dress) (thank you Jill) as well as being married, I think the choice can be boiled down to this: when you picture actually standing up, in a dress, with a veil next to Chris, who else HAS to be there to share that moment with you? The girls I chose were/are lovely, but there was only one person (my maid of honor and best friend since junior high) that I felt HAD to be there. So ask who you need, and feel free to throw people that you want in there also. Plus, your friends really do have the option of saying no if it's not possible for them, and I think that's something they'll understand espeically if they've been married before. Whew. That was a novel.

Deanna said...

Love the previous bit of advice from Heather! Wish I could offer wise words of my own but I find myself in a similar dilemma...

Jeremy has a list of like TWELVE people he wants to stand up for him.

What?!?! TWELVE? Yes, twelve. *smacks self on forehead*

(A) We will not be having a 26 person bridal party. That is ridiculous.

(B) When I do get him to wheedle down his list, how in the heck do I find that many people to stand up for me? Who do I ask? I have my go-to's (little sister, high school best friend, & college best friends) but that accounts for like 4 people. I can't imagine I'm going to get him to go below 6 groomsmen. Beyond those four people, everyone else I'm close with has babies or lives a bazillion miles away. As you said in your post, I feel a little guilty asking them to incur the expenses that would come along with standing up for me.

So... no good answer from me - but at least you have company in this boat :)

K said...

As the gal who has had to regretfully decline an invite to be a bridesmaid on more than one occasion due to geographical location, I must say I was incredibly honored to be asked. It was an affirmation of my friendship with women who could have easily just assumed I'd be unavailable due to my location or job situation. Or figured I was too busy flitting around the world and unreliable. (I want others to feel like they can count on me, because they can.)

Although the second time it was heartbreaking for me (because I had actually said yes, paid for and ordered the bridesmaid address on the assumption I would be able to fly home from Korea mid-contract for the wedding... only to later on have to say "ummmmmm sorry, now I can't apparently") I still felt a part of the big day and included from afar. I don't know that I just assumed I would have been asked (because everyone has their own situation and preferences and relationships and makes decisions that are appropriate for said situation), but that I was... well, that was something very special to me.

So whether or not you are practically sure that someone would be unable to be a part of your big day, the invitation is something special. I am sure you will figure out a way to include people that are important in your life in a way that is not stressful to them. In fact, I KNOW your wedding will likely be one of the most stress-free events of the century because it's you. You don't seem like the Bridezilla type that would demand a litany of things from your wedding party.

I agree with your first commenter's post. I have no experience choosing bridesmaids, but from the other side of the asking, it's an honor. And now I'm much more careful about committing. It also helps that you are living internationally and so you can definitely understand that everyone has their own circumstances which might preclude them from taking part in your special day as much as they would love to be there to share in it.

Kp said...

thank you all for the kind advice/ commiserating. It would seem I've just got to "cowboy-up" and ask. And to that effect, I have some very important doodles to make this weekend. :)

Jill said...

Think about who are the most important people to have by your side that day (and to have to help you pee-- a very important less glamourous duty that no one talks about until you find yourself holding up a massive dress with four other people over a toilet in the smallest room possible while singing jingle bells and running water for the bride's shy bladder (just a hypothetical... promise :)

Think about the qualities you want in those people and why those people are important to have with you on that big day. And those are the same people who will do everything in their power to be there for you and while they will think about the cost (because let's be serious-- everyone does) in the end, every single cent will have been worth it because they (and you) couldn't have imagined it any other way.

Jill said...

And yes, I need your address because I have been accumulating birthday (thank god for the grace periods) AND christmas stuff. There is a great package coming your way :)