Late on a recent Friday night, I sat in front of my laptop with 16 tabs open, all of which read "custom wooden wedding signs." It was with dead eyes and an unhealthy blue glow against my face that I saw my fiancé next to me: half-asleep, surreptitiously sports-tweeting, and just, like, not caring. I snapped, erupting into a fit of anxious laughter. Much as I enjoyed crafting tasteful neutral colour palettes and planning our wedding for the past 19 months, I felt certain laying eyes on one more precious Etsy bridal favour might push me over the edge.
For the sake of my sanity, we decided my soon-to-be-husband, Michael, would take over wedding planning for a week.
Michael is completing his pediatric residency with incredible patience and dedication. You'd think this would make him a great partner-in-planning, except his favourite colour pairings are orange and blue (the Mets), and green and white (the Jets). He would have a Mike Piazza cutout greeting guests if he could.
Still, somehow, two months ahead of the wedding, I handed Michael the reins. His newfound responsibility came with mutually agreed upon ground rules to ensure he wouldn't destroy our wedding and our plan to spend the rest of our lives together:
1. I had to at least see options for each decision he was making.
2. I could say whatever I want about said options.
3. I couldn't return or exchange anything he bought.
4. I was allowed one executive veto.
5. He'd be done after this week. Done.
Saturday: Submit Our Musical Requests to the Band
With no plans other than to "open wine and get shit done," Michael began with our music selections. We'd talked extensively over the entire engagement about what musical vibe best captures us as a couple (we'd lovingly decided on "classy frat party"), so I wasn't too worried, but he was Chianti-happy and power-hungry.
"What if I walked down the aisle to 'Drunk in Love?'" he asked. I actually loved that ridiculous idea — until he pulled up a loud, clunky string quartet version performed by middle schoolers on YouTube. I was screwed.
The deeper he got into "X Top 40 2000s hit on violin" on YouTube, the more excited he got, like a puppy who realises for the first time the entire backyard is his kingdom to destroy. I eventually stopped listening; I'll find out what we're walking down the aisle to as it happens, I suppose.
I do know he cares about having a good time that day though. I know because when we got to the "must play" section of the reception form, he brought up *NSYNC and asked sincerely how he could choose between "Bye Bye Bye" and "Tearin' Up My Heart."
Maybe this will all be OK.
Sunday: Pick Our Wedding Contract
A little hungover but not deterred, Michael dragged me to Levine Judaica, a frozen-in-time Judaica store in Manhattan. The place has literally thousands of ketubahs, aka Jewish wedding contracts.
Remember when I said I like things objectively tasteful? Michael pulled primary-coloured paintings, contracts with yellow doves flying through interlocking wedding rings into streaky, watercoloured skies. He presented me with three options so bad I honestly forgot to take a picture. I aggressive-aggressively reminded him this was to be framed in our home forever and that I didn't want to have to use my veto so early in the week, but I would if he couldn't get his priorities straight, and—
He was messing with me. He pulled one out that I'd noted earlier was really pretty from behind a loud red and orange piece. We both loved it.
It could only be smooth sailing from here, I thought.
I spoke too soon.
Monday: Choosing His Groomsmen's Socks
Because he was coming off a night shift, Michael didn't have much time to dedicate to wedding things Monday, but in the half an hour we overlapped being awake, he managed to destroy me. I am dead. When the police come looking for my killer, it was Michael via text message with the groomsmen's socks. In case you're wondering how a pair of socks could kill a person, picture the socks you might wear as part of an ironic Valentine's Day outfit. Then picture said socks under a tuxedo.
It's interesting to note this is the first decision he got sassy about. Maybe he didn't like how it felt to be told what to do with his body? And he's right — who am I to interfere with his right to choose?
There will be a picture in my wedding album dedicated to Dwayne Wade socks called "Heart Bandit." It's fine. Everything is fine. :)
Tuesday: Finding a Box to Store Wedding Cards
Everything left on the list, while not really the biggest deal in the grand scheme of things, was something that would end up being easily visible to wedding guests. I gently reminded Michael of this as we sat down over dinner to Google "cute card box" for the cocktail hour.
Michael: "I don't care. Do you care?"
Tess: "I don't care."
Michael: "OK. This?"
Tess: "What if it rains?"
Michael: "OK. This?"
Tess: "What if it's windy?"
Michael: "I thought you didn't care."
Tess: "I don't care. But there will be money in the envelopes."
Michael: "OK, OK. This?"
Tess: "I don't care."
Michael: "OK! That!"
It was rough looking, like something you'd use to exfoliate after spending years on a desert island. And so he bought a $54 burlap box. And so I am marrying someone who bought a $54 burlap box. Alas! Onward.
Wednesday: Deciding How to Number the Tables
Michael's first suggestion when it came to table numbers was that he do them himself, despite the fact that we'd agreed long before that this arrangement would be a DIY-free affair. He liked the idea of numbered wine bottles after seeing the idea on my Pinterest wedding board (!). When I asked — innocently — what he planned to use to make the numbers, he stalled, looking around the apartment.
"Sharpies. Birthday candles! Paper?"
I pulled my executive veto.
He wasn't mad about it and once again Googled "cute wedding table numbers." He presented me with three options (one of which was burlap, for better or for worse, I guess) and said, "You choose."
That was against the rules, I told him.
"Is this against the rules?" he asked while poking my boob.
We had sex and forgot about it. Which reminds me — I have to figure out table numbers.
Thursday: Figure Out the Damn Wedding Signs
The signs we needed are meant to welcome people to the wedding and notify them of anything that's not self-explanatory, like our wedding hashtag (#ABADCASEOFLOVINGYOU). So they're not not important. But by the time we got to sign-picking, the novelty was gone.
I saw him half-heartedly search for "WoodSigns.com." That, thankfully, did not have whatever it was he was looking for. After a few minutes of Etsy time, he, without asking, ordered four signs.
Afterward, he looked at me and said, "OK?" I was both impressed and appalled. I've always adored his confidence and how he never second-guesses anything. But I've also always struggled with his lack of attention to detail: The signs come on stakes. We are getting married on a brick boardwalk.
He will realise that for the first time upon reading this post.
Coincidentally, Friday night was our tasting where we actually attended someone else's wedding at our venue and got to eat everything they'd chosen to help us pick our menu. It was a night filled with fun and delicious decision-making, and after a week of not being able to make decisions, I was so looking forward to it.
I wanted to get real deep about the merits of potato pancake bites versus smoked salmon bites and talk about every. Single. Thing. We ate. Somewhere near our fourth passed hors d'oeuvres, I remembered how very much I value Michael's opinion when it comes to what's important (food, unconditional support) and how it's not a bad thing to let go a little when it comes to the things that aren't. That's what marriage is all about, isn't it? Realising that love is more important than how you and your wedding look in photos?* I can't wait.
*Let's revisit this when the burlap card box arrives.
Via: Cosmopolitan US