Work and Weddings

by lizzie & isaiah on February 28, 2012 · 17 comments

Isaiah and I got engaged when I was a junior in college.

We had a flobbity jillion reasons to put wedding plans on hold immediately and wait for a couple of years: health insurance, waiting for careers, etc.

One of the reasons we tried to pretend was real was time. At the time, in college, I thought I was the busiest I could ever get. It’s ridiculous now that I look back and I realize how much free time I had. The reality? Everything has gotten exponentially complicated.

I can’t seem to get any of the details together in reality. We haven’t sent out Sa-the-Das yet. I haven’t ordered a dress yet. We’re ridiculously behind. I keep planning times to plan and they’re not working out.

I love my job. I think about my job and how I can do it better most nights and weekends. Isaiah and I also do anywhere between 10 and 30 hours of contract work per week and I have to sleep, prepare food, take care of animals, enjoy time with Isaiah, etc.

How in holy hell do you plan a wedding and work and have animals and freelance? What the EFF.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

nicole February 28, 2012 at 11:59 am

I had to put the freelancing on hold for a good 6 months when we were planning our wedding. Which sucked, because of course it meant less money coming in, but there was just no time.

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Alyssa February 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm

You delegate! And pare down. And keep your planning times no matter what. And focus on important stuff. (Save the dates? Not important unless you NEED paper. I needed paper, but I’m a little crazy like that.) You also remember to email people back after you dangle cake-tasting in their pregnant faces and then get busy with life and deny their unborn child sugary goodness.

Okay, maybe not that last one. But just sayin’….baby wants cake.

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lizzie & isaiah March 1, 2012 at 10:07 am

Delegate! Delegate what?! Oh no. I’m not good at delegating.

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Alyssa March 1, 2012 at 10:21 am

Maybe call it “supervise”? “Wedding by committee” and y’all have veto power? Dunno, I suck at this.

HOWEVER, do also remember that the length of the engagement is not directly proportional to the perfection of the wedding. i.e. just cause you’ve been engaged for a while doesn’t mean that everything has to be incredible because you’ve had SO long to plan. Anyone who says that is an asshole.

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nikki February 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm

remember that one time I wrote a guest post for you about all-inclusive weddings? that’s because I was lazy, not necessarily busy, but still. do that.

;)

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lizzie & isaiah March 1, 2012 at 10:07 am

Yes…we SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT. Might be a little late now.

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Lena February 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Alyssa totally said what I was going to. Cut anything you don’t need.

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lizzie & isaiah March 1, 2012 at 10:09 am

INDEED.

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Another Emma February 29, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Tell. Me. About it. Basically, all I have to say to you is: yes. It is very hard and stressful. But at some point the excitement and focus shifts and you find yourself making time for wedding stuff that you previously were just too busy for.

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lizzie & isaiah March 1, 2012 at 10:08 am

I hope that happens to me too! I was hoping that’s how it would work out…natural shift of priorities, yeah?

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Sarah March 1, 2012 at 12:15 am

There will be shit that simply doesn’t get done, and it won’t matter. No, really. It just won’t matter. You know what one of my favorite engagement memories is? Me crying about not having a dress I liked and Tony telling me he didn’t give a crap, I could wear old sweat pants as long as I married him.

Also, Nikki is right. All-inclusive, or at least mostly-inclusive.

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lizzie & isaiah March 1, 2012 at 10:10 am

I’m usually in the “shit happens” camp, but for some reason, with this, it seems weirder, yeah?

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Sarah March 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Well, you know me, so you know I didn’t exactly let a lot fall through the cracks, but there were actually quite a few projects I scrapped or punted to other people, or just decided “good enough” even when they weren’t because I couldn’t do it all.

That said, if you’re not going all-inclusive, I strongly recommend designating early on a team of set-up and break down people, getting your hands on the spreadsheets that Sharon (Bride Sans Tulle) and Becca (Stumble and Leap) created, and making sure you have a handle on who needs to be where, what needs to be done, and who is in charge. If it hadn’t been for Becca, Lyn and Louise, our wedding would not have been set up when guests started to arrive because the venue people hadn’t bothered to set up any tables or chairs when we arrived (on time), and Louise had to go pester people — a fact I didn’t know about until after the wedding because I was too busy with Bride stuff.

As far as the decor and crafts and such, eff it. Seriously. I would focus on ceremony, lighting, sound/music, libations, dessert and personal beautification. The rest is all in the nice-but-not-necessary category. If you get around to it, great. If you don’t, go grab some flowers from the grocery in the morning, stuff them into jars for your set-up people to put on the tables and call it done.

My only other piece of advice: use colored table cloths and napkins and lots of tea lights. The table scapes are a lot less important with pretty colors and candle light everywhere.

Also, don’t have the rehearsal dinner at your house unless you hire a clean-up crew. Seriously. You do not want to be cleaning house twice the day before your wedding.

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irisira March 1, 2012 at 4:58 am

One of the things I found turned out to be a key thing for me was refusing to work with vendors who did not want to work over email. I mean, sure, I wanted to talk to them once they were booked, etc., but I’m talking about initial inquiries. If a vendor responded with a phone number to call them, or leaving me a message in the middle of the workday I stopped considering them. I felt guilty about this at first, but being able to do the bulk of the communication over email was important for me. It enabled me to do most of my wedding stuff at 6am or 9pm, and not during the hours when I had to deal with life.

The only vendors I couldn’t make this happen on were chairs (which I delegated to Chris) and hair (which was quite wrought, and I actually got into a fight with a salon manager on the phone on my break – that was fun). A good number of the salons near me are online, but sadly this wasn’t the case near my venue. I ended up going with JCPenney because I knew they’d be cheap and do what I needed.

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lizzie & isaiah March 1, 2012 at 10:11 am

That definitely counts….we’ve had the same problem, girl. A lot of vendors aren’t great about communicating on a certain schedule or through email here either.

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Anni March 1, 2012 at 10:15 am

I relate to this post so so SO much. We got engaged in college as well. We picked our venue and photographer almost immediately (our venue is hugely popular now, so it books up ~2 years out) and then just kind of forgot about it. Now, I’m finishing up classes, I work a part-time job, and I’m running my own wedding photography business. I think about other peoples’ weddings more than my own, and while I’m really excited for marriage and spending time with friends and family, it’s so stressful when we get comments about how our save the dates aren’t out yet, etc. If you ever want to vent, let me know! Sometimes I feel like there aren’t many other people out there who do sympathize. A lot of my friends are more along the lines of “ohmygosh, you’re getting married, I’d have done X, Y, Z and a zillion other things by now!”

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Christie O. {Hindsight Bride} March 5, 2012 at 8:39 am

Also, I’ve recently been slammed with work and side projects. I feel stressed out when I think I might let someone down. But there comes a time when you have to say no to some things. Lizzie, it’s not possible to sustain working and freelancing and sleeping, and preparing food, taking care of animals, and enjoying time with Isaiah, and planing a wedding.

The wheels will fall off that bus if you don’t establish some boundaries…

I love Nikki’s idea of the all inclusive wedding.

I also found it helpful to seriously look into eloping. It helped put our relationship into perspective and opened our eyes to a range of possibilities that were far more modest than The Wedding we originally thought we *should have.*

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