Friday, March 09, 2007

I don't allude to high school girls in bikinis until paragraph seven. Bear with me.

Planning a wedding reminds me a bit of being on Prom Committee. My school didn't technically have a prom committee, because we didn't technically have a prom. I went to a private Christian school, where the absence of such a notorious rite of passage was explained to us in a simple mathematical equation: Prom = Dancing = Pregnancy. When I ended up pregnant the summer after my freshman year at a Christian college, I was really confused. I hadn't danced with anyone, I swear!

I do remember sitting in homeroom in 11th grade, where my entire junior class- all 25 of us- were trying to plan our quasi-prom, the Junior/Senior Banquet. We had a class budget which we democratically tried to allocate, and I remember being thankful that I wasn't Class President, because I could care less if we sent out invitations that were hand-written by a calligrapher, or if we had three rather than four options for entrees. The only contribution I made to the entire shindig was suggesting that we hire a professional DJ, which was shot down by the majority of the class because apparently, "Javier's cousin" was a DJ and would do it for dirt cheap. I think we ended up paying him just enough to cover the cost of the four AA batteries it took to power up the boom box he used that night. Believe me, there's nothing like hearing Jars of Clay played from a boom box with a microphone propped up next to one speaker.

If someone would have warned me that planning Junior/Senior Banquet was going to prepare me for one day planning my own wedding, I might have stopped doodling long enough to pick up a few pointers. At that point, though, I thought I had a better chance of being the first woman to eat fried chicken on Mars than I did of getting married. I think the only thing I really gleaned from that experience was to NOT have Javier's cousin DJ my wedding.

I know that my wedding is supposed to be one of the most special days of my life, if not the primary placeholder. Most girls have been planning their famous walk down the aisle for years. I've only really thought about it for a month. The truth is, after spending the last seven years completely jaded, I'm kind of over it. Don't get me wrong: I do really want to be married, and marriage is something that I look forward to. The actual wedding, though? Is that really for me? I just picture a young, virginal bride being walked down the aisle by her father, and the whole connotation just seems a little too fairy-tailed for me. Like I could even wear a white dress without making the guests snicker. Would I rather spend money on flowers, or paying off my Target Visa? This is one area where my practical side wins out.

I'd probably be singing a different tune if someone else were paying for the wedding, and that tune would be called "A Serenade For Monique Lhuillier (Please design me a dress)". I might enjoy making decisions about all the details if I wasn't so preoccupied trying to calculate exactly how many hours of work it's going to take to cover the cost. We've got a baby on the way and debt that needs our monetary attention, and I'm supposed to coordinate a huge party where not only do I have to foot the bill, but I CAN'T EVEN HAVE THE DAMN CHAMPAGNE. Funny. Real funny. I love Chris, and I want to be with him forever. That doesn't cost me a penny, but I feel so much pressure to spend more money than I make in a year to announce that to our friends and family.

My first order of bridal duty was to work out the invitations. Wedding Invitations are such a big hoopla. (I use the word hoopla when I don't feel it's appropriate to say "pain in the friggen ass," just so you know.) There's a lot of pressure there because everyone says that the invitation sets the theme for the enire wedding. Knowing that, I searched high and low for invites with a "Shotgun" theme. (By the way, Chris doesn't think that joke is funny. And it is, of course, a joke.) After being astonished by the prices for everything that I "kinda" liked, I got frustrated and just went with the easiest, cheapest invites that I could tolerate. Easy & Cheap: of course that's the tone of the wedding. Of course. Now that just screams "NIK!"

I'm sure everything will turn out perfectly in the end. I just wonder if I can hire the local high school's prom committee to help me get to that point. Or maybe they can at least help me wash cars as a fundraiser for the wedding... I have enough friends with dirty minds- I MEAN CARS- to pay for "Trista & Ryan"-caliber nuptuals.

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