Yes, it’s true. I am finally Mrs. Dawson Leery! The wedding was a ravishing success, if I do say so myself. We managed to pull off three, count ‘em, three choreographed dance routines. One of the dances was during our wedding party introductions, and we stole all the moves from Glee. If you saw the episode where Kurt’s dad marries Finn’s mom, you know what I’m talking about. It went like this. When I watched that episode, I wasn’t even engaged yet but I knew those dance moves were going to make it into my wedding one day.
Now, if there had been a way to get my wedding party to agree to it, I would’ve had them to do this dance instead. Alas, they never would’ve gone for it, as it was hard enough to get them to do the first one and also would've required extensive dance practices for all of us.
As I said, everything went really well, but as with anything, I learned a thing or two from the whole process of planning a wedding. And just like with motherhood, there are a whole slew of things that no one ever tells you about beforehand, things that you’re left to figure out the hard way. Things like...
You will never make so many lists in your life. I’m a list person. If I don’t make a list, things don’t get done. And in the beginning of this planning process, I was all like, hell yeah I am going to own this because I make LISTS, bitches! But the week before the big day, I think I made so many that I pretty much never want to see a piece of paper again. You think you only have to make a guest list once, but in reality, you need to write that list in at least seven different formats and seven different orders. Like, alphabetical guest list for parking, guest list by meal selections, guest list by table, and so on. You also need to make very specific to-do lists every day, usually several times a day, because otherwise, something will be forgotten or someone will go unpaid. And don’t forget about the lists of things to pack for the big day. It’s unrelenting and never ending and so unbelievably necessary.
Don’t host your own rehearsal party. Because quite frankly, you are planning one party, and it will be the very next day, so why bother planning a precursor? Let someone else take that headache. Dawson and I would have been sitting pretty had it not been for our stupid idea to have the party at our house. All the wedding stuff was finished on Thursday, and so we spent all of Friday cleaning and cooking for the rehearsal. Then after it was all finished and I made a hasty exit for my hotel, Dawson was left to clean up the mess instead of working on his speech. Which brings me to my next point.
Send your child to be babysat at someone else’s house. Dishes and vacuuming are two things you don’t want to be doing the night before or the morning of your wedding. Dawson probably wouldn’t have had to clean so much if it weren’t for the fact that the next day we had babysitters coming to stay over to watch Thumper during the reception. I’m sure our (wonderful and super awesome sauce) babysitters wouldn’t have minded a dirty dish or two, but I feel confident that had they walked into a kitchen full of pots and pans with caked on food, none of which they even got to eat, they would have turned around and walked out without a word.
Don’t schedule your ceremony and reception five hours apart. You might think this one goes without saying but here me out first. We chose an 11 am start time for our ceremony and a 5 pm reception time for two reasons. One being that I didn’t want a mid-afternoon ceremony to land in the middle of my daughter’s naptime, or any of the other seven children under three attending my wedding, and the second being that the venue we wanted for the ceremony was significantly cheaper in the morning time slot. And though part of me wants to stand by those reasons and say that I’d do it the same way again, wearing that heavy and tight fitting wedding gown for over ten hours was pretty painful. I started my day with tears in my eyes because I couldn’t believe I was finally getting to wear a princess gown, and I ended the day with tears in my eyes because I couldn’t wait to get that fucking thing off. And yet as badly as I wanted out of it, it broke my heart to take the dress off. So maybe for my next wedding, I’ll screw over Thumper’s nap in favour of being able to wear my dress all night without wanting to set fire to it.
Do your nails the night before. Because otherwise, you won’t have time to do damage control when one of your bridesmaids accidentally drops the whole bottle of nail polish on the floor two hours before the ceremony. I had hoped she dropped the clear nail polish, but of course, it was the bottle of white spilled everywhere, so there was no French manicure for this bride. Luckily, I realized that if that was the worst thing that happened on my wedding day, I should consider myself lucky. At my brother’s wedding, his mother-in-law slipped on the dance floor and broke her wrist. So not having my nails done was okay by me. I just feel bad for the nail polish. Like the Titanic, it was cut short during its maiden voyage.
Of course, that wasn’t really the worst thing that happened. The worst was that a different bridesmaid scratched the side of her car on a cement beam in the parking garage the night before. But even that was kind of funny, because it wasn’t my car and because she was so flustered that she drove off into the next level before remembering that she left the bridesmaid who had gotten out to assess the damage behind.
And the best part of the day was the fact that I married my very best friend and the love of my life. I also really enjoyed the part where he cried more actual tears than I did. Oh, and also the part where my daughter ran up the aisle screaming her head off, my one niece sat down in the middle of the aisle, my crying nephew wouldn’t let go of my brother and walk by himself, and my other niece walked up the aisle with a look of I hate you all mixed with I don’t really know what’s happening mixed with Gimme that candy bag Auntie Alice promised me if I made it up here. The chaos was oddly charming.