“Okay. You can come in, now.”
Having my boyfriend fix lunch did not raise my suspicions, having already been treated to his excellent cooking skills on more than one occasion. His declaring I couldn’t be in my own kitchen while he cooked did not make me think ‘this is it!’ After all, we’d spent the last month discussing how we would not be getting engaged until after I met his sister over the 4th of July weekend, and this was the end of June.
The fact that the man that has treated me to homemade Reubens, steak and crab legs just fixed me the surprise meal of hotdogs only made me raise my eyebrows. It was the Cheetos, an ongoing joke of his wrapped around the concept of ‘proposals are cheesy’, that clued me in.
I am pleased to say my now fiance did NOT stick the actual ring into the bottom of a little Cheetos bag to propose to me. He had a fake one stuck in the bottom of the Cheetos bag to propose to me.
This event happened on June 24th. It’s difficult to believe it’s been five weeks, especially given the amount of work we’ve accomplished to turn around a mid-October wedding. Contrary to my fiance’s hope, it is NOT on Friday the 13th, despite assurances that he would never forget our anniversary. I have to admit, I doubt I’d forget it, either. But no.
With time of the essence, these are the things we’ve accomplished in the last five weeks.
Wedding party: This was probably the easiest part. My friends and family all knew it was coming, so getting the ‘will you be X for me?’ was easy. Getting “duh” from a bridesmaid was my favorite response.
Website/Invitations: People tell you that getting mailing addresses is one of the toughest parts of wedding planning. So far, I completely agree. Elderly family members will be your best friend for this part but be careful, half the people in their address books are probably dead and they’ll still want you to include them. To order invites, I highly recommend VistaPrints. Tons of choices, had better prices than anywhere else I looked, and they arrived in less than two weeks. Also, TheKnot is a great website. Has everything you need to figure out this whole wedding thing including a detailed to-do list, budgeter and free website.
Wedding Dress: I bought mine off the rack in the first store I went to. But while I found an incredible dress everyone loves, I had absolutely WRETCHED customer service from the associate assigned to me. When I didn’t pick the first dress I tried on, she actually scolded me. “You don’t have time [before the wedding date] to try on dresses to see how they look on you.” and “You’ve been wearing clothes since you were born. You should already know what looks good on you and what you like to wear.” I’m not sure how a person can confuse wedding dresses with baby diapers and t-shirts, but she put in 100% effort to do so. If my maid of honor hadn’t been in Alaska walking with bears (Not kidding. She was with rangers walking in the woods looking for bears and texting us her thoughts on pictures of my dresses) she probably would have punched her in the face. As it is, the manager that was fetched, and every other employee I dealt with afterwards, was great, so I think I just got a bad apple. Because of this, I’m not mentioning the name of the major bridal store chain I went to.
Groomsman suit: Make sure to ask your fiance if he already has a suit in his closet before you go suit shopping. You’ll probably learn that he does. Otherwise the two of you will spend an hour in JC Penney looking at every multi-colored/stripey/ugly/clown-car-salesman suit jacket in the store, bypassing the dozens of perfectly fine black options. He will then discover that the clown-car-salesman jacket perfectly fits and later refuse to answer when asked if he went back and bought it.
Gift Registry: When your fiance declares you don’t need a registry, it’s not worth it to push even when you know better. Simply wait until his family brings it up then mention this fact. His sister will inform all the aunts in his family at the family gathering he later attends. This will be followed by a phone call to you saying you’ll be doing a registry. Also, have fun with this! My fiance had us add Cheetos (because weddings are cheesy!) so I added a pink flamingo. Or ten. He added a 2×4 (just one. We can all use an 8 ft. long 2×4, right?) so I added a three ft. tall bobble head lawn gnome. Also, did you know there are pirate ship bundt cake pans?
Flowers and Photography: I’m lucky. I work at a cemetery. Do you want to know who knows who the best florists in town are? Cemeteries/Funeral Homes. Seriously. We know who does a good job and who doesn’t. For my county, it’s University Flowers. Photography was also pretty easy for me. She’s a long time friend of a friend of mine and runs Dancing Man Studio. Her pricing was the best I found, and she offers a CD with all the digital prints!
Other: I know there’s a ton of other little things that we did. Fiance is in charge of the honeymoon, so that planning is somewhere between staying in a tent who-knows-where and lounging on the beach.
And there you have it! Not bad for only five weeks.
Stay tuned for Part 2, which will cover Bridesmaid/groomsmen outfits and decoration raids on Hobby Lobby.