Thursday, December 4, 2008
It's that time of year! Those who are married probably know it well, and others who are in the process are anxiously awaiting that ring! I remember when I got engaged, I wasn't expecting it! That's how it's supposed to be! But as women, we are so darn impatient we want it when we say it's time. I never gave the ultimatum. I just knew in my mid 30's I didn't need to date someone for 5 years to determine our making it to the altar. It was either there, or it wasn't. I'm not sure if statistics will interest some of you, but did you know that 19% of Americans get engaged between Thanksgiving and New years? This number has been pretty consistent for many years. I know this because our phone along with email goes ballistic with inquiries! I do have to apologize this year, I was away with family in Chicago during the holiday and decided I needed a break just being "me" for a few. I'm sure you are savvy with needing "me" time. I want to give those of you who have just started the process some sound advice. Each year I take away many new experiences. They are not always favored, but yet I know I need to change certain things. Call this my NY resolution list. The list is too long this year, let's stay away from that subject! For those who have begun the process, I know your first inclination is to find the dress. I guess you can call this the kick off. For some, this may be stressful because you have searched for quite sometime for the perfect design only to realize it's just not you. I've been there gals. Trust me. I remember taking a few friends with me to try on gowns, and thought the sheath dress was the one. Low and behold, I got this "Yuck, that's so not you Sam" look. I think I heard them say it just by the look on their face. I was SO disappointed. I finally figured out I needed to be about 5 inches taller to pull this off. I knew there were not cosmetic procedures to help me with this feat. I also knew that lifts (what men use to appear taller)was a no go. I tried what I call pole dancer shoes, honey if I can't pole dance or make it two inches without wobbling, this was not going to happen either. So what did I choose you ask? I found a happy medium, A-line. Always a good choice! No, it did not have feathers! Although if I wanted to have them, I could have pulled it off. I think. The dress is so little compared to the many difficult decisions you will need to make. Just know that every decision is going to take time. I hope you will all take it. It goes by REALLY fast! I have watched over 60 brides this year, make decisions, change their minds and then go back to the same choice. It's funny! I think as I get to know my brides, I already know the process and don't want to spoil it...So I play along. I will only tell you after the wedding what I knew while we were planning. One area that is most sensitive with regard to decision making is the invite list. It starts with engagement parties, showers, sassy girls night, and the wedding. Wait, let's not forget the breakfast after the wedding. I'm going to speak from the heart with this one, while playing with etiquette just a tad! Big question, if you invite someone at the beginning of the process, does it mean you have to invite them to everything? The Post gals would say yes. In fact, if I take us back 50+ years, anyone would say if you don't invite consistently, your considered rude and well that was just not even a consideration for brides back then. What do I think? I think you have to do what feels right. The engagement party is again, the kick off for your friends and family. It's a time where you get to celebrate a new phase in your life with the ones who have been there since you were born or those you have invited into your world along the way. It's also considered the introduction to your significant's world too. Ahhh, you didn't think about that part huh? Yes. This is the part which can be somewhat scary. You may not like everyone whose invited, but this is how it works. This is how the rest of the process works. Some of the people at this event, may be there for a long time. Maybe not on a daily basis, but you're going to see them during the holidays, special occasions or maybe a Sunday dinner. Get used to it! So while you are thinking, OMG, is this what marriage is about? If you want to focus on the things that you have no control over, then your going to make yourself nuts. This is about you and your other half. No ones family is perfect. While some may be easier to deal with then your own at times, look at it as a bonus. When it comes time for you to get the invite list ready, I want you to keep this one piece of advice in your pocket. Think of it as a gift. I promise this one will keep giving even after you get married. Your going to have many events that surround this new part of your life, especially for those marrying into a different culture. Your going to want everyone from your past and future to be there each step of the way. While some will be able to make it, some may not. I have watched brides feel so abandoned from friends or family who say they can come, and something comes up and they can't. It's hard not to take this personally. I understand this more than any of you will ever know. It happened during my wedding too. It's also happened after. But the one thing I have learned is that it doesn't have to take away from the event being special. I'm getting very close to the 1,000Th wedding mark in my career, and I would say 900+ are in the category where we always have conversations about attendance. I have watched that place card table like a hawk at many of our events, ensuring if there are several no shows, you'll never see it. One of the things I asked our planner to do was to hide the place cards that were left over until after the wedding. I'm glad that I asked her to do so because we had a total of 20 people who did not make it for various reasons. Some were totally understood. While others, no reason, no call and well we just knew that was the breaking point. I think for us, the part that hurt the most is that we didn't even get a call afterwards. Things happen and sometimes you can't control the reason. And sadly these events can change our relationships. I wish I knew the answer to why this happens, again, I think it's learning to adapt. My goal as a planner is to assist each couple with the several events that occur and to prepare them for what's ahead. I know what each of you goes through. It's a process. There are so many things we need to change, adapt to and accept. Again, I don't have all of the answers, but I do know that life has a funny way of working things out. I turned 40 this last week! My husband threw an amazing party for me. I was so proud of him and his ability to orchestrate such a memorable affair. I'm sure for those who are planners, giving up control is hard. You want to assist, it's just in our nature. Again, I walked away from this milestone learning many things. There were people who could not make it for many reasons. It hurt because it wasn't just my 40th, but a celebration of what this year has been like for myself and my family. What has it been like you ask? Some great things and well you watch tv, other things not so favorable. I'm moving on... I do have great things to announce about my company, career and what's she up to lately?? Shortly! I have little patience, but don't have a choice with some of the things I am dabbling in. I guess it took a year like this to bring these things out...Like I said, everything happens for a reason. Gals, if you know in advance you are on a ride with many surprises and experiences( I am being politically correct here) ahead, you may find your planning process to be much easier! Take my word for it! You know I'll always tell it like it is... Sam
I devote my time to ensuring our clients recieve fab service. There's another "calling" for me. To give back to my peers that aspire to be the next "best" fancy pants somebody! Those who play it safe standing behind me, will fail. I do serve as a warning to others and yes, I'm nutty. It's who I am & it's not going to change, as it works. Feel free to comment & join me on what could be the best road trip EVER!
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