“Chair covers,” I nearly shouted, to my iPad and the cat, neither of whom were really listening too intently. “The hell needs chair covers?” And not just chair covers. Table runners, escort cards (whatever those are), twee mason jars with DIY blackboard paint, bouquets made out of antique broaches, flowers made out of book pages, lighting fixtures made out of lightbulbs and copper tubing and balloons made to look like bubbles, flowers or just really, really big balloons.
You guessed it: I got engaged, and the societal pressure has begun.
Now. There’s something you should know, or may already know from my first, highly skeptical graf, but I’ve never been the kind of girl who planned her wedding in her spare time. I was never that kid who dressed up in veils and mom’s high heels. Sure, I wore party dresses to daycare after I shed my private school uniform, but that was more a misunderstanding of the term “play dress-up” than anything else.
I’ll say it: Weddings have gotten just plain out of control. Even “rustic chic” weddings have Pinterest DIY boards that look like Martha Stewart threw on a pair of Louboutin cowboy boots over her Calvin skinnies and got to work on turning a barn into a destination fit for, well, a bride.
Which, by the way, is not synonymous with “princess,” “heiress” or even “person who gets to decide everything from the napkin rings to her groom’s underwear.”
Because here’s the thing: My fiancee Nick and I are deeply, madly in love. But we are not mad as in off our rockers, or drowning as deeply in cash as we are ooshy-gooshy display of affection that are best kept off the Interwebs. We’re planning a wedding, not a coronation. That’s where I and Pinterest, The Knot and probably hundreds of other wedding-planning sites diverge: My wedding will be unequivocally “us,” but it will not be the party of the century. It’s the first day of our lives as a unit, a celebration to send us off into the sunset.
Nick recently got back from CES in Las Vegas, a trip that followed his popping the question and the holidays in such rapid succession that we didn’t have time to start planning until now. So let me publicly kick off our planning period with this: We want our wedding to showcase our personalities as a couple, not overshadow them. And we are so not chair cover people.
We love vintage designs and industrial spaces. We’re Buffalo boosters with an eye toward community building and giving back. We’re cocktail enthusiasts and fresh food fans. We love early-2000s pop punk, good-smelling candles, old books, apple technology, Star Wars and most recently, Settlers of Catan. But we’re not clones of each other, either. I like to draft my poems on an antique typewriter, while he reviews technology products for a living. He’s an outgoing football fan, and I like to spend game days soaking in a solitary bath with a glass of wine and embarrassing TV. I love romantic chochtkes and he’s more streamlined, but we can agree on one thing above all others: we love our friends and family and they, second only to our love for each other, are the most important part of our wedding day.
So as we embark on the planning stage for the first day of the rest of our lives, this is my very public pledge to keep it in perspective. Pinterest is a wonderful tool for inspiration, but it’s also a window into the excess that so many expect to be the norm. We won’t be having salsa dancers to entertain guests between cocktail hour and dinner (that’s what the bar is for). We also won’t be choreographing our first dance to a medly of our favorite songs (consider it a miracle if we can make it through without smashing each other’s toes). We will be eating cassata cake and probably Lloyd tacos, and we will be decorating our chosen space with colors we love and themes that reflect our passions and ourselves. But please Internet, don’t expect us to put on a bonanza that costs more than my car.
When Lennon sang “Money can’t buy me love,” he hit the nail right on the head. I’m not a cake to be frosted, and neither is my relationship with Nick. Once the confetti is swept up and the cake topper is in the freezer, that’s all we’ll have to fall back on (and maybe a couple of sweet gifts, if we’re lucky). That’s the part that will carry us through our planning, the day itself, and the thereafter. That’s the part that matters.