Girl Gone Authentic: 25 Days to Go

Today – December 9, 2019 – marks the 25-day point before the wedding. I’m getting married in a mere 25 days!

I’m close to being finished with the preparations. As I wrote in a previous blog post, the decorations are all made, boxed, and labeled. We submitted the play list to the DJ (and no, I did not change my “down the aisle” song again!), I emailed the cake baker to confirm to flavors and decoration style, etc.

One of the biggest challenges over the last week or so is getting our guests to RSVP. You would THINK this should be simple. In each invitation, I included a self-addressed, stamped postcard. All the guests have to do is write their name, check off “accepts with pleasure” or “declines with regret,” and if they are attending, write down the number of guests attending. I sent out save-the-dates in April, so by the time I mailed the invitations (November 1st), everyone we invited should know if they will be able to make it. Easy-peasy, right?

Apparently, no. I’ve spent the last week (with the help of my dad and one of David’s groomsmen) tracking down people who have not mailed in their RSVP cards. Thank goodness we have things like text messaging, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. Finally, I’m down to only four guests who I have not yet heard from, and hopefully I’ll have responses from them by the end of this week.

For any of you who have been married or helped to plan a wedding, you know that it’s important to know how many guests will attend for a variety of reasons. For one, our venue charges by the guest. I don’t want to pay for people who have no intention of showing up. For two, the cake baker is currently planning on a cake that will feed 65 guests (our original estimate). I’m up to 72 guests right now, and if the other 4 guests say that they are coming, then the baker needs to change the amount of cake to feed those extra people. The third reason is the seating chart. Based on the number of guests attending at this moment, I can eliminate one of the tables, which will give extra room on the dance floor, and will also give the guests a slightly better “view” of the front of the room. If those 4 guests do come, then I need to leave the extra table, but it will make some of the tables appear slightly “empty” with only 6 or 7 guests at some of the tables (each table comfortably seats 8 adults). Also, I can’t finish the posters for the seating chart and where the tables are located until I know about these final 4 guests.

Another big challenge is the ceremony vows. Not mine, because I wrote mine months ago and the minister already has them. The challenge is David. We only have 25 days left and he doesn’t have much of a clue what he wants to say. He told me the other day that he would probably “wing it,” so I had to remind him that our minister said that she wants them from us in advance. The way she does it is that she hands us what we sent her, and we read them to each other. That way, we don’t sound rehearsed, and we don’t ramble and/or get upset later when we recall something we forgot to say. When I reminded him, he got this “deer in the headlights” look. I think he’s working on them, but it will be interesting to see how this goes! I am confident that he will do just fine, but it’s hard for me to chill out because I’m a planner. I’m walking a fine line between helping him keep on track and turning into a nag!

The last challenge, which as of yesterday became much less of a challenge, is finances. When we decided to get married and signed contracts with the venue and the photographer, David was working full-time. A few months (and lots of money) after we signed the contracts, David switched departments at the hospital. He needed to do this because the department he was originally assigned to requires a lot of physically strenuous work, which was made harder because he has arthritis in his spine. The department he switched to only had a part-time job opening (56 hours every 2 weeks), but he was told by virtually everyone he talked to that there were plenty of additional shifts he’d be able to pick up to be working 80 hours every 2 weeks.

This has turned out to not be true. David switched to this department in June, and it’s December. He has only been offered ONE additional 8-hour shift, and it was on a day he’s already working (traded shifts for a doctor appointment).

This has put a strain on our personal finances that would usually not be a gigantic problem. I make a decent salary. However, with Christmas AND a wedding coming up very soon, I’ve been very stressed out with figuring out how we will make the last payment to the venue (due on Christmas Eve) and to the photographer (due at the wedding). Not to mention paying for the rehearsal dinner, our hotel for the wedding, and honeymoon incidentals (at least the bulk of our honeymoon is already paid in full).

I’ve been struggling to keep in good spirits because of this, until yesterday. I got a call from my dad. I won’t go into details because he asked me not to, but the bottom line is that he offered to help financially. I was blown away by the phone call. I wasn’t expecting a dime. For one, he helped me the first time I got married and I felt quite weird about asking again. For two, I’m almost 46 years old and didn’t feel like I should be running to daddy for money.

I feel like a tremendous weight was lifted from my shoulders. I am no longer stressed out about how we’re going to afford everything that’s left to do. I was even planning to take a second job making food deliveries to earn some extra cash. That’s huge for me, because I do NOT like the smell of cooked food in my car! Now, I don’t have to do that. Yay!

Now, if those last 4 people will just RSVP, I’ll be really happy!