Engagement Updates

Advice For All Grooms, Everywhere…Including Myself

August 29th, 2011 by

By the time you read this, I will be gone.  No, no, no, not like that, but I will be married, and on my honeymoon.  I’ll be away from my desk, and my iPhone.  No more emails, no phone calls, no business.  All of these are very rare things for me.  A true vacation, just my new bride and myself.  Aside from the minor detail of running a business over the past year, I’ve also been heavily involved in planning for our wedding, and I’ve learned a lot from the process.  If I could do it all over again, the thought of which is simply exhausting on its own, I would have some advice for myself.  So, here it goes…

The first thing that comes to mind is that somehow, someway, everything will get handled…i.e. “It’ll all be OK.”  There are hundreds of books, websites, blogs, pieces of friend’s advice and plenty of other stuff out there that will give “advice” on how to prepare for a wedding.  While well intended, it can surely be overwhelming!  Anyhow, my advice is that, it will all get done!  And besides, whatever doesn’t get done, will not stop the earth from spinning on its axis.  Furthermore, no matter how much you plan, how hard you try, something will go wrong.  Half of our flower vases dropped and shattered last week when getting shipped from the vendor to the florist.  The same vases that we approved months ago.  Time to reorder?  I don’t think so.  Panic?  Why?  So back to the florist to pick another style of vase.  Not one of our guests will ever know that the vase changed from the original one we selected.  Anyhow, you get the point.

Another lesson, and an even more important one in my opinion.  It is all too easy to forget that the wedding is not about the party, the music, the flowers, the ceremony itself, or even the guests in attendance.  It is about yourself and the person whom you are choosing to spend the rest of your life with.  It is easy, and I admit I got caught up in the action dozens of times, to concern yourself with everything  “else”.  The “other”, or anything that’s not concerning the whole reason the wedding is taking place in the first place (the couple) is merely a means to an end, a way of gathering those around you to declare your lifelong intentions.  The process goes by all too quickly anyhow, and not taking the time to realize what the reasoning behind it all can really be a pity.  So, after the band stops playing, after the candles burn out, after the guests fly home, after ”normal” life resumes, be sure your memories were of a time where you were able to strengthen your relationship with each other, not over the big fight you had whether Aunt Sally should sit to the right or the left of Uncle Bill.

I think that if I would have been given the above two pieces of advice, and been astute enough to abide by them, the entire process would have been seamless.  Well not quite, but you get the idea.

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Wedding Update

January 17th, 2011 by

Now that the Christmas selling season is behind us, I finally have some brief pockets of air to fill with resuming my contribution into the wedding planning.  So, I thought I’d give a bit of an update as to where everything stands, as it’s been four fast-flying months already since the proposal!  I never realized the amount of planning that could go into a single weekend.  I suppose that when you start out with the shell of a room, and bring in 200 or so people, and take on the task of entertaining, feeding, transporting, and making lodging available to each of them, the monumental task that lies ahead has become fairly evident to me by now.  Hindsight is, it appears, always 20/20…

So far we’ve booked the location, music, catering, hotel blocks, photographer, videographer, and our ceremony officiant.

We’ve looked into honeymoon locations, began deciding on menu options, both food and beverage, given thought to different readings we’d like performed at the ceremony, and with that of course, who will read said readings.

The Best Man, Maid of Honor, groomsmen and bridesmaids have been chosen.  We’ve selected the flower girl, the ring bearer (in our case, he barks) and the ushers.

Song selection for the reception has begun, but with little progress.  There’s the father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, and of course, the first dance as a married couple.

There are toasts to think about, both those to give, as well as those to receive.

Engagement photos have been taken, and although I didn’t understand what they were to begin with, and then upon being educated, I still didn’t understand the “why” behind them, I wound up being proven wrong as usual, and am very grateful that we did in fact have them done.  Dare I say it, but it was fun.

My mother was kind enough to host an engagement party for us last weekend at her home.  That of course was its own ball of wax, but a blast (in the end) as well.  The first 90 minutes was greeting those who had just walked in (it was open house format), and I kid you not the moment that the last guests arrived, the first guests (mostly our friends with small children) began departing…so began the goodbyes.  But I could have asked for nothing more, and we couldn’t be luckier than to have the love that surrounded us from our friends and family that evening.

Save-the-date-cards, wedding invitations, thank you notes are all in the future, but must of course not be forgotten.

The all-important wedding dress has been bought, but apparently takes months to arrive (everything about it is a huge secret from me but no one else on earth).  Then the series of fittings begin.

Ditto the bridesmaid’s dresses.

My tuxedo must come into play at some point and time, as do the Best Man’s and groomsmen’s, but as it stands today, that’s yet to be mentioned to me, so on at least one topic, I’m still to learn.

Lest I forget flowers, the most underestimated item of importance by me.

Lighting is another vital aspect to this event, so I’m told.  What to light (pin spots on tables, up-lighting, down-lighting, LED, incandescent, etc., etc…).   I’ve read that lighting is the single most important part of the wedding as it sets the mood for the evening.  But then again, I could list 10 sources that say 10 different aspects of the wedding are the most important.  I still think it may be the bride and groom, but I’ll evaluate after it’s all over.

Décor.  Another thing to think about that is additionally of vital importance, so I’m told.  Table covers, chair covers, linens, dance floor, drapery around the ballroom, and a world of seemingly endless things to consider.

One may think (I know I did) that with all the men whom I’ve helped start the above process, by selling them their engagement rings, that I would have some clue what occurs afterword’s, but such was not the case, until now.

I wonder what will be going on in the back of my mind the next time I’m standing in front of a customer, right as he says that I’ve shown him the perfect ring?  “Congratulations”, or “If you thought that was tough, you have no idea what lies ahead”?

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