Why I don’t miss wedding planning

Given I devoted all of 2013 to planning, participating in or recovering from my sister’s wedding and my own, I was a little worried I’d find myself totally adrift in the new year. The post-wedding blues, if you will.

I’m not the type of person who likes to sit too long. I think and worry too much — or start over-analyzing, getting anxious. It’s not good. Much of my adult life has been devoted to trying to achieve that elusive sense of “balance,” in fact; I want to be busy without using that go go go spirit as a crutch or an excuse, but still slow down enough to enjoy the simple things in life. (We know they’re really the big things).

A work in progress.

But as our November wedding drew to a close and gave way to a fresh, crisp new year, I don’t find myself waxing philosophical about my spreadsheets or vendor checklists or time wiled away on The Knot. I’ve channeled my creative energy into work and new pursuits, looking for ways to stretch as a writer and a person. Wedding planning proved I could find more hours in the day, and I’ve gotten much better about using my time better for work and play.

And then there’s the whole house-buying thing happening this spring. That’s certainly going to chew up some time.

But for as much as I loved our wedding and (much of) the process leading up to it, I often think back on last year with a feeling of pure relief. We did it, you know? It’s done. It was emotional, stressful, turbulent. I left my childhood home for the first time; I stood at my little sister’s side on her own wedding day; we dealt with illness and death, uncertainty and major upheaval.

For someone who is typically wedged in her tight little shell (very Cancer the crab of me, I’ll note), I sure did some growing.

I don’t miss wedding planning because it was a series of decisions — ones that felt so big and serious and important and really all-consuming at the time, though I realize in hindsight I should have backed down on some issues and simply not worried at all about others. For someone weighed down by the prospect of making the “wrong” choice at any given time (I’m a perfectionist, what can I say?), that was very difficult for me.

And the help! Asking for help was so hard. I don’t miss wedding planning because I usually prefer to just handle things myself . . . out of fear of, you know, inconveniencing anyone. Even my now-husband. Accepting that others wanted to help me with wedding-related tasks was really tough. I just felt like I was bothering them or, worse, was an “overzealous” bride oversharing everything online. The result? I didn’t always invite others into what was really a very happy time.

Mostly, I don’t miss wedding planning because the pressure is now off. The pressure of handling logistics for 150+ people; the pressure of preparing to move; the pressure of knowing these major events were on the horizon and I was supposed to be having the time of my life when, in reality, I did have a great time planning everything with Spence — but it was complicated, too.

When I expressed anxiety over some aspect of the wedding (or just getting married in general), I feared the judgment of my relationship. I worried admitting to being scared of so many changes happening at once was akin to casting doubt on what I have with Spencer, which was the last thing I wanted to do.

So I held back.

Upon reflection, I could have opened up more to the people in my life. Worked on releasing some control. Though Spence more than proved himself to be the stable, compassionate and thoughtful support I really needed, I could have simply relaxed a little more.

But that’s life, I know. Hindsight being 20/20 and all that. How many people are stressed leading up to their weddings? (I’m guessing, um, many.) Nothing is perfect . . . we just do the best we can. And I still had a heck of a lot of fun as an engaged lady!

And the main reason I don’t miss wedding planning? Because I really love being married. Love spending so much time with my husband. I love being a team, deepening our bond, making big decisions together — all that mushy stuff. Our little routines and rituals; our shared TV watching and dinner-making. The little things like sharing (and perhaps squabbling over) chores and grocery shopping are still fun for me, and we’re getting into budgeting and prepping and striding into the murky waters of homeownership together.

The wedding was just the beautiful beginning.

All the great stuff comes after.

Photos by Birds of a Feather Photography

Two sisters, six weeks: my slightly manic, yet tried-and-true tips for surviving wedding planning

Now that the dust of two spectacular weddings has settled, I feel like I can draw a deep breath of winter air and reenter the land of the living.

Planning one wedding would have been enough to land me in the Nutso Town, but my sister’s nuptials happening just a month and a half before mine added a whole new level of insanity. Sometimes I sit back in my chair, look at the ceiling and think, We did it.


I can hardly believe it myself.

The weather cooperated, our families were present, the loves of our lives were waiting with smiles on their faces. For me, my sister’s day passed slowly — and I was so emotional I almost needed to be propped up. My own wedding day was a blur of excitement and joy and tears and dancing (so much dancing), and I know I’ll remember both for the rest of my life.

But how did we get there?

It’s funny now, looking back upon the “wedding planning journey.” One year ago today, I had nothing but a tear-stained face, a sparkly new ring and an image of a man getting down on one wobbly knee to ask me a crucial question — and that was good enough for me. Across town at the very same time, my sister was actually being asked the very same question (by a different man, thank God).

Today marks one year since our collective engagement, and it’s surreal to think that 365 days ago I was in such a different — and exciting — place. We were just getting started. I figured today was a perfect opportunity to reflect on 2013: a year of love . . . and barely-contained insanity.

Before we get there, allow me to paint the complete picture for you:

Two close twenty-something sisters, born almost exactly three years apart . . .
Both living at home with their parents . . .
Getting engaged on the same day . . .
Choosing each other as their maid/matron of honor . . .
And selecting wedding dates for the same season . . . six weeks apart.

Kate and me - my wedding

View More: http://birdsofafeatherphotos.pass.us/katie-and-eric-wedding

The Snider girls didn’t mess around.

In my completely unofficial capacity as both an “event coordinator” for one wedding and a bride for the other, I learned many lessons about planning the “perfect” day.

Many of them involve not sweating the small stuff.

Others require the presence of near-constant spreadsheets and Google Drive on your phone.

As there are entire websites — universes? — dedicated to wedding inspiration, assistance and guidance, I won’t bore you with a rehash of the planning process. I’ll give you my own hard-won tips for surviving the planning process — and hopefully offer some comfort along the way.

Go grab a sample of your signature cocktail, ladies, and let’s do this.

Signature cocktail

First things first

It’s hard to plan a wedding without a venue, and you can’t choose a venue if you don’t have a guest list. Or a date. Or a month, at least.

How many people you want to invite will dictate where you can throw this awesome party, so start by drafting up a guest list with your fiancé. Share it with your parents and his — and maybe your grandparents, too, depending on how crazy you want to get! Know your first pass will probably seem gigantic, but you will inevitably narrow it down before building it back up again.

Our initial invited guest list was around 190, but it eventually rose to 220 or so. But our final guest count? About 140. But to be on the safe side, we didn’t look at venues that couldn’t accommodate around 180 or so.

So then you look for venues.

And you experience sickening sticker shock.

But once you recover, you’re ready to start crunching numbers and call upon math skills you haven’t rocked since high school. And you eventually narrow it down to a few locations that are remotely feasible, visit them and make your final call: which is when you can get serious about choosing a date and moving on to any additional vendors you’ll hire (photographer, videographer, baker, etc.).

Everyone organizes their wedding materials differently. I put everything (and I mean everything) on Google Drive, accessible by app on my iPhone when I was on the go; my sister did nothing of the sort, relying on the advice of books like Mindy Weiss’ The Wedding Book. It became her bible — especially the month-by-month, week-by-week checklists at the back.

Figure out what works for you. You’re going to want to be organized to some extent, because you probably will have to refer back to contracts or find contact information for vendors or, honestly, just remember what type of flowers you actually chose in the end. After a while, the details blur together . . . it just happens.

If your phone is constantly linked to your hand and you prefer everything compiled digitally, including contracts, think about keeping everything on Google Drive or on a flash drive. If you’re the pen-and-paper sort, get a binder or a notebook (or both).

I used the spreadsheets created by A Practical Wedding to cobble together my own timeline, which I turned into a Google document, then used the checklists from The Knot to fill in some of the gaps. I know APW — and others! — scoff at The Knot, thinking it’s nothing but the machinations of the Wedding Industrial Complex at work, but honestly? I liked them. They kept me organized and thinking about what I wanted to get done and when, and I could delete any line items I didn’t need (like arranging for wedding day transportation).

I color-coded my Google calendar for the year to add important wedding deadlines, then crafted a separate spreadsheet to keep track of what I’d paid, how I’d paid it and when we needed to pay more. I referred to this list constantly to keep myself on budget and ensure my vendors were being paid promptly.

And as you move forward . . .

Throw ‘perfect’ out the window

Perfection is a fallacy. If there’s one thing I learned from becoming a devotee of A Practical Wedding, there is only perfect for you.

Want your girls to wear slacks, not dresses?
Want pie or cupcakes, no cake?
Not a big fan of the first dance?

Whatever. Do your thing. Interject your personality into anything you like — and don’t be afraid to get crafty. Heck, most people I know — um, all the people I know — were working with tight budgets and other constraints for their weddings, so they got bold and created many elements for their wedding themselves. And the elements they didn’t like? They got rid of.

Calling something “tradition” doesn’t mean it gets an automatic pass into your ceremony or reception. It’s okay to do things differently.

But with that being said . . .

Embrace tradition if it works for you. And talk about stuff.

Leading up to our wedding day, I was dead-set again the garter toss. Having been on the awkward end of a few bouquet tosses and witness to many brawls for the bride’s garter, I found the entire thing uncomfortable. And I nixed both with our DJ . . . before talking to my groom.


Unbeknownst to me, my guy was really looking forward to the garter toss. Having been on the “single guys” side many times, Spence was stoked to participate as the married man. It was something that mattered to him that I didn’t know mattered to him — because I didn’t ask.

I didn’t make that mistake again.

So talk about things. Get on the same page. Even if you think your significant other “isn’t interested,” ask anyway. Get other opinions, reach out, be involved.

And no, the garter toss wasn’t nearly as awkward as I was expecting.

Though my face might suggest otherwise.


Don’t fixate on Pinterest

Everyone’s favorite time-suck is a fabulous way to gather ideas on cakes, centerpieces, dresses — for inspiration. I definitely pulled up hairstyles I liked close to my wedding day, grateful I’d taken the time at some point to assemble a visual aid of styles. By the time we hit the one-month mark, when I started having makeup and hair trials, I was emotionally spent — and done making new decisions. So my Pinterest board? Super helpful.

But don’t get stuck on an idea of “Pinterest perfection” that is impossible to achieve — unless you’re comfortable hiring professionals and/or are ridiculously crafty. As I couldn’t foot the bill for pros nor create many visions myself, I relied on the advice of my good friend and venue coordinator, Jen, as well as the kind assistance of one of the most spectacular ladies I know: my coworker and officemate, Sandy. Sandy volunteered to help choose and deliver the flowers and put together the centerpieces, bouquets and more for our wedding. The results. were. amazing.

Which brings me to my next point . . .

Kissing balls

Get by with a little help from your friends

Unless money is no object (and is that ever really the case?), you’re going to need the assistance of your buddies — and not just bridal party — to pull this thing together. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because, more often than not, your friends will be there will bells on. Even if they’re not crafting bows or folding favor boxes, you’re going to want their moral support in the days leading up to your wedding and beyond.

Reach out while being mindful of others’ time and talents, and remember you’ll be paying it forward someday! (If, you know, you haven’t already. We’re all in this together.)


Make a decision and stick with it

Second-guessing every move you make will leave you standing perfectly still. Because some of us had wedding-themed Pinterest boards before we even had boyfriends, it’s so tempting to become obsessed with the many options available. Who hasn’t thought, “When I get married . . .” or “I’d love to do that, too!” at others’ events?

But the options only matter if the options work for you. Don’t buy into the hype. Once I had my dress, shoes and jewelry, I started deleting those pins and bookmarks. Wiping the slate clean. I didn’t look at more ideas, more choices, because the choices were made. I knew I’d make myself bonkers agonizing over whether everything I’d done was the “right” thing to do.

My mom is a font of knowledge and comfort, and she says it best: “We make the best decisions we can with the information that we have.”

And then we move forward.

Book centerpiece

Is ‘mistakes’ happen, they just make life colorful

So much will come to a head just before your wedding. For as organized as I felt I was, many last-minute decisions — and options — came down to the wire. For a type-A control freak like me, relinquishing control of the event was very hard to do . . . but I knew I was leaving “my baby” in capable hands, and I had to let it go. (Even if it almost gave me a nervous breakdown in the process.)

If the flowers are a different shade or the DJ flubs a favorite song or you stumble a bit leaving the ceremony, it just adds color to your colorful day. The little things I worried I’d agonize about during our wedding did not even enter my mind. At all.

Everything might not be “picture perfect,” but you’ll remember it that way.

Picture perfect couple

Just enjoy the time . . .

Many friends told me to focus on simply living in the lovely engaged state after Spencer proposed, and I’ll admit to not quite getting it.

Right after the proposal, I was in a dreamland leading into Christmas and New Year’s — but once January hit? I was a machine. I don’t regret throwing myself heartily into wedding planning because I got stuff done, but it’s never a bad thing to just enjoy the current phase before moving into the next one, you know?

And I don’t get to say “fiancé” anymore. Husband is awesome, too, but fiancé? Fiancé was special. Soak it up.

. . . And let yourself be emotional.

Wedding planning is stressful. It can be hard. It is often simple, too, but never without a torrent of feelings — some of which may make you feel like you’re going crazy. (And they will. I had a little breakdown the day before the wedding because I was really, really overwhelmed, but you-know-who got me down off that cliff.)

Regardless of whether you’re high school sweethearts, have been living together for years or have known each other a few months, a wedding marks a new chapter — a major transition — and could stir up all sorts of crazy, conflicting emotions. It certainly did for me. But guess what? You’re not crazy.

Being upset or emotional or anxious doesn’t mean you’re not making the right decision — or have “cold feet.” You’re just dealing with a ton of freakin’ stuff right now. Planning an event bringing together family and friends from every aspect of your collective lives is no small feat, so be gentle with yourself.

Whether you’re working with a tiny budget or a grander one, are getting married quickly or after a long engagement, have a “vision” for the day or are just showing up to have fun, well . . . I can promise you one thing: your wedding will be awesome.

Because it will be yours.

Walking with quilt

All photos by Birds of a Feather Photography

State of the wedding, vol. 3

Outtake from our makeup trial “photo shoot.” I actually do like the makeup!

Well, friends, we’re a little over two weeks out. Sixteen days, to be precise.

Sixteen. Days.

I’ve stopped looking at my checklist on The Knot; it scares me. I’ve made my own “to-do” list in Google Docs, otherwise known as my Bible, and refer to that on a daily — er, hourly — basis.

I feel like I should be panicking or something . . . but I’m not. I’ve crossed from anxiety around the three-month mark to the wedding zen so many promise. I’m sure I’ll have a freak-out or two in the next week or so, just trying to make sure everything gets organized, but I’m pretty positive it will pass.

Honestly, in many ways, I was more anxious about moving out of my parents’ house than I ever have been about getting married. I take that is a good sign: the prospect of life with Spencer is decidedly not terrifying (always a good thing to realize two weeks from your wedding), and we’re settling into our new lives as a couple who also share a residence.

I feel like a real-deal, seriously serious grown-up. And that’s fun, too.

My bachelorette party is this weekend (woo!). My sister and friends are showing up at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow to whisk me off to an unknown locale, something I am ridiculously excited about, and the idea of spending two days with them just doing whatever has been the bright light at the end of a busy week.

It’s funny to read my post from July — back when I was really nervous about corralling a large group of people. Of 227 invited guests, our guest list has been pared down to roughly 150 — something that surprises me, honestly, but is understandable. We’re getting married on a holiday weekend, which is helpful for some and not for others; it’s November, so kids are in school; finances could be a concern, weather is a factor. I’m just thankful so much of our extended family is making the trip and really can’t wait to see everyone!

And speaking of “everyone,” they’ll start arriving in a week and a half. Which means we really need to get our place in tip-top shape. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit we still have a few bridal shower gifts boxed in the living room . . . just from lack of space. After I took over several of the bookcases with my massive library, we’ve had to get creative with storing and moving items around. It’s been . . . interesting! Heh. But we’re working on it. A work in progress, indeed.

So what’s left to do? Well . . .

• Finalize the seating chart.
• Create all escort cards for said seating chart.
• Finish the table frames for our writer/scientist theme.
• Box up all decor and get that ready to take to the venue.
• Stuff welcome bags (when Spencer’s family arrives).
• Finish paying everyone. I hear $$$$ is a good thing.

There’s more, of course . . . but I won’t bore you with the tedious ramblings of an OCD bride! And they’re little things.

I’ve had my hair and makeup trials (pictured at top), my dress is taken in and ready, jewelry has been selected or borrowed. Our menu is done, headcount almost final, signature cocktails chosen (that was one delicious taste test). Everyone knows where to be and when — partially thanks to my always-updated timeline. I need to send that to all the vendors, actually . . .

I’ve also started weaning myself from wedding websites and bridal newsletters in general. While I definitely have favorites, spending too much time looking at others’ celebrations is starting to make me feel anxious. With so little time left, I don’t have the inclination, energy or funds to design quirky new decor, order funky colored straws or any of the other “Pinterest-able” elements I’ve loved looking at for so long. We’ve planned, and the plan is in place. Basically: it is what it is. What’s done is done.

But what’s done? Well, it will be awesome. For the most part I do feel good, calm. I’m getting thank-you notes out quickly and am sort of slipping into that introverted time of reflection, you know? It’s been so BUSY BUSY BUSY DOING ALL THE THINGS that I haven’t really allowed myself to consider the fact that I’m getting married, especially when so much energy was poured into my sister’s big day in September.

But now it’s our turn. We’re really doing this!

Sixteen days.

I can’t wait.

We went to court . . .

Town hall

. . . for our marriage license.

Our marriage license. It’s all official now.

Well, almost. We have to, you know, actually get married — which will occur in just a few weeks! And then it will be all official.

Hard to believe.

Time went by slowly, then quickly — and now faster still. I moved over the weekend. It was intensely emotional. By Sunday evening I felt wrung out, depleted; organizing everything I own in a new space has been challenging and scary and a little fun at times, yes — but also intimidating. And painful. And odd.

Spencer has been wonderful. Patient and kind and helpful. Understanding when I felt too wiped out to do much but stare into space; comforting when I most definitely needed a hug and chai tea.

Growing up is hard. I’m 28 but can easily close my eyes and be 10 or 12 or 22 again. I feel like my world is topsy-turvy — like everything is out of order, rearranged. I’m guessing many people feel that way after leaving home? After 25 years, I’m having a hard time thinking of “home” as anywhere other than the house in which I grew up. With my parents. And my dog.

But it’s only been two days. Two strange days. And I keep thinking of my future husband and the life we’re building and the positive changes that will accompany stepping into real adult world, though they’re hard to sort out sometimes.

Look forward, my mind hollers. Keep looking up.

I’ve always found change so difficult. Every major life transition has been met with uncertainty and fear. Graduating from middle school and high school, starting and leaving college. Break-ups. Reconnections. Heck, even falling love. So why would leaving home and getting married by met with anything but uncertainty? I know myself well enough to anticipate this would be an interesting time for me, and I was so very right.

But I’m hanging in. And I’m adjusting. I’m working on adjusting.

Bittersweet has become my refrain, my own broken record. That one word has come to embody everything I know and think and feel about 2013. I’m always so hesitant to talk about my sadness regarding leaving home because I fear judgment — like others think my anxiety is a reflection on my relationship. It’s a general assumption that wedding planning should be The Happiest Time of Your Life!!!, which makes it even harder to express the mixed bag of emotions I’m actually feeling. It makes me feel guilty and pathetic and bad. (Which is why I’ve been so grateful for places like A Practical Wedding. Nervous brides-to-be, get thee to that website.)

I remember reading Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s Life After Yes in 2010 — how it spoke to me on a deeper level than any other novel had at the time. The thought that moving forward isn’t something that just happens to you — that growing up and being happy are a choice — is a theme that struck every little chord in my soul, and it’s something I return to now.

“Growing up doesn’t just happen. It’s not a fact; it’s a decision.”

So I have decided. I am deciding. We are deciding.

Starting with that license.

Life lately — and a little sanity break


It’s probably a surprise to exactly no one that, five days from my sister’s wedding, I’m starting to freak out. Not because my baby sister is getting married (!), but because there is much to coordinate and figure out and settle. People to wrangle, decor to set up, logistics to configure. Jewelry to acquire. Speeches to finish. Family to hug and catch up with and, you know, an entire wedding to help coordinate.

Also, my baby sister is getting married. On Saturday.

I just. cannot.

They’ll be off to Hawaii shortly and I will begin the arduous task of packing up my childhood bedroom — for real this time — and moving my belongings to Spencer’s in mid-October. We’ve been getting things organized in prep for my move, and I’ve finally crossed from anxiety to wanting to just tackle that project. Though I’m only going 20 minutes away, the idea of moving most everything I own is daunting.


To say nothing of changing my addressand nameon everything associated with me. That should be fun!

So life lately: barely controlled chaos. Not to mention all the remaining details we must tackle for our own wedding happening in five weeks or so, but I actually feel calm about that. Weird, right? I mean, Spencer and I are in it together, we have a good team in place, most everything has been purchased and several vendors actually paid off . . . it could be much worse. I’m methodically going through my spreadsheets and lists, crossing things off as I go, and I feel less panicky than I’d expect.

But I’m sure that will come.

Some days I feel very overwhelmed. I can’t sleep. My stomach hurts. Other times I feel content, calm, relaxed. It’s a day-by-day, almost minute-by-minute flux . . . but I guess that’s how everyone feels before big occasions! Right now I’m focused on Katie and making her big day fantastic, and I know everything will come together beautifully despite some hiccups. All will be well.

As I’m wading into a pool of wedding and life madness, I’ve decided to take a wee little break from the blog. Though I’ve always written here because I enjoy it (and absolutely still do!), I feel guilty when I go days without posting . . . and I need to stem that guilt. I don’t like thinking I’m letting aspects of my life “slide” while I reorganize, regroup and adjust, but the truth is that I simply can’t keep up with everything right now.

To preserve the frayed edges of my sanity, I’m taking a vacation and will plan to return refreshed — probably in a week or two. I might not come back to posting five days a week at first, but we’ll see. I’ll write when I feel comfortable writing then retreat into a land of tulle, lace and moving boxes when I must.

Send your good thoughts! Your encouragement! Your wisdom! If you feel so inclined, send me a pumpkin spice latte! . . . Goodness knows I’m going to need all the caffeine I can get.

And I will definitely still see you on Instagram. I’ll be the one (finally) eating — and documenting — her feelings.


Blinding me with science


Einstein quote on our bookmark favors.

One of the wedding projects I’m most excited about has to be our table names.

Ever the classy geeks, Spence and I agreed early on that it would be fun — delightful, even! — to label our guest tables for famous writers and scientists instead of traditional numbers, an homage to our individual passions. I won’t unveil all my literature-themed choices just yet, but the physicists? Well, I’ll spoil a few of them.

If you’re anything like me, science remains a nebulous idea that brilliant minds ponder while I eat cupcakes and watch “Downton Abbey.” The fact that I’m marrying a physicist remains a source of hilarity, especially because I barely passed a chemistry class in high school. (Never made it to physics.) Our educational backgrounds vary wildly and are often entertaining topics of conversation, especially because my science-minded questions tend to go like this:

“So what is physics, exactly?”
“How big is the universe?”
“What’s the difference between ‘theoretical’ and ‘experimental’?”
“Is your work like ‘The Big Bang Theory’?” (Answer: yes and no.)

Because many of our guests may not be familiar with Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman or James Clerk Maxwell (ain’t no shame in it), I’ve started crafting table tents to sit on the appropriately-named tables. There will be cards for the writers, too, but most of my choices — like William Shakespeare — should be familiar to friends and family.

The scientists, though? The scientists? Spencer’s hand-selected choices might as well be in a foreign language. Here’s a sentence I actually just typed, with help from Wikipedia:

“An American theoretical physicist who assisted in the construction of the atomic bomb, Richard Feynman is known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of super-fluidity of supercooled liquid helium.”

Um, whut?

Look, I know I’m not dumb. I’m an editor, a columnist — a well-read, frizzy-haired dynamo. But when it comes to anything scientific, I’m the one standing there scratching her head like a cartoon character.

I could fall down the Wikipedia rabbit hole all day, clicking on endless topics to sort out concepts others spend years studying . . . or, to simplify my life, I could just go ahead and pester my fiance about them.

He’s so cute when he tries to explain quantum mechanics to me.

State of the wedding, vol. 2


We’re into double-digit days now, friends. In 93 days, I’ll be floating (and hopefully not tripping?) down the aisle to meet Spencer on the other side.

As far as wedding-related progress goes, I have to admit to feeling pret-ty good. Everyone I chat with about the wedding (which, let’s face it, is just about everybody because my brain is full of wedding things) is impressed with what we’ve accomplished with three months to go, though I know better than to get too cocky now. So many projects are last-minute by pure necessity: seating charts, flowers, escort cards. There will be much to do, y’all. Much.

But I’m just feeling really excited about it all. The nerves I expected to feel — especially about throwing a 200-person party — just . . . aren’t there. My OCD-like tendencies, particularly when it comes to spreadsheets and all things Google Drive, have really served me well. I don’t feel overwhelmed because I keep fastidious lists, and Spence and I have basically treated the planning process like a part-time job. Except minus, you know, any form of salary.

We’re offering the payment, that’s for sure.

It’s not all envelopes and arrangements, though. More than anything, I’ve just really enjoyed talking about the future with my soon-to-be husband — and tackling countless projects together. I don’t feel like our dinnertime conversations veer to wedding-planning all that much, actually . . . and I don’t say that in a braggy “look at us, so calm and collected!” way; it’s more in astonishment, I guess. I feel like we’re taking care of things gradually and they’re getting done gradually, so there’s no panic and chaos.

The panic and chaos might come. But maybe not.

So what’s the state of the wedding? Well, tomorrow I’ll attend a joint bridal shower with my sister — and I am ridiculously excited! My future mother-in-law flew in last night, and so many of our friends and family members will be getting together tomorrow for food and fun. I chose my dress weeks ago and can’t wait to see everyone. We’ve been talking about it so long, I actually can’t believe it’s here. My awesome aunts are throwing the shindig and invitations went out in June — where did the time go? The summer has flown.

Today, Spencer and I will be taking his mom out on the town to tackle all kinds of projects — including mailing our invitations! We finished them with the help of my mom and sister last week, and I’ve had them boxed and patiently waiting to be mailed. We’re driving down to lovely Loveville, Md., today because they have a special cancellation stamp if invitations are sent from their post office! And you know how I am with mail. That special stamp must be procured.

My first wedding dress fitting is Sunday. Since shedding 30 lbs., my dress is now four sizes too big. I’m a little nervous about how it will go, but I’m sure the talented ladies will make it fit even better than before. Now that I have the right red shoes, I can try it on with the proper footwear. Yay!

We’re also meeting with our awesome wedding coordinator/friend today to go over venue-related details like linens, day-of schedules and more. Spencer’s mom hasn’t seen our venue yet, being out-of-town, so I’m so excited for her to check it out! Plus, she’ll get a better visual of how everything will look — and go.

It’s a four-day weekend for me, y’all, and I’m so pumped. Let the fun begin!