By Crystal Thompson
Ahh, December what is it about this last month of the year that sends usually calm and collected people into a maddening frenzy?
Is it the increased chill in the air? Or maybe the hoards of people that clutter every grocery, convenience and department store? Could it be the unbalanced income-to-gift ratio? Perhaps all of the above. Now that it's almost over, we can take the time to look forward to what the new year has to offer, and leave all that December stress behind us.
But for me the new year holds no relief of stress, in fact everyday that passes in 2001 is one less day I can spend planning my June wedding.
Planning one of the most important days of my life should be a time of great happiness and joy for me, the future bride, right? I must say, when I got engaged in February of this year, happiness and joy were definitely the feelings I had...then I started to plan.
Planning a wedding certainly didn't look to be a very complicated process to an unexperienced youngster such as myself. A dress, a church, a cake and some friends and family; to me, these things constituted the basic elements of a successful wedding. So I ordered Bride's Magazine and sat back to relax. I had over a year to plan, so I thought, "what's the rush?"
Well, as I began to read my magazine, I became intrigued by all the card inserts that stuck out between the pages, offering free samples and gifts. So, I decided to send for all the free catalogues and samples offered to the bride-to-be. That was my first mistake.
Within a week I was bombarded with offers on everything from wedding invitations made from recycled paper, live monarch butterflies and engraved silver-plated keepsakes, to tussy-mussies, trousseaus, and honeymoon packages in Tahiti. As my stack of catalogues filled with "wedding necessities" grew larger, my brain began to fill with worries about time, planning, and money!
Well, I thought, the first and most important aspect of the wedding to a bride (besides the groom, of course) is the perfect wedding dress. After flipping through numerous magazines and perusing several websites, I finally found the perfect dress for me. It was exactly what I wanted and I had to have it, so I decided to find out how much my perfect dress was going to cost.
I didn't think it was possible for someone my age to have a full-fledged heart attack. But I'm pretty sure that's what I was experiencing when I was told my "perfect dress" retailed at almost $2,000. Upon hearing this, I decided maybe that dress wasn't so perfect after all. I suppose some people have paid two grand and more for a wedding dress, but for a struggling Hi-Line reporter like me, that was just a little out of my price range.
So, I restarted my search, with the sour-puss impression that every dress I liked would cost too much and that I would be forced to tie some white ribbon around a potato sack and walk down the aisle. But, finally, luck turned my way, and I found a dress that was nearly the same style as my formerly "perfect" pick, at a much prettier price. I was satisfied, my heart maintained a steady pace, and I ordered the dress.
Having reserved the church and the reception site nearly a year in advance, I thought I was ahead of the game, and now, with the dress ordered a feeling of peace began to set in. That is until I realized that June 2000 was long past, and my wedding date was no longer a year away. I began to panic, and I'll admit, am still in the process of panicking. With the six month deadline just past, I'm seriously starting to consider the Vegas alternative.
I've still got to find someone to handle the cake and decorations for the reception. I have to order invitations, make centerpieces, update my guest list, order bridesmaids dresses and confirm my photographer, my make-up artist and my clergyman, all the while trying to save enough money to go on a honeymoon while working full time and remembering every birthday and anniversary in between.
But don't get me wrong, this ranting and raving is not a sympathy plea, just a therapeutic stress release. I know that somehow, everything will fall into place and work out. I sometimes forget that although six months isn't an incredible amount of time, it's better than six weeks, or God forbid, six days! I'll just take things one day at a time, and as long as my fiance can handle my frazzled brain for the next few months, I'll have all I need this June.