Unlike Love, Cheap Lace Never Dies

Continued (page 2 of 3)

No, the pageantry of a wedding never seduced me. I never dreamed of the designer dress, the engraved invitations, the honeymoon. I never looked for musicians or planned menus or insisted my female friends buy ugly dresses they couldn't wear again. I never really wanted to. So you might be wondering...

WHY ME?

Why was I hired to write a yearlong series of columns about weddings, trends, and planning. And frankly, I'm wondering, too. But I already spent the money so let's just make the best of it.

Maybe it would help you to know that I'm in the same boat as most of you. I'm engaged, and looking toward my first real wedding in a time of economic uncertainty. I don't have unlimited resources, my family isn't paying for it, and I already have everything I need from Pottery Barn.

"The wedding is not your marriage. It's really just the best party you can afford to throw for the people who love you most."

But more importantly, I've got a finely tuned bullshit meter that just might come in handy. There's a world of crap being pawned off on brides-to-be, who are often emotionally out of control and totally overwhelmed by unrealistic expectations. When you're already feeling like you can't do enough, everything becomes a justifiable expense. After all, it's "your big day!" Don't you deserve the good tablecloths? You can't cut the cake with a regular knife! And hey, it's only another $20 per person!

Don't get me wrong—I'm not suggesting you wear sensible shoes to City Hall and have your reception at Sizzler. If cheap nuptials bought you a lifetime of joy, I'd still be eating grilled cheese with the guitar player. But the wedding is not your marriage. It's really just the best party you can afford to throw for the people who love you most. So that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to plan a party.

When I took this job, I was given a calendar outlining everything you need to do in order to get married in 12 months. It's all laid out very carefully so you don't miss anything—like, say, inviting people. And over the next year, I'll be going through all the steps in this column, one month at a time.

I have no idea how this will turn out. Maybe it will culminate in my own wedding, and this will be one of the happiest chapters of my life. On the other hand, I may wind up alone, throwing pots and raising alpacas. Either way, I have to write this thing for a year, so we might as well get started.

SO WHAT DO I WANT?

All I really know is that if I'm true to myself, I can keep my wedding from turning into something I can never get right. I can have what I truly want, and not pile a lot of expensive and ultimately meaningless gestures into something that already has enough meaning to last a lifetime.

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April Winchell

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