Wedding Wednesday: Less is more

Johnny and I truly envisioned our wedding as basically a large version of our normal, annual Kentucky Derby party where we also got married. What typically happens at the Derby party? Some assortment of people show up, wearing any variety of clothing and/or hats. I prepare way, way too many snacks. Alcohol beverages are consumed, my Thoroughbred racing enthusiast friend Holly educates everyone on which horse we should cheer for, the race is watched, everyone goes home.
Weddings apparently require a little more finesse. Things I didn’t know were things until they were mentioned to me include:
  • Ushers
  • Decorations for buffet tables
  • Programs
  • A person to man the guestbook
  • A dance floor
  • Assigned seating
The two biggest points of contention between Johnny and I and various family members are a dance floor and assigned seating. 
Johnny and I don’t like dancing. (Well, you know, other than the extremely silly kind.) We’ve never wanted to have a first dance or dance with our parents at the wedding; personally, I’m still burned out on ballroom dancing from years of Junior Cotillion. We aren’t planning to have our DJ play songs that prompt dancing- he’s basically there to keep background music of smooth jazz running and make the occasional announcement. We were pretty clear about this from the get-go, but I guess everyone thought we were joking. Four different family members have expressed their displeasure at this decision and/or whined about how other family members will be sooo disappointed.
My thoughts are that if you are so compelled to dance, you can find a place to do it in between tables. The venue won’t be totally stuffed or crowded, so if the sweet sounds of a saxophone move you to dance, go the fuck for it. 

The other thing that’s recently come up is the idea of assigned seating. I think (and have always thought) assigned seating at weddings is stupid unless you’re having a plated meal where there are multiple entree options. (If that’s the case, I imagine it would be difficult for wait staff to know what meal goes where!)

I’ve never had a positive experience when I’ve been assigned a seat a a reception. The most memorable time was at wedding a couple of years ago: Johnny and I were seating at a table of other 20-something people, presumably because we’d have things to chat with them about. Two people spent the entire reception engaged in an extremely uninteresting conversation about starting a food truck (“Did you know you have to like, get a food handler’s permit? Bummer!”), while another guy gave us the cold shoulder after Johnny made a joke the guy found unfunny. 

I’d much rather let people sort things out for themselves; how do I know who they want to sit with? As an example, let’s take my youngest uncle. He has a wife and a son; his son is around the same age as my oldest cousin’s daughter. Would my uncle prefer to sit at a table with my cousin and her family so their kids can hang out? Would he prefer to sit with my mom (his sister) and their brother? Would my cousin rather sit with her parents and brother? I have no idea.

My feelings are that less is more with this whole wedding; if people can’t sort out a place to sit or contain their dancing urges, they have greater problems than I can address! 

What do y’all think? Have you had to find your own seat at a wedding? Was it terrible? Are you still able to function as a human being? Do weddings bring out your inner break dancer?

Wedding Wednesday: Hat

The wedding is somehow five weeks away. Johnny pointed this out to me last night, and I broke out into a fit of hysterical laughter. April is absolutely jammed with horse and work related events, and I’ve been so focused on those things that I haven’t given any thought to the wedding. Well, other than celebrating the joy that is my hat.
Selfies in a large hat are hard.
I ordered my hat a few weeks ago from Kathi at Hat-A-Tude, who was an absolute pleasure to work with. She sent me a sample of the hat’s material so I could make sure it matched my dress and the turnaround time on the hat was quick. 
As soon as the hat came in, I promptly stuck it on my head and paraded around the house for the rest of the night, proclaiming that I planned to wear it every day for the rest of my life.
While I haven’t exactly gone that far, I am super excited about it! In fact, this is one of the only things I’ve been super excited about. (The other thing is desserts.) 

I’ve also be happy to hear from various family members and friends that they’ve been shopping for hats and are looking forward to decorating them and wearing them for the wedding. I’m thrilled so many people are truly embracing the Kentucky Derby party aspect of this thing!

Wedding Wednesday: How to assure others it’s under control

The wedding is only two months away, but I’m totally unworried about it. Really. We’ve got:
  • A venue
  • A photographer
  • A plan for food
  • A plan for desserts
  • Flowers
  • A DJ
  • An officiant
  • Favors
  • A dress + hat for me
  • Plans in place for the horses to be there
As far as I’m concerned, we’re good to go. Unfortunately, not everyone involved seems to feel that way. I’m talking, of course, about Johnny’s mom and my mom. I’ve mentioned before that his mom has been very helpful in the planning process and has truly helped with a lot of things. I’ve appreciated having her assistance, but now that we’re getting down to the wire, she’s getting worried.
A couple of weeks ago, she sent us this long, crazy email filled with long, crazy things that mostly boiled down to “You aren’t prepared, why did we think this was a good idea to do it ourselves, WE SHOULD CALL THIS WEDDING PLANNING COMPANY IN TULSA THAT SPECIALIZES IN CRISIS MODE EVENTS!”
Let me be clear: we are not doing this ourselves. More power to those of you out there who can arrange your flowers yourselves and make adorable party favors and paint props for a photo booth and have your wedding for like, $500. I admire and respect you. I, however, don’t find that appealing at all. (Well, the $500 part is appealing, I guess.) Johnny doesn’t either, so we’ve simply sought out vendors that will do all of those types of things for you. And we feel confident in their ability to do them!
Any advice on reassuring our mothers that we actually do have everything under control? You know, without sounding like a bitch?

Wedding Wednesday: When you don’t like a vendor

Finding vendors for a wedding is easy. Johnny and I attended a wedding show in Tulsa last summer, which was filled with vendors for everything from cake to bridal boot camp. It’s a very efficient way to gather information and compare prices. We found our photographer, printer, venue, and DJ through the show, and even got a discount on a few services because of wedding show specials. 
For the most part, the vendors we’ve worked with have been great. Our photographer understands that we want many pictures of the horses and knows how to shoot them. Our venue has been absolutely accommodating and pleasant. The print shop has been enthusiastic about our ideas and easy to communicate with via email. (That’s important to us.)
The DJ, on the other hand…
When we chatted with the representatives at the wedding show, they were funny, relaxed, and seemed to understand we were looking for a company that could provide MC services and music in a low-key way. We aren’t planning to have dancing; we’re planning to have a short ceremony, a cocktail hour to watch the race, and dinner. I’m hoping to be home by 9 PM. The reps we spoke with seemed into that. 
A couple months later, we set up a meeting to go over the contract and put down a deposit. We were greeted by a man who was not someone we’d spoken with at the show. He was unprofessional and bordered on rude. He wasn’t sure of our names and asked if we were the winners of some kind of contest. He accused me of not replying to emails or answering calls, neither of which I’d received. He dropped “retarded” into the conversation more than once, which I thought was offensive and an odd choice to use with strangers. Despite all this, we signed the contract and put down a deposit anyway; we’d liked the people at the wedding show a lot and figured this idiot couldn’t possibly be representative of everyone at the company.
Yesterday, we met with the DJ company again. The meeting was at noon- when I’d contacted them about the meeting, the receptionist told me that they only set up meetings between 10 AM and 4 PM at their office, which is in a very inconvenient part of Tulsa to both Johnny and me. I took the entire day off work (which is unpaid) and Johnny took an extended lunch. I was under the impression we’d be meeting the DJ who would be performing at the wedding and going over generalities like genre of music desired for the reception, wedding time, etc. 
We met with a young woman who informed us she was not our DJ and she didn’t know who our DJ would be because she couldn’t access network files because something was wrong with her computer. She asked if we had any specific song requests for various parts of the wedding (e.g. processional, recessional, etc); we didn’t, because we weren’t informed we needed those at this point. She promised to email me an Excel form and we could fill in songs, write notes, and send it back. She explained that we’d meet with our DJ a final time approximately 2 weeks before the event to finalize everything.
Basically, the meeting accomplished nothing. It was a waste of everyone’s time. I cannot understand why they wanted to meet in person. I am annoyed that their representatives have been unprofessional and disorganized. The only productive thing that came out of this meeting is that I very firmly informed this young woman that under no circumstances did I want the man we met with last time at our wedding. (If he’s the person at the meeting before the wedding, I will tell him to GTFO.)
I am hesitant to seek out another DJ company; we’re getting fairly close to the date, and I know May is a popular time for weddings. But I also don’t want this company to do something stupid like play Michael BublĂ© on loop throughout the reception. Other than having one very abrasive employee and being into pointless meetings, they haven’t done anything seriously wrong; they’ve just been really annoying.
What do y’all think? Should I give these guys the benefit of the doubt? Should I start searching for another company? Did you have any terrible vendors? Is it appropriate to punch that idiot guy in the mouth next time I see him?

Wedding Wednesday: Changing your name

Wedding planning is…going. I’ve sent half a dozen emails to half a dozen different people regarding the wedding. I’ve acquired addresses of friends and relatives I didn’t know I had. I’ve set meetings. I feel like I’m pretty on track, all things considered.
Today’s topic is a question for y’all: Did you change your last name when you married? If you’re not married, how do you feel about changing your name?
Personally, I am ambivalent about it. I have zero ideological qualms about changing or not changing my name. My concerns are more practical: changing my name on legal documents seems like a huge pain in the ass. Changing my name on things like my bank account, Netflix account, and USEA card seem like somewhat more minor pains in the ass. What about things like my email address, which has served me well since approximately 2006? And let’s not talk about how many items I’ve monogrammed with my current initials.
Opposite of this problem is the problem of not changing my name. Will that be a pain for other people? Will it matter if someday, someone writes a check to “Stephanie Lauderdale” instead of “Stephanie Peck” and I can’t cash it? If we have children, is it going to lead to weird assumptions and/or questions if I have a different last name?
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it. 
Don’t even suggest hyphenating, y’all. Fifteen characters is too many for me.