You want, you need, you have to have.

These, along with a number of predictable questions, are the statements I’ve been hearing most often when it comes to the wedding planning.

Though to be honest, a lot of the “you want” are more likely to be “I want… so you have to have.” For example, when I said that I didn’t know if I was going to be carrying flowers down the aisle, I was meant with, “but I want to carry flowers!” from my sister, and “oh, but you have to have flowers at a wedding, at least a few!” from my mother.

A former coworker of mine, before I got engaged, told me that I wanted a giant diamond engagement ring, and a traditional white dress (this was in response to my stating that I wanted to wear a purple ball gown down the aisle). She was certain she’d managed to change my mind with regards to both of these things, but here we are now — and I don’t have a giant diamond ring. In fact, I requested a smaller stone so that a) I could get the setting I liked, b) it was cheaper. And the only reason I went for a diamond was because it was a Canadian diamond. Tragically, not one of the ones with the polar bear etched on it, but ah well — maybe a for a future anniversary present. Although I’ve been told I’m not getting anymore jewelry.

Anyhow… you have to have. That’s my favourite of all the wedding-related statements, because it really reinforces what people think of as traditional. To some, it’s lighting a unity candle, or jumping over a broom, or smashing cake in the other’s face. Not that anyone has told me I have to have any of these things, but I use them to illustrate my point. What I have to have at the wedding is simple and consists of a very short list of things: me, the fiance, and the officiant. Everything else is window dressing.

And then there’s you need. Oh, how I’m loving you need lately, especially since it’s coming from people like the fiance or the future mother-in-law (though passed along to me by the fiance). You need to start getting the invitations ready, you need to update the wedding website, you need you need you need. Guess what? There are two of us, four parents, and six bridal party members that could very easily be helping with all of this crap — it does not have to fall entirely on my shoulders.

And don’t get me wrong, of course I love the fiance when I’m not plotting his demise. But we’re both admitted procrastinators, and we’re both better at getting up off our asses and doing various things. He’s the one that reaches the point of “it’s time to clean” and will drag me along in his wake. I’m the one that sees the deadline approaching on wedding things and either goes ahead and books the appointments, or gives him a deadline by which they have to be done and then waits for him to reluctantly agree. Because yes, he knows they have to be done, but setting up the registry is definitely not as enticing as lying on the couch and watching football.

I understand, I do. There are plenty of wedding tasks that I’m not exactly gung-ho about. That’s partly why I’ve been the apathetic bride-to-be that I am: I’m not interested in spending days on end interviewing, researching, chasing down, whatever. If I find a dress that I like, I’m going to buy it. I know me — I have a lot on the go, especially with work (and my coworker out on mat leave — though now I can train her eventual replacement the way I want!), and I’m just going to run out of time. So sometimes this means that rather than ask the fiance multiple times for multiple weeks to take care of something, I just go ahead and do it. Though heaven help me if he tells me I should do things that he’s perfectly capable of doing… yet at the same time, my control freak side is coming out again. I do like handling everything and knowing what’s going on. I’m just a mess.

But more than the assignment of tasks is the questions and assumptions from people that are driving me up the wall. I’ve had people ask to see the dress, I’ve had people ask me if they can come to the wedding, I’ve had people tell me they’re available the day of the wedding. I’ve had (now four) people try to launch careers off my wedding — including offering services as a wedding gift. With one person in particular, she was never on the invite list (I don’t even know her last name) — yet she offered services as her wedding gift to us. Thanks, but since you were never going to be on the guest list, there’s no obligation on your part to give us a gift.

*sigh* And the guest list is giving me more than a few conniptions. The fiance has a large family, and isn’t willing to cut any of them. As I probably said before, he’s said that he doesn’t expect they’ll all show, but they all still have to be invited — so there’s always that chance. What it means is that a) definitely no host bar (and not even a subsidized one at that), but also that I’m having to trim my side accordingly. So on the days I’m feeling crabby — and especially at individuals in particular — I start slashing my guest list.

I’m trying to use fair criteria for my list — other than my fluctuating moods. Have they been a part of our relationship? Have they met and spoken to the fiance for longer than five minutes? Are they people whose company I genuinely enjoy? Do I socialize with them outside of group situations? Would I willingly spend an evening with them? Would I buy them dinner on a normal occasion?

But most importantly — do I feel that they want to be here to celebrate the fiance and I taking a new step together?

Later, I’ll share my thoughts on those people who say they’re going to crash the wedding, and the reasons why this semi-“traditional” wedding may feature a bride packing weapons.

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