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Wedding Bliss – Keeping the Planning Stress Free

The boyfriend has popped the question, and you’ve have said yes.  But a few weeks in, you’re wondering if you said yes to a lifetime with the man of your dreams or a lifetime of stomach ulcers, headaches, and wedding nightmares.

My sister is currently planning her wedding, which is just under a year away; my friends Amy and Anthony are planning a multi-part wedding; and my friend Sandi got engaged this past week, and has decided to get married in two months!!  But it doesn’t matter how much time you have or how many places you need to be – there’s always so little time and so much to do!  So let’s make this easier….

1 – Ask, and ye shall receive.

Everyone loves planning weddings!  Learn to delegate some responsibility to other people.  You don’t have to be in charge of everything.  So what if your Mother-in-Law makes a typo in your wedding program, and instead of spelling your name correctly, she accidentally spells it using all the same letters of your husband-to-be’s ex-girlfriend?  You’ll laugh about it later!  Let your grandmother assemble the gift bags for the out of towners – they might all end up with a hand crocheted tea-cozy!  But honestly, the more you can give to other people to do, the fewer headaches you’ll have.

2 – Tackle one task at a time.

Caterers, Flowers, and Limos – OH MY!  I like to cross one thing off the list at a time.  Catering – check.  Photography – check.  Flowers – check.  Try to cram in too many appointments for too many different things, and you may end up telling the caterer you’re allergic to “Flower” instead of peanuts, and you’ll tell the photographer you need pictures taken at Sunset Valley Catering Hall instead of Valley Sunset Catering Hall.  Make a list, try to keep appointments for the same type of vendor on the same day, and bring your cell phone!  Most phones allow you to make notes so you remember what you like or don’t like about each vendor, and you can snap pictures to help jog your memory later!

3 – Date night?  What’s a date night?

Remember him?  He’s the guy in the car next to you on the way to all those appointments.  He’s the one sitting quietly while you complain about the dress shop fittings, petit four frosting, dyeable shoes, and a particular shade of pink that doesn’t quite match the flowers you’ve chosen.  He hasn’t once moaned about his favorite ball player being traded, the price increase in his favorite beer, or the lack of sex he’s had since you’ve been in wedding planning mode.  Do the dude that you love a solid – take him out on a date.  It’s so hard to be romantic with all this love and marriage stuff swirling around – seriously, it is.  You’re stressed, he’s silent, and neither of you are doing the stuff that got you here in the first place.  Stop the wedding stuff for an evening, enjoy a nice dinner out, catch a movie, and just snuggle!  You might remember why you’re marrying him in the first place!

4 – Respect My Authori-tay!

You’re not on this earth alone – although planning a wedding can cause some brides to retreat into a bubble clouded with tulle and rose petals.  You probably have a boss to answer to, a priest or minister demanding time and attention, and possibly children or parents who want a piece of you, too.  The LAST thing you need on top of the stress of a wedding is stress from the other people you have to answer to.  Don’t let your boss catch you writing invitations while you’re on the clock, and if your minister says you need to come in for pre-marital counseling, don’t blow him off until the week before the wedding and find out he cancelled your whole day because you didn’t call him back.  Make time for the other things that are just as important as the wedding planning to avoid a whole other set of headaches you don’t need.

5 – Bridal Bath Time

Never underestimate the healing powers of a long, hot bath.  Fill the tub with some scented bubble bath, grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine, pull your hair up, and relax.  Get that hubby in practice and ask him if he’ll come rub lotion on your feet when you’re done, and turn in early.  Brides can be prone to getting sick, because you’re running around like a mad woman!  Hot bath, Sleep Time tea, and an early bedtime now and again will keep you healthy and feeling well.

You’ll get through this – we all do!  Know that your day will be happy because you’re marrying the guy of your dreams, not because you’ve chosen the perfect centerpieces for the tables.  Enjoy the moment, because it goes by so quickly – unless, of course, your wedding ends up on Funniest Home Videos – and even that’s not such a bad thing!

The Real Birthday Party Stress

As a parent planning a birthday party, you know it isn’t easy.  I remember when I was a kid, it seemed like it meant just cake and ice cream at your house, and the whole neighborhood of kids would come over, and it was a fun afternoon.  Now it means party planners, caterers, and party locations all the kids in the class will enjoy.

But the biggest stress for me in planning a birthday party is the RSVP situation.  Granuaile’s birthday party this year is in six days, and with the RSVP deadline looming in less than 48 hours, I have only gotten 2 – count ’em – TWO RSVPs.  I’ve sent out about 20 invitations.  Yes, my fellow party planning parents, panic has set in.

I don’t want to be obnoxious and start calling people.  And I am definitely second guessing my decision to have the party at 7:30 on a Saturday night.  My thinking was that because she wanted a Cosmic birthday party (where the lights are out and everything glows), it would be cool to do it at night; and on a Saturday night, the kids could go straight from the party, home to bed.  Or maybe it’s the location?  Granuaile has attended two parties at this place, and she loves them and insisted on her party being here.  Now I wonder if I should have talked her out of it.

It doesn’t take much time to RSVP to an invitation.  I always include my email address for the phone-a-phobes like myself, and I put our phone number for those people who are doing their paperwork and going through mail in the car line at school (yeah, that’s me).  So I’m not sure why people don’t RSVP.

Of course, I can say this with just a little bit of smugness, as the invitations that have been sitting on my desk have all been RSVPd to in the past couple of days.  But maybe I’m a dying breed?

So, with less than a week away, do we think of rescheduling the much anticipated by Granuaile birthday party, or be obnoxious and make phone calls?

Next year, I’m so just taking them to dinner and a movie on their birthdays!


Last Minute and Maybe Useless Tips for Mom on Halloween

My friend Amanda posted on her Facebook this morning that she still had to get her son a costume; buy candy; carve pumpkins; and decorate for Halloween.  Realizing that I myself would probably still need to do those things if I hadn’t already done them while trying to avoid doing Math homework, I figured there were probably lots of moms like Amanda out there, clinging on to the last shreds of October, hoping to get the whole Halloween ball rolling before Thanksgiving comes crashing down.  Here are my last minute, save mom’s sanity, tips for Halloween:


Seriously, do you think Martha Stewart’s house is done up all with scary skeletons, spooky spider webs, and disgusting dismembered corpses all over the front lawn?  No, of course not.  The woman is the epitome of elegant style.  Her house has beautiful mums, uncarved pumpkins, and maybe a couple of cornstalks.  And guess what?  Don’t plant the mums, and in front of your house, it will only take about 5 minutes to transform the place into something fall and fabulous!

Carve Pumpkins

This is an easy one to get out of.  Kids love carved pumpkins.  Moms hate carved pumpkin messes; promises of toasted pumpkin seeds that never get made, and then you finally discover around Valentine’s Day that the funky kitchen smell you’ve been smelling was the rotting seeds that fell behind the stove; and the seven hour trip to the emergency room when Dad cuts his finger half way off trying to make gnarly eyes.  Tell your kids you’re getting them a Halloween treat, and run to Dunkin’ Donuts for Munchkins.  On the way home, pick up a pumpkin pie.  Tell the kids you tried to surprise them with a wicked awesome carved pumpkin, but your knife got away from you, and this is what you ended up with.  Their mouths will be too full of doughnut to cry much, and when you serve the pumpkin pie for dessert, they’ll be too full of Halloween candy to eat it, much less lament the life it could have had as a Jack-o-lantern.

Buy Candy

It’s Halloween, and most neighbors will expect you are out trick or treating with your own kids.  If you run out now to buy candy, only the icky stuff is left, and the neighborhood kids don’t want that crap anyway.  So put out an empty bowl on your front porch, with a sign that says “Take One, Please” attached.  Other moms will come by and say, “Awww, she is so thoughtful to leave treats out for the kids, even though she couldn’t be here!”  But when the kids see the empty bowl, they’ll immediately start cursing the kid who got there early and dumped all the treats into his own bag and moved on, leaving nothing for the rest of the trick or treaters.

No harm; no foul.  Kids don’t need all that candy anyway, it’s not good for their teeth; and if you want to embellish, when another mom mentions how sad they were to see some rotten neighborhood kid emptied the candy bowl, tell them how sorry you were, but how fabulous the treats were!  All fresh, homemade, and delicious!

And if you have late arriving kids, just throw out all the non-chocolate items in your own kids’ Halloween candy collection.  Blech.

Last Minute Costumes

Have you got a dad?  Raid his closet.  You can go dressed as a hobo, because you know he’s got those “doing yard work clothes” you can throw on.  You can go dressed as an over zealous sports fan, because he’s probably got 12,495 sports tees, baseball hats, and sweats.  Or, you can wear a shirt and tie, which Dad probably hasn’t worn since he got married, and go dressed as Dad – only how he never looks.

Happy Stress Free Halloween, Moms!