I love Nick Hwang and am giddy to be planning our wedding with him this fall. We spend evenings after work talking about catering and music, flowers and invitations. In the first few weeks of our engagement, all our newly married friends warned us that scheduling was crazy so we should get on it asap.
“Everything books more than a year out,” they said.
So we got right down to business and found a venue that felt true to us (the library) and we sent the Save the Date cards. I found my dress 🙂 and we had Nick fit for a suit at J. Crew.
With Natalie Mancuso signed on to take the photos, we felt like we were on our way to having the details secured.
That’s about the time we started talking more seriously about Ebola at work. While our subject matter experts had begun preparing long before, I didn’t receive my first press call until late September or early October. Since then, it’s been non-stop press calls and meetings, conference calls and late Friday nights spent dispelling Ebola rumors in the media.
I love my job. I get to dedicate my days to sharing important information about health care in Louisiana. I get to talk about obesity, wellness and a host of other subjects. The last month also gave me the chance to work with other agencies and stakeholders on how we care for survivors of sexual assault, an issue that is incredibly important to me.
All that work means very little time for planning and making meetings with the caterer. If it wasn’t for Nick, we would be in a tough spot with the big details. When I get called away for work, he still makes our meetings and made it possible (I hope) to get Magpie Cafe as our caterer. (Y’all they may be making gluten-free, dairy-free supper for us and it is going to be delicious.)
Despite all the awesome work Nick is doing to keep us on track, I’ve still been stressed by the details and have complained about it to friends. When I talk about how much it stresses me out, many of them say that we don’t have to do any of this. We don’t have to have the big ceremony and the reception with dinner for family from all over the world. I know they are right, but I also know that I want to do it. I want to do it not because I’d dreamed about my wedding since I was a little girl (I have zero memories of planning my wedding as a little girl or fantasizing over the white dress). Whenever I did think about getting married in the past, I’d alway dismissed the notion of a big party in lieu of something casual in a friend’s backyard or just eloping.
“It’s all about what happens after the ceremony, right?” I remember saying to friends.
But planning our wedding with Nick made me realize something else. The ceremony is about us, about joining our lives and starting a family together. The reception is about our families and celebrating the people that have supported us and helped us find each other.
To Nick and me, the receptions is the way to say “thank you” to our parents, friends and relatives for raising us, befriending us and being a part of our lives. I want to music to draw them onto the dance floor, the food to fill their bellies and the cake to send them into a sweet sugar coma. The reception and all its glorious little details are not really for me and Nick, although I am so looking forward to that cake and our first dance; it is for our guests.
So with all the chaos at work and the late nights the people who’ve stepped up and offered to help have been the very people who we are throwing the reception to honor. My sisters and Nick’s sisters have offered to help do crafty projects for decorations and for the kids’ section. My mom and dad are helping actually make the whole thing possible in several ways. My friends are helping find vendors and some are even playing music for the ceremony. And my team members at work are helping me remember to do the little details like creating a schedule, and helping me problem solve how to save money on flowers (who knew they were so expensive). Even the members of the LSU Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team that Nick coaches have offered to do crafts and help run the reception so we don’t have to spend a large chuck of our budget on a real planner.
Work may be stressful and planning may be too, but what it has shown me is just how much the people who love us are willing to lend a hand or several. The wedding reception is our way to show family and friends how much we appreciate them, but the planning itself is daily demonstration of how much the people in our lives love us. If this is the start of the rest our lives together, it’s going to be pretty wonderful.