Saturday, May 3, 2008


So here I am getting married in less than three weeks. Usually, I am a pretty laid-back, easy going person who just goes with the flow. I do have some pretty definite ideas for how I want this wedding to go, but at the same time I do NOT want to become bridezilla.

As I've never been a bride before, I'm not entirely sure what jobs I'm supposed to handle, what jobs my groom should be in charge of, or what we should delegate to the bridal party. Now I'm really trying to avoid being bridezilla so I've decided to basically do everything myself. Once in a while I'll throw a bone to the groom so he knows he's still involved in this wedding.

I thought I'd give an itinerary of all the things that have happened thus far, all the things I've done and all of the things that have been done by others... Based on this list, you can tell me if you'd be a bridezilla by now.

- I call mom and announce we are engaged. Of course she knew it was coming but acts surprised and excited nonetheless.
- I call dad to announce the engagement. "Dad, I'm engaged." His response: "I know." Well I figure Danny asked his blessing but I still have the urge to say "How do you know? I could have said no when Danny asked." Dad says "well we still need to talk about this in person, Danny asked my blessing but really I know that he was going to ask you regardless of my answer." Well at this point, there is no point in arguing with Dad so I say "Dad, can you call the family and let them know the good news?" He says "sure."
- Three weeks later, I call the family to announce the news and the date. They are all shocked because my father failed to inform any of them... Thanks Dad.
- We booked the chapel and tried to convince my father to pay for it. We were successful.
- We booked the reception hall and mom offered to pay. This may have been a bad decision because now she holds all the cards in reception arrangements. Apparently it means she picks the guest list and decides where everyone sits. I'm surprised she doesn't want a say in the menu.
- Our Bridal Party. This is fun. I won't use names as they are irrelevant. I have chosen a maid of honour (MOH), bridesmaid #1 (B1), Bridesmaid #2 (B2), and Bridesmaid #3 (B3 - who also happens to be my 12 year old sister - so let's cut her some slack.) Danny chooses a best man (BM - also happens to be the MOH's fiance), groomsman #1 (G1 - from UK), groomsman #2 (G2 - from UK), and groomsman #3 (G3 - who also happens to be my brother but he's 30 so no slack for him).
- G3 calls and says he doesn't feel comfortable wearing a kilt and is opting for tartan pants. Let the record show that MY family is a good percentage of Scottish and it would not be abnormal for my brother to wear a kilt. My father wore one at his wedding.
- Danny (100% Scottish) explains that all groomsmen must wear kilts as this is standard Scottish tradition, but we totally understand if he doesn't feel comfortable. It's not for everyone. If he does not want to wear the kilt than he can back out of the bridal party. No hard feelings. Danny gives him time to think about his decision but asks if he could respond within two weeks.
- Three weeks later, we have not heard a word back from G3 so Danny takes this as a sign of bridal party departure and decides to replace him with Rob. I'll use Rob's name to avoid confusion.
- Two weeks later, Danny receives an email from G3. The email states that G3 can not wear a kilt and thus is backing out of the wedding (thanks tips). HOWEVER, B2 "will also be backing out of the wedding. As she is my wife, she does not feel comfortable being in the bridal party without me." Um... are they 12 years old? Seriously! "I can't do it if he doesn't do it." Who behaves like that? I wasn't even pairing them up to begin with hence B2 and G3 - different numbers.
- Oh well, ultimately I am happy about this decision. I only asked B2 because of G3. I didn't feel right asking my brother and sister to be a part of this special day without asking my sister-in-law. Now that they are out, I can ask people I actually wanted. So B2 is replaced by Jaclyn (Jac). This is my best decision yet. I wanted Jac from the beginning so I bump her up to the B1 position.
- I explain to the remainder of my bridal party how selfish my brother and sister-in-law are. Did I say selfish? I meant childish, immature, and inconsiderate - but we can stick with selfish.
- I go dress shopping with B2. It is damn near impossible to get everyone together at the same time so I decide to take everyone individually. Remember B2 was originally B1 - at this point, she still thinks she is. I try on wedding gowns, she tries on bridesmaid gowns. This is ultimately a good day.
- I take B3 dress shopping. This is my little sister, remember. We go into several stores and I pick tons of random things off of the racks. The women that work at these shops ask B3 if she has any particular dress in mind. Her response is always the same: "this is not my day, this a day for my sister. Whatever she wants, I will wear." Yup, that's right. My 12 year old sister has her priorities straight. She is more mature than my 30 year old brother and his wife.
- I take MOH shopping. She tries on plenty of dresses and we find the one which I liked best on B3. It looks outstanding on her. I have made up my mind. This is the dress I want for my bridesmaids.
- I check out the all the websites that carry this dress. I find all the stores within an hour driving radius. I call every single one of them to ask the price. I find out that generally the price is listed at $220, some stores charge more - none charge less. I find one crazy old woman who speaks very little English. She says the dress is listed at $220 but if we come to her she will give us a discount. Best offer.
- I call all the bridesmaids and let them know. B2 tells me that she cannot afford more than $200 so I will have to pick another dress.
- I am NOT picking another dress - it took over a week to gather all the information on the first dress. Plus, I do not remember reading in any bridal book that the bridesmaid makes this decision. MOH and B1 agree - if I want to pick a puffy, bubblegum pink dress for my bridesmaids, than that is what they wear. They are all happy that the dress I have chosen is beautiful, simple, and not puffy and bubblegum pink. $220 is reasonable and if it comes down to it we can pitch in the rest of the money for B2. Really, what is an extra $20 in the grand scheme of things. Plus, maybe the crazy lady will give them all a $20 discount and that brings the dress to an even $200. Was it really worth it for B2 to complain?
- One week before dress day (still a good 8 months before the wedding) B2 calls me in hysterics. She can't be in the wedding. It is a hard decision for her, but ultimately she is under too much stress and the doctor said to remove things from her plate. Well no one wants stress, and believe me, I understand panic attacks. I do not mind this decision and I let her know that there are no hard feelings.
- I ask Danny if he is 100% confident that his half of the bridal party is secure. He says that no way will the guys from the UK miss this event and we know BM and Rob are a sure thing.
- This means I have to find yet another replacement for the bridal party. I ask my coworker. She is so happy with this decision that she accepts with open arms and I'm pretty sure I saw a single tear. She will now be referred to as Replacement-B2 (R-B2).
- Things are good now. I take the girls for the dress fitting. This is actually a horror story because of the crazy old lady. She doesn't speak much English at all and she's got some sort of congestion problem which results in much hacking and honking. Everyone gets measured - fully dressed. Does that even make sense? I'm pretty sure that I am not the same size in undergarments that I am in jeans and a wool sweater - I can't speak for the rest of the ladies but this truly does seem illogical to me. I mention this to the crazy lady but she assures me that she's been doing this for years and doesn't make mistakes.
- Crazy lady charges $185 post-tax for each dress. That almost made it worth putting up with all her antics. That's a pretty good deal. I explain that my sister is to be treated like all the other bridesmaids. Just because she is younger, does not make her a "junior."
- 2 days later I get a call from the crazy lady. She says that Alfred Sung does not make that dress in a junior. I bite my tongue so not to scream and I politely say "I do not want a junior." She says "well what are you going to do about the little girl?" I say "I would like for her to have the same dress as the other three." Crazy lady says "I cannot do that." Now I am frustrated. I have a hard enough time speaking slowly enough for her to pick up the language. I say "Look, what would you do if a really small lady came in there and wanted that dress?" No answer. I say "If you cannot order the dress in a smaller size for my sister, I will find someone who can." Crazy lady seems to understand the tone. "OK, I order a size 6." I respond "No, you will order a size 4." She says "OK, I order six. Bye." I hang up the phone and have decided to take my losses with the size 6. At least my sister will have a dress. We can take it elsewhere to alter.
- MOH and BM are now MIA. We call, we leave messages, we email, we text. No response. It's a little annoying but I can cope as I do not need my MOH at this point anyways, she has already been for her fitting and there are no arrangements to be made. Danny however is trying to get the guys together to get fitted for their kilts. He emails the guys in the UK. Obviously they cannot make it to the fitting but they should be able to get sized in the UK and send their sizes along with a deposit over to Danny so that he can get their kilts ordered for them. No response from G1 and G2. Apparently all of the UK is having problems with phone and Internet at this time. So that leaves Rob, and my dad. Yes even my dad decides to show up because he wants to wear a kilt to the wedding. Dad refused to wear a kilt without Danny's approval. His logic is that showing up wearing something similar as the groom is just as bad as someone showing up to a wedding dressed in white. How would I feel? Good point Dad! Danny is thrilled that Dad wants to show his Scottish heritage and invites my Dad to come kilt fitting. Danny wants me there as well and according to the books, it is not taboo for the bride to see the groom in his outfit so I agree.
- Kilt fitting day. Danny, Rob, Dad. No word from BM or guys in UK. Danny and Rob suit up. Dad and I look for another kilt. He is permitted to wear a kilt but not the same tartan as the bridal party - this is a no-no. Dad and I agree that he would look dapper in the National Scotland tartan. He suits up. Done and dusted.
- BM calls. He is sorry he missed the kilt day and arranges another date for kilt fitting. He brings MOH and the four of us go kilt fitting. It's a long process but super fun. Some how it ultimately leads us to the Toronto Humane Society where we spend a good four hours. MOH and BM get a dog. YAY - total segue but that damn dog is so cute.
- Somewhere in the middle of all these things I have gone dress shopping for a wedding gown. Several stores later, my mom and I are feeling hopeless. I have my sights on a dress that I saw in a magazine and have not found in a store. I have called around. Many stores can order it but none carry the dress as a sample to try on. If I decide to order it it will be $1200. I did not want to spend this much on a dress but nothing else seems perfect enough to buy. We hit one last store feeling defeated. We decide that if we find nothing we will spend the money and order the expensive dress. Surprise, surprise. I find a dress! Let me take the time to recommend this store. It is called Elizabeth Stuart (maybe Stewart) Discount and it's located in Mississauga, Ontario. They have dresses in every size and you buy off the rack. Unlike other stores where you buy off the rack, this is not a clearance warehouse. They have several dresses and all are kept clean and perfect. The best part is that all dresses are $699 or less! So not only do I find one dress, I find three that I am torn between. The nice lady at the store helps me in and out of all three several times. She said that you have to compare and this is the most important day of my life. No pressure. I pick my dress and after tax it is still less than $600! No more about the dress - Danny reads this, he is not allowed to know what the dress looks like.
- Part of the deal with the reception hall we chose is that we have a wedding night gala. This happens every year in February for all of the brides and grooms getting married at the hall that year. You go, taste all the food, meet DJs, possible photographers and meet tons of other bride/groom couples. It's a great night. Well Danny and I have not received our invite to this gala at this point and need to know when it is so that we can book our Jack and Jill (J&J, stag and stagette, buck and doe, etc.) on a different date. I email the reception hall. They say the date hasn't been set but it is always a Saturday in February.
- Danny and I call the legion that my dad is a member with. *Note - throwing a J&J is the job of the bridal party, but no one seems to be taking charge here so Danny and I take over. We ask to book a date for a Saturday either beginning of March or end of February. We ask what is available. *Note - when I say "we" I actually mean "me." I am the one planning this party.
- Legion provides three dates: Feb 23, Mar 1, or Mar 8. I really like Feb 23. I think this is cute because Danny and I are getting married on May 23. I think we should stick to the same number. Numbers are irrelevant when it comes to J&Js no one remembers them anyways. I decide against Feb 23 knowing that the Gala can quite possibly be on this date. I ask Danny what he prefers Mar 1 or Mar 8. This is my way of getting him involved. He chooses Mar 1st. I remind him that the typical payday is Mar 6. He chooses Mar 8 based on this new information. I had already called the Legion and booked Mar 8, but at least Danny feels he has contributed.
- BM, Rob, and R-B2 cannot make it to the March 8th J&J. We decide to have it without them. We ask everyone in the bridal party to contribute a door prize and $20 for the caterer. Door prizes do not have to be bought. If you have something in your house that has never been opened or used you can donate that. Everyone has gifts they want to re-gift. R-B2 cannot contribute anything or donate money. Again, more excuses but I can't keep up.
- We get our invite to the Gala. Saturday March 1st. Well lucky we didn't pick March 1st for the J&J after all. I don't remember the last time March 1st fell in the month of February and am now a little disappointed with the reception hall.
- I arrange a meeting with the bridesmaids. It's a fun sleepover at my mom's house. Mom is not there - home alone, fun fun! This meeting is to discuss the J&J and thus B3 is not needed. She is too young to come to the J&J so there is no point in her helping plan it. R-B2 can't make it. At this point I actually forget her excuse. Meh, she's not really needed. MOH and B1 will be there and that is all I need. We discuss games and prizes and duties for all. Guys will be told what their duties are as they have made no arrangements otherwise. Then we drink the night away.
- Next morning we have scheduled a trial run for hair and then to pick up the bridesmaid dresses. Hair is a disaster. The girl does OK with me but it hurts like a son-of-a-bitch and within two hours I am playing the "find all the bobby pins" game with Danny. If he didn't help, I likely would have got out the scissors. MOH's hair looks OK but within 5 minutes (no exaggeration) it looks like it did before we went in there. That's a bad sign. B1 opts out of getting her hair trial done. Good call.
- On our way to the crazy lady's shop to pick up the dresses we call B3 to see how her dress looked as she was supposed to have went with my dad to pick it up that morning. My dad picks up the phone and says that my sister is not home. She slept at a friend's house. Well that is not acceptable, everyone knew that we were meeting to pick up the dresses. My dad had already said that he was unable to meet with us but would go earlier that morning. Let me back up a bit, my mom (not the mother of B3) offered to pay for B3's dress because my dad paid for the church. Dad seems to think this is a fair arrangement, even knowing my mom has already paid for the reception. A long time ago I mailed the remainder of the balance ($85) to my dad so that he could pick up the dress for my sister as he was unable to make it at the time that we were all going. This is why I sent him the money.
- R-B2 has already announced she couldn't make it again. Something about not having the remainder balance of $85. She says she'll pick up the dress when she has the money. I tell her that is not an option, we are not leaving any dresses in that crazy lady's store. I come up with the money, R-B2 can pay me back when she has the money herself.
- So now, my dad says he cannot make it at all to pick up the dress. That means that myself, MOH, and B1 are all standing in Crazy Lady's store stranded with not enough money to pick up the dresses. I have already covered R-B2's money and we each find enough money in our pockets and wallets to make up for B3. We take our dresses and leave the store.
- We go directly to my dad's house to get the envelope of money that I had mailed him before. My sister answers the door with a sad look on her face. I told her that I was not impressed. She knew she had to pick up the dress that day. She said that she was supposed to come home at 9AM but her parents (my dad and stepmom) did not pick her up. They kept making excuses and she only just now got a ride home from her friend's parents. I believe my sister. She gets the money, I show her the dress. She asks if she can keep it. I told her no. I said that I would prefer to keep it at my house and I'll take her for alterations some time soon. Dad and Stepmom have blew their chances of seeing the dress.
- Now it's time to make flower arrangements. I find a place, I go by myself. I pick out everything I want. The flower lady asks me if I want wrist corsages or pinned corsages for the mothers-of-the-bride. She also asks what colour their dresses are so that she can match the corsages. I told her I'd get back to her with that information.
- Mom and I take our dresses to get altered. Mom has a hot little number. It's beautiful, red, simple and very classy. We try on our dresses for the seamstress. Another pleasant surprise, my dress needs no alterations. It fits perfectly. We just need to add a bustle. For those that don't know what a bustle is, it is a ribbon placed on the train of the dress so that once the chapel and picture portion of the evening is over you can tie it up and it doesn't drag. Very simple - no one sees the ribbon it's just there to tie up the dress. For some reason this costs $140. I ask why it's so expensive and the seamstress explains that she will also be steaming the dress and this is manual labour. My mom agrees that steaming is labour intensive and she'd pay the $140 when we come back to pick up the dress.
- I tell my mom after that it would be cheaper to purchase a steamer and do this ourselves. Jac actually has a steamer and has offered to do it for free. Mom agrees this is a good idea. She always wanted a steamer and can justify this purchase. Seamstress gets little to no money for my dress - it doesn't cost more than $10 for a friggen piece of ribbon. Later mom, cops out on the steamer and pays the seamstress to do it anyways. Waste of money.
- Gala night (March 1st). We met great people. At our table there were 2 Jaclyns (me being one of them), 2 Mr. Browns (Danny being one of them), a Helen and a Kelen. Got to love that set up. Wonderful people all of them, and this was by far the best part of the night. The waitress, Maria, was a joke. She screwed up everything and continued to forget about us. The wine was awful, the bread was cold and believe me, here lies a long list of complaints. Considering this is the place we are having our reception we are not pleased in the least.
- Danny confronts me. He has not heard from the UK boys and announces that they will likely not come to the wedding. He does not want to have them replaced. We decide 4 girls and 2 guys is ok. No more changes to bridal party.
- J&J morning (March 8th). Snowstorm. No one can make it, not even our bridal party. I breakdown and lock myself in the bathroom. I pour a nice, warm bath. My cat scratches so I decide to unlock the door and let him in. I stop caring about everything. I decide that maybe having this wedding wasn't such a great idea. We should have saved our money and bought a house instead. At some point I must have kicked the plug out as I'm lying in an empty bathtub, cold and wet. I'm so distraught that I fail to notice.
- Danny comes in, wraps me in a towel and explains to me that all is ok. He spent the last hour calling everyone to let them know that the J&J has been postponed to April 5th. He chose April 5th because this was a day when all the bridesmaids were going to get together and go on a road trip to Windsor. Side Note* This was arranged as a gift from R-B2 to myself. She is unable to afford a wedding gift but would like to take me out to Windsor along with my girlfriends to throw a bachelorette party. As she knows people there, it won't cost her a dime. MOH and B1 have decided this is not a good idea as no one has extra cash and no one feels right taking advantage of the generosity of R-B2's friends. Danny knowing all of this chooses April 5th as the rescheduled J&J night because he knows everyone was available. Good call Danny! The Legion is aware that we are moving the date and they have generously moved our deposit over to that date as well so no money is lost.
- The caterer has all the food prepared and drops it off at my mom's house. Mom invites my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, my brother and sister-in-law and their newborn over to the house to try the food. The rest is taken to a homeless shelter. Did you notice anyone missing? That's right, mom conveniently forgot to invite Danny and I over to eat the food that WE paid for. Feeling terrible about this, mom offers to pay the caterer for the new April 5th date. Again, no money lost.
- R-B2 emails me saying she cannot make it to the April 5th J&J. Family crisis. Well all the excuses leading up to this I just don't have the patience. I bite my tongue yet again, and just say "well it's a good thing we called off that trip to Windsor." Turns out R-B2 and her brother needed that Windsor hotel room as a place to crash during this family crisis. Fishy? I think so too, but let's move on.
- Rob cannot make it to the April 5th J&J but contributes a kick ass raffle prize instead. BM CAN make it to the April 5th J&J and since the DJ for the J&J is MIA BM has offered to provide the music. Note* the DJ we asked to play the March 8th J&J is my cousin. He had no ride and did not respond to any attempts to contact him. To this day, I still don't know where he is. It was a good thing for the BM having all the equipment. There was no need for my DJ cousin to show up at all... and sure enough, he didn't.
- April 5th J&J. Despite the turnout, it was a success. Danny and I were disappointed with those that said they would show up and didn't. We were estimating double the amount of people and because of that we overpaid/overworked the caterer. For the people that did come, thank you! They were more than supportive in the cause.
- April 7th - I receive an email from R-B2. She cannot be in the wedding. Let the record show this is SIX WEEKS BEFORE THE WEDDING. She's upset that I didn't ask her about her family crisis and thus I am a bad friend. I bit my tongue and said "sorry to hear that you feel that way. I only meant to give you your space in your time of need." I forward this email to Danny and he was just not so nice to R-B2. He let her have it. She responds to him insulting me and my friendship. He does not take kindly to this either and again, does not hold back. She responds to me saying that she should have handled this better and hopes we can be friends. I say maybe but I will need time. This whole time I have been polite. She says that if I agree with the things that Danny is saying then clearly I am not the friend that she wants in her life. Are you kidding? No more biting my tongue - I tell her where she can go.
- We now have a bridal party of BM and Rob, MOH, Jaclyn and little sister. I'm still ok. I do have to make new arrangements. I call the florist to make arrangemts, we now have less bouquets and boutonierres than originally anticipated. I call our wedding officiant and let her know that we have 3 girls, 2 guys and a flower girl. I have yet to mention the flower girl but she is also my little sister and at age 5 I believe she should be diagnosed with ADHD. I bought her dress for her because my stepmom bought some ugly gold and brown dress and tried to pass that off as a flower girl dress. These aren't my colours, what the hell was she thinking? Flower girl is now dressed in white (like the bride) and the only job is for stepmom to buy the flower girl her shoes. I say they need to be white to match the dress and I don't care for pantyhose, just get those cute little socks with the ruffles on top. Let's stop here and talk about my stepmom. When she was first asked what dress she would wear to the wedding, her response was "I haven't bought it yet, but it will be either white or yellow." I believe this was an attempt at a joke, she knows that my dress is white and my bridemaids' dresses are yellow. This was a while back at a baby shower for my sister-in-law. My whole family was there. My mom was asked the same question but unlike my stepmom, my mother already has her dress. She told them it was an elegant dark red dress. At the J&J (again, my whole family was present) my stepmom announces that she has bought her dress. She tells me it's a very simple dress and it's dark red. My mom walks by and all of a sudden the colour changes to burgundy, but it's still very "simple." Stepmom sits down with some family and friends and goes into detail about her dress. It's a purple, two-piece, corset top, pick-up bottom, and very cinderella-like. Well my mom and I decide this isn't right. We are led to believe that it's very similar in style to the bridal gown and similar in colour to the mother-of-the-bride gown.
- Mom and I set out on a mission. Mom needs a new dress as she doesn't want to take any chances of wearing the same colour as the step-mother. We hit several stores before remembering a part of the step-mother's story. She said she got it at the same place that my sister took her dress for alterations. Well two can play this game. Mom and I go to that store. I sneak in the back but have no luck finding any dresses. My fear of getting caught leads me back to the front to my mom. Mom is actually trying on dresses. They are ugly dresses, but she pretends to like them so it's not obvious what we are really up to. I continue to peruse the store when we come across a rack of dresses wrapped in clear plastic. Mom and I deduce these are bought dresses (we're clever). We start looking at all the purchase tags and come across my stepmom's. It's a one-piece, plain, burgundy dress. Mom and I decide it looks nothing like either of our dresses and agree to leave the store. Mission complete. There is no need for either my mom or myself to buy a new dress.
- My sister calls. She says that her mom (my stepmom) has bought shoes for her and the flowergirl. I ask why she bought shoes for her, I already bought nice strappy black ones. My sister explains that her mom wanted her and the flowergirl to have matching shoes. And get this, they are pink! What is she up to now? She had one job: buy the flower girl white shoes. Now I have to go out and buy shoes for her, because she managed to screw that up too. I explain to my sister that those shoes will have to be returned, the flower girl is to wear white and my sister already has shoes for her yellow dress so there will be no need to wear the ugly pink shoes.

I believe this is where we are today. My flowergirl has no shoes, my stepmom is colour blind, my dad is cheap, and I now have a very short list of true friends. I have received many RSVPs back with regrets. I know this happens as not everyone can make it. But seeing as I sent out save-the-date cards before Christmas, everyone was aware of the date and knew to book this time on their schedule. I have had many friends ask me for invites to the wedding, and they too have regretfully RSVP'd. To the remainder of my bridal party, thank you for your patience and committment. Without you, this would be a complete horror story. Specifically to the MOH and BM - good luck planning your wedding! LOL

If I had it my way, Danny and I would elope. I believe our BM and MOH are considering eloping now too.


Danielle said...

Omg - you poor thing!!!

I think you're handling things pretty well -- just reading about it gave me a headache :-)

I can't wait to see the pictures!!! Even if your flower girl is barefoot, I'm sure it'll all be worth the trouble :-)

I wish both of you guys the very, very best :-)

Danny said...

Is it time for Cuba yet??? ;-)