Lots of things suck about wedding planning, and I’ve complained about many of them here. From trying to find a way to feed 300 people (including the gluten-free fakers) to calmly explaining to my mother for the 4,000th time that I’m not wearing a veil so stop asking me if I’m sure I don’t want to wear a veil, planning this circus has made me shed many a tear over all the time wasted trying to make others happy only for them to still think I’m a monster.
But none of it (not even finding a cupcake place in our budget, only to have my mom say that the frosting was “too sweet”) has driven me closer to the brink of insanity than … save-the-dates and invitations.
I honestly didn’t think this part would be so hard. I feel my expectations for this part of wedding-planning were reasonable. These were my expectations:
- Collect the names (first and last) of invited guests. This includes adults and children.
- Collect names of the significant others of adult guests.
- Contact these people and ask them for their mailing addresses (and significant other’s name if unknown).
- Ask our parents to send us the above information for their guests.
- Enter this information on a spreadsheet.
- Put this information on envelopes and send out save-the-dates so that these people would have plenty of time to plan travel, if they are interested in attending.
- A couple months before the wedding, repeat the above step for invitations.
- High-five my fiance on good teamwork:
Instead, my fiance is playing Minecraft and here’s what I’m doing:
Here is what brought me to this point:
1. My fiance is slacking: Three months ago, I started collecting addresses for my side of the guest list. I sent cheerful Facebook messages, texts and emails. I enlisted the auntie who knows everybody’s business to help me track down the addresses and relationship status of everyone in my family who is not on Facebook. A month ago, I entered the last of my guests’ addresses (a reclusive cousin who, somehow, has managed to get himself a girlfriend whose name I now know). I drank wine.
I reminded my fiance that his deadline for getting all his friends’ addresses was Thanksgiving. I reminded him that he’d listed 80 friends on the spreadsheet, that it was now mere days until Thanksgiving, and he’d better “get the fuck on it.”
“I’ll do it Thanksgiving weekend,” he told me when he took me to the airport two days before Thanksgiving.
“I didn’t do it,” he confessed when he picked me up the Sunday after Thanksgiving. “I’m sorry.”
Since Thanksgiving, I have been reaching out to his friends (thank god for Facebook) for their addresses. I have been awkwardly inquiring about relationship status and asking his female friends if they still use their maiden name in formal correspondence. I’ve been asking his childhood and college friends to help me collect the addresses of those I’m not Facebook friends with. As I entered all these addresses on the spreadsheet the other night, I yelled across the apartment, “I just got your old roommate’s fucking address, so now he can help us celebrate the happiest day of our fucking LIVES! You’re welcome!”
“Oh,” my fiancce said, sounding genuinely surprised. “I was just going to get started on that.”
2. My fiance’s family is absolutely MYSTIFIED at the concept of invitations and guest lists: Ever had your significant other do something that pisses you off, and then you meet his/her parents and go, “Oh. That’s where he/she gets it.”?
Let’s just say that the apple did not fall far from the tree when it comes to “Getting your shit together for wedding invitations.”
My fiance’s parents are totally perplexed at the concept of invitations. Like, they have no IDEA why I keep asking for things like numbers, names and addresses. When I try to explain things like “addresses for the envelopes” and “RSVPs” and “final head count for the caterer,” and “table assignments” and “wanting to have enough food” and “needing enough chairs for the ceremony,” I keep getting a mixture of surprise, contrition and confusion:
… did I mention that they’ve said they wanted to invite about 200 people? At least that’s the closest estimate my fiance was able to get when he sat down with them and asked them to name off who they want to invite. This list includes, “Shelly and her husband what’s-his-name and their three children – no, four children” and “Junior. What’s his real name? Anyway, we just always called him Junior.”
My fiance’s mom has been trying. Every couple days, we get a text or an email with a name (a full name sometimes, but often a nickname) of someone she wants to invite, the city she thinks they live in and a promise to “get the address.” Or my fiance will get a text that simply reads, “The Davidsons.” How many Davidsons? “Well, they have children, but they’re grown up and I have no IDEA where they all live. There’s Lily and Peter and I always lose track of the others. Do I really have to get all their addresses too? Oh their oldest daughter, Lily, (or is it Lucy?) has two children. They can come, too right?”
3. Save-the-dates and invitations are just a pain in the ass no matter what: When we finally get all the names and addresses, they will have to be written on envelopes or formatted in such a way that a printing company will accept them and print them on envelopes for us. And then, eventually, we will be receiving RSVPs and NOT receiving RSVPs and having to track down the fucking assholes who can’t be bothered to write “yes” on a card and stick it in the mail. How much do you want to bet a family that doesn’t understand the concept of invitations also won’t understand the concept of RSVPs?
Anyway, whenever it’s over, I’m going to be doing one of two things: