The other day, a friend told me that my fiance and I gave her hope.
“I’m holding out for a relationship like yours,” she said. “You guys inspire me not to settle. I hope I find someone I can love as much as you love each other.”
Little did she know that, just a few nights earlier, my fiance and I got into a screaming match over wedding pies (yes, pies).
It may not surprise you to learn that the fight wasn’t “really” about pies.
Yes, the argument was technically about pies. But, really, it was about the fundamentally different way my fiance and I view the wedding.
I view it as an obligation, a thing to be planned. If there is a complicated option and a simpler, more affordable option, I’m picking the latter every time.
My boyfriend sees the wedding like John Hammond saw Jurassic Park:
A grotesque Disney-like park with meat-eating giant lizards? Cool! Fun! Nobody else will do that! Our wedding is going to be a wedding to remember! What could go wrong?
OK, my fiance doesn’t want to re-spawn dinosaurs at our wedding. But he has put forth time-consuming, expensive ideas like mailing our guests puzzle boxes that they have to unlock to get their save-the-dates, making them do a scavenger hunt to find their seating assignments (all 300 of them!), bringing our attendees (all 300 of them!) to the ceremony in boats, giving each table (all 30 of them!) its own “concierge” to fetch drinks from the bar, and riding with his groomsmen to the wedding cross country in an RV, which they’ll pull up to our venue and hop out of in tuxes before walking down the aisle.
Here’s how he sees these ideas going:
And here’s how I see these ideas going:
Where he sees creative ideas that we will pull of flawlessly to wow our guests, I see raptors in the kitchen.
Anyway, he mostly abandoned these ideas when he realized I wasn’t going to add them to MY to-do list, that he was going to have to do the legwork on his own, and that this would cut into time he’d rather spend planning his bachelor party.
But one dream he will absolutely not let die is pies. As in, he wants pies instead of wedding cakes or cupcakes. As a pie-lover myself, I thought that was a FANTASTIC idea. That is, until I called every local bakery that baked pies and found out that 1) None of them catered to large events and could make, at most, half the pies we actually needed , 2) None of them provided delivery, and 3) Pies are fucking expensive and would cost nearly three times more per guest than cake or cupcakes.
At that point, I gave up and figured we’d have fucking cupcakes and I could have a warm apple pie at McDonald’s after the wedding. My fiance, however, was inconsolable. Everyone does cake and cupcakes! Nobody likes cake and cupcakes! Pies are better! Pies pies, we must have pies! I told him that he was welcome to call all the bakeries I’d already called. And, if he 1) found out a way to get pie to the wedding AND 2) came up with a plan and cost breakdown by a deadline (30 days from that conversation), we would have pies. If he failed, I’d order the goddamn cupcakes, which I’d already priced out after carefully comparing five bakeries — and for which I had a prepped contract with agreed-upon pricing, ready to be signed.
Thirty days later, I asked my fiance if he’d made any progress on Operation Pie. He had not. So I announced I’d be putting down the deposit for the cupcakes and asked him what flavor he wanted.
“I don’t fucking care. Just get what you want. That’s what you were hoping for anyway.”
I reminded him that pies were a logistical nightmare and it would be SUPER awkward if we didn’t have dessert at the wedding.
“You just don’t want to try,” he said. “You know I’d pull it off if you just let me. My family could go around town that morning and pick up pies from all the bakeries so we’d have enough. My dad would negotiate a better price, so we could afford it. Or, we could get frozen pies at Costco and get up early and bake them at your parents’ house! We’d set up a pie table and serve the pies ourselves if he had to.”
I immediately envisioned raptors in the kitchen.
I asked him if his dad had already negotiated a better price and if I could see paperwork guaranteeing said price. I then asked him for a list of the bakeries he’d contacted and which pick-up times he’d arranged and how those would fit in with the start-time for the wedding pictures and ceremony. I asked him if he talked with our venue to see if those bakeries were on their list of approved food vendors. I asked him what time he and his family planned on getting to my parents’ house on the morning of the wedding to bake 40 pies — and where he planned to store 40 frozen pies before baking them (especially if he plans to be in an RV traveling to the wedding). And then I asked him exactly how much the pies would exceed our dessert budget and which areas he proposed cutting back on so that we could afford them.
“You know I didn’t figure that stuff out,” he said. “And you know I’d get the job done. But you won’t give me a chance. You want to do cupcakes because they’re easier. But this is our wedding and I want it to be special. And I want a dessert I’m excited about. You’re obsessed with money and spreadsheets and contracts and you’re sucking all the fun out of it.”
I’d like to say I reacted calmly, but not so much:
After we both calmed down, I apologized for crushing his dream and he said some nice things about my spreadsheets. We agreed that I would order the cupcakes and that he’d see about procuring pies and paying for them himself as a second option. I know he will decide that it’s too much work and give up. I also know that I will be arranging for a key lime pie to be brought to him at the reception so he can have his fucking pie.
What’s the biggest fight you and your fiance had about the wedding?