Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Quickie Wedding

That is to say, planning your wedding in oh, six months or less. Honestly, I'm a big fan. Less time to worry, less time to stress, less time needed to focus on all the little details that make up the day. I could be a little biased - I planned mine in five months, and the only thing preventing me from doing it sooner were the folks I had coming from the East Coast. The quickest wedding I've been hired to plan was in six weeks (for the couple that's on my home page). I had a lot of fun with that one, just go go go, and it turned into a wonderful party.

Here's a article from the Daily Breeze
on doing it right - simple, inexpensive, and above all, FUN:

Wedding is a simple pleasure
By Melissa Heckscher Staff Writer
Posted: 03/27/2009 08:02:54 AM PDT

So, we did it. We're married.

That's right. One month after he proposed and a year after we met, Jacob and I decided to ditch the yearlong wedding angst that so many couples endure and instead pulled together a tie-the-knot ceremony faster than you can get a reservation at Cecconi on Melrose (where, FYI, Friday nights require at least 30 days' notice).

We tell people we "eloped," but mostly that's because (1) we did it in New Orleans, which is an eloping kind of town, and (2) it was the only way to avoid the inevitable question of, "Why wasn't I invited?"

To those who may have asked: You weren't invited because the only people who attended were the ones who have been with us from the beginning: Our parents, grandparents, siblings and a few aunts and uncles - you know, people who have loved us since we were too little to say the word "wedding," let alone have one.

Which is, if you ask me, the way it should be.

There were other perks. We didn't have to labor over seating charts, memorize who's who in the crowd or write hundreds of thank-you cards afterward.

And then there was the cost. Despite the fact masses of people are right now pinching pennies, getting hitched the American way is still not cheap.

In fact, according to Wedding Report Inc., the average U.S. wedding includes 152 people and costs about $20,000. In Los Angeles, that cost rises to about $28,000. (A single bridesmaid, by the way, spends about
$1,000 attending a wedding, from dress to travel.)

Not that our wedding was dirt cheap (my mom wanted her daughter to have a "Wedding," after all, not a mere party); rather, it was just a little less extravagant. Simpler.

Furthermore, let's be realistic: Who needs a year to plan a party? I know it's the trend to spend that long agonizing over every little flower, ribbon and bow of the big day, but take it from us - it's not necessary.

Nobody needs that much notice. Believe it or not, asking people, "Hey, what are you doing in three weeks?" is actually easier than sending "save the date" notices for, say, June 12, 2013.

Sure, some places book early. But not all of them. We booked our venue two weeks before the wedding and, if you want to know, it wasn't a T.G.I. Friday's (though I do love their fried mozzarella).

As for the coveted wedding dress? Well, maybe Vera Wang needs six months to get you the perfect gown, but I ordered mine by overnight mail from J. Crew and it fit just perfectly.

Lastly, for two people with enough social anxiety to require small doses of Xanax before sizable social functions, having a small party meant Jacob and I didn't have to spend our whole night dutifully, anxiously, table-hopping. We spent it simply enjoying ourselves.

"By doing this so quickly, you have eliminated all the crap that befalls today's bride," said one of my good family friends (whose daughter just got married the traditional, yearlong way). "You have condensed one year of angst, anger, tears, fears and `I hate you, whose idea was this?' bickering sessions and gotten a jump start on your life together. Congratulations on that."

It's true. Because we opted to fast-forward things, we were spared a litany of wedding planning worries.

We didn't have to spend $1,000 on wedding invitations (we sent e-mails instead); we didn't have to outfit a half-dozen groomsmen and bridesmaids (we simply didn't have them); and we didn't attend convention-style battles of bands to find the perfect musical accompaniment (we asked a New Orleans street violinist to play our processional and a local trumpet player to play the party).

And, instead of paying thousands of dollars for a photographer and videographer, we asked Daily Breeze photographer (who is, by the way, every bit a wedding photographer) Sean Hiller to take our pictures and my Uncle John to take the video.

You might wonder, given all this, how our wedding turned out.

The answer is: Perfectly.

After all, we got married.

And really, that's all we wanted in the first place.

Melissa Heckscher is the author of six books including "Date Him or Dump Him? The No-Nonsense Relationship Quiz" (Quirk Books, 2005). She can be reached at
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