Wednesday, February 26, 2014

From Nightmarathons to Nightmarriages

I know, I know. I haven't blogged in, like, 8 months. There are many reasons for this, but the primary one is that I just haven't had a lot of interesting running stories to share. I mean, I guess there was that marathon in Naperville back in November. And the entire summer of training leading up to said marathon.  Oh, and did I mention that was my 10th marathon?!? That's kind of a big deal, I guess. So really, I guess my main excuse for not blogging has been laziness.  Oops. *looks ashamed*

To be fair, Naperville wasn't my best marathon (4:11 - not bad, either), but I had a lot of fun with it.  Well, except for the hills and the wind. The huge hills and relentless wind. Who knew Naperville had so many freakin' hills???

So VERY happy to be finishing after all those effing hills!

After finishing that marathon, I decided I needed a huge break from marathons. Like, I dunno, a year or six.  Oh, I'm still running (30-ish miles per week, these days), and could probably muddle my way through a half marathon.  As I say: I'm always training for something.  Even if I don't know what that something is.  But I'm taking a bit of a break from the serious training.

Besides, I don't have time for marathon training because I have another marathon-like event to prepare for instead.

A wedding.

*insert horrified scream*

As many of you already know, I am newly engaged. Cool, yo. Let's have a party!

Wedding planning is mostly pretty fun. But it's also a bit stressful. I didn't realize how stressful it was until I started seeing parallels between wedding planning and marathon training.

Last night, I had my first wedding nightmare. It was a lot like one of the nightmarathons that I tend to have before a key race.  Let's call it a nightmarriage. In my dream, I was running late for my own wedding (versus being late for a key race), I hadn't put on my dress or makeup (versus showing up naked to a race), and I hadn't booked any of the important vendors for the wedding (versus showing up to a race without having trained for it). Coincidence? I think not. Weddings and marathons, though very different things, are very similar in the amount of preparation required for a one day event, and the amount of stress they produce.

The fiance and I decided on a wedding date that is less than 6 months away, due to the availability of our preferred venue. Most wedding planning checklists are built around a 12-month timeline.  Those of you who are good at math can probably imagine we've had to seriously condense the front end of the planning timeline. In the last two weeks, we have checked off roughly 1,432 items from that ridiculous planning checklist on  I say it's ridiculous because it includes stuff like (I am not making this up) "Start your wedding workout routine now!" (do I have to train to be able to lift that bouquet or something?) and "Make a beauty plan!" (uh, get my hair done?)  Not to mention insanely detailed sequences of things like "Browse photos of invitations" and "Decide on invitations" and "Place order for invitations" and "Receive invitations" and "Address invitations" and "Put invitations into envelopes" and "Mail invitations" and "Wait for guests to receive invitations".  Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit, but for crying out loud, does there need to be a checklist item for every.little.thing??? I feel exhausted just reading the checklist!

So, as you can imagine, trying to quickly get through this checklist where half the items are marked "OVERDUE" in bright red text is a teensy bit stressful.  But no matter what the centerpieces look like (don't get me started on the ridiculousness of centerpieces), no matter what color my shoes are, and no matter how drunk Uncle Bob gets on the dance floor, at the end of that one day, only one thing matters: that I married the love of my life, and our family and friends were there to celebrate with us.

Now that we have booked the most major and important facets of our wedding day (venue, food, dress, photography, music and officiant), I am taking a big step back and giving the entire wedding industry a big middle finger. I will NOT be convinced that I need to obsess over the style of my table numbers (or table names, as is the current trend), or that I must spend thousands of dollars on decorations that will be promptly thrown away after the wedding (buh-bye $200 floral centerpieces!), or that anyone really cares whether or not we have personalized cocktail napkins (god forbid people should have to use a plain napkin to set down their sweaty beverage glasses!).

This is not meant to poo-poo on couples who do opt for these extravagances. Hey, it's your wedding and your money - do what you like. But the point is, that's not the point of a wedding. And after a whirlwind two weeks of intense wedding planning (more out of necessity than my wanting to be a control freak), I realize now that obsessing over every detail won't necessarily make for a better wedding. It certainly has no bearing on the quality of the marriage that follows.

As I'm typing this, I just received an email from about a crazy awesome deal they are having on, you guessed it, personalized napkins! GAH! STOP IT! I will not buy your silly paper products!

This blog entry is as much a rant against the overpriced, overblown wedding industry as it is therapy for a bride caught in the middle of said wedding industry (me). Watching television shows like Four Weddings and Say Yes To The Dress makes it seem like every wedding is in some sort of competition to be the best thing since sliced bread, and that wedding gowns are supposed to cost thousands of dollars or they're not real wedding dresses.

Pffft.  I call bullsh*t.

So I'm not gonna sweat the small stuff. And we're not going to break the bank.  I'm just going to marry the man I love and have a great party with the people who are dear to us. Without personalized cocktail napkins, dammit.

Peace. Love. Train. Wed. 

1 comment: