We spent Saturday cleaning the house because my mom was coming and the house was absolutely disasterous from various wedding projects. The most offensive room was Petra’s Room, as we call our tiny second bedroom that is our project room/office, and it needed to be really clean in order to fit the full-sized blowup matresses. On the one hand, it feels really nice to have a clean house again. On the other hand, I know it’s going to get messy with projects because we have a lot of stuff and not a lot of space to put said stuff.
I didn’t realize how much having stuff still to do at the six-week (and counting down) mark would stress me out. I started breaking out in hives on my face on Friday, and they got worse over the weekend. While I wished my mom and Oldest Friend could have stayed longer, I was really looking forward to having Monday to myself – Dan had class, and the only thing on my plate, other than enjoying the clean house and waiting around for the UPS guy, was to make bridesmaid dresses. I started with the one for Middle Sister, since her measurements were the most straightforward. I spent an hour or so figuring out how best to cut the fabric. I spread it out on our living room floor and only had to shoo cats off it once or twice, measured carefully and did some calculations to figure out the best way to cut the pieces for the skirt and waistband. The straps took some more doing, as I had enough fabric to make them double-layered (necessary for such a thin fabric) but realized what a pain in the ass it is to work with stretch fabric. Eventually I figured it out and spent a few minutes playing with my sewing machine to determine the best way to sew stretchy fabric so the seams stay stretchy. I sewed the straps, then put the dress together. It didn’t turn out quite like I’d expected and I had to do some hand sewing to get it to work, and it still needs a few finishing touches.
Start to finish, the dress took me about four hours (I took a break to eat leftover Syrian food for lunch, YUM), which was a lot longer than I’d expected. I was tired. But I soldiered on and made the dress for my other sister. Hers was far less complicated since I didn’t have to double the straps (thicker fabric) and I’d already learned from making the first dress, so it took about an hour and a half. I considered making the dress for Oldest Friend at that point but I knew it would take more effort than I had in me (her straps need doubling, plus her fabric is only two-way stretch so I have to get creative about how I use it). I’m planning to work on hers when I get home from work today. I still need a zipper for QIR’s dress (yes, it does need a zipper the way I’m constructing it, QIR).
My face was still pretty itchy and hive-y yesterday so rather than doing cardio at the gym I opted for a vinyasa yoga class, which I thought would help relax me or at least take my mind off everything we still have to do, but just before class my neck started to hurt like I’d tweaked it somehow or triggered my old injury from the car accident. I figured it was some sort of fluke, but my neck didn’t feel any better when the yoga class was over (I usually feel great and very zen at the end of a yoga class). I couldn’t imagine what I had done to hurt it, and then I started thinking maybe it’s a stress reaction. So great. Hives and a stiff neck. I thought it might be better today, but it’s not, really.
One of the really fun parts about wedding-planning recently has been working with a local jewelry artist to design our rings. She’s completely independant, working out of her husband’s office, and has a love for colored stones just like I do. She managed to come up with a wedding ring for me that fits perfectly with my engagement ring (not that easy to do, considering it’s a claddagh) and incorporated the stones I bought at the gem show a few months ago in a way I’d never seen in a ring before. I got the ring a week ago and I lurve it. Dan’s ring took a little longer, since it was designed in CAD and she had to have someone else do the wax cast, but his is ready today and she’ll be dropping it by our house this evening. I will say that it’s a little frustrating working with someone who does jewelry on the side rather than as a full-time thing (she has other stuff going on, like kids and work and such that makes scheduling more difficult) but we get along really well and I think she had fun doing something a bit more offbeat than traditional wedding bands.
Two more things have cropped up this week that have added to the wedding stress. First, the hotel where we set up the block of rooms seems to have a hard time getting their act together. We know that many people have made their reservations under our room block (and we hope that the entire block gets used, since we’re responsible for 80% of it being filled, and the deadline to book within the block is the 27th), but the sales manager who I worked with is on materinity leave so the person who picked up the slack while she’s gone emailed us yesterday to say that nobody had booked in our block. I know for a fact that isn’t true, so I think something wonky is going on betweeen Reservations and Sales. It’s really frustrating to have to deal with this at a distance, especially since you’d think because it’s a nice hotel that they’d have this stuff figured out. All I gotta say is that they’d better give us credit for everyone who has booked in our block! Second, our RSVP deadline date is tomorrow, and we’re still missing quite a few RSVPs. We gave people the option of RSVPing online or with cards that we stamped, and we’ve gotten a lot of both kinds, but there are quite a few people who have yet to let us know one way or the other whether they’re coming or not. I think I’m going to start emailing people next week, because we need some time after we get the final headcount to do things like escort cards and seating charts and have to give final numbers to the caterer. Plus, three people have plus-oned us. Argh. If you’re reading this, and you got an invitation to our wedding, and you haven’t RSVP’d, PLEASE DO SO SOON. Thank you.
So we still have to do some administrative things that kind of suck, like finalizing the tent rental (have to talk to one company to try to get them to bring their price quote down a bit) and getting event insurance (required by the venue). We have to get wine and beer. We have to figure out the gifts for the attendants and our parents, print the thank-you cards (using a lino block and the letterpress at Dan’s school), and I have to write all the thank-yous for the shower gifts. Everyone was very generous and I was touched that people cared that much. Someone at work is organizing a work shower for me (it’s part of my work’s culture, and I’ve participated in showers for a lot of other people so I don’t feel as odd about this one) and we still have to send out lots of large checks to the various people we’re paying to pull this thing off. Plus, there’s all the stuff that’s last minute by necessity, like the flowers and the cake and getting our marriage license. Oh yeah, and we still have to figure out a good chunk of the ceremony.
So much stuff still to do, only a few weeks to get it all done, and Dan’s got five classes and works 20 hours a week. I think most of this is going to be up to me. And I realized today that my most-reliable physical sign of stress has shown up – I’ve lost my appetite. Maybe for some people this would be a good thing, since many brides are trying to lose weight for the wedding. Me, I’m trying to stay the same size – and I have to eat to keep my blood sugar stable. If anyone has advice, or dirty jokes to share, please feel free to share in the comments.