Posts Tagged: stress


13
Sep 11

Signing off…

When I left the house today one of the neighbours held the door open for me. When I told him thank you and goodbye, he replied: “hasta luego senorita

Not something I would normally think that much about (apart from to feel happy he had thought I was young enough to be called “miss” as opposed to “Mrs”.

But today it seemed significant as I won’t be a señorita for much longer.

One year ago, give or take a few days, I got engaged. Now, in only a matter of days I’m going to get married. The whole thing is surreal.

Weddings always seemed like things that happen to other people, not to me. And even when we set the date it seemed like some mythical milestone off in the future, something that would never happen.

Yet here it is. On Saturday I will become Señora Borrachero and married life will begin.

When I think back to the moment I took the plunge into the bottomless sea that is wedding planning, I had no idea the amount of time, work and money that goes into the whole thing.

Why anyone would want to be a professional wedding planner, I have no idea.

The stress has started building up in the last few days. And it’s not just me. Poor J nearly had a nervous breakdown the other day while he was trying to put our table list into alphabetical order.

And I had one today when a man from a restaurant I’ve never heard of rang up to confirm my booking for Friday night for 40 people. We’re still not sure who made that booking or how he got my number, but it’s cancelled now. An ex boyfriend trying to mess with my head maybe?

The pre-wedding manicness is probably going to get worse as this week goes on. My parents are arriving tonight with my aunt and uncle. Hopefully someone has already broken it to Auntie Joyce that there’s no beach in Madrid.

It’s all manageable – so far. We just need to breathe deeply and remember that it’s only a wedding.

The important thing is me and J, saying “si, quiero” in front of all our loved ones. The other things are extra details.

Anyway, this is my last day at work. I’ll be back post-honeymoon with the full report, but for now I’m signing off.

Thanks for sharing my journey from engaged to here. What a journey it’s been.

Spain’s own Duchess of Alba said “Every good love story ends with a wedding”.

But she’s wrong. Because really the wedding is only the beginning. And I can’t wait to see what happens in the next chapter.


10
Jun 11

Where are my RSVPs?

It seems like an age ago I made the trip to the stationary shop with Linda so sort out the invitations. Actually it was April.

When they finally arrived, complete with their beautifully hand-written addressed envelopes – I couldn’t wait to send them out.

Like a total sad case I sat up till one in the morning putting them all into the correct envelopes (Spanish ones for the Spanish speakers, and English ones for the Brits – naturally).

Then the next day I rushed off to the post office and spent 30 Euros on stamps. I couldn’t get the darn things into the post box fast enough.

That was it – It felt real. The invites were out. So I sat down and just waited for the RSVPs to come rushing in… But it just hasn’t happened.

To date I’ve had about 5 RSVPs – totaling about ten guests. The atmosphere might be a bit flat in our 100-person dining room with that number.

And most of those are from our lovely invitees who are super keen and super excited, and have been telling me from the start they’d be there with bells and whistles on.

Granted, it’s only been a couple of weeks since they started dropping through people’s letterboxes – so maybe I need to be a bit more patient.

In fact I need to be a lot more patient. After turning to my friend the internet (as I often do with wedding doubts and questions) it seems that this is a common problem. One poor girl was even saying that with two weeks to go before her wedding she only had about 30 of her 200 guests accounted for. Shouldn’t she have been phoning them?

I’ll admit it, I’m starting to get a bit of wedding paranoia. What if no-one comes? What if I have to bring my dog and invite my favourite bus driver just to stop it looking sad and lonely?

I know that a lot of our invitees just assume we know they’ll definitely be there, so they don’t need to RSVP.

But there are some who’ve said they’re not sure if they can make it – and I bet it’s those ones who remain all quiet on the reply front.

I totally understand that times are tough and weddings are expensive – and people might be waiting to see if they can scrape together enough cash. But one way or another I really need to know.

The big problem for us is that that we’ve provisionally booked hotel rooms for guests coming from abroad (which are a sizeable amount). So we need to firm up who won’t be needing them, or start inviting people on the b list to take their place.

But I how do I get people to commit or politely decline?

We tried to make it as easy as possible for people to RSVP – I put my email and phone number on the invites so people don’t have to bother posting a reply card. Hopefully that will help. Fingers crossed anyway.

I’ve heard people say that waiting for the RSVPs is one of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding – I think they might be right.

I look back at all the times I’ve been a bad guest – leaving it really late in replying. In one case I think I didn’t even reply at all, and just thought ‘Oh they’ll just assume I’m not coming’.

Oh how I would like to go back in time and give myself a good Chinese burn for being so rude.

I vow, from this day forward to be a prompt RSVP-er – I had no idea just how much grief it can cause!


23
Feb 11

J gets involved

amazing thing happened this week. J took a real interest in his own wedding. Not just a “yeah, whatever” but a fully-fledged interest.

Wow, wonders never cease, right?

blog-j-story.jpg
Back at the start, while we were both still basking in the rosy glow of just “being engaged”, J happily told me he would leave me to plan everything with his mum, and he would just turn up on the day.

I laughed with him at the time, though I knew there was a small part of him (or perhaps not so small) that would be overjoyed if he could actually do that.

In many ways it would be the perfect arrangement. I love researching stuff, making lists and finding the best possible option. If my calendar is full of scheduled things I am a happy woman.

J, on the other hand does not share my views. In fact, the only arguments we ever seem to have arise because I want to plan every second of our lives and he wants to just go with the flow.

Perhaps that’s the biggest cultural difference between us. Or maybe it’s because I’m an anally retentive weirdo.

Either way, it soon became clear that largely, I’d be left to my own devices with a lot of the finer details of our wedding. And it’s what I was expecting really. Do I really want to be marrying the kind of man who frets about the colour of tablecloths or the font we use on the wedding invitations?

Indeed, friends on both sides – and Linda even – said it was for the best. “This way, we can do exactly what we want,” she told me with a conspiratory grin.

She went on to tell me about a friend’s son-in-law who turned into groom-zilla and got fussy and picky about everything – including the flowers! – making it a nightmare for everyone. I certainly don’t want that.

“What are you moaning for?” a Spanish friend Chucho asked me. “He did his part, didn’t he? He asked you. Now it’s your turn.”

And so it went, and I didn’t really mind. But then about two weeks ago, things got to me. I was worried about the paperwork, I couldn’t find a dress and all the photographers I liked were taken. I was really stressed out for the first time, and as I sat there, manically searching wedding sites with my head in my hands, J noticed me.

“You look really stressed out,” he said. “Relax, you’re supposed to enjoy planning your wedding.”

Why wasn’t he stressed out too? Why was he talking to me like he was an outside observer? It was all wrong.

But all of a sudden, things began to change. First, he took charge of sorting out the hotel accommodation for the guests that want to stay overnight in Cabanillas del Monte. Then he decided he wants to come and help pick the food we’re going to have.

And just last night we were sitting together having what was sort of our first ‘wedding planning meeting’ (but don’t tell him I called it that!) He had printed out documents, stapled them together and even put them in a plastic folder.

Right in front of my eyes he phoned the caterer and the priest to arrange meetings and went through a load of videos of possible musicians we could have play at the ceremony, even getting enthusiastic about one we saw.

“I’ll email them tomorrow,” he said. “And I’ll call the guy who supplied the DJ equipment for my sister’s wedding and see if he can help us.”

Wow. Was I going to wake up any moment and realise it had all been a dream? Amazingly no. It was for real.

“At the start I was like ‘I don’t want to know anything…,” he told me by way of explanation. “But this is my wedding too. I want to be involved.”

So there you have it. I’m thrilled about J’s change of heart. And more than happy to hand over the reins. I won’t be letting go of them completely though.


10
Feb 11

Wedding = stress

More and more, planning a wedding just seems like the experience of trying to find a flat to rent in London. You’ve got to be quick off the mark with things or else they might be snapped up by the person who’s looking at them after you.

That horrible feeling you get when the estate agent tells you: “Well I wouldn’t think about it too long if I were you because I’ve got more people coming round to view it in two hours” is exactly the same as the one you get when a wedding-related company tells you: “We have other couples who’ve made enquiries about your date, so you should confirm soon if you want it.”

stress-blog-story.jpgThe only difference is that I always suspected those pesky estate agents were lying to beat their co-workers to a fat commission check, but I believe every word these caterers, photographers and so on say.

Why would they lie? They hardly seem short on people requiring their services.

When I’m waiting to hear from one of them re: availability or prices, I turn into a love sick teenager – obsessively checking my phone and email every five minutes to see if they’ve got back to me.

If I didn’t know myself better I’d say that I’m doing what I promised myself I would never do – getting stressed.

In my first ever post I wrote “I don’t really feel like the whole focus of my life has changed”. But now I realise that’s because I hadn’t even started thinking about the planning. Now it’s hard not to. But how do you switch off, that’s what I’d like to know?

I just want everything to be perfect. Take the photographer for example – that was one of the most important things to me.

After seeing my friend Gemma’s lovely pics, I knew I wanted something like that – more arty and fashion than simple and classic. But finding a photographer like that is hard.

Linda has a snapper who’s done all of J’s siblings’ weddings, but her photographs – though lovely – were just too straightforward for my liking.

I found one girl who I really liked, but I dithered, and by the time I went to book her, she was already taken. Seven months in advance! She gave me the details of two more photographers who looked equally as good, but I got in touch with them both, and they were also busy.

By this time I began to panic. Have I left it too late, I thought? Will I end up with my dad and his disposable camera?

But then an email dropped into my inbox from a photographer in Valencia, and everything was sorted. He’d been passed my details by one of the other photographers who couldn’t do my wedding.

This guy took pity on me after I said oh what a shame, thanks anyway, but could he please please recommend someone, anyone in the same style as I was “pasando una pesadilla” (having a nightmare) trying to find someone. He said he would help me, and he kept his word.

I checked out the photographer in Valencia’s portfolio and prices, and was very impressed, so at the insistence of Linda, I called him up immediately – at 11am on a Saturday morning.

I now have a photographer. And after this whole episode I also have a ‘take no prisoners’ approach to wedding planning. Maybe that’s the secret to not being stressed?

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