Weeks to a Wedding: In the Panic Zone

With less than two weeks to her wedding, Sophie finally starts to freak out. But just a bit.

By: Sophie Gilbert

There comes a point in every shotgun wedding when you start to panic. For me, that was this weekend. Until then, I was a model of serenity, blithely making decisions about cards and people and food and dresses without batting an eyelid. People kept asking, “Are you stressed?” “You must be so stressed.” “Is it a nightmare?” “Are you so, so busy?” To which I’d respond, “Actually, it hasn’t been that bad.” Sure, we’ve been busy. But we’ve managed to keep it pretty cool. Laid-back, even.

That is, until I tried on my dress Friday night and flipped out. It doesn’t fit. Well, it does, but either my underarms have put on weight or my dress is too tight, because all I could see was fat. In addition, the multiple pairs of shoes I’d ordered were all wrong. One pair was too high, so I towered over John like Attack of the Sixty Foot Bride. The other pair was too dark, so they didn’t match the dress or the jewelry. I still didn’t know who—if anyone—would be doing my hair, we didn’t have a florist booked or a cake or a marriage license. I was five pounds over my target weight. John was going to look nicer than me. Everyone was going to look nicer than me. I was going to be the ugliest bride in the history of weddings, and it was all because I hadn’t spent enough time planning my outfit properly, choosing instead to occupy my time with things like work and CSI and perfecting my whistle. And the wedding is in two weeks, so I don’t have much time now to compensate. Oops.

Luckily, the man I’m marrying is very lovely and calm. Even better, his best man lives upstairs from us and has a car and lets us borrow it. My friend Erin told me to make a list of all my worries and then attack them one at a time. Dress too tight? Find a tailor. So I did—several glasses of wine later—find a very nice, Yelp-recommended one in Foggy Bottom who assured me he could take the dress out an inch without making it too loose. (I don’t feel like flashing people on my wedding day.) For hair, I decided to splurge and got a last-minute appointment at Erwin Gomez in Georgetown, where my brilliant stylist, Rudy, turned out to be available the morning of October 3, even at the ungodly hour of 8 AM. Flowers were more of a toughie. The few quotes I’d had would put us overwhelmingly over budget. (If I have to choose between flower money and alcohol money, I choose alcohol money.) However, I inherited from my maternal grandmother a dab hand at flower arranging. So we figured we’d go out, buy some vases and a bunch of flowers on Friday, and put them all together, which will doubtless make for an enlightening blog post next week.

Ditto for the cake. If I have to make my own wedding cake, I will. I really hope I don’t have to, though. I actually have given John all cake responsibility. If we have one, we have one. If we don’t, who cares? We’re not really smush-cake-in-each-other’s-faces kind of people. I think it’s gross, not funny, particularly when I’ve paid someone decent money to make my face look immaculate. And cake is far too good to waste. Speaking of cake, I gave it up. Along with bread, sugar, pasta, potatoes, and fun—I’m now on a carb-free diet, which is horrible but incredibly effective. The only carb I haven’t given up is wine, for obvious reasons. Things might start to get ugly.

I also ordered new shoes—plain white silk ballerina pumps, which I figured would go with a short dress and pearls. So I feel much better. Although I can totally empathize now with John’s sulking because his tuxedo didn’t fit properly, and I feel very bad for making fun of him in a previous post. These things are very important, even when I pretend they aren’t.

You can follow Sophie's story from the beginning here.

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