Weeks to a Wedding: Across the Sea

Think planning a wedding in ten weeks is tough? Try doing it when half the guests live abroad.

Sophie (with a friend) tries on a $4,000 gown at a Bride & Groom shoot earlier this year.

Planning a wedding in ten weeks is no joke, particularly when half the people you want to invite live in England. John and I have been taking the whole thing in stages so as not to completely flip out. The first thing we needed to do was pick a day—that way, everyone we expected to fly to DC at a moment’s notice could start booking their tickets. It sounds simple, but throwing an almighty wrench into the works was the fact that we also needed a venue, and somehow the two would have to coordinate. Yikes.

Luckily, we’re not wedding-y people. I’ve been to plenty of weddings—my godmother’s, my friend Sara’s, both my parents—and while they’re very charming (and you get to drink a lot), I always suspected I lacked the wedding gene. I never, ever dreamed of getting married until I met John. My idea of long-term happiness was retiring to Miami with a bunch of girlfriends and becoming The Golden Girls. I even tried on a $4,000 wedding dress at a Washingtonian Bride & Groom shoot this year, hoping to stimulate some nascent bridal urge, but all it did was make me feel like a sequinned cloud. Weddings? Bah humbug.

That said, I had three things I absolutely wanted for ours:

(1) That my whole family would be there;
(2) That I’d wear a short dress (I’m blessed more in the leg than the chest department, and it seems a shame to hide one’s best feature); and
(3) That I’d walk down the aisle to the sounds of a string quartet playing “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You,” by Elvis. I told this to my friend Chichi and she started crying, which was the response I was hoping for.

John’s family lives just outside Philadelphia, so getting them to come down to DC is simple. Shipping my parents, step-parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, step-aunts, and best friends across the ocean from England is slightly more complicated. John and I wanted to get married in October. My sister had a week’s vacation from school on the 22nd. Ideal? No. My brother has exams and can’t go anywhere after the 10th. My mom has some kind of grand dinner party with lords and ladies going that she didn’t want to miss. All this culminated in me crying hysterically, calling my mom like a typical crazed Bridezilla and threatening to get married at City Hall with Marion Barry as the witness if we couldn’t get everyone together on one Saturday in October.

Eventually, we settled on October 3, which is convenient for everyone except me (The Washingtonian’s deadline week starts right after that, so farewell, honeymoon period). However, we managed to get almost everyone we wanted to agree to cancel triathlons, work, vacations, bar mitzvahs (I’m kidding), and more in order to come to our wedding. And I like to think it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Sophie will be blogging for every week. Check back for more adventures in her wedding planning. 

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