Weeks to a Wedding: Nearly There!

Believe it or not, Sophie gets married this weekend. What’s she doing in the final days? Ordering $350 worth of flowers, for one.

Okay, I’m actually genuinely stressed now. Not because things are going wrong, but just because there’s so much to do! I spent a whole two hours on Sunday trying to find a nice place where my mom and I could get pre-wedding manicures and pedicures at the same time. In a major metropolitan area, I figured this wouldn’t be a problem. But I called Bliss Spa, and although its manicures are wonderful, only one nail technician works on Friday, meaning my mom and I wouldn’t be able to sit and chat about the wedding and spend some time together. And neither would my sister and stepmother. Ditto with Aveda salon in Georgetown. I thought about taking everyone to the nail place I frequent by Dupont Circle, but it’s not the most salubrious of places, even though it’s cheap and efficient. Coming from two years in New York City, where I got used to an abundance of beautiful, luxurious, cheap nail bars, DC is kind of a bust. Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Anyway, I finally booked us into the Red Door Spa at the Willard, but I confess I cried a little out of sheer frustration, mainly because I’d recorded a bunch of Law & Order Special Victims Unit episodes, and I had precious little spare time left to watch them. And also because a mani-pedi was going to cost me $90. And I was supposed to be ordering flowers online. Luckily, my husband-to-be stepped in, confiscated my computer and phone, and made me sit quietly with the remote control while he made dinner. And then, when I was feeling a bit better, I ordered the flowers. In case you’re curious, this is what I ordered:

1 bunch dahlias (eggplant)
1 bunch dendrobium orchids (lavender)
1 bunch baby eucalyptus (branchy)
1 bunch baby eucalyptus (single)
3 bunches Israeli ruscus
2 bunches ivy, varigated
2 bunches lily grass
6 multicolor/green hydrangeas
6 lavender bicolor hydrangeas
2 white hydrangeas
2 bunches lilies, California white Siberia
1 bunch pom pink daisy
1 bunch pom white button
2 bunches roses, Milky Way, huge-head eggshell color
1 bunch roses (quicksand)
1 bunch September aster (purple)
1 bunch September Monte casino (white)
1 bunch stock light pink
1 bunch stock white

I have absolutely no idea what any of this means or what will arrive. All I know is that I ordered $350 worth of flowers, and they look pretty (I have particularly high hopes for the huge-headed, eggshell-colored Milky Ways). My thought process had four parts: First, look at floral designers’ Web sites and “borrow” ideas for good color combinations. Second, go through floral wholesalers’ Web sites and write down the names of flowers that look nice. Third, draw pictures of imaginary flower arrangements and see how many of each type need to go where. Fourth, add up the number of flowers needed and order. Fingers crossed, I’ve ordered so much that even if it doesn’t work out, it’ll work out if you see what I mean. And if not, we’ll have time on Friday to do a last-minute flower run.

So the flowers are taken care of, dinner for everyone on Saturday night is taken care of (I booked a room at Old Ebbitt Grill), and we even found a wedding cake, with a little help from some of my colleagues at The Washingtonian who impressed upon John the importance of getting it done soon–thank you, Denise and Katie. My dress is tailored and dry-cleaned and fits beautifully, thanks to Stephen, a tailor in Foggy Bottom. We have multiple vases for the flowers, we’ve got flight details from all our international guests, and so far we’re only $160 over budget. However, the last two weeks have been über-stressful, and I’m really looking forward to having all the plans come together.

As our ten weeks of planning are coming to an end, I can offer two pieces of advice to brides-to-be. The first was given to me yesterday by a really lovely lady and a good friend, Peggy McCabe White: Don’t worry too much. It seems like flowers and shoes and wine selections are the most important things in the world, but they’re not. The joy of the day isn’t in the event. It’s in knowing that whatever happens, there’s love and good wishes and energy all around you. It’s very simple, and it costs nothing.

The second is more practical. When you’re adding up RSVPs for the event, don’t forget to include yourself and your new spouse. I made this mistake twice, at two separate restaurants. Luckily, they were flexible; otherwise John and I would’ve been sitting at the bar, eating wedding cake and watching everyone enjoy the gourmet brunch we’d ordered.

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

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