Destination Bride: The Final Countdown

With three weeks to go, our bride-to-be shares some last-minute words of wisdom.

Well, it’s February. That means my wedding is about three weeks away. And in case I somehow forget when it is, I have Nate to remind me. He’s started three separate countdowns: one for the number of days until our last day of work, another for the number of days until we leave, and a third for the number of days until the wedding. He was, until recently, updating me daily on all three. I finally explained to him that while I, too, am very excited, those dates represent critical deadlines to me, and thus it’s a little stressful to have someone constantly reminding me just how close they all are. I admit it’s my fault that he doesn’t fully appreciate how many details there are to think about before the big day. I’ve handled the planning almost entirely on my own for a number of reasons: I’m hopelessly Type A, so planning is usually fun for me; I’m the only one who cares about things like finding really cute table numbers; and finally, making unilateral decisions is just easier. So really, I can’t blame him for not feeling as much pressure as I do—but I don’t miss those countdowns.

I actually didn’t expect to feel stressed leading up to the wedding. Our wedding is relatively small, and given that it’s in Mexico, there’s only so much micromanaging that can be done. And it’s not that this wedding isn’t planned—trust me, it is. It’s just that there are so many last-minute logistical issues to consider: Who will meet the photographer in the lobby? Does the deejay really understand that under no circumstances is he allowed to play “YMCA” or the “Electric Slide”? What if our other guests sit down in the front row during the ceremony and our parents are relegated to the back? Who’s going to police that? And speaking of parents, mine don’t like each other, so that’s definitely going to be awkward. I should add that we’ll also be closing on a condo the day after we get back from Mexico, which means our apartment is currently in chaos.

I’m not sharing this to complain. I’m excited and very, very grateful for both the wedding and the new place. I just have a feeling that I’m not the only bride who feels—or will feel—a bit overwhelmed. Here are some things that I’ve realized can help.

1) Share the load. My maid of honor recently offered to book our manicure and pedicure appointments for the day before the wedding at the resort. My first inclination was to tell her not to worry about it, and that I could easily take care of it. But then I thought, Why not just let her? And you know what? It felt great to cross that off my to-do list.

2) That brings me to . . . to-do lists! I really do find it strangely satisfying to cross things off lists. They also keep me organized and focused on getting one task done at a time, rather than feeling overwhelmed by trying to handle a million things at once.

3) The Daily Puppy. No explanation needed.

4) Take a night off. I spent last weekend running around nonstop doing errands for the wedding and packing for the move. By Monday, I felt like my head might explode. Nate and I agreed not to talk about either the move or the wedding all evening. Instead, I read the latest issues of US Weekly and HGTV Magazine cover to cover and had a glass of wine.

5) Write it down. I owe a thank-you to anyone who has bothered to read my posts over the past several months. I’ve really enjoyed documenting this journey, and I’ve definitely found it therapeutic to write about the process, particularly during stressful moments.

And now I’m officially signing off until after the wedding, since, well, I’ve got a lot going on. Can’t wait to tell you how it goes! If any of you want to share how you de-stress, don’t hesitate to comment.

Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.