Wednesday, February 22, 2012


When Kathy and I sat down to start looking at wedding invitations online, I was not fully prepared for how different our visions were.  Generally, when it comes to sylistic decisions, we agree.  We have similar clothing tastes, and we almost always easily agree on house-decorating decisions.  So I thought wedding planning would be similar.

"How about this?" Kathy said, as she pulled up an ecru rectangle with black script writing on it. 

"Um, boring."  I replied.  "I want them to be a little different.  They should reflect our style and our wedding a little.  How about that one with the adirondack chairs?"

"Too casual.  I don't want people showing up in jeans because it's on the beach and we put adirondack chairs on our invitation.  How about this?"  This one was an ecru rectangle with navy blue script writing on it.


"This one?"  Ecru square with black script writing.

"Square invitations require extra postage.  It sounds like it wouldn't be a big deal but it adds up.  No squares.  And it's boring.  How about that one?"

"I hate floral patterns.  What are you, 80?"  And on, and on like this, for rather an extended period of time.

Finally, I stood up and stretched.  "Why don't you just pick one you really, really like, and if I don't hate it, we'll go with it.  We're never going to agree.  You want something stuffy and boring, and I want something too casual for you.  It seems like we have fundamentally different visions of what we want this to look like, and it's way more important to you.  I guess I just don't care that much."

BLACK and WHITE Damask...

As I walked out of the room, Kathy followed me.  "How can you not care?  This is the first thing that people will see -- the first introduction.  It sets the tone for the whole wedding.  How can you not care about it?  I don't want to pick them myself.  We are doing this together; I don't want to plan our wedding alone." 

I could see her point about the tone-setting, but I could not muster it.  Squares and rectangles of off-white cardstock.  They were all swimming together at this point.  But she seemed upset, and I also did not want us to sit in individual bubbles and plan our wedding alone. 

I don't think planning a wedding means you suddenly have to transform into a person who cares about a bunch of things you never cared about before.  But I do think that planning a wedding is planning a ceremony and party to kick off your life together as a married couple.  It is supposed to be about us, together, as two.  Planning it alone is entirely counter to that.  Maybe I tend toward the melodramatic, but I didn't want to plan our life together alone.  And neither did she.  Maybe I didn't care about squares of ecru as such, but I did care about making Kathy happy, and planning the wedding together.  So I sat back down in front of the computer, and committed to giving it another try.  She clicked on another vendor.

"Oooooooh," I said immediately.  "Look at those awesome envelopes."  The invites, I could not care about.  But snazzy envelope liners I could get into.  Not just snazzy.  DAMASK envelope liners.  I love damask prints.  "You can get whatever invitations you want, as long as you put them in those envelopes." 

She laughed, and selected the damask envelopes.  We picked a white card, horizontal and with two fonts, to spice things up a (very small) bit.  And we were done, just like that.  I was excited.  She was excited.  Suddenly, I cared about the invitations.  Not as white rectangles of paper, which I could never get excited about, but because we were finally able to find something we both liked.  We compromised, not in a meet-in-the-middle-we're-both-equally-unhappy kind of way, but we were able to find something we both actually liked and would have chosen.  They were formal enough to set the tone, so to speak, but with fun envelopes so they were a little different.  "Like us," Kathy said. 

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