Appointments scare me. Maybe it’s a fear of commitment, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because I was the maker of all appointments for my family of five for many years, and inevitably we’d end up with a scheduling conflict which would require another call. I don’t know why I dread the call. Well, dread is a strong word. I want to avoid it. I’d rather bring out the trash or pull hair from the drain. But eventually I make the appointment and then I write it on the calendar hanging on our kitchen wall. And there it is in ink, permanent and piercing and taunting me. You have to go, you know. Here it is, in ink. You have to be there. Or else.
Recently, I went with my daughter to find her wedding dress. She had to make an appointment. That’s how it works in the wedding market. There was going to be no such thing as just showing up and browsing the dresses ourselves, God forbid. So on the day of The Appointment, the saleslady gathered dresses that she thought fit my daughter’s requests. Only they didn’t, really. Not entirely. Not as much as the dress that they didn’t bring out- the one we would go back for another day, and find by ourselves because we asked couldn’t we please, please just be left alone to look this time around? Wedding marketers do not love us.
My daughter is a minimalist bride-to-be, preferring no fuss on her clothing. She was the kid bothered by itchy tags and the stitching on socks. It comes as no surprise that she’d want a comfortable wedding dress and she’s beautiful without all the frills and layers and lace that can weigh a petite person down. She wants to be able to move and dance and wear a bohemian chic flower headpiece that compliments a simple dress. She didn’t want a train that required its own entrance, or any train at all. The dress she found is exactly what she wanted- light and pretty- and she glows in the simplicity of it.
So on to flowers. The first two places we called required The Appointment. “We will have our wedding specialist sit down with you and go over everything”, they told me over the phone. My interpretation: We will take up half of your day as we try to convince you that you need to spend the equivalent of your other daughters’ college tuitions in order to have beautiful centerpieces and bouquets that will make the wedding good. We will treat this as if you are preparing for brain surgery instead of picking out some pretty flowers for this festive big day. Do people really remember the flowers? Or do they remember the day, the joy, the vows, music, food and wine? Okay, maybe they remember the flowers too, I don’t know. I don’t remember flowers.
So I called our local florist and they assured me that yes, we could drop in any time and pick out some flowers and it did not even require The Appointment! I love this place. Plant Bazaar owner, if you are reading this, I love you. We will go and find some bouquets and corsages and boutonnieres and my daughter thought perhaps we should arrange some beautiful dried flowers in mason jars ourselves because this goes with the spirit of her mountainside wedding.
Ah yes, flower arrangements are blooming nicely(pun intended). Music has been carefully chosen by my daughter and her fiancé. Food will be scrumptious. The view, awesome. And the love….it’s really about the love.
What I’ve learned is this: Wedding planning does not have to take over your life. A dress does not have to take over your body and flowers do not have to take over your budget or your entire day. You really can give the metaphorical middle finger to the too-muchness of wedding planning. Keep it simple. Unless you’d rather not, in which case take out your appointment book, clear your schedule and your life, and jump right in. But I’m not coming in after you.