Ask Aliyah: Nervous Bride & Stressed Out Mom

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Dear Aliyah,

My fiancé and I are happily engaged and actively planning a fall wedding for this year. Earlier this spring, we attended my fiancé’s brother’s wedding. It was a large, lavish affair at a local high end, arts destination. While I am so happy for my BIL, I can’t help but think of his wedding throughout our own planning and worry that friends and family will compare what are sure to be significant differences in setting and service to food and drink. We are considering a smaller, affordable dinner celebration in our backyard, which can accommodate a party of 50, after a private ceremony earlier in the day. What are your thoughts? How can I get over feeling like our wedding won’t stack up against my BIL’s and is there a better choice than our backyard idea to deliver on a lovely, celebratory and intimate reception?

Bashful Bride on a Budget

Bashful,

First, congratulations. Now, if you think there are friends and family on your attendee list that will spend your wedding celebration comparing center pieces and chair covers (or lack thereof) to your fiancé’s brother’s wedding, make sure their invitations get lost in the mail. This illusion of a comparison is a fear you came up with on your own, it doesn’t exist. As you stated yourself, ‘I can’t help but

worry’, no nosy second Aunt threatened to breakout a score card. Listen, a backyard wedding sounds affordable; but unless you own tables, linens and dishware for 50 people and have access to staff such as servers, bartenders and a cleaning crew, I think you may find this idea more of a challenge than a solution. So you are expecting 50 people? Begin thinking of the celebration costs as a ‘per person’ budget, this will help you easily calculate what you can expect to spend. Next, start considering local restaurant venues with private or potentially private banquet spaces – wine rooms, patios, balconies. Arrange a time to speak with the Banquet Manager of at least three locations. Inform the Manager know of your per person budget, keeping in mind gratuity and taxes. A venue with a beautiful setting will eliminate the need for additional decorations, so consider spaces that are already decorated as opposed to a clean slate. Don’t shy away from asking for discounts, such as a discount for every half dozen bottles of wine consumed or waiving of the cake cutting fee. Need a place to start? The Current just released their 2013 “Best of 2013” lists.

Aliyah

Dear Aliyah

I seem to make it all work; being a wife, mom and working woman. It is me though who pays the price by being tired, out of shape and totally stressed. I take care of myself last, and instead put my husband, my child, our home and my boss first - I feel I have no time for myself. After packing lunches, folding laundry and getting my boss’ spreadsheets done – there is just no time left for me. Without some ‘me’ time, I feel ineffectual and it manifests in me being a downright bitch. I don’t feel confident I can take care of others much longer without taking some time for myself. How do I take that time without feeling guilty and without losing hours in the day?

Mom on a Tight Rope

Dear Mom,

First, congratulations on the marriage, procreation, and being an active member of our local workforce. Second, I know you, or I can spot you in a crowd. You drive a dusty car littered with sippy cups and library books that carry significant late fees, you sport chipped nails and yoga pants, yes? Momma, now is the time to take advantage of the modern day options that are made available to us busy gals. Need a manicure for those chipped nails? Girl, call it in.

Let me explain, listen, life is about doing what you do well and letting others do what they do well. So you can make a bad ass meat loaf with all of the perfect sides and a decadent dessert? So you can cook, great – while dinner cooks sit down and have that in home aesthetician give you a much needed manicure – the kids can even do their homework at same table too – you can help the kids by calling out some spelling drills while your top coat is applied. About that dirty car? Again, there are local businesses that will make sure your ride is shiny, fresh and clean – in fact, they will come to where your car is parked. As for the library books? Renew those suckers online. We busy moms can make it work with some planning and the willingness to complete tasks by taking advantage of modern conveniences. No more excuses for a dusty car, nails needing some love or owing the library the equivalent of college tuition. And, with supporting local businesses, there is no guilt to boot.

Aliyah

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