Making Wedding Chores Work for You

Bright Bird PhotographyNo matter how in love with weddings the two of you are, there’s always one task that’s a true “chore.” Here, five belly aches and how to turn them into a six-pack success.

One: Guest List.

It’s a hoot to think of all your loved ones beaming at the two of you on the Big Day. As for figuring out exactly who makes the cut and who gets cut? Not so much.

How to Deal: Do it early, for starters. The guest list can be started right after you’ve booked the site. More important, make a night out of the event. Choose a Friday or Saturday night, get some wine or lavish desserts, and work on the list together. (You’re either men or women—no reason to assign this job to one person.) If you form the guest list together, and with no pressure attached, and no time limit, it’ll be—dare I say it?—fun. Again, start early; the adjustments later on will be so much easier.

Two: Addressing Envelopes.

In today’s world, handwriting is almost an endangered art form, and many of us have lost our ability to draw beautiful lines and circles. Since computerized graphics are a no-no in the wedding world, you’re about to spread a lot of ink.

How to Deal: Here, allocating time is of the essence. Whether it’s save-the-date cards, thank-you notes, or the invitations themselves, don’t try to address cards all at once. Make a goal of, say, 20 cards, then reward yourself; snack, TV, a game of Angry Birds. Should you feel like writing more in one sitting, by all means….If you’re handwriting-impaired, you can always hire a pro to do your “hand”—iwork. However, that’s an added expense you may not have budgeted for. Once again, make this a joint “joints” project.

Three: Getting Professional with the Pros.

You’d like to think that every vendor you work with is just as honest as his sweet smile. Even if that is the case, people make mistakes, and the two of you have to be sticklers for making sure all services are in writing; if something goes wrong, you also need to confront vendors.

How to Deal: No one likes to be the bad guy, and you want your wedding to be a hassle-free experience. Your best bet is to make sure upfront that everything is in writing—never take any offer at face value. Scan contracts carefully, and clear up any questions from the start. After that, make hard copies of all correspondence with vendors—computers crash. This way, if a florist promised 100 long-stem roses and shows up with 90, you have the original agreement that proves otherwise.

Four: Asking for Money.

There’s no fun way to ask for money, no matter what the reason. If your parents have promised to help pay for the wedding, or if you just want to ask them, it’s probably not something you’re looking forward to.

How to Deal: Don’t slowly tug at that Band-Aid; rip it off! In other words, get this chore out of the way as soon as you can. For starters, you need to know if you’re getting funds before you can make preparations. Never call a parent out of the blue; arrange a time for dinner or lunch or just talk-time. Politely explain the situation, politely listen, and accept the outcome. Whether or not you both approach a parent is up to you; sometimes parents don’t feel comfortable talking about finances with someone who’s not a member of the family—yet.

Five: Telling People They Aren’t Invited.

Your Aunt Joan calls and asks for directions to your big affair. Problem is; she’s not on the guest list. This “issue” happens to about 50 percent of engaged couples, and it’s more of a drag than Lady Bunny in the West Village.

How to Deal: One way to try and avoid the uninvited from crashing your wedding is to send out announcements. Part of the reason for this practice is to let everyone who’s not attending know you’re having a wedding—and send you a gift. While the second part isn’t something I necessarily agree with, the announcement should be hint enough to let people know an invitation isn’t forthcoming. However, this won’t stop some people from persisting. Never lie: If you get a call from someone wondering when the invitation is coming, or what gift you’d like, tell your friend or loved one that, as much as you’d like to have everyone in attendance, it’s impossible. And, if you’re smart, you’ll arrange a dinner or get-together (at your expense).

If an uninvited person does show up at your wedding, deal with it. This isn’t this time to start a fight, and you’ll be the one who feels miserable if there’s a confrontation. Besides, this is why the caterers always have extra food.

Photo Credit: Bright Bird Photography


David Toussaint is the author of the Gay Couple's Guide to Wedding Planning, Gay and Lesbian Weddings: Planning the Perfect Same-Sex Ceremony, and TOUSSAINT!.