Monday, July 13, 2009

DOCtor's Orders

Take a cHill pill.

Around mid-May, despite my best efforts, planning snafus starting coming out of the woodwork. Our super cute cake toppers arrived, but the bridal birdie needed some TLC before she could stand up on her own again. Wording drama ensued after our late-to-mail invitations dropped. I developed the unfortunate habit of writing notes to myself, only to promptly misplace them. The successful second sangria recipe notwithstanding, my bad luck in the kitchen continued to haunt me with several disastrous attempts at wedding-related sweets. One step forward, two steps back. Panic ensued as I fretted how we'd ever be ready by the end of August. (Please tell me I'm not the only one feeling like this as the countdown continues!)

And some of my fellow bees really weren't helping to ease my stress. (Sorry, ladies!) After each of these DOC posts, I'd try to calm myself with deep, cleansing breaths -- and, uh, I'm only exaggerating a tad. We can do this, I'd think as I inhaled slowly. We have our caterer and his staff, two photographers, a videographer and a DJ, I rationalized as I breathed out. With a group our size -- RSVPs continue to pop into our mailbox each day, but my best guess is we'll about 80 strong -- these professionals ought to be enough. Right? Right?!

Since I wasn't convinced, I reached out to our caterer with a simple -- albeit detail-oriented -- question: Who would be setting up our card table and bathroom baskets? While he wrote a polite response back assuring me the tasks would get done, I wasn't comfortable enough that his staff would be able to devote the time to ensuring they were done correctly. (Especially since I wanted their focus to be on the food!) And once I started drafting our day-of time line -- which will include a visit to the F.U.E.L. House before any of our guests, so we can preview the setup and practice our first dance once more -- my worrying tendencies went into overdrive. What if things aren't set up right? I imagined myself, dressed to the nines, rearranging escort cards.

Oh, no. No no no no. Finally (finally!) I understood. And I put a price tag on my piece of mind, telling myself that if I "clicked" with the DOC I had scheduled to meet the next evening, this was one expense I wasn't going to second guess.

Well, I met up with Christina (of cHill Weddings) at a local Starbucks after work. Following the awkward "Hi, are you Christina?" moment, I plopped into a chair across from her, and we gabbed away...for nearly two hours. Seriously, it was starting to get dark by the time I headed out to my car! And truthfully, I found our conversation really therapeutic. It offered me the chance to properly order things in my mind, to take a step back and (by way of explaining our choices to someone else) realize just how much we've done. I stopped worrying so much that our wedding wasn't "special" enough, and started appreciating the aspects -- several which I still have to share with the hive! -- that include whimsical nods to me and Mr. Bruschetta. During our talk, I vented a bit about some family drama, since my closest confidants -- including the mister and Mama Bruschetta -- have already had an earful (and then some!). And Christina shared how she and her assistant would be able to ensure my mind is focused on the moment, and not the little details I'm obsessing over right now.

As I hoped, this one was a no-brainer. Christina had some past clients reach out by email with references. She offered a price others couldn't beat. And tomorrow, I'll drop our contract in the mail. We'll begin working together one month before the wedding -- a fact that's helping me stay calm as I enter my last two "go it alone" weeks of planning. Together, we'll visit the ceremony and reception locations, discuss how each table will be set up and put the finishing touches on the day-of time line. Christina will serve as the contact for our vendors, reaching out to each before the wedding and ensuring everyone stays on schedule. Simple stuff, really. But knowing she and her assistant will be there has worked wonders for easing my mind.

Anyone else initially resistant to hiring a DOC? What made you come around?

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