I’m smack in the middle of trying to plan my wedding… and now I know why alcohol was invented.
My fiancé, Jon, and I met the old fashioned way—on Twitter. I was a regular on the E! late night talk show Chelsea Lately, he’d seen me on it a few times, and decided he needed to meet me. Jon plays for the Seattle Seahawks, so one evening, when another comedian from the show, Ross, was standing on the sidelines before the game, Jon seized the opportunity. He introduced himself to Ross, told him he was a fan (always a smart move to compliment the person you’re about to ask to introduce you to another person), and asked him to put in a “good word” with me for him. Ross, being a huge Seahawks fan, was very excited about the possibility of me dating a member of the team, so he told Jon to tweet at me to get the ball rolling (yay for how we communicate in 2015!). Jon did so, which I thought was cute, but didn’t take all too seriously at first, since, well, he was a professional athlete who was flirting with me on Twitter.
Cut to almost two years later and we’re engaged. I don’t know why he knew he had to meet me, but I’m really glad he did. When I tell this story to people, I see some of them light up, saying, “You never know, do you!? Maybe I’ll meet my guy/girl on Twitter!” But I don’t think I should encourage that behavior. Yes, my story turned out to have the perfect ending, but I can’t promise it’ll always go that way for people. I’ve seen Lifetime movies; meeting online doesn’t always end great.
So now here we are, a comedian and an NFL player trying to plan a wedding. Well—I’m trying to plan it and he’s saying things like “I think that sounds great,” because he’s smart. Well—the hotel in Mexico is trying to plan it and I’m saying things like “I think that sounds great,” because I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.
When it comes to event planning, I’m at a loss. I grew up in the South, going to parties with cocktail wieners and cheese dip as the main attraction, and I was on board with that (if I had it my way, that would still be how it is). I’m missing that gene or whatever it is that tells you what looks pretty where or what color goes with what. My move is to look at what other people do and just copy that (I also do this at the gym—spot someone with a body I’d like to have, then mimic their workout. At times that’s been mistaken for “creepy” and I’ve been asked to leave, but on the bright side—being banned from the gym is a really good excuse for not going to the gym). So, even though I assumed I would live my life without ever creating a Pinterest board, suddenly I have one. I just type in beach-related wedding theme things, find something pretty, copy the idea and take the credit. So far, so good.
I’m 40 years old and I’ve never been married. I waited for my perfect match, this is when he showed up, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s just the “how” that I can’t quite wrap my brain around. Part of me wants to just say forget it all and elope, then have a party and hope people still buy us gifts. But instead we’re having a destination wedding and my fiancé says I can’t register for gifts. What?
“I’ve spent years buying people things off of registries—bridal and baby—I want my piece of the registry pie!“ I told him in a panic.
“But it would be rude, they already have to buy a plane ticket,“ he explained.
“Rude? I have a friend who registered for her divorce!“
“Really? What did you get her?“
“A gift certificate to a liquor store.”
“Good call. But no, we still shouldn’t register,“ he patiently explained.
“I hate you. I mean, I love you, but I hate how rational you are,“ I conceded as I typed “Your presence is our gift” under the “Registry” tab on my wedding website (shout-out to The Knot for having an idiot-proof website-building-thingamajig that also looks amazing).
Anyway, my point is, I’m learning as I go. And if I’m not sure about something, I just Google it. My search history is filled with questions like:
“Do I have to invite my friend’s wife to the wedding if I don’t really like her?” (Google says: “YES.”)
“Do I have to invite my friend’s husband to the wedding if I don’t really like him?” (Google says: “YES.”)
“Is there a way to secretly register for gifts that my fiancé won’t find out about?”
(Google says: “NO SEARCH RESULTS FOUND.”)
Most of my friends have gotten married, so they know how to do this, and everyone has an opinion. One of my best friends, who got married this past spring, decorated the entire thing herself. Like, she went to those stores where they have fabric and tree branches or whatever and then made that stuff into wedding decorations. One day, leading up to her wedding, I was over at her house and I spotted a huge bucket full of wood chips.
“What are those for?“ I asked.
“I haven’t decided yet. Maybe I’ll carve each guest’s name on them for their place card or something,“ she answered as if that was NO BIG DEAL.
“Oh, cool. Or you can just bring them back to the store now and get a refund because that’s never going to happen,” I laughed.
“I bought them for a reason, Sarah, I know what I’m doing.“
Weeks later, I attended her wedding, which was stunning. It was perfectly decorated, and truly one of the most gorgeous weddings I’ve ever been to. But don’t think I didn’t take note that there wasn’t a single wood chip in sight. Two days later, she texted me:
“Hey if you need any wood chips for your wedding, I have a whole bucket of them.”
My point is, we all have ideas about what we’re going to do: some of them pan out and some of them don’t. I haven’t gotten as far as details like wood chips yet, but I’ll keep you posted.
Right now, I’m still struggling with the guest list. We aren’t having a very big wedding, so now it feels like I’m weighing which friendships are worth the cost of a crab cake appetizer, choice of chicken or fish and a full night of open bar. On one hand, it makes me feel so dirty… but on the other hand, I feel drunk with power. Isn’t this supposed to be the fun part?
Sarah Colonna is well known as a popular roundtable regular on the hit late night talk show Chelsea Lately. She also served as a full time writer on Chelsea Lately, as well as a producer, writer and star of the show’s spin-off series After Lately. Sarah continues to appear in several other TV shows and movies.
Her first book, Life as I Blow It, debuted at number five on the New York Times Bestseller list. Her second book, Has Anyone Seen My Pants?, which is full of stories managing single and dating life as well as how she met her fiancé, was released on March 31, 2015. You can purchase both books on her website, SarahColonna.com.
Sarah continues to tour across the country headlining comedy clubs regularly. And if you’re heading to Sin City soon for your bachelorette party, catch her performance at The Venetian in Las Vegas during this season’s Lipshtick comedy series on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available at www.lipshtick.com. For other updates, follow along with her on Twitter: @SarahColonna.