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In 13 days, I'll be walking down the aisle. And don't think I don't have every moment of that beautiful day charted, graphed, and fully illustrated for all participants. Remember that girl I made fun of a few years ago for having typed-up schedules that she passed out to the groomsmen? She ain't got nothing on me.

Suddenly, I have sympathy for her. And it's not like I'm exactly Bridezilla, either. I'm pretty laid back about the whole wedding thing (or at least, as laid back as a Type A like me can really get) in the sense that this is not something I've been dreaming about since I was a little girl.

But seriously, I already have a two-page Word document typed up (which will be distributed to all necessary parties very shortly) that tells everyone where they need to be and when. My friend Jennie has agreed to be my wedding-day wrangler and make sure all my wishes are carried out so that I don't have to worry about anything except gettin' hitched.

I have documented every penny saved and spent for this event in a stunning Excel sheet that keeps tally of the total cost and any payments made, and then compares the remaining amount due to the current balance of our wedding savings account. I'm not joking.

It doesn't matter how laid back you are, you have to admit that it's the biggest party you'll ever throw (other than your funeral, which you don't get to enjoy). So you want it to be a good party. It's also (for me) the biggest amount of money I have ever spent in one go. So of course you want it to go well - otherwise it's just a big waste of time and money. Money that you could have spent putting an addition on your house and sending several underpriveleged youths to college.

Weddings are NOT CHEAP. (Especially when you come from an Irish Catholic family that totals nearly 150 people - and that's just aunts, uncles and first cousins.) But, with a little ingenuity, you can do it for less than the average. Have I mentioned that the average cost of a wedding, as of the year 2000, was $20,000? TWENTY. THOUSAND. DOLLARS. Again, I'm not joking.

But, I'm pretty pleased with how we've done everything - it's definitely more than either of us (and my parents!) thought we'd have to spend, but it's not extravagant. My mom came up with amazing ideas for centerpieces and decorations; Jeremy created a wedding-day movie poster; my friend AlyssA did an illustration of us; Jeremy's mom hemmed my $133 dress (I love you, Jessica McClintock!) and sewed a flower girl dress. It's all very...us. And that's what counts.

Posted October 24, 2004 9:13 PM | On This Day: 2002