Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Our Wedding... Location, Or So I Thought

Not many people know this, but I planned 2 weddings... yup... 2 different weddings. Sound fun?

If you say yes, you are a bit nutty/a 12 yo girl/far enough away from your wedding to miss planning/not married yet/a party planner.

We originally set out to get married in the charming Victorian beach town of Cape May, N.J., not far from my family's house up the coast in Stone Harbor. For those of you not familiar with the area, it isn't the stereotype promulgated by Jersey Reality TV. It's beautiful. We had fallen in love with a chic hotel (see this post!), and after a romantic weekend getting our drink on sipping cocktails by the fire, we thought it would be perfect for our intimate wedding. In particular, I loved the golden dining room decked out in Osborne & Little's Asuka wallpaper.

So we signed contracts (I went to law school and THANK GOD I amended the contract to cover changes to the property's appearance - especially my beloved wallpaper) and the planning started. I quickly dove into the details, worked with my fave artist, Happy Menocal, on the invites (based on the wallpaper - yes I am a wallpaper addict), and planned creative salt water taffy box Save the Dates.

I thought to myself "This wedding is going to photograph SO super well in this quality of light... Won't my photos look amazing?... I definitely will submit them to wedding blogs!... Salt water taffy Save the Dates, ain't I clever! ... People will love my wedding!" Clearly, I had damn near lost my mind, but it took a "big" planning setback to open my eyes to the fact that I was becoming an unrecognizable Zombie Monster Bridal version of myself.

Back in Delusional Bridal Land, things were going just swimmingly, and over a trip home for Easter weekend, I couldn't wait to visit the hotel. Bry and I ventured down the coast and I was as giddy as a psychopath... all of those details would be just perfect, I thought. Well, I thought that until I stepped into the hotel and saw they had completely renovated the place... and most notably, they had taken down my crazy obsession dream wallpaper. The wallpaper I based the invites on... The wallpaper that was pinned to my inspiration boards... THAT wallpaper.

The place instead looked like an attempt at colonial Williamsburg chic. So not me. SO so not my wedding. With as much grace as I couldn't muster through my shocked bridal rage (think "Carrie" at prom), I asked for the manager. Needless to say, things did not go well for the hotel in our convo. I used my legal speak in a way to bitch smack the hell out of management. I treated it like Moot Court and I was going to win, goddammit. I channeled Nancy Grace levels of legal crazy...

But at this point, what was winning? I couldn't get them to turn back time and reinstate good taste. And I had to accept that the closest I could get was possibly using the ballroom of their other property.

They tried. They really did... to make things right. But at that point, I had lost the trust I needed in them as my vendor to do things right. And I was heart broken because I had envisioned the wedding so many times (too many times) at the hotel.

Push came to shove and I just didn't feel like I would get what I wanted from them. So it was time to get back our deposits (and then some... I negotiated to have them cover expenses from details based on the wallpaper) and move onto a new plan.

And that's when something magical happened...

Bry reminded me of the kind of wedding I had said I wanted when we met... the kind of wedding that I had wanted before wedding magazines and bridal blogs had warped my mind and possessed me... the kind of wedding that, most importantly, was US.

I started listening to my heart and we decided to move the wedding to the city we both loved the most... NYC. It was my bridal exorcism.


About Last Weekend said...

That's an intriguing story with a happy ending and sounds like the guy you married is utterly perfect. (It belongs on Modern Love in the NYTImes) It is important to have the right wallpaper because it would have been in all your photos. Too many friends of mine never look at their bridal pics any more because of something like that...

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

UGH!! I had a few date changes on request of the venue for my wedding, but NOTHING like this!! You poor thing! But Bry was right - your wedding was SO you. Every detail of it. It was almost as if we all came over to your house for a big party or something. I would have never known that you had planned anything different.

If you and Bry can work together through something like that and keep what's REALLY important in mind, just like you did, you'll be able to overcome anything together!

Prippy Handbook said...

Jody - You just gave me the greatest blogging compliment I've ever received... I love that section of the NYT!

Deanna - smooches

Leslie said...

What a story! Glad it all worked out in the end and what a wonderful guy to remind you of what's most important. Sometimes you just need to accept things, let things roll off your back, and live in the moment.


Prippy Handbook said...

I married the man for good reason!

Love your blog, Leslie... and thank you for spending time getting to know mine.