By Casey Nilsson
My dear compatriots: If you’re reading this blog, then you, too, are knee-deep in taffeta and gauze. You’ve visited the bridal expos, tasted the samples and are within sight of your happily ever after — whatever that might be.
It’s different for all of us. My betrothed and I — yes, betrothed; we’re nerds and we like it — must frequently remind ourselves why we decided to plan a wedding in the midst of full-time jobs, family crises and all the fun stuff in Providence that we don’t get to do on wedding-planning night.
Our reason? To get married, of course.
But after Scott proposed at the Providence Athenaeum fountain on a perfectly cool night last August, my modest, 1920s-era engagement ring sparkling in the light of the streetlamps, we weren’t thinking about tents or guest lists or boutonnieres or fancy porta-potties. We wanted to pause in the romance of it all. We didn’t even make the “We’re Engaged!” calls just yet; instead, with hearts in our eyes, we high-tailed it to our favorite neighborhood bar to celebrate ourselves. And we continued to celebrate: We spent a few days with friends and family on Block Island, flew to Paris, returned just in time for the holiday season and here we are now, with not much time and not much planned.
Yes, I’ve heard the news: Scott and I can get married without a wedding. But there’s something about opening up our storybook to all the people we know and love, even if it’s just for one day. Please tell me: When else would my grandmother, his uncle and our best friends get to witness perhaps the most meaningful kiss of our relationship? When would my dad get a moment on-par with walking me down the aisle? There’s something to be said for the ceremony — and the after-party.
Most of you are probably calling it a reception.
At this very moment, I’m planning the thrifty reception of my dreams. Our mission: utilize personal connections and do-it-yourself projects to curate a memorable day for less than $8,000. Spend it if you have it, ladies and gents, but we’re excited for an event that’s low in budget and high in fun. We still don’t know where it’ll take place — cue the gasps! — but it’ll come to us over the next few weeks. I’ll be sure to tell you all about it.
As your wedding-day drama peaks, I’ll be here blogging by the week to make you feel miles more prepared. I’ll also give play-by-plays of all the DIY tasks I can muster, plus insider tips I’ve thieved from Engaged HQ. Don’t hold out on me either: Share your bridal expertise in the comments. I think I’ll need it. And after the sun sets on our big days, we can virtually high-five one another, because that’s when the happily ever after truly begins.
Casey Nilsson is the copy-editing extraordinaire for Rhode Island Monthly magazine. She’d like to marry her dreamboat, throw a personal, romantic reception and avoid angering any immediate family members — in less than eight months and for about $8,000. Follow her thrifty, DIY journey here or on Pinterest @cnilssonRIM.