Well, it’s finally over. I’m a married lady, back from my honeymoon, carrying with me a ton of freckles and a little souvenir from Montezuma. The wedding was wonderful. I was terribly worried about everything, having DIYed most of it, but it turned out even better than I could have imagined. There were a ton of things that went “wrong” (the lawn games were canceled due to swarms of mosquitoes, all the decorations were completely different than planned, no one danced, the glass of wine for the ceremony was missing, dessert was so late that only half the guests got any, and both shuttles broke down, leaving many guests stranded for hours) but there was so much damned love in the place, we all had an amazing time and I will never forget it.
It’s been so long since I worked on anything other than this wedding, that my sister said to me yesterday: “I’m really sorry to ask you this, but it’s been so long, I forgot: what exactly do you do, again? I mean, for a job?” I answered: “I run my business. It’s just sort of been coasting along these last few months, but my priorities now are sending new prototypes to the manufacturer, putting up the new site, putting together a press kit for the holiday press blitz, catching up on my bookkeeping…” and then I heard myself trail off, because the list in my head was getting too long to say out loud and I was starting to have palpitations.
These last few months I had intended to comment insightfully on how I was balancing my business with my wedding, sprinkling in some witty commentary about traditional gender roles along the way. But the truth is, I didn’t balance anything. The wedding was a 70-hour-per-week job for a solid ten weeks and it simply took over. Eighty of our closest friends and family members were traveling between 2000-5000 miles to see us get married and by God, I was going to make it worth the trip. Originally, my husband (!) had said he wanted to split the wedding planning 50/50, but after the save-the-dates went out, that sort of went out the window. Sometimes I got him to help out by throwing minor tantrums, but since he was making more money than I was, it made the most sense financially for me to handle everything and let him keep working.
In the end, it was all worth it and I regret nothing. Though I was nervous about relegating such a new business to the back burner, it was good in some ways. For one thing, it gave me some distance. Since I wasn’t mired in stressful, time-sensitive details like following up with stores, or programming shopping carts, I was able to look at the bigger picture and re-prioritize my goals. I even signed up for a business plan class at the SBA, so I can learn to lay out my goals in a clear and productive way. It also allowed us to have a wedding that was deeply personal, relatively inexpensive, and extremely memorable (hey, how many couples seat their guests at the “mountain lion,” “mudslide,” or “highway 1” table?). As an added bonus, we got to include new items in our portfolios. My husband added the “California Perils” table sculptures to his art portfolio, and I added the invitations to my product design portfolio (their printing, naturally, was a “business expense”).
Sadly, I can offer very little advice to other betrothed Biz Misses. Just bear in mind the equation, “time equals money” and know that a wedding, not matter how small, will require a lot of one or the other. Get enough sleep, even if that requires half an Ambien, and when your loved ones say, “let me know if there’s anything I can do to help,” take them up on it.