The Best-Laid Plans

In the beginning, there was engagement…

As a female, I have spent 22 years of my life dreaming about, hearing about, and practically smelling and tasting weddings. But I never really thought about how to make one happen. I mean, in the movies they just magically appear and everyone cries with joy. Isn’t that how it works in real life? Ha!

But first, here’s my story. My name’s Laura, and I’m a reporter for a small town newspaper in the Hudson Valley. I grew up in Poughkeepsie with my parents and two younger sisters. In May, I graduated from SUNY New Paltz with my Bachelor’s in Journalism, and I’ve since moved out of my parents’ house into my own apartment. But most importantly to this blog, I’ve been dating a great guy named Tim for over a year, and now — magically, it seems — he is my fiancé.

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When I say “great,” I am completely understating the magnitude of his greatness. Awww, I know – so cheesy, right? But Tim’s sweet, intelligent, spontaneous, fun, easygoing, and trustworthy! He’s not funny – he’s hilarious. And he plays guitar. And has the perfect amount of freckles. And a great smile. I mean, look at him!

Cheesy. We met at Mahoney’s in Poughkeepsie on my 21st birthday last year, and spent six hours just talking and laughing. No, our evening wasn’t the result of the poorly-planned lethal mixture of Guinness and Jager shots that I downed — it turns out it was real chemistry. We spent most of the night getting to know each other, talking about music (our shared passion) and just about everything else that crossed our minds. Simple and unsophisticated, but it was the most fun birthday I’d ever had. And definitely the best time I’ve ever had at a bar . . .

Cheesy, cheesy, cheesy.

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Hear me out, though – he proposed to me on the anniversary of our first date by completely recreating that fateful first night, right down to a detailed map of where we took a walk around the Vassar College campus. We had climbed up a tree that night for some bizarre reason (don’t ask), but we ended up staying up there laughing and talking for a long time. Tim proposed to me in that same tree – honest, unpretentious, and so . . . us.

So, we’re getting married.

It’s been three weeks, and I’ve finally digested the news. This is where the planning begins. The thing is I have no idea where to start. I’m serious – it might sound clichéd, but it seems like there’s so much to do and way too many decisions to make.

As for our decisions thus far . . . we’ve decided that we don’t want to spend too much. Wow, big accomplishment – isn’t that what everyone says at first?

In case you haven’t heard, the average people spend on weddings in the Hudson Valley falls somewhere between $25,000 and $30,000, which I have already responded to with a big fat HA! There’s no way we’ll be spending that much money, I promise you. From this point on, it’s all about budgeting. Budgeting with class. Well, we’ll see how far that idea takes us.

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So now it’s time to embark on my journey of cake tasting, reception site-finding, and the all-important task of finding the perfect gown (which already seems to be hanging over my head!) We already came up with a few ideas for what we want, though – a May wedding date, relatively small guest list, local reception venue, and a fun, funky feel to the day that’ll capture exactly who we are.

In the mean time, I’ll be looking for answers on the Internet and anywhere else I can get my hands on information. So, until next time . . .

-Laura =)

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