So I bought the Offbeat Bride book right at the start of the planning and read it avidly. It was entertaining and comforting. It made me laugh out loud at times. I read sections aloud to the Bloke to help explain my ideas. It made me think about my wedding planning and my “Bridentity” in a more in depth way.
The “smidge above” beauty preparation section has been my mantra when figuring out what to do and what not to bother with in my pre-bridal preparations, so I've found the book generally diverting and pleasing and helpful.
About four weeks ago — six weeks out from local party/reception — I started getting lots of calls/emails/texts from out of town guests asking for advice on finding a hotel room for the night. I had anticipated this and had a pre-prepared email full of links to local hotel websites.
Now, bear in mind that, while we live in a conurbation area, it's not a city centre or an area with a great tourist interest and, therefore, not that many hotels. So I sent the links, but then got loads of urgent and frequent contacts saying “oh, those hotels are all full,” or, “they're too expensive.” Now, granted, I know that a lot of my friends are on a budget, but about FOUR MONTHS ago I did mention that the cheap deals at the Travel Lodge don't last long, so they should get a shift on. But maybe I'm the only person here who likes to get organised in advance…
I tore my hair out over this issue. Our friends would not make it, no one would be there, it was going to be a disaster! I stomped and shouted at the Bloke, until he snapped one night and bellowed at me: “SO WHAT ADVICE DOES YOUR F**KING BOOK HAVE ABOUT THIS, THEN?”
Among the advice, I found this:
When I started planning, I felt this ridiculous need to take care of all of the guests… it took me a while to let it go and realize that all these folks are grown ups who manage to get through life without me the rest of the time, so I didn't have to get obsessive. Figure out where you're staying, and consider letting your guests fend for themselves. Make recommendations, but stay out of it.
(Offbeat Bride, Chapter 26, 1st Edition.)
So I did. I sent the email and left them to it. I made vague noises in response to texts, but left them to it.
Over the last forty-eight hours I have received three texts from independent groups of friends — the ones that I had all but given up on — confirming that they are booked into hotels and that they are sorting their journeys and they will be there! I am overjoyed! It worked! I let go and they went and did it all by themselves.
So I wanted to say a big “YAY!” for Ariel, for OBB, and for advice that actually works! Because really, how often does that happen in this crazy life of ours?