A reader writes with some very common questions:
1. We're about 11 mos. away from the big day; I've looked at your timeline, but she reads TheKnot daily; not sure she's getting the point that not everything needs to be done NOW. We already have the venue, church and some of the services locked... can I just enjoy my summer?
She doesn't read TheKnot daily. She reads it hourly. When the lead story is "150+ Hot Hair Styles"--literally--it takes some time to chew through all of that essential wisdom. (Random aside: the first page of their hot hair styles is almost laugh-out-loud funny: check out how each style is wildly different and unique.)
Anyway. You're absolutely right. When people first glance at The Plunge, sometimes they get the wrong impression and think that we recommend avoiding everything, procrastinating, and letting your bride do all the work, playing Fredo to her Michael. Not at all. We recommend doing the big things as soon as you can. The venue, the date, the key services. Those are the key constraints. Once you have those locked down, you can fill in the rest later.
Enjoy your summer...with the exception of the guest list. This will be an ongoing discussion that will crop up from time to time like a dormant virus. (Yes, for those keeping score, we've now compared the guest list to both a virus and the global supply of crude oil.)
2. I produce live concerts and sporting events professionally; it is exhausting to hear her family tell us [me] about timeline, vendors, costs - when I know I can do all these things better, cheaper, and faster.
...Your list of my duties was very helpful... but hearing her family discuss why we need to pick a dj 1 year in advance and why a local florist is better than hiring one of my designers to source flowers in LA [for 1/10th the price] is EXCRUCIATING... help? Should I just not care?
Careful. Your competence, paradoxically, might bite you in the ass. For better or worse, bridal families often assume that because you're a groom--and because grooms, of course, are drooling, lazy, bums--that you're unfamiliar with foreign concepts like "vendors" and "invoices" and "spreadsheets." That's not fair to you. But it is what it is, and remember...no one likes a know it all. So you're pinched between these two positions: 1) you want to show them that you actually have relevant industry experience and can probably plan the damn thing better than they can; and 2) you don't want to come off as a dick.
In the long run, guess which one is more important? If you try and win every battle you're likely to lose the war. Err on the side of being easy to work with, even if it means doing some things in a moronic fashion. And when you do choose to push back, shower their idea with compliments and then suggest an alternative, sticking only to the facts. Example: "That's a good thought, Katherine. I really like your idea of giving the cake vendor $5,000 in cash, upfront, even though they're based in Munich. Who doesn't love German cake!?! I wonder, though, if maybe this $500 option--in our neighborhood--might let us save a little money?"
3. She has a little brother - he'll be 21 when we wed - does he need to be at the bachelor party if he's in the wedding party? Is it common to do more than one bachelor event to spread the risk and split the crowd?
Yeah this one sucks. Your bachelor party should be a celebration with your very best friends, not a dude who might, for all you know, serve as bridal-espionage. And even if your bride and her brother are super-super-super cool and would never, ever think of "spying" on you....still....that's in the back of your mind, which can sort of put a damper on the mood. Even if you're not going to strip clubs, having your bride's family in attendance will handcuff the camaraderie.
Don't invite him.
You'll actually be doing the both of you a favor. Frankly, he probably doesn't want to attend anymore than you want him in attendance--you're not the same age, he doesn't know your buddies, he doesn't want to see his future brother-in-law acting sloppy drunk, etc. If you can avoid it, don't even bring it up. If you're still squeamish? Your official stance can be that you're not even really having a "bachelor party," per se, but that a few of your friends are taking you out for a good time.