Friday, March 29, 2013

Premarital Counseling: Learning

I thought especially in light of my Monday post on getting married young, I would talk a little bit about premarital counseling. I definitely don't think this is just applicable to younger people—but it does help for us to learn from someone older who has been through all of these years.

I know premarital counseling varies widely—for example, in the Catholic church it's Pre-Cana and significantly more structured. I found a bunch of posts on Pre-Cana by some other bee bloggers, such as Mrs. Mascara, Mrs. Dumpling, Mrs. Boa Constrictor, and Mrs. Treasure. I'll yield to the experts since I'm not familiar with Catholic tradition! In many Protestant churches, premarital counseling is often done voluntarily with the pastor of the church—in our circles, sometimes pastors will also require you to have premarital counseling or least a session with them in order to get married in the church.

Image via / Photo by Melissa Tuck

Ours is a little more casual since first of all, we are not getting married in a church and second, we're getting married by a friend of the family who also happens to be a pastor. However, we're still doing a more relaxed form of premarital counseling. In our case, we're reading a book together and meeting with our officiant and family friend for an afternoon. Regardless of what you choose to do, I think the most important thing is being intentional about your future marriage and realizing it's more than just a wedding! For us this does involve our faith, since that is a big part of our lives.

Image via / Photo by Jennifer Dery

Today's post is a lot more general though, and something I think applies to everyone no matter what their faith may be—becoming a learner. Our book gave fifty questions for Mr. Lemur to ask to learn more about me, but I don't see any reason not to ask them both ways! Some of them were really simple and straightforward, and others were a lot more detailed and insightful. Some of them I really hoped Mr. Lemur would know right off the bat, and others I had to think about myself. Here's a sampling with some of our more casual answers, just for fun. (I'm skipping most of the more personal questions!)

What gifts does she like?

I'm definitely more of a time together kind of person. Remember when I wrote my proposal story and talked about how Mr. Lemur taking the afternoon and evening off to spend time with me was the best gift I could have received? Just today we were talking about small trips we want to take together! Not that I don't enjoy tangible gifts, but I'd rather see Mr. Lemur for the weekend than receive a gift in the mail—although that's the way it is right now, unfortunately.

What is her favorite color?

This one made me laugh, and actually Mr. Lemur got it wrong—but I can't blame him since I change my favorite color every few months! Right now I think it's pink/peach/coral. Here's hoping I still like coral by the time we get married. I don't think this one has much to do with the healthiness of our future marriage, although it does help when he buys me things.

How much sleep does she need?

I actually really appreciated this question. It's not something people in relationships always think about—am I being considerate of the other person and their sleep needs. I really, really like going to bed early. Basically, I'm a grandma. Then again, Mr. Lemur often works till 10:00 at night and that's sometimes the only time we can talk on the phone, so it's a compromise in both directions. Usually I go to bed around 11:00 so I have a chance to talk with him without staying up too late.

What is she looking forward to the most?


The point of these questions was trying to know your partner better, and to be deliberate about learning more about each other every day. In the future, I won't sit down with Mr. Lemur and ask him fifty questions about his life—but I should be noticing things he does and asking him about things I don't understand.

Plus, I just thought it was fun to ask random questions! Including some I came up with myself, because I just want to have a good time with it! What about you? Are you doing any kind of premarital counseling—formal or informal? How do you keep learning about your partner?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Alterations Adventures

On Saturday I had my dress fitting and last night was my sisters' dress fittings! Talk about things getting exciting around here. This is kind of a random post but I wanted to recap those dress fittings.

In the beginning my grandmother had talked about doing the alterations to our dresses herself. (She made my aunt's dress from scratch back in the day!) As the wedding gets closer and closer, she was less sure about being able to work with the chiffon material and instead referred us to a lady from her church who specializes in altering and making formal wear—Jamie. After several phone and text conversations with Jamie, we set up a time and she texted me her address.

I promptly deleted the text conversation without writing down her address. Oops.

I didn't realize this until I got in the car after getting my hair cut to drive to her house, when I was already running late, of course. Genius that I am, I realized my grandmother had sent me the address, so I whipped out my email, plugged the address into iOS maps, and was on my way. Parked, rushed out of the car, got almost to the door—and realized I had forgotten my wedding dress in the car. Back to the car, grabbed the dress, walked up to the door, rang the doorbell...and a large tattooed man opened the door. I knew her husband was a deacon at my grandmother's church and a camp director, so I was slightly surprised—but hey, tattoos don't mean anything! So I asked for Jamie, and my heart sank when the guy said "Jamie? Jamie who?"

Back to the car and I embarrassingly texted Jamie "Uhh, what's your address again?" Now I was fifteen minutes late but fortunately she lives just five minutes from there. I arrived at the adorable ranch house they're remodeling and she welcomed me into her sewing room. Thankfully my dress zipped right up.

Personal photo

I am pretty sure if I would have had to fight with my dress to get the zipper up after the day I was having, I would have just burst into tears right there. As you can tell, it's a pretty loose and flowing dress, except for the band right below my chest. As long as I can ease the zipper over my rib cage, I'm good to go and the dress is perfectly comfortable.

Jamie quickly pinned the hem and top and assured me it would be done quickly. We also set up a time to have my sisters come back—so last night we headed out again. Fortunately I made it to the right house on the first try this time! I have a lot more candids of Sister E and Sister A since I wasn't the subject of this dress fitting. Granted, like I hashtagged on Instagram last night... #theydkillmeiftheyknewIwaspostingthese.

Personal photo / "The neckline really doesn't need to go down to my belly button. This isn't the Oscars."

This is them explaining to Jamie what needs to be altered. The dresses were slightly too big on each of them so the sides needed to be pinned and the straps brought in some so the tops weren't gaping on them.

Personal photo / "I'm thinking about wearing a grey belt!"

Personal photo / "I'm calmly levitating while you pin me!"

Actually, maybe that last one was Jamie making sure the sides were pinned correctly. We did get one cute picture though!

Personal photo / "Can we be done now?"

People often confuse which one of us is oldest. I commented on this to Jamie, and her reply was, "Wait, you're the oldest?" Even though the gap from Sister A to me is three years and Sister E is in between, something about their height and features apparently makes them look older. This happens all the time!

One last story from our overall very successful dress fittings. We were standing in the hallway talking, and Jamie was telling us about all the custom dresses she does. Last summer alone she did fourteen weddings—which included making from scratch fourteen wedding dresses and all of the bridal party dresses! Not only that, she has four kids ranging in age from 2 to 16. She's crazy!

How did everyone else's dress fittings go? Any interesting stories? Did you choose an individual seamstress or go through a store, like David's Bridal?

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Honey, you just look so young to be getting married!"

On Saturday I went to get my hair cut. The girl who cut my hair for the last four years graduated and I was in desperate need of a trim, so I chanced it with an unknown hairdresser. (I hate doing this!) I explained to her in great detail that I was getting married in a month and a half and really, really just wanted a trim. I'm practically begged her to only take a half inch off, dramatically praying the whole time she was cutting that I wouldn't somehow walk out of there with a pixie cut.

Well, she was a sweet older southern lady, and did a great job giving me a simple trim. During the haircut, we started chatting about weddings. I've found this happens pretty much every time I meet anyone new. Need something to talk about? I'm getting married! Instant conversation starter. At the end of the quick cut, I thanked her, paid and tipped, and turned to walk out when she paused, looked at me and said these words:

"Honey, you just look so young to be getting married."

And then it happened. I lied. I told her I was older than I am. 

(Let's ignore the fact that a lot of people don't even think I look 22, so there's no way I could pull off any older than that.) 

Why? I'm not sure. I think I wanted her to accept me as a bride even though I am well younger than the national average of 27. I wanted that look of pity on her face that I was getting married before I really lived to be replaced with respect. I didn't want to feel inferior to be getting married right out of graduate school or like my marriage was doomed to failure because of it. (I'm not sure if she was married or not, or whether that has anything to do with it.)

I actually never saw myself getting married at 22. I thought I would finish my masters degree, maybe go on to get a doctorate, get a job in a new city, and eventually find an great guy and settle down with him at age 28 or so. But then all of a sudden I found that guy in undergrad. Not much else has changed—I'm still thinking about getting my doctorate, I'm looking for that great job, and I'm moving to a new city. But now I get to share all these memories with my life partner, and since that's the case, why would I give that up to "live" a little first?

I'm disappointed in myself for lying to her about my age. I should have sucked it up, looked her in the face, and said "I'm lucky enough to have found the love of my life and to be getting married at 22!" 

Because I am.

To other young brides: Have you experienced any comments about your age? How have you responded? What about the older brides: How do you see those who get married young versus waiting? 

Friday, March 22, 2013

I Have to Decorate 4000 Square Feet

In contrast, my space in the tiny apartment I now live in is like 40 square feet. Or less. How much room does a bed, nightstand, and dresser take up? As for decorations... well, I propped up a frame on my nightstand. Does that count? Now all of a sudden I realized I have a huge room to decorate! When I look at all these gorgeous wedding pictures I feel like we're brushing over the hours they put into the decorations—and I don't even know where to start.

Well, I'm going to start here, with a few elements I plan on including. Our venue is essentially a blank space. Fortunately I think the high ceilings and glass doors lend themselves to less rather than more decorating.

1. Tissue Paper Poms

I've already made a few of these—they're currently decorating my 40 square feet by hanging in a row over my nightstand. They're easy to make, cheap, and pull in some color. The room has six sets of double glass doors with a glass panel on either side and above—here, let me show you a picture.

Can you see the glass doors and windows in this picture? I'm thinking about hanging a pom in each of the side glass panels—twelve total. I don't want to hide the view of the deck and woods, just add some color.

2. Bunting

Personal photo

Remember that I'll have approximately 150 feet of bunting to use anywhere in the building. I definitely want to drape about ten feet at the fireplace (more on that later), but I also will have plenty to drape along the stage and the welcome and food tables.

3. Fireplace

Oh, the fireplace. I'm so in love with it. Besides draping the bunting across, I want to throw a few books and our larger Scrabble tiles with out names on the mantel. I also want to use candles in the fireplace like in this picture. How cute are those? I plan on picking up eight or ten pillar candles of varying heights and arranging them in the fireplace for a little ambiance. Now I just hope our officiant doesn't step too far back during the ceremony.

4. Tables

On the tables we will have our crossword puzzle programs and I Spy sheets, neatly tied together with a coral ribbon at each place setting. To the left, we'll have three layered beverage napkins. (I'm thinking light yellow, light blue, and green for color.) The centerpieces will be our simple book stacks and Scrabble table letters. I'm so tempted to try to emulate Mrs. Treasure and include our cakes on each table—I'm planning on talking about it with my caterer when we finalize the menu!

I have a couple other ideas, but we'll save those for later! Anyone want to help me out with suggestions or modifications? How did you decorate?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Favors Debate

When we got engaged and started planning our wedding, one of the first things I thought about was favors. What would we offer our guests? There were so many ideas out there, and admittedly I pinned a lot of them. Here's a sampling of the ideas I thought were cute.

Image via / Photo by Gem Photo

Take home cookies! I love these. (Ok, I just love cookies.) There are plenty of options on the food theme—I also saw popcorn, candy, and honey options that I loved (among others).

Image via / Photo by Carlie Statsky

Image via / Photo by Craig Paulson Photography

Miss Camera also posted some awesome inspiration pictures for her s'more favors—can't wait to see how those work out! A lot of other ladies on here have done some neat things with favors, both edible and inedible. (I loved Mrs. Wallaby's test tube tea favors!)

For us, it came down to two factors: price and practicality. Even just two or three dollars a favor adds up when you have over a hundred guests—and we really didn't have much (any?) of a budget for favors!

We also didn't want this to be a waste for our guests, something they wouldn't use or wouldn't appreciate having. I went to a wedding over the summer where the bride carefully prepared over 150 little boxes of jelly beans that said "Thank you for be-an here with us!" and set them out for the guests. Unfortunately, hardly anyone took them! When we were helping to clean up afterward, there were over 100 left. I've seen similar things at other weddings—my cousin had enough bags of pretzels and chocolate-covered coffee beans to eat for months after his wedding!

I read this blog post and several others over at A Practical Wedding about favors. Here's my take on it: choosing to do favors is just that—a choice! You are not a bad bride if you decide not to give out favors. You are also not a bad bride if you do something simple like a handwritten note or something elaborate like homemade butter in a cute jar.

For us, our choice is not to do favors. Price-wise and practically, it's just not fitting into our wedding. I believe brides should not feel obligated to provide favors, nor should they feel guilty about their choice. What about you? Did you do favors? If you did, what did you do? (I love hearing about unique ideas!)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Make the Dreams Stop

I've always had crazy dreams—and I usually remember them in vivid detail when I wake up. For years I dreamed about the first day of school, complete with forgetting to wear pants, not being able to find my homeroom, and failing my math quiz. (Ahem, sometimes I still have those dreams.)

So should it be any surprise that after I got engaged I started having wedding dreams? At first the dreams were fun—in them we'd have a perfect wedding day with sunshine and happiness and getting married with all our family members surrounding us.

Then we got deeper and deeper into planning and the stress started to build, especially with Mr. Lemur 700 miles away. On top of that, I started my final semester of graduate school and the projects began to pile on.

Now the dreams are much less dreams than they are nightmares. Humor me and let me tell you about last night's dream...

We're getting married, but for some reason it's in a tiny room off of the main room, so we have hardly any room to walk around. We set up the tables, but I have no idea if anyone is coming since I got only 23 RSVPs. I'm panicking wondering if anyone will show up—but then the exact opposite happens and too many people come! The tiny room is packed and it's hot because we have the fireplaces on (for ambiance?). I didn't have time to finish tying together the place settings, so they're sitting in a pile by one of the fireplaces along with the rest of the decorations I worked so hard on. But it's ok—the wedding will go on! 

As we line up for the processional, I realize I never did my hair. It's pulled up in a lifeless ponytail, so I grab a curling iron and try to salvage it as the music starts and my sisters begin to walk in. Too late, the ceremony is beginning. Then it hits me—I never scheduled anything for the ceremony! Our officiant is there, but he has no idea what to say. I failed to ask anyone to do readings or sing, and I don't even know what to say for vows. 

At this point I wake up in a panic and see the clock: 5:40 AM. At this point my thoughts are racing and I can't fall back asleep. (I even text Mr. Lemur that exactly: "Awake at 5:40 AM and my thoughts are racing." He didn't wake up.) When I finally doze off again, I sleep fitfully until my alarm goes off. And my snooze alarm. And another snooze alarm...

This post really has no point except to ask: How do you deal with wedding nightmares? Has anyone been successful in stopping these crazy dreams that are robbing me of my sleep? The only thing I can come up with is being proactive and dealing with these issues. Tonight I plan on assembling my programs and finalizing the ceremony order. Maybe if I finish them in real life they won't haunt me in my dreams!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Pictures I Can't Wait to See

Warning: This post is very heavy on pictures. If you don't like gorgeous wedding photos, this post is probably not for you.

I've thought a lot about wedding pictures. In the beginning, we weren't sure if we'd be able to afford wedding photography at all. We talked about investing in a photo-sharing app or website and crowd-sourcing the wedding photography. I was... ok with this. We didn't have the option to spend $3000 on wedding photography but there weren't a lot of options under that—the cheapest I found in our area was $1500, which was still out of our budget.

Then we took our engagement photos with Niki and were super thrilled. She's an up-and-coming young photographer who we felt really comfortable with. She was also willing to work with us on price and schedule, so it was a done deal. We had a wedding photographer!

Now when I look at wedding blogs with the gorgeous photos I get super excited about seeing our pictures! I can't wait till these are our pictures from our wedding day.

All pictures from Niki Marie Photography.

The Getting Ready Pictures

A lot of these are black and white—I'm not sure why! Maybe I was just drawn to the black and white shots as I was looking through Niki's pictures.

The Walking Down the Aisle Pictures

Can you tell I'm obsessed with these? I think the dad and daughter shots are the sweetest thing. I'm so fortunate to have my dad to walk me down the aisle.

The Ceremony Pictures

I especially love the candids of guests at the ceremony. Those are moments I probably won't catch!

The Group Pictures

I really want that last one with each of my sisters. How precious is that? Oh, and can you tell I really love the laughing pictures?

The Reception Pictures

Have you gotten sick of wedding pictures now? I haven't, so I'll just go ahead and stare at these for a little longer dreaming of what my wedding pictures will look like...

How did you choose a wedding photographer? Were there any pictures on your must have list?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Stuff We're Skipping: the Bouquet Toss

Hive, I hate the bouquet toss. At every wedding I've been to I have avoided it like the plague. As an introverted person, the idea of having everyone's eyes on me while I hold a bouquet is terrifying. (Oh wait, that's what it's like to be a bride? Dang it.)

Image via / Photo by White Rabbit Studios

It actually got worse when I was dating/soon-to-be engaged. Then there was all this (self-perceived) pressure to catch the bouquet and then act cute and playful, like I was just waiting around for Mr. Lemur to pop the question. (We had talked about it. I knew when it was coming. It wasn't then—and catching the bouquet had nothing to do with it!)

Image via / Photo by Jenny DeMarco Photography

Mr. Lemur's brother's wedding was the worst. The wedding was done in a cowboy style, since both the bride and groom loved horses and the bride lived on a ranch. For the send-off/exit, Mr. Lemur's brother and his new wife rode a horse out of the corral. Halfway through the bride was to pause and throw her bouquet. 

I knew it was coming all day. I was dreading it. The time came and I hid myself behind family members—who then betrayed me and pushed me in front just in time for Mr. Lemur's now sister-in-law to chuck the bouquet at my head. (No hard feelings towards them—they were just following tradition!) I took a step back and the bouquet literally fell at my feet. Thank goodness for the eight-year old girl who swooped in to triumphantly grab it. She was thrilled to have a bouquet of beautiful flowers and be the center of attention. I was hiding in the back of the line again. 

Image via / Photo by Sarah Mattozzi Photography

I think you can tell by my attitude in this post that I'm not planning on doing a bouquet toss without me even saying it. Unless the unmarried girls at the wedding ask me to—which they might, but I kind of doubt it knowing who will be there! I do plan on handing off my bouquet to one of my close friends (if she is engaged at the time of the wedding) with a few words of thanks and appreciation for her love and support. (She doesn't read this blog, so I think I'm safe!)

Anyone else out there who avoids bouquet tosses? I have to have some sympathizers (introverted or not), right? Anyone not doing the bouquet toss either?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Stuff We're Skipping: the Somethings

You guys know the poem:

Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a sixpence in her shoe.

Most of the time brides just stick with the first four somethings: old, new, borrowed, and blue. A lot of our bee bloggers are doing this or have done this! Miss Armadillo talks about wearing her mother's veil as her something borrowed. Mrs. Doe wore a borrowed blue garter for both her something borrowed and her something blue. Mrs. Cauldron wore her mother's wedding ring and carried several charms with her on her wedding day for her something old (and borrowed!). The something new is usually the easiest—Mrs. Spaniel used her stunning dress and shoes.

Image via / Photo by Harwell Photography

I didn't think any of the bees had done this sixpence in the shoe thing, but check it out! I found at least three who have finished out the rhyme with a lucky sixpence: Mrs. Husky, Mrs. Labrador, and Mrs. Bird of Paradise. (Anyone else do this and I missed it in my blog search?)

Image via / Photo by Pat Moyer

If I really thought about this it would be pretty easy to do. I have plenty of new items, I'm borrowing a number of things (including possibly my grandmother's diamond necklace which would also be old!), and I'll probably have blue somewhere—although not on me. Do I have to wear it to count?

Anyway, the point of this post is that I'm not actually making it a priority to have each of these present on my wedding day. There's not an emotional connection for me—I'm more excited about including borrowed items (and many of them) naturally!

But, I love hearing about the ways other people are using this poem! What are your somethings? Anyone doing the sixpence in the shoe?

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Stuff We're Skipping: the Unity Candle

Yes, this is a blatant rip-off of Miss Otter's "The Stuff We're Skipping" series. I was going to come up with a clever name but... I'm not that clever. She wrote about choosing to forgo the programs, removing the garter, and the wedding website. I'm going to continue her awesome series and talk about two (or three) things that Mr. Lemur and I are skipping in our wedding.

I'm not sure how prevalent having a unity candle is in other cultures, but in the Protestant Christian culture it seems like every wedding has a unity candle. (I read somewhere that this is not true of Catholicism, but I don't know much about that! If anyone wants to comment and clarify, I'd love to hear about it.)

I assumed this was a hallowed tradition, you know, one of those Things You Have To Do. I was never a huge fan of the unity candle—the practice seems strange to me and it causes awkward moments where the candle doesn't light right away or it blows out.

Image via / Photo by Natalie Franke Photography

I think the unity candle does make for some really sweet moments. It's a symbol of support from the parents as their children get married and form their own families. Sometimes the lighting is accompanied by a song or reading by a friend or family member—this is special!

Image via / Photo by Evan Miller

I've also seen people do ceremonies with unity sand. Rather than light a candle, the two parties pour sand into a larger container at the same time. This solves the blowing the candle out problem—and might be cute for a beach wedding!

Image via

All of these ideas are sweet, but they're not for me. At first I thought I had to come up with something new and exciting if I wasn't going to do a unity candle—like somehow I was depriving my guests if they couldn't watch us light a candle together. Really though, the unity candle is just a tradition. The importance is the symbolism—which we're already showing by choosing to leave our families to form our own.

So no unity candle for us! What about you? Did you do something special?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Invitations Part IV

I promise, this is the last post. I do want to talk a little bit about the envelopes though. Sure, everyone is going to tear into the invitations and then completely disregard the envelopes, but this wedding fanatic blogger part of me rebelled against doing any old envelopes.

There was no way I was going to hand-write all the addresses:
  1. That's a lot of invites.
  2. I don't have gorgeous handwriting.
  3. That's a lot of invites.
Calligraphy wasn't an option for us because of cost, but I wanted to do something a little more special than printing them on a label and sticking them on. I didn't tell Mr. Lemur this until AFTER he bought labels and arranged all the addresses... I really am sorry about that one, babe.

I decided that I would print them out on a printer in a nice font and call it a day. Couldn't be too bad, right? And actually, it wasn't, but the set-up was a little tricky. First of all, my obsessive-compulsive mind wanted the fonts to match the invitation. Well that wasn't hard since the template listed the fonts—except they weren't standard fonts on my computer. 

Step one: Download the fonts and install them.
Step two: Ask Mr. Lemur to arrange all the addresses... again.
Step three: Print the envelopes. 

This is a mind-blowing tutorial, I know. Wait till you see the reveal pictures.

I'm actually very, very happy with them. I bought them from the same shop where my invites were printed, so the color and weight of the paper matches exactly—and they were only $0.10 each which is a plus! The colors are off in the picture but they're a nice ivory, and the words are printed in a dark grey. Printing them on my computer took about three hours on a Saturday afternoon, but I only ruined two in the printer! (Plus five or six more that were my fault for not double checking the addresses before I printed.)

We dropped our invites in the mail a few weeks ago and we've already gotten some online RSVPs which makes me so so happy! I'll keep you updated on how the online RSVP and guest list works out for us.

How did you address your envelopes? I've seen some really awesome tutorials for printing them and then lettering over it, but with 80 invites that was just way too much for this girl!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pros and Cons of a Short Engagement

Mr. Lemur and I will have been engaged for about seven months by the time we get married. Whether or not you consider that a short engagement (I actually think it's more like mid-length), it's definitely shorter than the average of about 15 months—apparently 40% of couples have a 13–18 month engagement. Mr. Lemur and I fall in the 27% of people who are engaged 7–12 months, but there's another 30% of people who have an engagement longer than a year and a half!

Before I go all statistics crazy on you guys (it's tempting), let's bring it back to what I actually want to talk about. Ahem.

To be honest, I had originally planned on having a longer engagement. Not long but average standards, but more in the 9–12 months range. This didn't happen because one, it took longer to get my ring than anticipated. (Hey, it was worth the wait!) And two, we ended up pushing the wedding date much closer to graduation than I had originally planned for a variety of reasons. Most importantly was that Mr. Lemur has family around the globe (Africa, Yap, and Utah, you guys!) and traveling was going to be both a major expense and logistics mess. So, we scheduled everything for the same weekend and decided to just go with it.

Personal photo / Hiking in Utah with Mr. Lemur & his younger brother—a beautiful state!

No, I don't regret it! But there are definitely pros and cons.


  • You'll experience less wedding burnout. Even though I've only been planning for five months, I already feel a good bit of "wow, can we just get this over with already?" I can't imagine how I would feel fifteen months into an engagement. 
  • There's a greater focus on what really matters. Sometimes I look at other projects and think "if I had more time, maybe I would attempt that..." Then I come back to my senses and realize that it's not only unnecessary, it doesn't even fit our personalities! Having a shorter engagement makes me prioritize what is really important. 
  • You don't have to wait (duh)! For those of you who are impatient (*cough* me), a short engagement means you get to move on past this stage in life to the next. I'm excited to no longer be in a long distance relationship and to actually live in the same city as Mr. Lemur.

Personal photo / I get bored of just words—so how about a mildly related family picture?

  • It can be really, really hard to find vendors. Do you guys remember my original venue post? I had a number of venues I really loved but were booked seven months in advance. I ended up with a venue that I love, but I do wish I would have had more time to choose. 
  • You'll have less time to do the important things. No, I don't mean doing calligraphy on 350 escort cards. I mean the really important things. For those who don't currently live with their significant others like me, this means finding an apartment, finishing school, hunting for a job, and oh—a gazillion other life decisions. 
  • There's more time to save. Whether you're paying for your wedding yourself or your family is helping you out, you'll have more time to set away money for your wedding. This might also mean you spend more, but that depends on the family!
Anyone want to add to my list? Did you have a long or short engagement? Regrets? Things you wish you had done differently?