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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Strube

Rush-order bride: the hurry up & wait phenom of womenhood

I’ve always been a big believer in the short. I’m 5’2”. I’m quick. And I believe the best things come in small packages.

I’m also a New Yorker by soul – so please be brief, don’t bore me, and keep me entertained. I learned to ski by falling down a mountain, and I don’t read directions on Ikea packages. I jump in. Traffic is my bane because if a 5-minute tasks takes 6, I’m annoyed. The same goes with engagements. After all, if we have come this far and he has asked the “Will you” and I have screamed the “yes,” then what are we really lingering for?

Apparently, a lot.

My fiancé and I recently got engaged. We took the first month to bathe in the accomplishment of the “yes.” We had become mini-adults. We had conquered 8 months of pre-commitment counseling. We had done the hard work processing “wants” and “needs” and towel colors and politics and why he can be so organized (and not see the dirt on the floor) and how I can swiffer for hours (and not put away my 12 water bottles stacked around the living room.) We had spent 3.5 years merging families and weekends that, post-engagement, we thought we could just lay on the ground in bliss, awaiting the big day to come.

And than, I downloaded the Knot app.

It’s cute and fancy and has the Tiffany’s box color and this darling little button that says “Timeline.” And when you press it, up pops a dastardly adorable heart-shaped clock where you enter “the big date” and up pops a countdown, so you can watch the seconds of your life drizzle away as you await matrimonial ecstacy.

And then, it pops up a list of 473 things you have to do.

12-18 months before your wedding: choose a venue, save wedding dress photos, start a favorites board, start guest list, research wedding planners, create budget, send engagement announcements, research officiants, make a fitness plan, make a beauty plan, insure your ring.

But wait – What if we still don’t even have a ring? Can I insure my finger? I know a great finger….

Then I paused and laughed. I’m surely not one of THOSE people who need a year and a half to truly figure out marriage, so I scrolled down to the five month timeline…Which popped up the 473 things I should have already done. And now will all be charged extra for due to rush order.

But it’s okay – I am a bride: smiley face, heart, and cue more sickingly sweet emoticons.

And then I learned the dark truths of engagements. When I said YES, I thought I was signing up for a MARRIAGE. 

But really, I signed up to EVENT PLAN.

See, I made the silly mistake of thinking engagements were about solidifying the relationship before you make your vows. How simply sweet frosting silly of me. Cue more emoticons with pastries and ponies.

No, engagements are about party planning — which take a freaking lot of time.

My fiancé? He LOVES to plan. Research is his favorite thing. He should buy stock in Excel. He once spent a Saturday googling where to buy the cheapest almonds and made a spreadsheet about the nuts (it’s Wholefoods BTW). When we returned from our engagement trip, he got out a whiteboard and, while drooling over the scent of the dry erase markers, began a brainstorm web on the essence of our wedding. While his whiteboards fetish is one of the many reasons I love him, I also wanted to take the pink marker and draw a veil on his head,  asking what color tux I should dawn for the wedding.

Currently, I want a refund on my womanhood. Somewhere someone is screaming to all young women everywhere – WAIT WAIT WAIT! Wait to find the right guy, wait until said “right guy” leaves his Peter Pan stage and becomes a real man, wait to do the deed (I wrote a book on that one… Yup. Check Amazon), wait to get engaged until you are ready, wait to have a baby until your career is crisp.

And then, suddenly, one day you download the Knot app and it all flips.

Wait turns to Rush.

Rush order your gown. Book a venue two years out. Hurry up and get married before you get crow’s feet and you better have a baby before all your eggs fry, girl.

Oooh, jump on it.

There’s no predicting this 180. There’s no billboards 30 miles out to let you know of the pending exit. No – you spent your whole life learning patience and then one afternoon in your thirties, someone flips the switch. In comes the Knot app, and your life will feel BEHIND.

Maybe short engagements are easy for brides who’ve dreamed of their wedding day since grade school recess. In fact, I spoke with one venue that was booked three years out… and the bride-to-be did not even have a partner. Maybe there’s a whole rent-a-groom industry waiting to be tapped, but I’m sorry: I dreamed of a partner, not appetizer platters.

Yet in all things, eat cake.  Rather than whine, I will embrace the psychosis. I will buy a cape and make speed my motto and make my own mug:

I – who don’t plan parties. I – the child who at age 6 asked my mom when all the children would leave from my own party (as I couldn’t wait for the hoopla to end so I could cuddle my cat), yes –  I WILL become a rushed wedding planning goddess. Watch me. I’ll document the insanity of the process if you vow to read along and fly with me. In fact, grab your crown now.

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