Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dear Brides-To-Be, your wedding day is important but not that important.

First of all, don't get fooled by the title. Keep reading.

Second of all, this post goes out to all prospective brides and grooms out there (the brides-to-be, particularly). Preparing the big day is both exciting and tiresome, especially if you take care of the whole thing. And yes, it's both possible and impossible to take care of literally the WHOLE thing. And if you happen to be a bride-to-be who's preparing a small, intimate, on-budget wedding without any help of wedding organizer nor any other kind of organizer, with some help from your close ones, and your husband-to-be happens to be out of town (or out of country) and cannot physically be there for you most of the times, then.. *pat in the back* I feel you, sister.

We (my husband and I) just survived the wedding thingy almost four months ago. Although it was exciting to welcome our big day (and above it, our marriage life), our wedding preparation also involved tears and drama. My husband-to-be (now my husband, and I can call him "husband" for thousands of time and still get excited about that - yay, newlyweds!) was working out of the country and cannot be there for me most of the times (not physically - yes spiritually), and from the very beginning we decided not to hire any wedding organizer and such (mostly, to cut the budget). So, using some skills learned and experienced shared during my good old days working as an event (mostly wedding) decorator and some helps from closest ones, I took care of the preparation and details.

FYI, I'm such a perfectionist and details oriented, so you can imagine how the preparation went on. My friends constantly reminded me not to be such a Bridezilla. Now, let me tell you: there's no such thing as Bridezilla. It's your wedding day, your once-in-a-lifetime moment; you have every right to want it to be perfect! That's not fair to compare your bride-to-be mode to any kind of fictional giant creature which randomly wanders around the city and destroys everything.

There's no such thing as Bridezilla, but perhaps, you can be the overthinking and overstressed one - BUT you don't have to be one! I tell you why: just like any other day, you will get through it. Also, because I'm here to share some things you might want to know about preparing the big day (based on my own experience), either you are about to do it or you are in the middle of it. Those things are important, yet not that important to stress you out. So my brides-to-be and survived brides, let's hold hands and tell ourselves we are strong, we are young, heartache to heartache we stand, no promises, no demands, love is a battlefield! (Benatar, 1983)

1. Money is important but not that important.
Of course, you need money to pay for everything, but really, contrary to what Meja said, it's not all about the money. This one happens especially here in Indonesia: some people are still holding back from taking the plunge and getting married because they think getting married is expensive. Yes, we have to be realistic, but if "getting married" here means THE wedding party, I will say, cut the crap. You can even have a million bucks and just have a small holy matrimony attended by your parents only and legally get married. Getting married is not about the party; it's about something bigger that awaits you. Besides, here's some secret, don't worry about the money because, believe it or not, when there's a will there's a way, and yes it applies to your wedding preparation, too. Been there done that.

2. Staying on budget is important but not that important.
So what I'm trying to say is that stay true to what you can afford, but still be open to any unexpected spending and don't be stressed out because of it. What if I tell you: if you can stay on your planned spreadsheet, that's good, but it's okay and common if you go a little bit over budget. My wedding was a bit over budget and I spent more than I had planned on catering, decoration, and entertainment. I don't regret it at all. The most important thing is that you don't pass your limitation. Also, you sincerely think it's worth it. That's all. Plus, you'll find some areas will cost less than they're expected. Therefore, it's important to do some actual research and, of course, the markup! Yes, I know you have so many homeworks to do, but you can do it! *superhug*

3. Sticking to the plan is important but not that important.
Maybe you have a dream wedding. Maybe it is a small wedding with only 100 guests max in all-white. However, your parents need to invite their friends, their friends' friends, their friends' friends' friends, and everyone in the neighborhood. Plus, they hate white. Don't freak out, don't stress out. Along the way, you'll be surprised that you can actually adjust to many things. The magic word is to compromise. Perhaps you can go with 300 guests, but you still want the white because it's your color. Or perhaps you can go with colorful, but you want to stick with your guest list. That's just an example, though. I'm not suggesting you to give up everything you love for your wedding. It's your wedding and you deserve to have everything based on your preference. It's just, some things are not important to fight over, especially when it makes you stressed or even worse, think of canceling the whole thing. It's like, you can have your dream wedding dress and nobody can tell you it's not a nice dress, but maybe you can let your bridesmaids choose theirs. Yeah, that stuff.

4. Taking care of and knowing all the details is important but not that important.
As I said before, we didn't hire any wedding organizer and such. Thus, we (okay, mostly I) took care of everything including the teeny tiny detail. We were pretty lucky that it was a simple party. I can't imagine, though, if it was a big one. It's okay to know (and want to) handle the details of your own wedding. I mean, again, it's YOUR wedding. You want to be involved. You want to make sure you love it. But then again, you only have two hands, two feet, and limited time. Sometimes you just need to know the idea and leave the detail to your trusted ones. Yes, having those (family or close friends) that you can trust is really important. Make sure they get what you want and what you like. Trust me, on the d-day you won't care about the damn table cloth nor where your decorator put the vases. On our wedding day, our photo backdrop came right when the party was over, and we were like "whatever". We didn't have time to really think about the detail because there were many more important things, such as the wedding vow.

5. Staying away from the drama is important, I mean, really really important. But not that important.
I have a mixed feeling about this one. Yes, staying away from the drama is REALLY important. As someone who has survived, I can say that putting too much energy and emotion to this is not that important. However, as the one who has been through this, I can say that I feel you, ladies (and maybe gentlemen)! *pat in the back* I mean, if you want to cry, just cry, seriously, just CRY! I think it's also "normal" if you become more sensitive than ever. For heaven's sake, you are preparing your once-in-a-lifetime day! Just know your limit. You deserve to be a "queen", but not that "drama queen". If you have something in mind or if you find something annoys you, communicate it with your spouse or your closest ones. Let them help. It's your day, but don't refuse any helping hand.

6. Having second opinions is important but not that important.
So sometimes you're not sure about your dress. Sometimes you're not sure about your catering menu. Sometimes you're not sure about the music. Having second opinions from others is important to help you consider your choices, but really not that important. I know (because I often do this) that sometimes you already know exactly what you want and want others to support your decision. However, sometimes it doesn't turn out well: the other person has a totally different opinion and it stresses you (which doesn't have to, but hey, look at point 5). If you're in this position (just want to reassure your choice), talk to those who has the same taste with you. Or those who you know will support you. Yes, you must have that one person (I mean, come on, you are going to marry him)

7. Sharing things with your husband-to-be is important. NO BUTS.
Maybe not all, but most brides-to-be I know have the same complaint: their husband-to-be doesn't really care about this, and by this, I mean the colors, the details, the flowers, the foods.... Well, I will say: no, ladies, you're wrong. They do care, but maybe not as deep as you. And they did it mostly because they trust your taste. My husband didn't really concern about the details because he trusted me. He knew I could pick the best one. Also, the fact that he was miles away and I was the one who can communicate well with my vendors was also why. However, it didn't mean that I left him and let him come to our wedding not knowing anything. There, ladies, it's important to still ask their opinion, to make sure they know what's going on. Maybe it's easier to ask your bridesmaids because, well, I know. But never desert your husband-to-be. It's your day -- his day, too. Trust me, he DOES care.

Preparing your wedding day is sometimes so tiresome that at some point you just want to fast forward to the day. I say, just enjoy it. At some point, especially if you prepare things by yourself, you will miss those days (and that privilege to shop! Yes, that's the best part). Just know your limit and don't push yourself too hard. Of course it's important, it's your wedding day, but it's just a tiny little part of the whole picture: the marriage life itself.

Enjoy and good luck!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hello, Goodbye.. Till we meet again.

Here I am again, going through the graduation goggle. You know, the thing when you are about to leave someone/something/someplace and suddenly everything about them/it is so nice; you think nothing's so bad should keep you away from them. I've been through so many graduation goggles, and I guess this one is not just an ordinary 'graduation goggle'.

I'm in the midst of wedding preparation. In fact, I'm getting married in less than 2 weeks! Yes! I'm going to move out of this place, this town, this country after I get married, following my husband (it's still weird using the word 'husband', oh how time flies) who's working abroad. That also means that I have to resign from my current job, which I just did because today was my very last day working (Just to remind you, I'm working at an English course.. well, used to..) That also means that I'm on a hiatus in teaching stuff and thingy till I don't know when.

I said goodbye to my classes, including ones I've been teaching for a year; right from the very beginning. In EF (yup, English First, finally mentioned the name), I rarely teach the same class for a long period of time. After one term, things can happen. Either the students don't continue studying because of this and that or they move to another class because the schedule doesn't fit them anymore... or because there are new classes and the course consultants should arrange the schedule which can fit the teachers' schedule (like solving puzzles) and so on so on. Among all of the classes I teach (yes, let's just use a present tense), there are two classes that I've been teaching forever (as long as I teach there). One is a class of ten junior high students and the other is a class of four elementary kids (we call them the little rascals, because, well, you guess. But they're one of my favorite. Smart and wonderful little rascals.)

Yesterday was the last time teaching the junior high kids and today was the last time teaching the elementary kids. These past two days, I'm constantly reminded that, well, I will no longer teach them :( yesterday, my junior high kids gave me a little farewell surprise involving a sweet note, flower, pictures of us, chocolates, cake, and candles. As their teacher, I've never even expected it. I know we had good times together; me being a *cough* cool *cough* teacher yet (kinda) strict sometimes when they're out of boundaries, and them being energic-sometimes-annoying-but-mostly-fun-and-motivated teenagers. Still, I've never expected the togetherness has grown in us. I'm proud of them; I'm proud of myself. (At least, you've been a good teacher, Sekar *pat in the back*)

As for today, I had some photo sessions with the little rascals, which was fun. I did ask one of the students who (sort of) had the most fight with me during our learning sessions over the past year because of this and that (a 9-year-old boy, I won't be surprised :p) whether he would be happy due to my leaving. He said, "I'm not happy, Miss. Other teachers cannot play ukulele." I laughed. This one boy loves singing and music so much. Yes, I once did a lets-sing-along-song session. I gave them the lyric of Sound of Music's Do-Re-Mi and brought my ukelele to the class. I played the ukulele, they sang the song.. It was the most relaxing learning session for me as the teacher and for them too. I'm gonna miss the moment. I'm gonna miss the kids, too *ah this stupid little thing in my eyes :'(

There are also some classes I'm just about to get close to. Today I had a great time with my last class of the day, sharing things with them. They are three senior high students with lots of story about school life, friendship, and love. Wish I could stay longer to know them better.

And EF in general.. sure I'm gonna miss everything. The teaching job there isn't a 9-to-5 job, but it feels like it. No, I'm not talking about the loads and stuff. I'm talking about the experienced shared, the good times had, the friendship made, and the bonds created. I'm gonna miss the random chit-chat in the teacher room, gonna miss the light to heavy convos with the ccs at the front desk, gonna miss rushing to the 2nd floor because I'm almost late, gonna miss grading and filling in the endless progress reports... there's just a lot to be missed. It's not about leaving a workplace and co-workers. It even didn't feel like working, I guess. It felt like playing with the kids, sharing things with friends, having good times.

I remember a year ago, I walked to that place for the sake of new experience and killing times while finishing my last semester of college. Today I walked out of that place proudly because I've learned a lot, I've done many things I thought I'd never do, I've discovered my passion, and I've found a new family.

Hope to see them again

*p.s and I miss teaching already. But yeah, let's focus on the wedding and moving out thingy first..so excited! Gonna share it on the next post, sooner or later.