An “edible vessel” is like, a bread bowl or maybe, a strawberry stuffed with
cheesecake filling. This is the kind of stuff you need to know if you’re getting
married. I learned all this and more in my “Planning Your Wedding” Dabble class on
Tuesday night.

Class met at Art of Imagination, an event planning boutique in the west loop. Our
instructor was Anthony, a 12-year event planning vet and first time Dabble teacher,
who told us he wanted class to be more of a conversation than lecture. No one took
issue with this. We had questions, concerns, and he had 12 years of working the
front lines. The amount of brides he’s saved from epic meltdown status is countless.
*Anthony could have his own TLC show, he’s THAT good.

So, I am not getting married. Sorry, friends and family who thought I’d use a blog
post to announce my engagement. I am not that lame or un-feeling. I’ll leave you a
voicemail when the time comes. But who really cares about me when it’s my mom
that’s getting married! Before you say, “what a good daughter she is,” know that I
watch an exorbitant amount of wedding themed reality TV and I was dying to meet a
real life bridezilla.

Sadly, all the chicks I met were down to earth and honest about what they
didn’t know. One girl asked what a “vendor meal” was. THANK GOD. I was too
embarrassed to admit I didn’t know you had to get the photographer and DJ and
wedding planner a meal at your wedding. Who thinks of that stuff? Anthony,
founder of Liven It Up Events, does. And maybe you should too if you’re into
wedding etiquette. Just don’t get overwhelmed.

There is no way to not be overwhelmed planning a wedding. Even if you hire a
wedding planner you’re still going to stress over how much the planner costs. But,
if you decide to fork over a grand or two, you’ll get someone to tell you that, “chairs
and linens are what people base their first impressions on. No one remembers much
else after that. Also, don’t run out of booze.” A wedding planner will also be your
Edwin McCain, that is, “your crying shoulder,” your emergency shoe cobbler and
officiant (Anthony was ordained. He really does it all.)

The next day I called my mom up and read her all my notes. I told her my thoughts
on cake (is it really worth all the hype?) and tipping (the head waiter is called a
“captain” and it’s good etiquette to tip him.) She told me she’d like a Natalie Cole
song played and that we were spending too much time talking about aisle runners.

I’m happy I could do this for her and that when her special day arrives I’ll be her
rock or sobbing into a bread bowl. It’s a wedding, afterall. No matter how prepared
you think you are, all bets are off.

*One of the weddings Anthony planned was featured on and won TLC’s Four
Weddings, which is like the never-ending Super Bowl of weddings. It airs for
roughly 8 hours every Saturday.

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Ali Kelley is a 20-something trying to figure out her life one Dabble at a time. Be sure to check back each Wednesday to see her newest Dabble class adventure, and cheer her on with words of encouragement through the comments section below or on Twitter @freegiantparty..