Wedding Planning 101

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Now I know what God uses to teach love, joy, peace, patience and the other fruits of the spirit.

Wedding planning.

As the clock approaches nine-and onehalf weeks before Stephanie and I say, &uot;I do,&uot; we’re still trying to finalize wedding plans.

Okay, finalize is a little over the top. I’m behind.

First, let me make excuses for the procrastination. (It’s my column. I can make excuses.)

We officially engaged Christmas Eve night, sometime around 9 p.m. That gave us six months and one day to make wedding plans.

But during that time, I changed jobs, moved north and completed comps. That has left about two minutes and 14 seconds since Dec. 24 to plan the wedding.

Fortunately, my beautiful bride-to-be Stephanie, her mother and my mother are on top of things. Stephanie and my mom have particularly done an excellent job of reminding me what needs to be done before the wedding.

Anyway, here’s my groom’s checklist:

* Groomsmen/best man: Check. Dad is the best man, and two of my high school friends will serve as groomsmen.

We’ll also have two junior groomsmen – Stephanie’s son, Jonathon, and his cousin Ryan. That should work out well. So far, so good.

* Tuxedos: Not bad, but not great. This has been the biggest challenge thus far.

Two weekends ago, Steph and I visited four different stores, including Tuxedos-R-Us. (Note to other future grooms: Pick out tuxes earlier than yours truly, and certainly don’t go in the midst of prom season.)

Anyway, there was almost an emergency. Steph’s bridesmaids are wearing periwinkle dresses, and I’m not going to ask my groomsmen to wear a color named after a cartoon moose. But after some negotiation, she allowed me to call the color &uot;Tarheel Blue.&uot; Phew. The tuxes will be picked out by next week.

Anyway, I’m thinking about a purple or yellow tux – similar to those colored suits Matthew Lesko (the &uot;free money&uot; dude on TV) wears.

* Music: Since Stephanie and I make a great team, we’re working on music together.

A couple of mutual friends from church have agreed to help, which is really cool. I’m also lobbying to have the music from the Masters golf tournament play softly before the ceremony. Stephanie has agreed – I think.

On a side note, here’s some kudos to my sweetheart. She was nice enough to let me listen to the Masters on the radio, while we were driving from tux shop to tux shop. She even does a mean imitation of the on-air commentator who whispered the whole time. (&uot;Augusta National is awe-inspiring, Tiger has the eye of the tiger, yada, yada, yada.&uot;)

* Guest list: I was supposed to have that finished about four weeks ago. Oops. We’ll, that’s okay. You’re all invited. So are Ross Perot, Bill Gates and anyone else who is ridiculously wealthy.

* Honeymoon: I made reservations last week for a beautiful resort in the Carolina mountains. Otherwise, Patrick would be DOA at KOA.

* Groom’s cake: Hmmm … chocolate cake is good, but how about blueberry cobbler with some homemade vanilla ice cream? Better yet, let’s hold the reception at either Bruster’s or Krispy Kreme.

* Marriage license: This is Alabama. Do we need one?

* Colors: Stephanie told me what our colors were the other day, but honestly, I forgot. I know they’re pretty – just like her! (How’s that for a line.)

I’m sure there are other things to worry about, but for now this is a good start.

In the meantime, there’s a book out that merits reading.

&uot;Wedding Planning for Dummies.&uot;

It’s like the book was written just for me.

Patrick Johnston is a staff writer at the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at