Me and my wedding planner, Andrea Sherman.

With all the problems going on in the world – the debate over healthcare, the lack of jobs, ongoing tensions in the Middle East, the struggling economy, not to mention the struggles of my own friends and family – I feel rather self-indulgent planning a wedding right now.

There is some serious shit going on out there – and close to home too.

I have a cousin who just lost her husband; a friend lost her young son a few months ago; a pal who’s having financial troubles; and a bunch of girlfriends who continue to valiantly face the challenges of single motherhood everyday.

Life goes on, even when you’re newly engaged.  I still have bills to pay, I still rise at dawn to train clients and teach classes at Equinox, and I still must juggle my writing duties.  I have difficulties and disappointments, suffering and setbacks just like everyone else.  So I recognize that this little sliver of happiness I’m having right now is truly a gift, and I am grateful for every moment.

With that said, I have to admit that there’s nothing like planning a wedding to take your mind off the worries of the world.  Just so you know though, in between all the celebratory toasts, congratulatory tequila shots and resulting hangovers, I did realize the government had shut down a few weeks ago.

Thanks Congress!  Way to kill my engagement buzz!

So now that the government is back at work (for now), I must get to work too.   Among the tasks I have to accomplish: pick a date, find a dress, design an invitation, check out venues, pick my colors, get party favors, hire a photographer, book a hotel for our guests, and do it all in the next five minutes because apparently, as soon as you get engaged, the clock starts ticking.  Wait more than five minutes and you’re S.O.L.

The wedding planner hard at work.

The first thing I did was hire a wedding planner.  Not just any wedding planner, but the hardest working, most creative wedding planner you could ever ask for: Andrea Sherman,  I love this girl – she’s sweet, but tough as nails.  Vendors love her too, even when she’s breaking their balls.

Together, we’ve seen hotels, restaurants, rentable event spaces, and several country clubs – a few of which we got kicked out of for accidentally showing up in jeans.  To her credit though, she managed to smooth it all out and get us a red carpet welcome back.  She’s a wealth of information: from florists to photographers, from rabbis to seamstresses, Andrea is plugged-in and hooked up.

She gives me homework.  Even though I don’t understand half of what she asks me to do, here are a few typical assignments:

Andrea:          First, I want you to check out Etsy, they’ve got cute wedding tchotchkes.

I thought Etsy was an Italian luxury textile and fashion house…why is she sending me there for tchotchkes?

Andrea:          Then  check out Offbeat Bride, eWedding and Wedding Window.

Don’t know what they are, never heard of them, but if you say so.

Andrea:          Have you picked a color yet?

Finally, something I can answer with conviction!

Me:                  Brown.

There’s a pause.  I can sense her displeasure.  What? I look good in brown!

Andrea:          Go to The Knot, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

What the hell is the knot?      

I soon found out. is a jaw-dropping, eye-popping, mind-boggling online extravaganza of wedding crap.  Good crap, mind you.   You can shop, get ideas, advice, and find wedding resources of all kinds.  There’s so much stuff on this website, it’ll make your head spin, and then explode altogether.  And it’s totally addicting.  I logged on for a few minutes, and the next thing I knew, it was two hours later.

So as you can see, there’s a lot to do.  I have a wedding to plan and tchotchkes to buy…but not before I turn on the news first to see what kind of mischief our Congress is up to now.