By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Dawn's Column Wedding Belle Blues
Placeholder Image
As some of you may have noticed in my previous column, I slipped in a piece of personal information without too much fanfare. That is, that I am engaged. I'm not one to really share too much of my personal life in my columns because at work I'm about business.

However, several of my colleagues have been hounding me to write about my wedding plans but there are a couple reasons why I don't feel it's such great fodder for my column. For one, I like to keep my private life to myself; and for another, who really cares? But I'm going to take my best shot, if not for any other reason than to silence my coworkers.

Here's the deal: I don't have any stories to tell and really have nothing to write about my plans because I haven't been able to make any yet.

"So, let's talk about what's really important. Have you picked out a dress?" asked a coworker.

No, I haven't gone dress shopping. I haven't even cracked a bridal magazine.

"Oooh, Dawn, better hurry up with that," said one married girlfriend.

"Hey, you gotta come down here and shop for your dress," said another girlfriend in L.A.

There's this part of me that feels like I should just go dress shopping in the closets of my friends and family. Seriously, I'm really not sure when I'll have time to go dress shopping in the foreseeable future.

No, I haven't put an announcement in the paper. Wait, isn't this an announcement?

Let me put it this way: the only things I do have are a fiancé and a ring. That means I've met the minimum requirement for a wedding. Mainly, everything else hinges on this one thing... we haven't set the date.

I will confess that I am starting to feel anxious about this particular matter. I want to have an outdoor affair in the spring or very early summer of 2010. So, there are less than six calendar months to work with here. That wouldn't be quite as daunting if it weren't for the fact that the holidays are officially upon us. Plus there are some other limitations to consider like weather, a budget, many dates are already booked, and the fact that my guy wants to stay close to home.

October was a blur. Don't ask me what I was so busy doing, I just know that month was over in a blink. Well, we did get engaged in October, I had a birthday, and my brother got married. But that was only part of it. My fiancé has been traveling quite a bit and recently, we hosted Thanksgiving. Now it's time to decorate and shop for Christmas and attend those holiday get-togethers. Therefore, we've only been able to visit three venues so far. There's one more left to see. Those were all I could think of that fit our parameters. The biggest thing is figuring out the where, which will dictate the when.

One thing I know for sure is that this wedding date must be set before Christmas, or I can kiss any remaining spring/early summer dates goodbye, as lots of people get engaged at Christmas time.

Was there an engagement party? No. Maybe we can just declare some holiday party as our holiday engagement party. Food, drinks, and happy people all around. Actually, that's not a half-bad idea.

Another big factor is that my fiancé has two teenagers who are multi-sport athletes. The new sports season starts immediately after one is finished, and that means there's no down time. There are lots of games and practices between football, basketball, baseball and track. Plus, one of them is a senior and that means we have to plan our big date around his graduation, as we don't want to have either event upstaged or in conflict. Senior years are busy, if I recall. So is wedding season.

For these reasons, we've not been able to do our research quickly. You know, for as long as he's been my "significant other," I could've had this stuff done already. I could've had my colors selected, my flowers all picked out, settled on the place I wanted to have it, the dress chosen, a budget planned. Everything.

Yeah, that would've been good.

Now that he's proposed, I realize I have no clue about what exactly I want to do. I was never one of those girls who dreamed about my wedding day or pretended to be a bride when I was little. I made mud pies, rode horses, climbed haystacks, and taught my dog how to sit on top of his doghouse. The closest I ever came to playing mommy was pushing my cat around in a stroller made for baby dolls. I was a tomboy. Now, my lack of life-long planning for this day is coming back to bite me. I'm not really the type to run off to Vegas, although there is some appeal in that.

Really, my priority is the marriage, not the wedding, but I still want it to be a memorable, fun event. I just don't want its planning to take over my life.

I promise not to write too much about my pending nuptials. Unless there's some really crazy escapade or funny story to tell, I'll just keep the details to myself. Even then, I'll probably have to be prodded to write about it.

Dawn M. Henley is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.