Getting Married 101
I have recently developed a secret admiration for married people. Seriously, when I hear that someone is married I feel some sort of respect for the person. And then I want to ask them about a million questions on how they pulled through it all. You see, last summer I got engaged to fellow Team Pro Online member Andre Coimbra. Since then, questions that had never crossed my mind are part of my everyday life.
Unlike what you might think, this is not about finding the love of your life, remaining faithful, starting a family, or any of that. Sure all those subjects are extremely important and form the foundation of a wedding, but if you're about to get married then you have already given all of this some serious thought (or at least you should have). No, what I'm talking about here is... * drum roll* ...The wedding preparations!
What, you're not impressed? Well take a minute and think about it. You love each other and you have decided to get married. Now what? Where do you start from?
A couple of months after our engagement and after having decided that we wanted to get married during the next summer, I found out that a small exposition of wedding-related services would be held near our house. We went there and started going through the various stands. If I could describe the feeling I imagine it would be similar to what you feel when you go to a party and realize that you know nobody there. It was kind of awkward and not because the vendors weren't talking to us or trying to sell us stuff. On the contrary, we were getting so many offers it got overwhelming. It's just that I felt like they were part of some other world, different than mine.
Was €3 an expensive price for a wedding invitation or not? What did they mean when asking if we had decided what kind of performer we would like for the evening? And what was all that about trashing the dress while someone was taking photos? I barely had any time to think about what kind of wedding dress I'd like and we were already talking about tearing it apart!
Needless to say we left the exposition empty-handed and even more confused than we were before going. The only thing clear to me at that point was that we would have to hire a wedding planner. But unfortunately, there's only so much a wedding planner can do for you. Eventually you have to take things in your own hands (unless of course you're fine with having someone else organizing your entire wedding for you, which I'm not). So to give you an example, I'd get an e-mail from my wedding planner regarding photographers and then spend hours reviewing the work of the people she suggested, comparing prices and having meetings with them. Of course she saved me the time of doing the market research myself by presenting me with only a few choices, but it was always up to me to narrow it down to one.
I remember I had to spend so many hours in front of my computer doing that sort of stuff that every now and then I'd open a table of micro cash games and play NLHE. I guess players are not used to seeing PokerStars Pros at those stakes and cash games aren't my regular format either, so I'd often be asked "Did you bust?", "Are you quitting sngs?". My reply was always "Nope, just playing for fun". And I really meant it! But little did all those people know that while playing a few hands of poker I was going through a trillion photos of wedding dresses and deciding on table decorations!
People were trying to warn me that organizing a wedding is a lot of work, but I'd always shrug them off. Someone even told me that his wife described it as a full-time job and I guess it really is. But it's one of those things that unless you've been through you can't really understand. I could never imagine how many things needed to be done before I actually did them.
Anyway, now we're less than two months away from the big date and most things are organized. The church, the venue, the wedding invitations, the text on the invitations, the table decorations, the menu, the drinks, the photographer, the videographer, the wedding dress, the groom's suit, the cake, the flowers, the bridesmaids, the cocktail, the music, the transportation, the guests' hotel accommodation, the wedding favors, the bureaucracy... What, you're tired of reading? Then you just got a small idea of what it's like! Now tell me married people are not to be admired of for having survived all that!
What keeps me going is that at the bottom of this all, I'm getting married to the man I love. That and the fact that after all this preparation it's going to be a heck of a party! Plus, even if we get a bit tired now, there's a honeymoon trip right after to help us recharge our batteries. It's going to be awesome!
Katerina Malasidou is a member of Team PokerStars Pro Online. She's marrying fellow Team Onliner, Andre Coimbra.