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Maia Nolan-Partnow

Neither Seth nor I has ever gotten married before, so we were sort of flying blind when it came to having an idea of how much money we should be spending on various elements of our event. We were fortunate enough -- thanks to our own financial circumstances and the generosity of our parents -- to have a good-sized budget, and using a couple of tools (including TheKnot.com’s wedding budget worksheet and a spreadsheet generated by our wedding coordinators), we were able to figure out roughly how we should be parceling out that money. We overspent in a handful of areas, saved money in a few others, came in right on target for a couple more -- and still managed to come in over budget...

Maia Nolan-Partnow

The creative vision for our wedding started with an inspiration board and ended with a massive sigh of relief when, the day before our wedding, I handed off all our decorations to our wedding coordinators and walked away content in the knowledge that they were someone else’s problem now. Along the way, I burned myself many times on my glue gun, replaced my Cricut blade twice, grew to hate the silk-floral scent of the local chain craft store, and suffered at least two papercuts so deep I was sure I’d hit bone...

Maia Nolan-Partnow

I’m exhausted. I’m so tired I can barely see straight. I feel like I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks (perhaps because I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks). The other day, I tried to have a snack of chips and salsa, but had to give up because I was too tired to lift the chips from the salsa jar to my mouth.

Oh, also, as of 7 p.m. Saturday evening -- I'm married.

I’m still processing the weekend, which seemed endless at times and was, at the same time, over far too quickly. It seems like only yesterday we were still trying to figure out where everyone would sit, and today we’re on our fourth day of gazing, shell-shocked, at our rings and getting used to using the words “husband” and “wife.”...

Maia Nolan-Partnow
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Scenes from the much anticipated July 2 wedding of Maia Nolan (now Maia Nolan-Partnow, thank you very much).

Maia Nolan-Partnow

Here's the good news about the week before you get married: Your car is really clean. Like, really clean. Cleaner than it's been since that first year of grad school when you had no life and spent every Saturday detailing your car and taking your dog hiking. In fact, in the process of cleaning your car, you'll break off two of the fingernails you've been carefully cultivating since May, and one of them will be on your left hand, which everyone will be looking at during the wedding weekend to see your rings, and you won't even care that much, because your car is so clean.

("Can't you get a falsie?" Seth asked when I showed him my broken thumbnail. "You're allowed to have a falsie at your wedding. I won't tell.")...

Maia Nolan-Partnow

When my friends Karl and Melanie got married a few years ago, they entered their reception to a dramatic, choreographed tango staged on a dance floor in front of the picture windows overlooking the pond at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. It was spectacular and totally them.

(As an aside, I caught the bouquet at that wedding. And look -- just five years later, I am getting married! Never let anyone tell you that’s a silly superstition.)...

Maia Nolan-Partnow

I have one free weekend left to finish everything I need to get done before my wedding. And look! I’m still walking and talking and typing, just like a real live person.

OK, well, to tell you the truth, last night I drank four Champagne cocktails , ate half a loaf of French bread and then lay awake most of the night, but I think that was just because I was worked up about a deadline coming up this week for a work project. At least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself...

Maia Nolan-Partnow

Our wedding is weeks away, which means Seth and I occasionally look at one another and say things like “We’re getting married next month!” And then we beam for a while. It’s revolting, so it’s good that we do it when no one else is around...

Maia Nolan-Partnow

Today is the respond-by date indicated on our wedding invitations. We’re still waiting to hear from about 40 percent of our guests. I see a long weekend of phone calls in my future.

Receiving RSVPs has been what I might -- were I a less creative writer -- refer to as “an emotional roller coaster” out of laziness and a desire to use a popular, easy-to-understand metaphor in the interest of communicating the sentiment quickly and moving on to the meat of the story, which is that it turns out I’m much more invested than I thought I would be in who is going to be able to attend our wedding...

Maia Nolan-Partnow

I’ve had a couple of careers besides writing, most notably as a paralegal and as a summer camp administrator. A big part of what made me successful in those fields -- and made me enjoy them -- was my love for spreadsheets.

I don’t think I can really explain how much I love spreadsheets. But I will try...

Maia Nolan-Partnow

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