Earlier this week, I had to attend a conference up in Tokyo. Work was kind enough to put us up at a local hotel, and pay for it, too. So, Melody arranged to have Tuesday off, and came up after work Monday to meet me. After I got back from my social event responsibilities (we met with our Japanese counterparts), we actually got to spend some time with one of our Hong Kong friends. Nicole, whom I met in Morocco back in 1999, and with whom we've kept in touch over the years, is here in town on business with her company. She and her long time boyfriend just got engaged, so we met up with her at our hotel for a nice, celebratory Japanese dinner. We had a great time catching up with her, since we've not seen her since Thanksgiving 2005. I headed off to bed early, as I'm fighting some sort of chest cold that's kept me in a perpetual state of near cough for the better part of a week. Melody and Nicole stayed, though, and chatted until nearly midnight.
In any case, congratulations, Nicole and Lok! We're really happy for you, and promise that we'll not give you too much unsolicited advice on your engagement! But, just in case, here is...
"Dave's Semi-Tongue in Cheek 10 Commandments For the Newly Engaged Man"
1. Remember...this is not your wedding. It's hers, and you are just as much an ornament as the flowers you pick. Just not as expensive.
2. Set a date quickly. Long enough to get everything ready, but not so long that before the big day you decide to hop a plane to Vegas because you're sick of all the preparations.
3. Decide how much you want to spend. Double it. Double it again.
4. Decide how you're going to pay for it. Try to half the time it will take to do so.
5. Don't ever say something like, "You know, honey...I really don't have a preference on what kind of (napkins, invitations, cake topper, etc.) we get. That, in the grand scheme of things, is what I would call a 'mouse t*rd." This, despite it's wittiness, is not what your bride will want to hear. Have an opinion, and allow yourself to be eventually swayed to her idea. See rule #1.
6. Suffer the advice givers. There will be many, because everyone remembers their wedding, and what a great time they had. They give advice because they want yours to be every bit as wonderful. But don't be afraid to say, "Thank you for your thoughts. We may consider something like that."
7. You can't invite everybody. You will forget people, and despite what you or your family think, they will still be your friends. If they aren't, then you probably wouldn't have invited them even if you remembered to do so.
8. At some point, it will just be easier for you to say, "Yes, Dear. Whatever you want," and write a check.
9. Remember, when the panic sets in at the 11th hour because (insert crisis here), everything will work out OK. The snow will melt, your best man will run home and pick up the ring, and the rental van company will answer the phone at 2 in the morning to field the latest change in seating arrangements. Not that I would know this from experience or anything...
10. Have fun. It truly will be the greatest day of your life!