When Will Two Become One?


So, I’ve been with Anthony for 14 years; engaged for 4.

When he proposed, I was thrilled. Excited. Stoked as fuck to know that, “Yes! My time has come.” I was on my way to become a Mrs. I was finally going to get married!

Random story – years ago (before our engagement), I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook. It was right after New Years, so you know – I was reading through everyone’s “New year, new me” bullshit. Mine included. Everyone had their goals in place: to eat healthier, to lose weight, to not cuss so much. Sounds like the same list I draft up every year, and every year, I fall off. It’s alright. I’ve come to terms with it. I love fattening food, I’ve gained back a lot of the weight I lost, and cussing is a part of my DNA. For real. Shit’s not going to change. End. Of. Story.

So yeah, back to what I was talking about… I was scrolling through my news feed, liking everyone’s posts. A friend of mine announced that her man popped the question, with her ring displayed beautifully. It was one of those, “Finally!” posts. It was inevitable – they were each other’s “lobsters.” Huge congratulations were in order.

A couple swipes up, and another engagement was announced. And another. And another. I kid you not, there were literally seven engagements announced that day.

What in the actual fuck?

Yeah, I got salty.

I was happy for everyone, but downright pissed off with what was going on at home.

A whole slew of emotions ran through me. Disappointment. Rage. Resentment. Anger. Sadness. Embarrassment. Confusion. Defeat.

All day, I played the silent treatment – it’s what I’m good at. He would ask what was wrong, and I’d say “nothing.” I would storm around the house slamming doors, kitchen cabinets, drawers, and again, he would ask what was wrong, and I would say “nothing.” I was a fucking volcano, brewing underneath the surface, about to go off at a moment’s notice. Everything about him pissed me off.

The genius that he is… he asked me once more. “WHAT IS WRONG?”


Every ugly reaction you can think of, I did. A hideous Kim Kardashian cry belted out, along with a [insert deep breath, cause the following comes out as one big blubbery run-on sentence while sobbing], “What the fuck are we doing?! Why aren’t we married yet?! Do you not want to marry me?! Is your intention never to get married?! Cause if so, we need to cut the shit right now and quit wasting each other’s time!”

Holy hell.

I broke down.

After he calmed my crazy ass down, and I had time to reflect on wtf just happened, I had a pep talk with myself.

Fast-forward to present time. Like, let’s talk about how stressful wedding planning is. Let’s talk about it, because I have had nothing but anxiety and doubt that I can even pull it off. Thinking of the location, dress, venue, reception, flowers, decor… on and on and on. It’s a lot of money. Five years ago, I would have been okay with it, but these days… I’d rather spend that money on a house. I have friends who had gorgeous weddings and budgeted accordingly, but did everything themselves. Even though their weddings turned out perfect, each and every one of them said they were stressed beyond belief. I don’t know if I want that.

It’s funny, when I Googled “the wedding industry”, the first search phrase populated was, the wedding industry is a racket. Hahaha! Not even kidding. Try it! The wedding industry generates over $60 billion annually, with the average wedding costing anywhere from $30k-$40k. (PAUSE) Huh?

I remember watching an episode of Bridezilla, and this chick told her fiance that if he didn’t take out a second mortgage to finance their wedding, she would call it off. Umm, WHAT? What is it about weddings that brings the ugliness out of some people.

Truly thinking that a quick courthouse union, topped with a sweet vacation somewhere will suffice.

Got any suggestions when it comes to wedding planning? I’ve got lots of booze to keep me sane as I stress over the details. Your girl is good in that department.



  1. Girl… I feel yah!! Mike proposed after a year but it was after 10 years more before we actually were married …. I had “conditions” lol I wanted my life to be at a certain point before we actually set a date. It took 10 years but it finally happened. We were married on our 11th year anniversary ☺️

    We did do everything ourselves … saving was hard. Especially with my first bout with cancer. So… we went with simple, rustic and easy to do ourselves… PINTEREST was my best friend!!! I had a bridal party, but really only needed them at the end when it was time to do favors and such. Kathleen and I did everything ourselves. She came over 2-3 times a week and we would do little things… I spent maybe a total of about 11k but got about $6500 back in gifts. The most”sane” thing I could do about it was to take my time. We started planning over a year ahead of time. So the expenses were spread out in a years time. With a couple bonuses, dividends and tax returns in that time, we didn’t have to throw any wrenches into our normal every day expenses. It also helps to know people!! The people who cooked our food were old family friends. Alice and Eileen made the cake. We got a good deal on the kegs. And lots of friends to help set up and clean.
    It’s supposed to be a memorable day… but it’s not the decor or how fancy the favors are that make it memorable… it’s memorable because it’s the day that “two people become one.” You get to marry your love!! FINALLY!! Lol

    • Thank you for your input, Rissa. Your wedding turned out so beautiful! I remember it like it was yesterday. I loved it so much, I bought the mason jars from you. Haha!

      Yes, spreading out the cost over time definitely helped, I’m sure. You’ve given me hope. <3

  2. Keep it simple Mesiah! Goodness, Eric and I really just did because both of our parents were all about it because were so simple and was ok eloping in Vegas! Ha! It’s one special day but realistically, it is better spent to do it simple and small, with quality. The happy memories will last and not the stressful feelings Asbury you jog back to memory lane. You’ll focus more on the important things and it’ll mean so much more for you both. You’ll have extra money in a house and other stuff that matters like your family needs. Trust me, small is the best anyway. Who cares about all that showy shit. In the end, its your weeding and you guys call the shots!

    • Thank you Jene! TY for your input and feedback. It seems like the older I get, the smaller I want it to be. I mean, I would love to have a decked out wedding, but something about small & intimate strikes a chord with me. I love it.

  3. Hi Beautiful! I think Asians have it right with the envelope method. Cash is always the best gift and asians don’t like spending time on registering. There’s a handful of online platforms that are set up for people to receive cash as gifts….. instead of registering for wedding gifts.
    Use your resources. You know a ton of people in Anchorage and so many people love you. It’s definitely ok to reach out for help. You’ll be amazed at how many people will come through and go the extra mile to make your wedding day a memorable experience. Tons of our mutual friends are great at photography. Many of our mutual friends love to cook and bake. Someone may have a membership to the Bayshore club (or similar). And to be honest, you may need to fly to a bigger city to find your dress as I have found that to be cheaper (even including the airfair) and more variety. (ANC-LAX: tons of direct flights for great prices! Just throwing that out there.) Oh, and definitely put your kids to work. They will love seeing you two be married and to have assisted as a team will give them great pride.
    Anytime you want to come to LA, whether to dress shop or bridal convention, let me know. I took my sister dress shopping so the experience wasn’t too bad. And you have a place to stay with me, of course!

    • Jea, thank you! Omg. Let’s talk about the dress selection up here. Really? REALLY? So disappointing to have four places to go to for bridal wear. 🙁 I love LA so much, and may take you up on the offer. That would be so much fun! The gears are spinning in my head… trip to LA in the near future. Yes!

      • i found my dress at arctic rose in the valley! she’s so awesome! appointment only and you and your party are the only ones in the building. she has an awesome selection! just tell her the style you are looking for and she will pull out some suggestions

      • Arctic Rose? See, I never knew of that boutique. Another awesome recommendation. Thank you, Riss!

  4. Good Gah! I know the stress all too well, but I’m glad that our wedding was as it was. I was trying to figure out the logistics of sisters being in different states. Who do I invite and still keep it small? How much do I spend? Yadayadyada!

    I spent a lot of time thinking about it all… I thought about how Vinny had the ring burning a hole in his pocket for weeks trying to figure how to make it special, how to ask at the right moment, how to plan something out. And in the end it was late in the evening and I was in the kitchen, and he just couldn’t wait any longer and he asked me at home in a moment where he just couldn’t wait to ask me to be his wife… Tears of joy. It was so authentic, and full of love I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

    Okay back to the whole wedding. We decided it was very important for this to be about us and our union. So we started talking about OUR wants and needs, and what was most important. And what we ended up with was two plane tickets to Hawaii, and a house on the beach that would let us get married on the lawn that backed to the ocean. We made the arrangements for our wedding official and photographer, and reservations for dinner. We were set! Just the two of us, no stress in planning and no stressing our bank account. We asked my parents to watch the boys, our decision to exclude them did not come easy, but hey we wanted to enjoy our honeymoon.

    The time arrived were one month out and my mom says so yeah I’m not watching the boys I’m coming to your wedding. She tells me she’s already booked her and dads tickets and arranged for our family to keep my boys. The stress set in here for a little while, my kids staying with my aunts and uncles and not with their grandparents. I quickly had to get over that. The parentals came with us and spent the first few days with us, up until we got married and then we set off on our honeymoon time.

    Wedding went off exactly as I had wanted. It was PERFECT. It was exactly as we wanted. If I could go back and do it over, I would do it exactly the same. (Well accept maybe I would remember to carry my bouquet this time, instead of leaving in the house, haha) and I wish I would have set more time for pictures.

    Expenses: Plane Tickets $1000, Cottage on beach $1200, Rental car $220, Wedding Official and Photog $500,
    – We spent $2000.00 on our trip, food, shopping, adventures, etc. Total $4920.00 – 9 days in paradise.

    SOOOOOO… Onto you and Anthony… my best advice do what feels right for you two. Don’t worry about anyone else’s feelings or wants, do what you will want to remember and what will make your day all about your marriage. And hell ya’ll are already married in our eyes just time for you to pick up the Panichello last name. You are going to be such a beautiful bride.


  5. Hahahaha! I loved this! I do have to say the way Brian and I got married was hands down the best and stress free! I think the most thing that stressed me out was not knowing if my best friend was going to be there but they did!….then the dress, but that’s another story!

    We ended up doing a cruise wedding in Florida going to the Bahamas, then took another week to go Disneyworld, universal, and check out Florida. The cruise did everything! No joke all of our guests just fed and drank their faces full and were in a happy place! We all had an awesome time. The cruise, everything for the wedding, photos, airline tickets, disneyworld, universal, car, food, etc. I believe we spent about $8000. Best time and money well spent. No regrets about it either! I want to do it over again for a future anniversary…that’s how great that memory was!

    • Viv, that’s incredible! Money definitely well spent. A cruise never crossed my mind. Anthony always talks about wanting to go on one. Time to research! Thank you for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the post. Haha!

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