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Six months to the altar: Tales from a Latina (Anti)Bridezilla dress designed by San Patrick

I’m getting married…that’s the exciting part.

I’m planning a wedding…that’s a whole other story.

I’m supposed to love it, relish in the lace borders, monogrammed napkins, and long-stemmed hydrangeas. But when I hear “planning a wedding,” I hear greedy vendors and tight budgets; I hear dizzying options and limited patience; I hear the death tolls of romance drowned out by a huge industrial complex that would like you to believe that you will be carted off by the wedding police if every detail is not just right (and really expensive).

The truth is though….I am enjoying it. I giddily explored invitation designs. I am browsing centerpieces for fun. For goodness sake, we have a wedding website. But I can only enjoy these because I’m not trying to do it all. I’m not putting the same level of energy into every part of the wedding, just the ones I really care about. Turns out you can stay sane and have fun if you follow three simple rules:

Rule #1: Delegate. I have a Ph.D. and help run this magazine, but I couldn’t name six species (phylum? genus?) of flowers if my life depended on it. I also hate shopping for longer than 10 minutes. This is where friends come in handy. I’ve put one of them (let’s call her Bridesmaid Blond Bombshell) in charge of flowers and cake. Not only do I trust BBB implicitly (she’s the kind of Type A that makes mine look like C-), it’s two fewer things I have to do. This frees up more time for me to do the stuff I’m actually excited about – research wedding bands, look for shoes, buy honeymoon lingerie….but I digress. There are people in your life who will help you and can probably handle some things better than you. (Sis, I will be calling you about stationery soon.)

Rule #2: Make it personal. Let’s be real…when people remember your special day, it won’t be for the size of the cake or the number of shrimp hor d’oeuvres. It will be for the love in the room and those little details that made it so you. (And maybe the tales of debauchery, but let’s keep this PG.) Adding personality keeps the planning interesting. Whatever is unique about you and your partner – highlight that, celebrate that. Incorporate the things that are important to you both. For us, that means African drums and a Latino salsa band, Jolloff rice and tres leches for desert. Though these personal touches take more time or creativity, they usually cost less.

Rule #3: Find a good partner. Well, I guess this goes without saying, and not all good men (or women) will be into wedding planning. But it’s certainly helpful when your partner can use his or her skills to aid in the process. It’s also possible he has his own family members or friends who can take over aspects of the wedding. My guy is equally bored by some of the details as I am, but he’s great at organizing large projects, knows web design, and has a good eye for detail. I literally couldn’t do this without him….obviously in more ways than one.

So, six months to the alter….wish me luck. And remember my words of advice: Just elope.

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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