At the beginning of wedding planning, a smart friend of mine, Natalie, gave me this piece of advice: "Don't ask anyone to do anything unless they volunteer their assistance."
I sort of shrugged it off for a bit, but her advice continued to ring true. One by one, people who did not offer their help and whom we asked for help flaked out. A family member. A groomsman. Another family member. Another friend.
But then, one by one our friends and family began to pull through. We kept our mouths quiet, and people began offering help. It's been the most touching thing. One of our friends (Kerry!) offered to help with flowers. Another friend (Tiana) is cutting and folding circles for lanterns and may staple them too. Tiana's been a godsend in many other ways too. Jason is letting B use space and is helping B with a step in the invites. Our friend Jenn is making lanterns with a bunch of petals I gave her. Another friend (Erin!) offered to do wedding invitation addressing (godsend). We've also tortured Jenn with many a fondue recipe at this point too. Our friend Zack is taking the cat monsters while we're at the wedding and on a honeymoon (he's leaving them alone for a day or so when he goes to the wedding). My dad has figured out music rentals and placed the reservation... that's a LOT of faith there... I hope that all works out. B's dad is working on some special gifts and touches for the wedding and sending prototypes this week. My Oma has sent me her recipes. The bridesmaids have all bought their shoes. Friends are emailing offering help.
It's very heartwarming.
I guess what Natalie said is true. It's a wedding, right? It's an event that often needs help, and people should know that. And if they don't offer up help to something they need help for, then they probably can't offer help, so don't ask.
We've re-learned in this process how flakey people can be, and really, it was because we expected something that wasn't offered. So we're adjusting our expectations, and people are really being fantastic. We don't expect help, but we're really touched by those offering up their time, you know?