It happens out of the blue. You come home from work, you pick up your mail and when you go to sort through it in the kitchen that evening, there they are: a stack of wedding invitations. Carefully addressed, carefully planned, carefully packaged and now sitting on your counter, clever and beautiful and oh-so inviting.

They're calling your name with opportunities to celebrate with old friends and new friends and cousins and an acquaintance or two. And you want to go to all of them, but you don't know if you can make it happen. Who knew that being a guest was so hard?

Last summer I was on the flip side of this particular coin. Shayne and I were planning our wedding and watching our guest list and collecting RSVP cards and then, as the day itself drew closer and closer, making phone calls and sending emails to track down would-be guests who hadn't quite managed to mail in their "would love to attends." We weren't thinking too much about the details of what it takes to get to a wedding these days.

The time. The travel - which, it seems, often includes a plane ticket. The hotel. It all adds up quickly, especially when you're thinking about attending two or three weddings in the span of a couple of months. It's just one of those things that almost makes the radar of a wedding-planning bride (and groom) but doesn't always quite get there. I know it kind of filtered in and out of my consciousness in the form of blocks of reasonably priced hotel rooms and maps of the area, but never really hit home.

I'm convinced, this year, as a potential wedding guest, that all the variables and potential steps-to-take are what make it so gosh darn hard to simply make a decision and send in that little piece of paper with a "yes" or "no" on it. Can we make it work time-wise? Can we make it work financially? Because we all know that a pre-stamped, practically pre-filled piece of cardstock is the easiest thing in the world to drop in the mail.

I've got some RSVP deadlines coming up (and I'm guessing you do as well!) and as the wedding days get closer and closer it gets harder and harder to make the decisions and sign myself on as either an attendee or a non-attending party-pooper. Shayne and I keep weighing the decisions and working through the travel plans and at some point, I am convinced that we will place a check mark somewhere on each of our cards and stick them in the mail.

Seriously though, I thought planning my own wedding was supposed to be the hard part!