Over the last four months of being engaged, I’ve learned a lot about my preconceived notions of what planning a wedding would look like. Some notions have been validated while others have been dismissed, and then there have been some complete gaps of knowledge that have been filled in. Although it has been slightly stressful (mostly because I’ve been trying to balance two jobs at the same time) it’s been a true learning experience that has brought my fiancé and I closer. Below are five truths that I am confident in, which have truly made a world of difference for me as I help plan our wedding day.
Put it all in perspective. The timeline from the moment you get engaged to the actual day of the wedding can significantly vary depending on the preference and, let’s face it, financial standing of the hApPy cOuPle. I know of engagements lasting ~2 years and it’s unfair that the bride should be stressed and “wedding wired” for such an insanely long amount of time. For people who find themselves tempted to obsessively plan out each detail of their special day months and months in advance it can put life moments that are happening in the present on hold. Suddenly there’s tunnel vision and the light at the end is that shining perfect day that you get to say “I do.” Every bride must take their wedding day for what it is – just one day out of the innumerable days to come that you get to spend with your significant other (!). I have to remind myself not to sweat the small stuff that almost nobody other than myself will notice such as flowers in the table arrangements being the wrong shade of fuchsia (yikes) or that the bridesmaids should have had worn black shoes with crystals as opposed to plain black shoes. Every bride should take a step back and think about the levels of stress they are experiencing and consider whether any of it is truly warranted…and I would argue that most of is not worth the time and energy. It’s easy to get swept up in the hype of wedding planning but if you are relaxed and excited as opposed to nervous and stressed, the whole process will feel infinitely more calm and manageable.
Don’t cave to the pressure of losing “wedding” weight. Sometimes it seems that when an engagement ring is slipped onto a ring finger, it’s not simply a symbol of love and devotion from your significant other but simultaneously a ticking time bomb that reads, “will self destruct if x pounds are not lost.” Why do we do this to ourselves? Everyone says that they want to “look their best” on their wedding day and “feel great” and “feel fit” and I totally get that, but we should be living those goals daily for our own peace of mind and we should try our best not to tie them to the wedding itself. We are beautiful as we are! And let’s be honest here, these health conscious habits and goals are ones that we have desired setting in the past and will desire to achieve long after the wedding bells have chimed and the white dress has been hermetically sealed in a plastic bag. We should not be punishing ourselves for 1-2 years before the day of our wedding and hating ourselves every time we eat cheese, sip red wine or indulge in slice of chocolate cake. On the day of your wedding your partner will think that you are the most beautiful thing he or she has ever had the lucky fortunate to lay eyes on no matter what weight your are. The focus should be centered upon the joyous commitment you are making to one another and not about how tightly the seamstress was able to affix that sash around your waist.
Don’t over-extend yourself financially. With the onslaught of picture-perfect Pinterest wedding inspiration boards, it’s tempting to want to recreate all of it for yourself on your own wedding day. This is not only financially unrealistic for a lot of couples, but it also promotes a notion that we should all be creating the same cookie cutter day. If you want to marry the love of your life in a beer garden or on a tiny rooftop restaurant with 30 people – go for it! However, if candle filled lanterns, covered in flowers, ivy and glitter adorning the chapel, whilst an adorable tyke in a customized wedding themed barbie car drives down the aisle with wedding bands in tow is not something you can budget for THAT’S FINE! Each of us are responsible for creating our own version of happiness on that day and we should all do our best in removing the hefty price tags from the equation. Starting off a life together indebted in thousands of dollars because you wanted your own #fantasywedding, isn’t a wise or financially fit position to be in as newlyweds.
Don’t forget to include your partner in decision-making. Again, Pinterest has a tendency to turn brides into heightened, more tense and demanding versions of themselves (I am no exception) We see a venue, a photographer, a custom calligrapher that we NEED to have and we’ll be damned if anyone or anything will get in our way and prevent us from acquiring ~the precious~. HOWEVER we must not forget there is another human being attached to this great adventure…. your partner, and they deserve equal say and voting power in any decision making process if they want to be included. It’s not just our day and it shouldn’t be thought of as a day that all our wildest dreams comes true. Now that’s not to say that there aren’t men (or women) out there who truly don’t care about what happens on that day apart from knowing that they get to marry the woman of their dreams and that there will be much alcohol consuming afterwards. In that case – go all out in choosing what you want! But before anything is set in stone or our hearts are irrevocably fixed on having something, we should all make sure that we are talking to our partners openly and communicating that things that each of us want together.
Have a firm stance on the things you want, but listen to what others have to say. With so many comments and opinions coming at you from all angles during your engagement it’s tempting (and frankly sometimes a lot easier) to either tune people out completely OR radiate such off-putting vibes that family members are reluctant to approach the topic of wedding planning altogether. This shouldn’t be the case. Something I’ve learned since getting engaged is that the wedding isn’t all about you and your partner. As much as you want to exist in an isolated blissful bubble, marriage is symbolic of two families coming together as one and they as well as your guests, have a right to celebrate it with you. There may be a few guests that are invited to your wedding that you may not have thought to include on your list but your mother-in-law to be desperately wants them to attend and that’s okay! While the happiness of the bride and groom is of great importance there is also a wide circle of people that derive genuine excitement and joy from the fact that the two of you are getting hitched and want to celebrate it with you. While you do have to put your foot down at a certain point when the guest list has overextended your budget, you have to think about whether something is worth fighting for and arguing over. I think it’s important to chose those fights wisely.
I’m confident that on my wedding day, the excitement and joy of it all will melt away all other concerns and all the things i’ve thought about and stressed over will seem quite trivial. I’m feel assured that all that will matter is grabbing the hand of my hUsBaNd and knowing that all that matters is the love we have for one another.
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