I promised myself I wouldn’t make 28 and Holding into one of the million wedding blogs out there, but with all the wedding wisdom I gained during my long ass engagement, I can’t help but post a few wedding related things. My plan was to post about writing your own wedding vows, but this seemed like a better fit for today. (Don’t worry, I’ll post them eventually.)
Weddings sound like a great idea at first, and they are, until you have to plan them yourself. I was engaged for 16 months and for about 15 3/4 of those months, I was an anxiety ridden, psychotic, overwhelmed, hot-mess. Lots of nights spent laying on the floor trying to get my brain to stop overthinking prices, colors, shapes, paper styles, iridescent or matte, full bar or beer and wine… The devil is in the details and oh man is it the devil! If you are in the midst of planning your own wedding then you get it but, for those who just got engaged (I pity you), here is what I learned from wedding planning:
- Be smart, don’t rush it. I keep hearing about people who say, “We want a short engagement. We want babies!” … Why? Once you have babies, that’s it. Life’s over. All of the Pottery Barn bedding and throw pillows you got off your registry to make your guest room look phenomenal get thrown in a vacuum packed bag and replaced with things from Babies R’ Us (gag). No more mid-week movie nights, no more happy hour, no more frequenting beer fests and definitely no more online shopping sprees for booties you don’t need, new scarfs, a couple books, 5 for $30 deals at Bath and Body Works. All your time and money goes to the kiddos. While yes, I’ve heard they bring a lot of joy, fulfillment, bla bla bla; are you really ready to give up your last few years of being “selfish.” Oh yeah, and having money to waste on $100 unexpected shopping sprees at Target? All kinds of nope.
- The dress is just that, a dress. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my dress. I tried on about 45 until even my mom was sick of seeing her only daughter in a wedding dress. I loved it until I woke up to check my Facebook news feed three months before my wedding and saw a girl from high school get married in the SAME dress. It was 5th Grade Promotion all over again (Jenny S. showed up in the same pink graduation dress. Swear I’m not still mad about it). In any case, there is SO much stress over the dress and I guarantee you, before your wedding day, you’ll find 10 more you love. But as you know, once you run the card you are the proud owner of a shiny new non-refundable, no questions asked, dress. So whether you still love the dress you bought, or are in the process of buying one, know this: When your wedding day comes, it won’t matter. You will be so caught up in the events of the day, getting ready with your girls, seeing your groom for the first time, and the excitement of YOUR wedding day that, as long as you don’t forget your dress, you’ll just be happy it’s finally happening!
*One last thing, no matter what your budget is, make appointments at any bridal salon no matter what their dresses cost. You (hopefully) only get ONE shot at being a bride so try on dresses that are $10,000! Why not? It’s fun, it makes you feel famous, and no one has to know you would have to sell your soul to be able to afford that kind of dress. Just don’t fall in love with it!
- People will say dumb stuff. Just get used to it. Whether it be, “Can I bring a friend?” “I can’t believe you’re inviting him.” “I can’t believe you’re NOT inviting them.” “Ew, gross cake flavor.” Or my personal favorite, “Can you pull the boat over and drop me off at another wedding?” I don’t know why people think they have a say in your wedding but they do. If they don’t like that you’ve spent $6.73 to “cordially invite them” to your wedding where you have spent roughly $150 on them to eat your food and dance to music you spent weeks choosing, then they can stay home and look at pictures online. *End rant*
- Start as early as you can. Our deal breaker with a lot of venues was if they kicked us out before 10 P.M. we were out. Looking back, I wouldn’t change the venue we chose but I would have started earlier. We started photos at 2:30 and even though our ceremony didn’t start until 6:00, we ran out of time and were SUPER rushed. You would think 3 1/2 hours is enough time for the first look, bridal party shots, and some family shots but, trust, everything takes longer on your wedding day. Whether it’s hair and make up, walking to where you’re going to take photos, herding friends and family, your timeline will be off. I know photographers charge for every second you have them but it’s worth the extra $300/hr if it means he/she will catch that much more of your day. It’s a stressful day. Let me repeat, IT’S A STRESSFUL DAY. So being rushed to take photos of a day that you will never get to relive, took you over a year to perfect, and is THE most important day ever is worth the money. Hell, you’ve already spent $40,000 (or more) so might as well throw in an extra $300 to make sure all those photos you saved on the “Groom Pics” Pinterest board actually happen right? You’re going to be up at 3 A.M. anyways so grab a mimosa, sit your happy ass down, glue on those lashes, and document every moment!
- Speaking of lashes. Get them. Nuff’ said.
- If you’re a control freak, don’t delegate. It will make things worse. If you have met me, you know I’m kind of Type-A. (insert grinding teeth Emoji here) I planned every second of the day including writing our officiants script WORD. FOR. WORD. I told him he could ad-lib a bit but I think he was too terrified that I would shoot it down. I also let my mom “help” with making DIY decorations but as soon as her foot got stuck to the drop cloth I fired her. One of my bridesmaids (bless her heart) made the mistake of coming over to help put together favors and I’m surprised she’s still talking to me. “Cut the tissue like this.” Five minutes later, “Never mind, I’ll do that part, you just add these.” Bridezilla says, “Too tight, see? It rips the tissue.”… Two minutes later, “Actually, do you want to just put the stickers on?” I think the only reason she didn’t throw her hands up and say, “F*%! this and F#@& you!” is because she felt bad for my poor mom and didn’t want to leave her behind to fend for himself. Then you have the people who will offer to help and you think to yourself, “Hell no. I’ve seen your car/house/closet… there’s no way your unorganized, Type-B hands are touching anything related to my wedding! Do you see a trend here? What’s that saying, if you want something done right then do it yourself. Just realize, it’s not them, it’s you. It’s totally you. You’re the high strung psycho who wants everything perfect. And, thank goodness it’s your wedding day, because that’s totally okay.
- Remember, this is HIS day too. This is the most important one. After all, without him, there would be no bride, no dress, no ring, and no wedding. The stereotype that they just want to show up in their tux when they are told may be okay with some grooms but ladies, ask him before you assume. We all know it, the wedding is about the bride. Yeah, I said it. All your guests stand in awe as you walk down the aisle. The bride gets the “bridal suite” with a champagne welcome, ridiculously soft pillows and a full kitchen (why?) while your groom gets Room 3547 where the A/C unit won’t stop squeaking, he has a view of the parking lot, and he has to go down three flights of stairs to get ice in his socks. At the very least, just pretend he has an opinion. Do your research, give him “options” and make the one you really want sound better so he thinks he chose the DJ himself (I swear this didn’t happen). But in all seriousness, make sure he gets the few things he does care about. His favorite whiskey at the bar, his own song as HE walks down the aisle, polka dots (not stripes) on his bow tie, etc. You’ll actually get a kick out of what he finds important and what Groomzilla insists on (i.e. polka dots, NOT stripes). Promise.
You learn a lot of pointless stuff when planning a wedding so I’m happy to be able to share my wisdom with future brides. And, if I haven’t totally terrified you out of having a wedding by now, I wish you the best of luck! Enjoy it. Soak it all in because the day after the wedding you get this question, “So… now that you’re married, when are you going to have kids?!”