Last night I came across a statement that went a little like this "Congratulations on your engagement! You're about to embark on an AMAZING adventure planning the wedding of your DREAMS!"*.
Can we just take a moment to talk about what BS this is. Last week Meg talked about not loving your wedding. I haven't reached that part of this "adventure" but I will come right out and say that I have not loved all of planning my wedding. It has not been all sparkles and rainbows. Actually, I have spent the majority of the last year wishing I could call it quits. I don't want to call quits on my relationship. No, no, I REALLY want to marry this guy. And sometimes, like when I look over at him and realize that only nine years ago I was telling people that he was the one that got away and now I get to marry him, I even really like the planning part. But most of the time I want to run over to the town hall and secretly elope.
And I actually really like planning weddings...for other people. It's not the color scheme or the table linens or the signature drink choices that are getting me down. It's the ridiculous expenses involved and the expectations from families and friends and even strangers and of course the fear-inducing thoughts about actually making a life-long commitment work.
Perhaps it's because the wedding wasn't my cup of tea in the first place. I wanted to go to Vegas and he wanted the big party. Yet I'm the one who is doing most of the leg work and is up all night worrying about how much vodka one needs to buy for 100 people (I ate too much chocolate before bed....again). Maybe people who dream about their wedding all their lives have more fun during this time. I still would never want to give anyone who is newly engaged the false impression that it's just going to be heavenly cake tastings and blissful trips to bridal boutiques where you, your mother and your mother-in-law are in complete harmony. No, it's compromise and stressful budget calculations and, OK, some cake and sparkles.
So for what it's worth here are things I wish I had known before the 5 1/2 month mark -
Those checklist and time lines on The Knot and Martha? Complete crap. Most likely you won't need to do half the things they tell you to do and the other half you won't even need to think about until you hit about 6 months (at least). Take some time and talk to your partner about your wedding day ideas and expectations and make lists or collages or whatever organizational thing you do. Don't make any major decisions until later on in the game.
2. Which brings me to point #2. Don't blow all your money on EBay (or wherever) because you will change your mind. Unless you are really good at living under a rock you will probably (especially if you're already reading this) look at a sh*t ton of blogs. You will like many different things and something you like during week one will evolve to something totally different in week 24. There will be other milk glass vases. Trust me. It will just be a waste of money.
3. Talk talk talk. To your partner and your family IN THE BEGINNING about who will take care of what (both financially and physically). This will prevent uncomfortable conversations, stress and heartache farther down the road.
That's it for now.
I think I'm actually going to quite enjoy my wedding. Because at this point I'm over the little details and spending money on sh*t no one is even going to notice. Oh, and that bottle of champagne that I will have glued to my hand all day is going to help a little.
*not a direct quote but you get the idea