Friday, January 15, 2010

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 -

1. Don'
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


Lauren said...


Karuna said...

Can I just say here and now that your post made me feel so good? I too am fed up trying to decide how much and how many. I don't care about the teeny tiny shit that gets categorized as detail. I want to have a day that gets me to the place of that beautiful couple you have posted...50+ years from now. I just want a pretty dress, a sunny day, friends and family, good beer and delicious food...oh yeah, and some sweet words exchanged between two saps in lurve. Why does it seem so hard some days? Why all the pressure Cinderella? What did I ever do to you? Anyway, thanks for the levity. Always appreciated.


a simple grace said...

I could have wrote this, word for word!! I felt EXACTLY the same way, down to wanting to elope and my husband wanting the big party.

Don't worry, you'll make it through, it's annoying and not always fun. But do what you can to make it about you, after all, it's supposed to be about the two of you. And when it's all done, or as done as it can be when time runs out, just let it all go and have fun- it becomes someone elses responsibility that day!! My wedding was a great day admidst all that happened and you'll love yours too! ( I won't say it will be the best day off your life, because I don't believe one day should define you, but it will be a GREAT day!!) ; )

Cupcake Wedding said...

the other day my guy was driving me crazy being indecisive about some wedding detail. He also wanted the wedding. I also wanted Vegas. He hates when I say I hate the wedding, as if it means I dont want to marry him. Uh uh. It's just so much work.

Good advice.

A Los Angeles Love said...

I wonder if all sane women on constrained budgets hit this point and level of frustration, particularly those of us who never wanted the big party in the first place. The only solution I've come to is having spaces like this to talk about it. And as for the vodka, here's a good beverage calculator to help:

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Could totally relate. Our wedding planning was esp. crazy since we only had a few months and I HAD to do EVERYTHING.


Go on a date. Enjoy each other. Cut the fat. Allow yourself to be helped. That'll keep you sane and you want to be sane and happy.

Meg said...

Huh. Funny. I'm doing some, achem, long form writing this weekend, and I wrote something very very similar about engagement. Also, I now suggest short engagements to people, because seriously, get that shit over with (We didn't. We were wrong.)

A few things: NORMAL at 5 months out. I did dream of my wedding my whole life but STILL hated planning. You'll love the actual party. You'll love being married even more.

You're in the home stretch lady.

Greekbabe84 said...

I hear that! Thanks for the honesty! We got engaged on Dec 11th and I have a ton of things planned already, but I will tell you I have already been upset so
many times (guest list to be
Thank you so much for this post. I am so excited to marry the man of my dreams but some of these "traditional wedding things" are just a gimmick.

ashley said...

so true! by the time my wedding happened i had given up on sooo much of what i wanted. I stilled LOVED my wedding, but most of it was a comprimise. Thank you to all my friends and family who were there and helped!

davina said...

i think i want to send this to all my brides. a-freaking-men to all that, sister.

east side bride said...

f* the extended engagement.

Danielle said...

I completely agree. While I haven't gotten to the point where I'm ready to say "eff it" I am getting really sick of all of the "bridal pros" telling me 'you only have 6 months, wow, that's soon! You've got a LOT to do' NO.IT'S.NOT! Puh-lease! Do not doubt my ability to bring together a kick a$$ party!