I’ve been torn about writing this post because I didn’t for a minute want to make it seem as though I’m not enjoying the planning of my upcoming wedding, but the more I stressed I got about putting my thoughts down on the blog, the more I realized that those fears were precisely the point of the post (sorry. I’m now addicted to alliteration on account of my fashion freelance writing. See.). Consider this an over share in the name of none-of-the-wedding-blogs-remotely-address-this-stuff.
Wedding planning reveals your weaknesses. There, I said it. It’s fun, exciting, special, and a once-in-a-life experience, but it’s also a really good way to figure out what you struggle with on a larger scale. Are you indecisive? Disorganized? Too close to your family? Too distant? Are you too selfish? Too selfless? Too cheap? Too spendy? And while you’re at it, what’s your stance on religion and could you quickly make an A and B list of the most important people in your life?
There is literally a wedding planning related task to test every single one of those big “person” issues. How do you deal with anxiety? Prepare to find out. How do you and your future spouse handle making big decision together? You’ll know within the first 24 hours of getting engaged.
These aren’t rails against the wedding planning process, they’re facts. This event represents who you are a person, who you intend to be as a couple, and who you’ve both been as daughters or sons. There is absolutely nothing else in life like it, which is what makes it so powerful and so overwhelming.
Does it all need to be so dramatic? Of course not, that’s just part of my own wedding weakness that I’m still skirting around revealing… But whether you’re having a 10 person dinner or a 350 person blow out, you will learn things about yourself and some of those things will prove challenging.
Mine – drum roll please – I care way too much what other people think.
This isn’t news to me. It’s something I’ve struggled with forever and a road block I know many people face. But it’s really reared its ugly head in my wedding planning process, and I’m both super annoyed and surprisingly grateful for that fact.
Cast in point: last week I went over our budget and determined that we could fit in more food and beverage elements plus better transpo for guests if we cut the decor budget, specifically flowers. I looked online for budget floral wedding ideas, found 150 million (conservative figure) and landed on the idea of an all baby’s breath floral scape (you have to say things like floral scape once you’re engaged). It’s super affordable, easy to work with and goes with my white-and-greens theme. Plus you can order bundles online via sites like Fifty Flowers or Bloom By the Box and totally cut out the florist labor costs. Done.
Until the self-doubt set it. Will people think all baby’s breath is tacky? Will it look cheap? Will the guests be like, “does she know this is a filler and not a flower?” or, “what is this, a First Communion party?” I’ve never been to a wedding that had just one flower…and a cheap one at that… Am I having the most informal wedding of anyone I know??
Now imagine that conversation about – oh – everything. Yesterday I bought an option for wedding shoes and actually asked the sales guy if he thought these were the kind of shoes people expected a bride to wear. He said, “all people or specific people?” And that’s when I realized I was a crazy person.
Here’s the thing. I couldn’t tell you what the flowers looked like at almost all the weddings I’ve been to, and I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen the brides shoes. Also, if I happened to not enjoy the floral scape or find the footwear choice un bride-like, I wouldn’t give a crap. So then why is the voice inside my head so much more of a nasty critic than my actual self?
That’s one important question I’ve been given the chance to ask myself because I happen to be planning a wedding, and annoying as it is to grapple with, I’m glad it’s come to surface.
How do I intend to overcome it? I’m going to try to trust myself more. I know what I like, and I like it for good reason. Plus, R almost always agrees with me, which is a really nice plus. I’m also gut-checking my thoughts against trusted sources who have the same party priorities as me. That’s helpful too.
But the point of my confession is this: if you too are planning a wedding and feeling like all the blissed-out bloggers with their DIY successes and dreamy Pinterest boards are lying about how perfect this entire experience should be, you’re not alone. It’s not perfect, and it’s not easy, but there are some cool silver linings that come as a result, and they’ll last you way longer than one day.
Also – somewhat related – stop looking at Style Me Pretty. You know what all the weddings on there look like anyway, and you’re just stressing yourself out about finding the world’s most perfect alternative guest book concept. Just don’t do one and save yourself the trouble.