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December 11, 2013

Wedding Planning Reveals Your Weaknesses

December 11, 2013
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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.      

10 comments

  1. This is so spot on. And in case you’re wondering, I’m very decisive, very opinionated, a little too spendy, and pretty much anti-organized religion. My husband is too selfless, a little too cheap, and sort of Catholic. Somehow we survived and the wedding was great for both of us.

    And re: the Style Me Pretty comment, my personal crack was Jasmine Star’s photo blog, which has the potential to make anyone hate their own wedding photos (which I did not, thankfully).

  2. Haha! What an excellent post. I got engaged 4 days ago and quickly learned a few “person” issues of my own. 1) I get really uncomfortable when SO many people want to talk about this singular event over and over and over. My mother-in-law to be immediately wanted to blast it all over Facebook and I was like No! Please! Give me a few days! 2) I get easily stressed when asked All. Of. The. Wedding. Questions. (i.e., when will it be? where? what are your colors? me: Stop!)

    The nasty critic in your head is the one aiming to people-please… Just remember that everyone has opinions, but what YOU and your future hubby want/like is the priority 🙂 I will try to remember that too once I start delving into planning!

  3. Great post, and good to know! I never really looked at weddings online but now that all my friends are getting married, I do, and I start thinking about what I would have done differently or what I liked that they did. I think the problem is that there are so many fantastic weddings out there. The important thing is being satisfied that you made choices that you both liked.

  4. This is all so true! I learned when planning my wedding this summer (got married in September), that I struggle with delegation. I just can’t do it. 🙂

    One thing about flowers — it takes a little bit more time, but it’s way cheaper.. I made my flowers out of scrapbooking paper. The benefits were they my bouquets were totally done a month ahead of time, the flowers don’t wilt, and holy GEEZ — it was so much cheaper! Just an idea. 🙂 As if you aren’t getting enough ideas and plans… And if you like sitting down and watching shows like Bridezillas while you make awesome flowers, it’s a good plan. 😛 Congrats and good luck!

  5. YES! All of this is true! There is a blog out there, APracticalWedding.com – which does an amazing job about having really smart conversations about these things…!!

  6. I got married 9 years ago, and the engagement stress came flooding back when I read your post! I, too, found I cared way too much what people thought. It’s why I’m thankful we had a short engagement — just 4 months. Wedding planning will take up whatever time you give it! We ended up with a beautiful, imperfect wedding, and now we have a beautiful, imperfect marriage with two beautiful, imperfect children. 🙂

  7. Other incredible post..I learn wonderful things to plan a wedding perfectly.My wedding is coming in this October so this post is valuable for planning in a good way, helps to overcome my weaknesses easily. Thanks for this informational post.

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