“So are you completely tired of talking about your wedding yet?” Mama W. asked me the other day.
“Pretty much,” I said.
“Good,” she said. “You have to get over it eventually.”
And it’s with those very-typically-my-mom words in my head that I write this post. Yes, it’s been about three months since I got married and I don’t need to talk about it all the time. That being said, these three months have helped me realize what I learned about the experience. And, in my infinite good heartedness (sarcasm alert!) I’d like to share it with all of you, just in case you’re about to plan a wedding of your own.
The very first thing I figured out was how annoying people are when they talk about their weddings. Yes, I realize that’s what I’m doing RIGHT NOW, but I’m not making you read my blog! You’re here because you like me, or because you’re hate-reading, and that’s fine, too. Whatever. People who talk about their weddings all the time are kind of annoying, right? But, honestly, I would WAY rather hear someone talk about picking out table linens for their $30,000 dollar affair than listen to YET ANOTHER person talk about how their wedding is just going to be “casual.”
I used to be this person. You know, that girl who’s like, “Oh, I don’t want some big thing. I just want a party with our best friends.” And, yeah, sure, that sounds great. But you know who says that? EVERYONE. Okay, we get it! You don’t want to walk down an aisle! You’re hella casual! That’s totally fine, but don’t act like that’s somehow a morally superior choice. Some of us have families who would be hurt and devastated if we didn’t have semi-traditional weddings, and you know what? That’s okay. I ended up getting married in a church, which I didn’t want to do at all, and yes it bothered me a great deal, but whatever. It’s done now. It’s one stinkin’ day, and it’s really, really not the point of the whole “marriage” thing.
What going through the planning experience taught me was that there isn’t one right way to do this. It’s just like planning any other party–some people want to do it up big, and some people don’t. Whatever. Just don’t act like your choice is somehow better than everyone else’s. I’ve been to semi-big weddings and I’ve been to dinners-after-courthouse weddings, and I’ve had a great time at them all.
I also learned to stay away from bridal culture. I didn’t go to bridal expos. I didn’t buy a single bridal magazine. And I tried to avoid Pinterest-ing too much. It is VERY easy to get sucked into the mindless materialism of wedding culture. There’s a truly endless variety of stupid stuff you can buy, and there are lots of articles and websites that would like to convince you to buy them. It’s so, so easy to start thinking, “But my wedding (and therefore my MARRIAGE) will be ruined if I don’t get these adorably expensive centerpieces!” It doesn’t matter. Just step away from Martha Stewart Weddings.
And on that note, you know all those handmade details that every wedding online seems to have? That unique guestbook with the thumb prints, the individual tiny jars of jam for favors, the banner made from vintage fabric? Do not worry about that stuff. Seriously. Pick a few things that are really important to you, focus on those, and let the rest slide. If you’re planning a party for anywhere from 50-350 people, then come on, girl. You do not have time to make that much jam. You and I both know that. Give yourself a break, because no one’s going to notice or complain if you use a few pre-fab touches. I love being crafty and personalizing things, but the care you put into your table runner doesn’t signify the care that you put into your relationship.
If you do have a lot more work than you can handle, just let people help you. They’re going to ask, and you’re going to want to tell them no. Don’t do that. Say something like, “Actually, I could use some help finding a caterer” or “Want to help me make all these tissue paper poms?” If it wasn’t for Mama W., my BFF/maid of honor, and the rest of my bridesmaids, I would’ve been even more stressed out. And I was already so stressed out that I had trouble sleeping some nights.
Also, don’t be surprised if things get dramatic. Since I don’t care about weddings, and my mom doesn’t care about weddings, and H. CERTAINLY doesn’t care about weddings, I didn’t anticipate a lot of “drama.” Well, I was unpleasantly surprised. You might be thinking, “Oh, that won’t happen to me,” but trust me, I didn’t think it would happen to me either. Weddings do weird things to normally sane people, and all of a sudden you’re going to find out that one of your friends or family members really cares about that open bar or which photographer you choose or what paperweight your invitations are. This is gonna make you stressed out like you’ve never been stressed out before, and all of this stress may cause you and your fiance to get into a fight in a TGI Friday’s parking lot. That may or may not be related to a personal story.
Clearly, planning a wedding is stressful. If you’re getting married, really and truly consider whether or not you want a wedding ceremony. Because, let me tell you guys, on more than one occasion I wished we eloped. The thought of being in front of so many people was a little horrifying to me. I did it, because there were specific memories I wanted from a wedding ceremony (an excuse to invite all of our friends, having my dad walk me down the aisle, an experience for our parents, etc.), but it isn’t for everyone. If you’re the kind of person who’s easily stressed out by this kind of stuff, just elope. Seriously. Do what you want and don’t worry about who’s judging you.
Because here’s the thing–weddings don’t matter all that much. Yes, it was very special to say our vows in front of a room full of people who care about us, and I’m glad we did that. But the success of that ceremony doesn’t have any bearing on the day-to-day realities of our relationship. Our marriage is not stronger because our wedding was super fun.
Things are going to be stressful. Many things are going to go wrong. Someone you don’t like is going to do something dumb and you’re going to think, “Ugh, why did I even have to invite you?” That’s just the reality of having a wedding. But who cares? I mean, really, WHO CARES? It’s one day. One party. So try not to stress out too much, or at least try not to stress out as much as I did. Appreciate that all of your friends and family came so far to see you (in our case, several people flew or drove across the country!) and just focus on that. After all, that’s why you decided to have a wedding.
Image via My Inspired Wedding