Ten things I wish I knew before planning a wedding

by jaime on August 1, 2012

Yesterday, I think I hit a wall when it comes to the wedding. There are so many things that are great about this experience, but I’m going to be perfectly honest: planning a wedding kind of sucks. Add in the fact that I’m trying to pay my bills, have a great relationship with my fiance, keep up with a regular workout schedule and maybe shower once or twice a month and I’m left feeling drained emotionally, physically and bridally. (I know that last one isn’t actually a word. Don’t worry.)

So in the spur of the moment, I asked a question on the Facebook page. I just wanted to know if I was the only one who felt like this whole wedding thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be… and a bunch of comments later, I found out something that I had never known: we are all scared and confused about what to do for our wedding. ALL OF US.

With that in mind, I wanted to share some of my fears, excitements and frustration about this whole process because if I thought that I was alone, maybe you do, too. But I promise that you’re not.

1. Everyone wants to talk about the wedding. Friends, family and total strangers all want to know what your color scheme is. And how dress shopping is going. All of a sudden, everyone cares about this one thing and forgets about everything else going on in your life. Don’t take it personally and don’t get offended. And if you really don’t want to talk about it, don’t. There’s no law that says your wedding has to be public domain, and you have a right to your privacy if that’s what’s right for you.

2. No one asks about your marriage plans. I think people just get caught up in the glamour of a wedding day, and it distracts them from the big picture: you have a wedding BECAUSE you’re getting married, not the other way around. And why is it that so many people think it’s weird to want to go to premarital counseling? I didn’t learn how to tie my shoes without being taught (and then practicing a LOT!), and I feel like marriage is a bit more important. Shouldn’t it at least get the same courtesy as my shoelaces?

3. There are times where you will seriously consider an elopement. This was pretty much the basis of my Facebook post, and before the engagement and wedding planning, I always thought that brides were just exaggerating. They’re not. The pressure of that wedding day is starting to feel more and more like a reality show, complete with makeup artists and hairstylists creating a “better you” and cameras follow like paparazzi. My big fear is that I’m totally going to get stage fright when I’m up there. It’s going to be so sad if I miss the moment because I’m too concerned that I look like an idiot.

4. The groom isn’t expected to care about the wedding. I feel like every woman I know has told me how lucky I am that Cam is ambivalent, which I resent a little. Isn’t it his day, too? I mean, I’m not marrying myself up there. He’s kind of involved. Oh, and what if I spend all this time planning and he ends up totally bored/unhappy? It doesn’t seem like he’s all that excited himself. This double standard never really gets easier (and to the brides who have a groom that’s into planning, I have only one thing to say: you are SO lucky) and you’re just going to have to get used to it.

5. You will feel like your wedding isn’t your wedding. The plus side of this is that you have a lot of eyes and ears on the to-do list. But those eyes and ears usually come paired up with a mouth and opinions. While it’s great to have input from other areas, it can be a bit overwhelming. You’re going to find yourself thinking things like, “Why does everyone care about what I’m wearing? Am I seriously going to disappoint people because I didn’t wear a traditional dress?” Make sure to stand up for yourself and don’t be afraid to ask people to step back.

6. You can DIY your way into a wedding that fits your wallet and wants. It is possible to have an affordable wedding, no matter how much people say it can’t be done. Did you know that the average wedding now costs over $27,000? I’m not sure about you, but if I had an extra $27,000 just lying around, I would probably use it as a down payment on a house. I know that I haven’t spent much time talking about our wedding, but one of the most stressful parts of planning is setting – and sticking to – a budget, and we’re spending less than half the average on ours.

7. The average bride spends 200 hours planning her wedding. And it’s okay if you don’t. I found an article on Yahoo where it said that planning a wedding should, according to wedding consultants, take approximately 200 hours. I can’t begin to imagine the event that will come out of that time, but if I had my way, instead of spending 200 hours planning for a single day, I’d rather take some of that time (how about 25%, okay?) and plan for each and every day that comes after.

8. People come out of the woodwork to give you unsolicited advice. You should ignore most of it. No one means to be a jerk to you, and they don’t mean to undermine your decisions, but it happens. A lot. When someone offers you advice, listen and politely thank them – whether they’re right or wrong isn’t the question. It’s whether things are right or wrong for you and your wedding.

9. It’s normal to worry that everything is just going to suck, and it’ll all be your fault.  So many aspects of your wedding will  feels like this really private, personal and intimate moment. Except you’re surrounded by 150 friends and family. It’s like they’re all watching you at this vulnerable moment, a moment that’s supposed to be all about this new union but instead is more like circus sideshow. Remember why you’re doing all this work (and who you’re ending up with after it all calms down), take a deep breath and let it go. I have written this before, but it can never be said too many times: things are going to go wrong, and you need to just take it all in stride.

10. There are always people who are willing to help, just because they love you. Weddings make people crazy, but there will be someone there to keep you from going off your rocker. For me, that person is my stepmother. She has so many great ideas and has been more supportive through this than my own fiance, and there is no way that I can fully express how grateful I am to have her on my side for this crazy experience.

What are some things you wish you knew before you started planning your wedding?

Love,
Jaime

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Jordan Hendrix August 1, 2012 at 9:32 am

I just started planning my wedding, like a week and a half ago.. and I’m nineteen. So other than what I’ve seen in movies, I have no idea what I’m doing! I know what I want and I have plenty of ideas, but I’m so glad I have my mom helping to plan every step of the way. And this is definitely helpful. I’m definitely going to have to practice number 8!

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Sonya August 1, 2012 at 10:15 am

The funny thing is, my fiance always said he did not care, was ambivalent, etc., and lo and behold, look who has opinions now that I have started asking him! We are doing a very casual event (city hall and a meal) and we have disagreed on invitations (he is way more formal than I, apparently) time of day (I thought an early morning and then champagne brunch followed by a day of massages, etc., sounded fun before our honeymoon) and oh yeah, we have completely different styles when it comes to rings. Luckily, we still love each other and are still getting married. haha.

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Krystle August 1, 2012 at 10:17 am

One trick I learned in terms of getting your groom into wedding planning, sit down together a try to come up with a SMALL priority list. Each of you write down a 1-5 things that are really important and 1-5 things you may not care as much or if at all about. Then you can have fun working on things that your groom is interested in and not bore him with things he may not care as much about. This really helped me in our planning. Good luck brides!

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jaime August 1, 2012 at 11:08 am

Krystle, that is SUCH a great idea. I’m definitely going to use it very soon to see what, if anything, Cam wants to participate in.

Thank you so, so much!

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Ann August 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm

That is a really great idea. It can be challenging when one detail means more to one person but is disliked by the other. I can vouch that planning a wedding with an involved and picky groom is a good exercise in compromise for sure.

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Jessica November 19, 2012 at 10:05 am

AMAZING idea. I want him to enjoy the day and have things he wants too!

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Lola April 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Thank you so much. This is great advice, we have a long engagement and I am a PLANNER! So I am already bugging him and boring him with details that he just doesn’t want to hear! Thank you again!

Lola

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Lisa August 1, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Whenever anyone asks me for wedding advice now I tell them just one thing – it’s YOUR day. Plan the day you want and it will be perfect. I’m pretty stubborn though and I stopped listening to everyone’s opinions pretty early because at first I was so unhappy trying to make the day what everyone else wanted. I more or less went into lockdown mode and almost every last detail was a surprise to everyone until the wedding day. This helped preserve my sanity because – and I know I’m going to sound a bit antisocial – I just couldn’t deal with the constant questions. Our day went off without a hitch and I don’t have a single regret about our wedding day, which is all I wanted when we began the planning process. BTW, my now-husband wasn’t super involved in the wedding planning, but honestly I didn’t care. I’m a control freak. He did, however, write out 50% of the thank you notes.

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Magan August 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm

We were married less than a month ago. Here are a few tips:
#1- EYE ON THE PRIZE. Wedding days will always have something that did not go perfectly. As long as you both show up; that is the reason for the day…to unite in marriage.
#2- Give yourself a day to relax before leaving for your honeymoon. You will need the day to rest, read cards, look at pictures and share that quality discussion time with your spouse.
#3- let the groom get involved. Mine had a lot of opinions…and we comprimised. Sometimes blending our ideas, sometimes I let him have his way and sometimes he let me have mine.
#4- People are more difficult to manage than money. Choose your bridal party and guests wisely.
#5- Don’t be afraid to say NO or I am sorry. (example-We just can’t afford to invite the world)
#6- Don’t hold grudges. If someone did not attend, give a gift, whatever the case is…let it go. It is there loss if they did not celebrate with you.
#7- Think of the guests when picking your location(s)… does it have a/c? is the parking safe? is the food decent? are the bathrooms clean and large enough for women to all check their appearance? will you and your bridesmaids fit in the stall when they need to hold your dress while you pee?
#8- Go to bridal shows- you can score big discounts!
#9- Research vendors and use recommendations from weddings you attended. Brides love to hear someone loved a vendor and wants to use them! Flattery!
#10- Find a photographer who will give you copywrite free photos on cd instead of printing them for you. In the end, it saves $$$$. You can choose your own pics to print/make books, gifts, etc. and also edit them yourself (copy the pic and crop it, etc.)

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Ann August 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Magan, Your #4 is a valuable piece of advice. Especially when choosing your wedding party.

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Vanessa August 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm

#7 is great advice. I probably wouldn’t have thought to really take a good look at the restrooms.

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Faith August 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm

#4 is probably some of the best advice I could give too. We’re still about 3 weeks out and I’ve already had some many problems from his sister. Who, by the way, I only asked to be a bridesmaid because he really wanted me too. First, there was an issue with the their dresses being to “immodest” so I compromised to let them all wear their convertible dress tops a different way so she could cover more up. Now I find out that she purposefully ordered the wrong dress! And they discontinued my color so its not like I an reorder or replace her with another bridesmaid. I just don’t know what to do!

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Kelsie September 6, 2012 at 7:38 am

I would have told her to get her act together or sit with the audience.

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Mel April 8, 2014 at 1:54 am

Yes, you can replace her, or just ask her to step down and not even bother replacing her. You, as the bride, always have that right. Another thing that’s true; for the dress you wanted , type the name and # into Google. You may still be able to find it online or in the discontinued section of a bridal store. Also know, awesome tailors are out there and you might be surprised in what they can do. As a newly wed who had to fire and replace her Maid of Honor (and nearly had to ban her own mother), both for terrible awful behavior, I will say = your wedding, your day…it’s about what you want, if they don’t respect that then they SHOULD stay at home. Be firm and stand your ground. Don’t let anyone take away or add drama to what should be one of the best experiences of your life.

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Araceli November 27, 2012 at 8:35 am

Thank you! This post just relieves me a bit!

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Darci Andrle August 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm

WONDERFUL Post. Thanks for sharing!

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Tiffany August 3, 2012 at 11:32 am

Thank you thank you thank you for writing all this out. It is so helpful to know I am not the only one feeling these feelings! My fiance says he doesn’t care about anything either… It is his day too I want him to be excited about it. Also I agree it should be about your marriage rather than your wedding! Great post!

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Vanessa August 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Love this post! I was just starting to feel overwhelmed and crazy about planning!

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Alissa August 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Great advice everyone! For my job I plan HUGE events, but not with my own money and for families. It’s been so hard to plan and do all the DIY myself when I normally have a team of 40 that help me. My family are states away, but slowly I am knocking everything out! Only 33 more days… it’s so scary!

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Taylor August 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I never post or comment on anything I read online but this was really helpful to read, thank you for that!

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Laura August 14, 2012 at 12:02 am

Soon after my then boyfriend proposed, I asked him what he wanted for a wedding. He told me he didn’t care and it upset me because as all of us know, we ladies do not want to be planning a wedding to celebrate ‘our love’-alone. Of course I wanted a reason and what I found out changed my opinion of the indifferent fiance. A few things to keep in mind…
-Your guy has most likely been thinking about proposing for several months. Think about it… going to jewelry stores, dealing with pushy salespeople, worrying if you’ll like the ring etc…
-He bought it. Your ring is most likely the most expensive thing he’s bought for anyone other than himself. He may still be paying for it!
- Then, he tried to come up with a way to propose, it may have been elaborate or hidden in a twinkie! I can guarantee his nerves were humming, and he was most likely terrified.
-Keep in mind, he’s wondering if you’ll say yes! When you screamed ‘YES!’, and he put that ring on your finger, that was him making his commitment. He had done his duty!

When my fiance explained that from ring shopping to ‘YES’ was more like a covert operation that lasted several months, I understood. I pretty lucky that my fiance DOES have opinions about the wedding, but he’s not worried about details as I am. Guys go through a process that is akin to a wedding well before we start picking out centerpeices. For them, we are wearing their commitments. I’m not trying to make excuses but keep this in mind the next time you want to throttle your fiance when he seems less than excited about flower arrangments. I hope this gives an insight on guys and wedding planning.

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Nora October 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Good point!!

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QB December 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm

YOU really just saved me from having a major attitude with my fiance about why he’s not as excited . I would have NEVER Looked a it from that angle and what he went through. Thank you truly!!!

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Nikki August 15, 2012 at 7:17 am

Yes, I had a bunch of those for my wedding. I ran full-steam into wedding plans and the wedding got bigger and bigger. More elaborate and more expensive to the point I had anxiety about the whole “occasion.” The more people asked about it, the worst I felt. That kinda ties into your #1, #5, and #8. If I would have been paying more attention to myself and my feelings I would have realized that the anxiety had nothing to do with the wedding, but more why I was getting married. Anyways, that’s some of the things I found out about myself while planning a “conventional” wedding.

Also, if you haven’t found it yet, check out Offbeat Bride for some pretty nifty DIY and unique wedding ideas.

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Christina August 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm

AMEN sister! If I could count the number of days spent stressing or the amount of times I’ve cried about stupid things with wedding planning… Oh my goodness. As much as I’ve heard most of this advice before its so great just to know you aren’t alone with the stressing, worrying, etc. and I just can’t wait for the day to come so that it will all be over and I can’t go back to a normal life with my new husband. I never understood why people said to give yourself time to just be together before having kids. We have been together seven years so my plan was to have kids right after we got married. Now… I understand, you need time to go back to just being together without all of the insanity of planning a wedding before starting another adventure that will also be FULL of wanted/unwanted advice.

Thank you so much for your post.

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Cathy August 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

THANK YOU! I’m 37, have 5 children (two with my first husband, three with Brandt), own a business with Brandt, and we have a home together… and we’re FINALLY finding the time to get married the summer of 2013. We have our date set, lots of stuff rented… and I’m here to tell ya – than just in the past 6 months, I’ve spent much of my time stressing about many of the points you just wrote about.

WHEW!

So thank you – it’s wonderful to know I’m not alone :)

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Melissa August 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm

I’m one of those lucky girls that has a fiancé that is involved in all of the decisions! I also agree that this planning a wedding thing is not all its cracked up to be! I have found that you just can’t make everyone happy and at the end of all it you gotta do what you and your man wanna do. We are 2 months from our date and we have a ton to do still. We started making small weekly lists. It really helps us each get things checked off. Happy planning!

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Ashley September 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm

This is such a great thing to post..thank you sooo much! I just got engaged a week ago and we only have about 11 months to plan so I am trying to get ahead of everything, which is hard, and not as exciting as I thought it would be. But I have to worry more about myself then the rest of the people, that was a really good one! But if your fiance is involved with the planning..(which I know is a rarity) but luckily mine is a little bit, so what I did with him is have him do a job each day to help you out. Doesn’t matter if it is small or big, but it will help you out a lot. You can do this even if he doesnt wanna help out the planning! We have been doing this and it helps A TON. Or if you fiance would do it, have your mom, stepmom, whoever will help you. Do it EACH day. :)

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Jess October 6, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I found your post thanks to pintrest, and I just wanted to say Thank You for writing it. In all the planning and craziness, I was starting to feel like everything was falling apart and it’s nice to have some one say, ‘hey, been there, done that-and I’m still sane!’

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Brit October 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

I love your advice and totally agree! I was dating my fiancé for 4 years before he decided to pop the question. Needless to say, our families were very excited when it finally happened. EVERYONE has and opinion and they all want to share! My favorite quote this far…
His sweet family member: “Sweety, this is YOUR wedding, do what YOU want and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise”
Me: “Thank you so much! We have always wanted a cruise wedding, we’re really excited about it!”
His sweet family member: “Oh goodness, a cruise is not a wedding! That’s a vacation! DON’T do that!”

I have come to the conclusion it is best to just smile and nod. I can’t let this little instances bother be! Better to look at them with a bit of humor.

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Jessie December 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I attended a cruise wedding and it was fabulous! The couple does not have a large family so it suited them very well. They had the ceremony before the ship set sail so once 1. people who couldn’t afford the whole cruise could still attend the wedding 2. that by the time the ship set sail they were completely on vacation and enjoying their honeymoon. It was a blast!

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Christina October 18, 2012 at 8:41 pm

My fiance is exactly like yours– he’s so easy-going that he doesn’t really care about what’s there. He’s completely fine with whatever I pick. So I figured out a deterent to get them to actually say something…
When you find the most hideous thing ever, whether it be a pattern, or a color, or a bridesmaid dress, or anything of the sort, tell him you absolutely LOVE it (and act like it too, or he won’t buy it). If he says ‘yeah, thats great’ than you know he has no interest in any of the planning. I do this every once in a while and I get the best reactions; from funny faces to a laughing fit to him flat out saying ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’. No matter who stressful the planning may get, that always lightens my mood. Plus, we get some great memories out of it that we can laugh about for a lifetime.

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Autumn November 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I just wanted to say, as a stepmom, that it warms my heart to know that you have such a special bond with your stepmother. :)

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Araceli November 27, 2012 at 8:31 am

This is very helpful and it was a relief to read your view on your wedding.. Mine is still 6 mths away and I’m already stressed with who to invite and my fiance not approving or vise versa to invites and food and he’s not into it he says he doesn’t want to hear about it until its necessary :/ I guess its a guy thing and I’m completely OCD about details in my daily life that I’m scared of me further down the road with this planning .. I just want to get it over with enjoy the day of and get on with it .. Thanks for your post!

-an anxious bride-to-be

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Kelli November 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Just read the post! Great info here. I’ve been married for almost 4 years now and we did the courthouse thing. We are planning on having a real ceremony on our 5th yr anniversary. Sometimes I think that is a much easier way to do things! It saves you the big expense at the beginning of your marriage that you can put towards other things and gives you time to save up and plenty of planning time! For me personally, the more time I have had to plan the less money I am going to spend. My ceremony at the moment is just over $1000 and its going to be great! Watching for deals and having the ability to “shop around” is great!

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Christy February 7, 2013 at 5:03 pm

This may have been said already, sorry!

I asked my then-fiancé to take care of the honeymoon because I just did not have time because of wedding planning. Maybe this is a traditional role for the groom, but we didn’t know what we’re doing. So, I planned the wedding, along with my mother and asked for his opinion every-now-and-then, and he planned the honeymoon, aside from our agreeing on the destination. And, it was all absolutely wonderful! He did a great job and our wedding & honeymoon was exactly how I imagined it would be!

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jaime February 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm

That’s a great idea, Christy – thank you so much for sharing!

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Bella March 9, 2013 at 5:43 am

Please promise me that this is all true and my fiancé isn’t the only one who seems to “not care”???
I just can’t work out where that comes from, I mean he asked me right?
It’s so much more stressful than I thought.
Should have done it at a registry!!

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Hannah March 31, 2013 at 6:33 am

I’m glad to hear other post brides and bride-to-be’s are worried about stuffing up their whole wedding. My fiance and I have agreed not to plan our wedding for a few more months. Every time we start brain storming ideas, we count about 10 people who would be put out by it. We know what we want, a small wedding on the beach with our closest family and our best friends. But I’m more worried about paying 10s of thousands of dollars on a party that sucks than entering our marriage – THAT is going to be the easy bit, my partner is an amazing man!
Jeez, priorities huh?

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Amanda April 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm

I love all of your advice, and all of the advice of the many commenters!

I am about three weeks into being engaged, and amazingly enough it is ALREADY pure craziness. I have no idea that the moment you announced your engagement everyone around you goes completely bat-shit-crazy.

And ladies, I am not complaining about my wonderful groom-to-be, but let me tell you. There is the spectrum of “groom who only wants to show up to the church” and “groomzilla” and most of you have the former, well… I have the latter! I love that he cares but we are on a pretty strict budget and I am interested in doing a lot of DIY and not going into debt… he sees this as the opportunity to have a ginormous event that blows all previous weddings out of the water. Aggghh!

My point being, there must be a happy medium!!!

And we are doing the pre-cana wedding preparation as well. I think it can’t hurt to sit down and discuss our marriage since that is what this whole darn fuss is about anyways.

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Zoe June 23, 2013 at 1:12 am

Hey Ya’ll,

I agree with Amanda. All of the posts that have been made resemble what I’ve been experiencing.

My partner and I decided to get engaged, then two weeks later had an engagement party in late Jan’13.

I have a house that I offered my partner to move into with I. We have a homeloan to pay off, which isn’t as big as other homeloans. We have renovated the house from head to toe, costing us 30 thousand. Bare in mind it had to be done within right weeks, since my parents had sold their house. We needed to move into my house with my parents until I am to marry my fiancé. The wedding is in Oct’13, costing about 25 thousand because it doesn’t just end with the reception. Cake, band, outfits & photographer all adds up. I’m doing the invites & bonbonnieres myself. Found a cheap dress on eBay as well.

To be honest with the all of you. We’d rather no wedding, but it needs to be done because as much as it’s our night, it’s also the guest’s night as well. Though, I know they will be picking on bits and pieces, looking at the reception’s carpet, curtains, table etc. I couldn’t care more nor less. I’ve seen the so called best and expensive wedding. Trust me, nobody cares nor talks about it. I don’t like it when people go all out, or force you in doing so. I’ve kept it simple. So should the all of you.

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Samantha June 25, 2013 at 11:41 am

I am a Mother of two under age 4, so I am a bride who is a little more flexible as any Mother of kids that age typically are.

My Mother was hounding me last weekend that I wasn’t stressed all out and was so calm and that I have so much to do – apparently, so I asked her what do I have left to do that NEEDS to be done?

My venue is paid, my caterer is paid, our hotel is paid, our centrepices bought, flowers bought, dress bought, grooms wear rented, nothing else could really be done until the week of the wedding (final dress fittings, picking up tux, etc etc).

To me, get your BIG stuff in order and if the rest doesnt fall into place who cares?

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Lauren July 10, 2013 at 10:00 pm

This is wonderful! Thank you so very much for making me realize I am not alone!

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Kat July 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm

I have less than 2 months before my wedding, and elopement certainly has come to mind! Lots of things have been going wrong, including my photographer suddenly telling me that she can’t do my wedding and I can’t afford another one. Although, as everyone keeps telling me, I will only care that I’m married when it’s all over… plus presents ;)

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Olivia July 19, 2013 at 8:43 am

I am planning a nonwedding wedding… meaning we are getting married in a state park with only 15 people there… My mom and I are paying for everything. She bought the dress and is paying for dinner after… I am paying for my flowers, doing my own hair and make up, the hotel for two nights, his out fit, the fee for all 17 of us to get in to the park, the marriage license, and the person to marry us… I asked my fiance to help me pay for the alterations to my dress… around 400 dollars because there is a rush fee, that’s fine… I mean I thought it would be… he blew up saying this is stupid and it cost way too much, he can’t pay that… My mom has already done enough, I wouldn’t dare ask my dad… and GOD knows I would never mention money to his parents…. so the fact that he doesn’t even offer to pay for it… let alone buy me an engagement right or wedding band (I bought his already and a watch and tie bar as well as a new travel suitcase for gooms gifts) I get chewed out for his $400. It’s depressing… my wedding is less than 15oo dollars and I get told I want too much and should marry a millionaire.

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Elizabeth Greem August 21, 2013 at 11:29 pm

I completely agree Jamie. I remember my friend went through lot of difficulties as she was very confused what to plan, how to plan, and where to plan her wedding. She had some wedding woes. I wish every bride-to-be know these things before planning a wedding

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Jaclyn September 10, 2013 at 6:53 am

Great blog!

I’m busy planning my wedding (5 months to go) and every so often I just feel completely overwhelmed by the stress! I really always pictured this being easy breezy fun! I have 5 bridesmaids (had to have them all!) and an involved mom who sometimes make it easier, but a lot of personalities are hard to juggle.

My advice would be to not choose your bridesmaids too hastily. I chose one of mine super fast because she asked me if she could be one (we had a two-year engagement so my M-I-L could save to come down as she was here from NZ for the proposal) and then had a lot of time to regret it. Eventually I had to tell her that I just didn’t want her to be one anymore, it was hard and awkward and hurtful. Take your time.

While I give all my bridesmaids tasks I have also kept one relatively task-free. she is my best friend and I only ask for her to be a sounding board. I ask her to just go for drinks and listen to me panic every now and then. This is my most valuable bridesmaid a lot of the time!

Sometimes also it’s hard to remember that it’s about you and your fiance when you’re running around like a headless chicken. We have biweekly wedding meetings where we go for drinks and discuss wedding plans (I give him 1 for my 10!) and it makes us excited again. It’s important to stay deeply in love under all the strain.

Good luck everyone, enjoy being princesses for a day! :)

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megan September 16, 2013 at 11:32 am

that some friends even best friends will let you down. Not in a ” Im going to end this friendship” kind of way, but they just wont be as happy at the showers, or parties as you would have originally thought. I have one friend that down right acts uninterested and she would have been the one out of them all I would have thought to be my biggest cheerleader. And that people will complain to you. I never in a million years would have complained or thought to complain to the bride about how stressed out planning her shower is making me, or how stressed i am about ordering food on the wedding day for all the girls getting ready, but my sister sure has taken it upon herself to tell me every stress she is feeling as she plans for my events. Weddings especially your own really allow you to see who people really are, and how clueless they sometimes are too. It has put many friendships into perspective, but has brought me and my fiance so much closer, I know more than ever that he is my rock!

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Hannah September 17, 2013 at 6:31 pm

In the last month or so I’ve been a bridesmaid at a wedding, attended a good friends wedding and have been busy helping out with both. Plans for my own wedding have now well and truly begun and I’ve realised through my friends’ weddings that the relationships with family, friends and your fiancé are much more important than the colour of the napkins. The details of the day are just that, little details. It’s the special moments shared with the special people around you, which are remembered. I now also understand how stressful a wedding can be for EVERYONE, not just the bride and groom. It takes a strong, selfless person to put themselves and whatever else is going on in their lives aside to make room, physically and mentally, for someone else’s wedding.
So in the planning of my own wedding I’ve noticed not everyone is as excited by my wedding as I am, and there is no need to be. They have their own lives and their own issues that are just as important. There is no way I am going to put THEIR life on hold to plan MY wedding. It’s just one day. My goal is to lighten up on the details, involve the people who want to be involved, forget the stress and share the special moments. If one bridesmaid is more excited about her friend’s birthday than my wedding, that’s not going to ruin my day, I get it, I was a young once too. The lead up to our wedding day will tell as much about my friends and family as it will about me.

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Heather October 10, 2013 at 11:15 am

My wedding is 10 days away, and I cried myself to sleep last night over almost every single one of these things. The advice “it’s your day” annoys the heck out of me, because if it was just MY day, then we’d have eloped two days after he proposed. We want to include people and make it special for them, but the stress is KILLING me worrying about it. We are pulling off a miracle wedding- 120 people, and $3000 wedding budget. But we’re making it happen! At this point, I am ready for the wedding to be over, and am beginning to resent having one. I HATE that, and I want to be happy and excited, but all I can see down the road is stress, stress, stress.
I’m mostly just super bummed, and a little mad about my fiancee right now. I’ve asked him to do a grand total of 3 things (give me his ring size, take care of the groomsmen outfits, and take care of his suit), and last night, I finally had to order the groomsmen’s things because it still wasn’t done. It’s like he could not care less to even pretend like he cares about our day. I get that it’s about the marriage, but just a little feigned interest would go a long way I feel like…

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jaime October 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Girl, I can’t tell you how much I relate to this! Before Cam and I got married, I actually had to have a full-on “Come to Jesus” talk with him… and so did my father! It wasn’t amazing (he still didn’t think the whole thing was worth it until afterwards) but it helped.

Just remember why you’re marrying him. Good luck… and I want to see pictures!

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Frances November 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Wow I so needed to read this. 7 months to go for my wedding. Venue, Caterer, Cake and dress are taken care of so I don’t know why I feel so worried. Glad I am not alone. Thank you.

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stephanie November 25, 2013 at 1:09 am

I hate getting married,.. I just got engaged a week ago, I’m already depressed.. I couldn’t sleep at all..

The soon to be my father in law meddling in everything, he wants to be in charge in every decision including the venue, wedding organiser, decorations, you name it. I’m so glad he decided not to choose my wedding gown too!

And, I have to live with him too after the wedding! Our place is not ready until 6 months later after the wedding day. So we figured out that we’re going to live with his dad first.

BUT I don’t think I can do it! Not even for 1 day! I just saw him for 4 days straight, I couldn’t take it anymore and I got really stressed EVERY TIME I see him. I don’t know why, he’s so arrogant, domineering, rude and looking down on almost everyone (except the ones with MONEY).

I am thinking to postpone the wedding day, but I don’t know whether it’s a good idea or not. I feel like my fiancee is under a lot of stress too because his dad and I do not get along.

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Kelly January 5, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Our second daughter is getting married on October 4, 2014. She lives in IA we live in MI where the wedding will take place. Her older sister lived in Vegas and came home for the wedding so this is the second one that I have had to be locally responsible for. We are paying for the wedding, but it is still hers.

Decide what is the most important and give your f-I-l to be whatever else you don’t care about. If he wants to impress people with a pricey reception, let him pay for it! Tell him you will choose your own gown, flowers, decorations, etc. whatever you are paying for. Welcome his opinion/advice, but if he’s not paying for it, it’s YOUR decision. If he gets out of control, warn him you’ll elope if he doesn’t back off and do so if he does.

He sounds like a bulky, it’s your day. Pick and choose your battles. Good luck

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Stressed February 9, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Couldn’t have more opposite issues . No one is interested in doing anything but show up and I’m on a very tight tight budget , 3 months to go and haven’t purchased anything including invites all we have is a venue secured. I’m ready to say screw it if it’s not meant to be oh friggin well. I guess it was a waste of 8 years.

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Jaclyn February 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Shame Stressed. If I can say anything in consolation, my husband and I tied the knot last weekend. For the last two weeks before the wedding we did nothing but fight, and we don’t really fight. I could’ve cancelled. I wanted to cancel. I got a rash on my back from stress, it was all so hectic.

But last Saturday when it all came together and I felt like a princess and we got married, and all the Mr and Mrs and husban and wife name calling since then … It was all so worth it and I’m sure it will be for you too. If I learned one thing about wedding planning it’s that for most brides IT SUCKS. But the day always pays off, and when the stress lifts afterwards and you reflect and laugh and feel this new kind of love, it’s all so totally worth it. That’s why you’re going through all this hectic stuff, because you are planning your ultimate day! And it wouldn’t be the best day ever if it didn’t turn your world upside down to plan it!

Good luck and hang in there!

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Carina Mancini March 19, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I just started planning my wedding and what she writes is so true! I am 18 years old,going to be 19 on my wedding day. Getting everything booked and hearing a million comments and pieces of advice is really stressful and overwhelming. Just breathe and itll be okay!

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