Wedding Series: Part 4 of 5
So many people go into the wedding planning phase of their engagement thinking that they have to do certain things a certain way just because it’s the way it’s always been done, or because their parents or friends did it that way. This post is meant to open up some doors and to help expectations, both of which – in theory – should have the end result of reducing stress and worry!
So… contrary to popular belief:
1) Your wedding isn’t JUST about you.
Yea, I said it. It’s your wedding day but it isn’t just about you. Now hear me out — there’s a difference between the day being planned as a celebration of your marriage to your spouse versus the world revolving entirely around you no matter what the cost, financial or emotional.
Think about it… it’s also an opportunity to thank all of the people in your life who helped you become who and what you are today. It’s a time for family, friends and togetherness. It’s a time to reflect and show appreciation. It’s a time to extend grace and to make amends. Yes, your wedding day is definitely about you and your fiance, but it isn’t JUST about you. Remember that and also make it apparent.
2) Your wedding day will not be 100% perfect and it will be OK.
I’m willing to bet that if you interviewed 200 brides, not one of them would be able to truthfully tell you that their wedding day went off without a hitch. But I’m also willing to bet that they would be able to tell you that everything worked out, and in some cases, the imperfection of sorts created some sort of comic relief or a break in the silence or an ease of tension. Maybe the flower girl refuses to walk down the aisle and ugly-cries for the rest of the ceremony. Maybe one of the groomsmen forgets his matching shoes. Maybe a bridesmaid forgets to get her dress hemmed or pressed. Maybe the caterer is late or the venue is locked when you arrived (happened to me!). Maybe you don’t love your hair or you makeup and maybe everyone is driving you absolutely bananas with their questions or drama or attempts to help or lack of responsiveness. I PROMISE…it will all work out, one way or another, and your day will be great!
So many brides – and grooms – work so hard to execute this perfect vision and are stressed to the max about the possibility of one little thing going wrong. I’m not saying anyone is wrong for feeling this way – it’s not wrong, it’s human nature!! But what I’m here to tell you is that something WILL go wrong… and it will be A-OK! So if it’s possible to go ahead and set that expectation for your day, it may just save you some frustration or worry or stress. Maybe. 🙂
3) Your engagement period is about more than planning your wedding.
This one is actually harder than it seems, especially if you have a shorter timeline between your engagement and your wedding. Be sure to connect with each other about NOT wedding things!! Have some carefree fun!Talk about serious things. Plan date nights. Talk about the future. Relax!
It’s normal to be SO excited after you get engaged and jump right into wedding planning mode… the trick is to find a way to balance the wedding with the rest of your life and not let it entirely consume your every action and thought. Remember, you’re going to spend THE REST OF YOUR LIFE – theoretically – with your person so you may want to really spend some time making absolute sure this is right for you and that you’re on the same page about the big stuff. And don’t forget your friends and your job. Don’t make too much of a habit of rejecting every offer that comes your way because you have XYZ for the wedding going on. Have some fun and de-stress with your people!! Oh yea! And soak up that last bit of non-married life you can. It’s not really all the different, but it is to a degree. 🙂
4) All of the investments you make for your wedding don’t have to be “for that day only”
Think about all of the “stuff” people buy for their wedding… 10s of 100s of vases, mason jars, bubbles, trinkets, serving dishes, lights, all sorts of things depending on your wedding and venue. What in the world are you going to do with that many vases and where are you going to store them?!?!
This could really go 1 of 3 ways, one being you buy all this stuff for a one-time use and, in a way, “waste” money. Another way you could think about some of those items is to choose a theme or style that allows you to re-use some of those items in your home, or in someone else’s home after the wedding. We actually use quite a few of our vases and mason jars decoratively throughout our home and we’ve lent them out to others many times to make sure they get as much use as possible. And a third option is to consider renting some of those items you may only use the one time. My best friend recently got married and did this, and in hindsight for me, it was such a good idea. It never even crossed my mind at the time of my wedding, but for a reasonable fee she was able to rent (and not have to deal with cleanup and storage) some REALLY cute stuff that went perfectly with her wedding theme.
My point is – think about these things in your planning like I should have. All of those little things add up pretty quickly when you’re talking mass quantity and someone’s gotta pick it up and clean it out the night of the wedding (thanks, family!)
5) You probably won’t have sex on your wedding night.
You might. But you really might not. If it’s a priority, make it one. If it’s not, know that going in. It is a LONG day and a LONG weekend. There’s exhaustion and alcohol and more alcohol and possible drama (hopefully not) and fill-in-the-blank. Just make sure your talk this one through with your soon-to-be-spouse and make sure you’re semi on the same page about it. You don’t want any expectations not being met by either party on day 1! Plus… ummmm honeymoon, hello!
6) There are no rules when it comes to your wedding day
It’s yours and your husband’s event, you get to make the rules. If you don’t want to have a cake, don’t. If you want a bouquet toss but think the whole garter thing is ridiculous, do what you want. If you want it to be an over-21 event? Make it happen. If you want a bridesman or a groomswoman, ask whoever you want to be in your bridal party. If you want anything under the sun and can afford it on your own, make it happen!
Ok, ok, ok. I can acknowledge that my particular situation may be more rare and I am thankful. I had unbelievably helpful and laid back and supportive family members on both sides. No one was relentlessly overbearing or pushing their own agenda or making crazy demands. We were lucky and very very thankful. So I can recognize that some folks may have a harder time – especially when money is involved – managing family expectations, etc. But the point I’m trying to make, even if you have a controlling mother or a crazy in-law or what have you, be sure to put your foot down where you can and reinforce the idea that this is YOUR wedding, not theirs. They’ve already had their chance to get married, maybe. 🙂
Part 5: OK You’re Married, Now What?
**All photos by Realities Photography