Wedding planning seems quite glamorous. You get to try on gorgeous wedding dresses, you get to pick flowers, look at beautiful venues, create a stellar guest list, be the center of attention. There are so many little, amazing details, and as an added bonus, you get to tell the person you love that you want to be with them forever and ever. It's going to be the greatest day of your life. No pressure.
However, no one expects how unbelievably stressful wedding planning can be. I sure as heck didn't expect it. I love planning parties. A wedding is basically just the biggest, greatest party ever, right? Riiiiight.
The truth is that there's a reason why so many couples say they're happy it's over. While most engaged couples start out with a dream in their heart and a twinkle in their eyes, they quickly realize they are in over their heads. And guess what- it's ok! So whether you are currently planning, already had your wedding, or still willing your boyfriend to ask, here's the truth about wedding planning.
Your budget will double and it'll make you want to cry.
They always say, take your budget and double it. And people scoff. I know I did. "No way," I thought. "I can't even afford to double my budget." Next thing you know, you're eating ramen and walking 5 miles to work because you had to invite your college friends, wanted the better photographer, or just underestimated how much everything would cost. Hint: it's probably almost double what you think it'll cost.
Your family members will have their own expectations for the day.
Although it's your wedding, everyone thinks it's their wedding. But remember this: unless they're willing to pay for it, they don't have a say. That means that if your parents think you should get a nicer venue for your rehearsal dinner, they need to pay for it. If your grandmother wants a church wedding in addition to your outdoor ceremony, she needs to fund it. Or, if your mother in law thinks that each person needs an invitation with hand calligraphy instead of printed, she needs to pony up the cash. If you did what everyone wanted, you'd go crazy, broke, or both. So choose your battles and what you'll allow other people to dictate for you. Chances are, when you ask them for for the $1k or $7k to fulfill their request, it won't be quite so important to them.
Your partner might not care about the little details and it'll make you want to cry.
Even though it's so important to you that you decide between satin or linen napkins, your partner might not care, at all. Same goes for picking individual flowers for the centerpieces, whether the women should get corsages or pins, and if the bridal party should wear open or closed toe shoes. And at some point, the unreasonable bridezilla in you will rear her ugly head and make you want to cry. You might even actually cry, and say things like "do you even care about this wedding?!" The truth is that with all the tiny decisions you're faced with (that seem monumental to you) there's a great chance you'll get overwhelmed. And your partner may get overstimulated and give up on decisions. It's all normal, it's all ok, and it'll all get figured out.
You won't be able to find your dream dress, or be able afford it, and that'll make you want to cry.
There are so many gorgeous dresses out there. There's one for you. And that's what makes it even harder. There are SO MANY dresses and you can only choose one. It's ok. Try on as many as you want, but create a deadline for making a decision. The only thing worse than wearing the "wrong" dress is wearing no dress, or wearing the only last-minute choice you could find. Don't do that to yourself. You might be in the bridal salon, or watching Say Yes To the Dress, near tears. It's a stressful thing, and those gorgeous dresses change from something so fun to those mean biotches in high school that made you second guess yourself. Don't give the dresses that power. You'll find the right one for you. Finding a great guy you want to spend your life with is even harder, and you found that, right? And I bet he thinks you're beautiful no matter what.
Did I mention you'll want to cry?
Because you will. Over napkins, over your dress, over your mom hurting your feelings. You name it, it'll make you want to cry. Movies, touching photos, videos of a puppy getting rescued. It'll all bring you to tears. So go ahead and cry. Or eat a bowl of ice cream. You'll get over it. And it's ok to cry. Wedding planning is emotional!
Your wedding isn't as important to everyone else as it is to you.
There will be people that you really thought would be there. And they won't. And you'll definitely be mad, and you'll definitely judge them. But that's ok, you can decide whether or not to go to their wedding. Kidding! Kinda... Just know that just because people don't make it doesn't mean they don't care about you, no matter how much it'll feel that way. And the truth is that you'll be so busy on that day, you probably won't realize. Plus they'll see photos of what they missed out on and they'll have serious FOMO from then on.
Time is a tricky little thing.
It's constant, and yet it seems like it can go quicker or slower. Waiting for your fiancé to ask you to marry him for 12 months? Brutal. Planning your wedding in 12 months? Where did the time go! You'll think you have so much time to plan, until you suddenly realize you don't have nearly enough time. Print out one of those timelines and check things off as you go. And also know that there will be things you do in an opposite order. That's ok too. We picked out our rings before we picked out our wedding song. So be it. As long as it gets done, that's all that matters.
The little details will kill your budget.
Favors, wedding programs, calligraphy, tips for the staff. These are all things that'll throw your budget off track. Create a list of things you need to pay (like tips) and the things you want to add on (like wedding programs) in order of cost and/or importance. Then, add them in as you go along and see what budget you have left. Or, just throw caution to the wind and keep buying until you empty your bank account. That's an option too.
Everyone and their mother will ask how the planning is going.
And they don't really care that much, so don't start ranting to them about the florist picking lilies when you told her how much you hate them, and did you mention how the venue changed their carpeting and now it doesn't match the table linens anymore? How could they do such a terrible thing to you on this most important of days?! Instead, be prepared to answer with some generic cheerful but funny stuff, like"it's going well. Luckily we can agree on what to watch on tv even though we can't agree on which color linens to get." This way, people aren't afraid to get married, or to ever ask you anything again.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
"What do you mean blush pink and carnation pink look the same," you'll wail. But your partner won't know what to say. And your mom might not, or your sister, or your friends. And that can get stressful when you're trying to make a decision. So, if you find that everyone is baffled and doesn't know which pink to go with, or they all say "I don't know, it looks the same to me," chances are your guests will feel exactly the same way. So, seriously... don't sweat the small stuff. There are so many parts to a wedding and in the end it'll all fit together beautifully. No one will notice and if they do notice and have the gall to point it out to you, eff em. Someday they'll get married, or their kids will, and they'll see how hard it is. With so many big decions to make, don't make yourself crazy (or broke) over the small ones.
You'll want to elope about 17 times.
You'll joke at first like, "wow, we could have eloped and gone to Europe for a month with all this money." Then you'll get stressed and say, "if we had eloped we wouldn't have had to deal with this stress." Then it'll turn into "hey if we elope now this will all be over and we don't need to worry about Aunt Tricia arguing with Uncle Hank and if grandad's allergies will act up in our outdoor ceremony or if it's ok that your mom wants to wear off-white. Let's just run away, ok?!" Somehow you'll power through it all and enjoy your wedding day. And you'll agree that it was all worth it.
Pinterest is a trap.
I love Pinterest just as much (or more) than the next gal. It's great for finding ideas and inspiration. However, it's also a perfect way to feel inadequate with your wedding choices, find unnecessary ideas that'll blow your budget, and cause you to pick out trends that you actually don't even like. So, use Pinterest wth caution. Remember that most events you see on there were done by a professional, and even though something might not look expensive, it very well could be. So do your best, use it for inspiration, and don't let Pinterest bully you.
Phew, that's a lot! I hope you're all laughing and nodding in agreement right now. Or, thanking your lucky stars that you're still single or that your wedding planning nightmare is over. The truth is that although it's stressful, you've got to find the fun in it. This is your wedding. Make the planning process fun. You'll (hopefully) only do it once. And if you have to do it twice? That's ok too. You're better prepared the next time around ;)
What's one thing you didn't realize about wedding planning until you were too far into it? Was there anything you'd do differently? Any advice for couples in the midst of wedding planning? Let me know in the comments below!