Well, I just have one thing to say: I feel you! My beautiful, lovely, patient and calm brides and grooms – I FEEL YOU. No, not in a literal way (though if you need a hug I am here), but in a “oooohhh, so that’s what it’s like!” kind of a way.
With 1 week to go until my own wedding, the realisation that I have suddenly become an event producer is very real. Yes, everyone’s planning experience is very different. Yes, our own unique personalities affect how we cope with the experience. And yes, not everyone has backyard weddings for 140 guests where you literally have to bring in EVERYTHING to the venue, other than some chairs and outdoor furniture. But the overall feeling I am sure would be similar across the board – why didn’t we elope again?
Things I have very quickly learnt over the last few months:
1) When the stress outweighs the excitement, that’s when we have to remind ourselves why we are doing this in the first place. You love, love, LOVE each other, right? This is going to be the ultimate proclamation of that! Revel in it.
2) Everyone that has said yes to coming to your glorious production has (hopefully) said yes because they love you! That’s a good thing! On the flip side, regardless of the size of the guest list, no matter who you are, there will be people that will be upset that they weren’t invited. That’s a good thing too, in a way. If they are upset that they aren’t invited then they obviously care about you enough to understand that you had to draw the line somewhere. If not, then they are upset for selfish reasons and that is not your problem!
3) People genuinely want to help! For someone like me who considers themselves to be a strong, independent human being who can do anything they want if they just try hard enough/feels guilty for asking for help for the same reason, accepting offers of assistance can sometimes be harder than actually doing it yourself. At the end of the day, letting go of complete control is freeing, and honestly – if your communication skills are up to scratch you will be able to get the results you want without having to over see every little detail. Let them help. They love you, remember?
4) Research, read bridal advice blogs, talk to your friends and family, but don’t take everything on board. Pick and choose the advice that works for you. There are billions of us in the world, not everything is going to work for everyone. Feeling guilty for not doing something the way your favourite blogger says you should (I am not DIYing nearly enough), or for not following a tradition that doesn’t fit your personal way of life is silly, if you do things your way then that is A-OK!
On the other end of that scale – if you love what another couple did and want to pretty much replicate their entire table setting – do it! It will still be unique to you, and who is going to know? We get so caught up in the whole “my wedding is going to be the most special wedding EVER” but think that means that we have to re-invent the wheel. We don’t, and chances are someone, somewhere has already thought of the amazingly-special-unique thing that is going to make your wedding the best wedding in the universe. The whole marriage thing has been around for awhile, guys. But guess what?! Your wedding WILL be the most amazing wedding ever in the whole entire universe because it is YOURS. That is the cold hard truth, you can’t deny it. So if, in your internet trawling and bridal mag obsessing, you see someone with a bouquet that is EXACTLY what you want, don’t feel sad because you didn’t come up with it first, be excited because there is someone just as awesome as you out there! (This advice was given to me by a very good friend when I saw 3 pink wedding dresses in the one awesome mag and decided my life was over because my pink dress wasn’t going to be the only one in existence. She dragged me out of my pit of despair so I can live to tell the tale and hopefully prevent you all from plummeting into a dark depression due to not being “special” enough. You. ARE).
5) Sometimes I worry that I won’t be able to fulfil everyone’s expectations of how a “bride” should act on the day – happy, weepy, gracious, energetic, fun (or countless other ways depending on what is being projected on to you, either conciously or subconsciously. Thanks society). Then I remember – it is a party to celebrate my love for not just my partner, but everyone there. How could I not be happy? Weepy is a given, I’m a crier and I know it. Energetic and fun – heck yeah I will be! Partying is my forte! Finally – gracious. It will be impossible not to be. With so much support from our family and friends (we couldn’t have done it otherwise, we have been SO lucky with all the support we have been given), I would have to be labotomised to not act graciously. However, I know the effort I have put in to this more than anyone else, so if someone says “this is amazing!” I’m probably going to answer with “I know!” So it’s probably time to start practising my thank you’s ?
6) Choose vendors that fit you. Vendors that want to be there and want to make your visions come alive. Listen to their advice, they’ve been through this a million times. Communicate with them. Keep them in the loop, even if you feel that you are giving them excess info. Sometimes you will have to follow them up because, surprisingly enough, yours is not the only event they are working on! But respect them, if they are the right vendor for you, they will genuinely WANT you to be happy, not just be going through the motions because you’ve given them all your money. Be selective, because it will pay off in the end. My vendors are the BOMB and I wish I could give them the world, they have been so lovely to work with.
7) Write lists. Lists of what you need to do. Lists of what you are excited about. Lists like this one! I feel a million times better already…
8) This is the most important lesson. Be thankful. Be thankful that you are in a position in this world where you are actually able to marry the one that you love and celebrate it with your nearest and dearest. Too many people don’t have that luxury. You are lucky. Let the feeling of being thankful permeate all your interactions, you will be calmer and happier as a result. If all else fails…just breathe, walk away, and come back when you can approach everything with a clear mind. My poor fiancé has had to listen to me freak out about how much I have to do too many times, and when I have tried to articulate what exactly all those things are and why I am freaking out over them? I haven’t been able to! Because it’s not. that. bad.
In conclusion, this is a moment in time that you will never have again. Even if you are married multiple times in your life, each time will be different and special. The first time though, everyone goes into thinking it will be the only time. So appreciate it. Don’t feel guilty about ANY of your decisions. Reconnect with your partner constantly and never stop communicating with each other. You will have moments of stress over the wedding – I went into this thinking that we were immune, but we definitely haven’t been – but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have made a mistake. Keep your head clear, remember to breathe, and never forget – I FEEL YOU! xxx
(Zen seal is zen. Be the seal).