This week’s blog is a bit of a break from the norm. Today I’m arming you with wedding planning advice so you can destress and enjoy one of the most exciting times of your life! If you’re newly engaged, in the midst of planning your wedding or about to get hitched then you’re not alone when worrying, stressing or losing sleep about things! After speaking to friends who are in the same boat, or are married, the anxiety, worry and stress that takes over can end up sucking all the joy out of what you thought would be the happiest time of your life! We don’t want that now, do we?
I’m quite newly engaged…yep he put a ring on it! And after six years together I was totally ready to get down that aisle and get hitched. I hadn’t ever really considered everything else that comes along with it until it was thrust upon me…
A bit of insight into my state of mind when my boyfriend got down on one knee. In shock, the first thing I said, after “fuck off, fuck off, fuck off” was, “I’ve got a lot on at the minute.” I’m laughing about it now, but it goes to show how my mind works sometimes when I feel overwhelmed.
It’s been interesting speaking to people since I’ve been engaged. As I’m one of the most organised people who bloody loves planning, they expected that I had a big Monica-from-Friends-esque wedding planning folder under my bed that I’d added to for years. They thought I’d have a Pinterest board ready and raring to go with themes, colours, table plans, dresses… Nope. I have nadda. I wanted to get married, but to me it was all about the actual being married part and throwing a big party for friends and family that I was bothered about.
Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly, over-the-moon happy to be engaged (I still get pangs of excitement), but I didn’t know there was so much expectation and pressure! I, and I know other brides-to-be, feel a sense of guilt or shame for having any neggy feelings about the wedding planning process. I was embarrassed to talk about it straight away, I thought I’d bore people and didn’t want to be the centre of attention (which is unlike me!).
the people pleaser
Deep down I’m a people pleaser. I like it when I do things that make people happy. I guess it boils down to the need to be liked and that’s a big thing to admit (you know I’m all about being honest and open!). All I’ve said since starting to plan is that I want everyone to be happy and have a great time. To which my boyfriend has asked, but what about you? Well, if everyone is happy then I’m happy…
This has spilled over into worrying about asking people to go abroad. Thinking of all the ways we can compensate people so they don’t hate us for making them use up holiday days and spending money on travel and accommodation. Not putting too much on people’s plates. Worrying I’ll upset my family if I don’t stick to traditions… I’m sure you’re nodding your head in agreement and have more to add to the list!
the honest truth
We went to Italy on a venue research trip recently (very exciting!). I imagine you’re seeing us romantically tucking in to red wine and sharing a bowl of spag bol ala Lady and The Tramp. No word of a lie, we spent about 80% of it bickering. It probably didn’t help that I planned the first day so well (by well I mean tight) that we had no breaks so I didn’t eat anything from 8am until 7pm = hangry! We were tempted to pull over to the side of the road to lick some dew off of grass for hydration.
I spoke to my sister (who is the star of the gorgeous blog pic) when I got back and she was in no way surprised to hear it. Her and her now husband did the same when planning their wedding. Since speaking to other friends they’ve told me the same. It’s supposed to be one of the happiest times in your life, that’s over in a blink of an eye, and you spend most of the time before stressing and taking it out on your loved ones.
The trip made me realise two of the most important things – 1) cherish this moment and 2) remember why you’re doing it. I’m never going to get to experience this again (well at least I hope not!) and, at the end of the day, as long as Jack and I are happy and bursting with love on the day then that’s all that matters.
There have been a few digs from people at how quickly we’ve booked the wedding in since being engaged (well you would if you’re asking people to save to go abroad!). But, I should say, my friends and family have been more than amazing and are totally down with the non-traditional, destination wedding. Well, at least that’s what they’re saying to our faces!
Now we’ve booked our venue, sent a save the date and started asking our bridal party we’re really enjoying the moment and plan to squeeze every last drop out of the next 10 months (with only about 20% of bickering thrown in…).
I’ll let you know how we get on!
ADVICE to you
So, I asked my lovely married and engaged friends to impart some wisdom to share with you all. Whether you’re in the planning process, about to get hitched, considering it in the future or loving single life and don’t give a flying F about it but fancy a nose. Here’s some gems to keep in mind when you want to strangle the love of your life:
- Be selfish! “You are only going to have your wedding day once (hopefully!). There is always going to be one person who doesn’t like one aspect of your wedding day. Do what makes you happy, you can’t please everyone.”
- Prioritise! “Write down the aspects that are most important to you. For me, it was always the music. It can help prioritise your spending, rather than forking out loads on things that are important to others but not you.”
- What’s important to you? “Is what you’re agonising over really that important? I agonised for days over whether to have paper or cloth napkins, which I now find hilarious. Take a step back when you’re stressed about something and ask whether it’s really that big of a deal.”
- Take a break – “My husband and I got engaged and married within 6 months. We had already booked a big holiday before the wedding, which actually really helped. We couldn’t do any planning or answer questions from friends while overseas. While a big holiday might not be in everyone’s budget, even a night away, leaving your phone at home, could help get some headspace to only focus on the big day itself.”
- Set dedicated time – “Wedding planning can be stressful and time consuming. Try to delegate set chunks of time so it doesn’t take over your life. Stick to a cut off and then relax and unwind.”
- Work to your strengths – “If you’re a natural planner, don’t expect your other half to be as organised as you. Discuss your strengths and allocate areas to look after based on that. If one of you is more about the numbers and logistics, then manage the budget, compile the RSVPs etc.”
- Relinquish control – “I remember the evening before the wedding, I mentally accepted that we had done all the prep we possibly could do. Even if you have meticulously planned everything down to the most minute detail, there will always be small things that weren’t 100% planned and 90% of them won’t even be noticed by anyone else.”
- Don’t sweat the small stuff – “I stressed so much about the tiny details of the decor (small accessories on the table, how the staircase was decorated…) when in fact these were the things the guests took little notice of.”
- Enjoy the planning – “The day itself comes around so quickly. Don’t get stressed trying to sort everything by yourself! Ask for help. The idea of decorating 100s of jam jars by yourself can be depressing, so why not invite your mates over for a takeaway and a bottle of wine. I guarantee they’d enjoy doing it with you and being involved.”
Walk slowly down the aisle!
And mostly all my lovely ladies said…enjoy every minute of it with your partner!
I’m sure I’ll filling you in on more of in the months leading up to the wedding and if you have any burning questions or want any advice then please do get in touch! Email/Instagram/comment on this post.
Until next time.