I realised I have been engaged for over a year, and have been busily planning a wedding but I haven’t talked about it much here at all. With our wedding at the end of August, I guess we should be almost done now, and in parts we are, but we also still have plenty to do. It has been a journey with highs and lows and one thing I can safely say it that wedding planning is not as I initially thought it would be!
I plan on sharing a lot of the detail of the wedding after the day itself, but until then here is some of the things I have learned so far. If you are newly engaged, then this might be useful…if you are well into wedding planning or are already married I am hoping you recognise some of these too!
1.I have turned into one of ‘those’ brides.
I never planned to get married, so I didn’t think I would ever be a bride at all. But I knew if I was ever to become a bride, I didn’t want to be one of those brides. You know the type: talk about their wedding all the time; say how much there is to do in one breath and say it is all done in the next; say how hard it is in one breath, and how fun it is in the next; spend hours making stuff that guests will carelessly discard on the floor; become obsessed over the smallest, most inconsequential things….yep, me, me, me. It pains me to say it, but I am all of those things and probably more.
I can only apologise to my friends, family, work colleagues, postman, groom to be, pets and pretty much anyone else that encounters me. And I can only expect it to get worse in the next couple of months as we get close but I will (hopefully) return to normal post-wedding.
2. It is all about the compromise
Right from the word go, I realised there was going to be a lot of compromise. Firstly of course it is compromise between the bride and the groom – with Mr B and I it began with us drawing up a long list of what our venue should be like. With each of our requirements it turned out to be almost impossible to find something that fit. A little bit of compromise and bingo, Hampton Manor was booked. After that came compromises about the budget, the style, the guest list etc etc
Then add family and friends into the equation – whilst I firmly believe in it being the bride and groom’s decision on what they do, boy does everyone else have an opinion!
And what I perhaps hadn’t realised was the constant compromise on pretty much everything else – mainly between what you might have once imagined or thought was a good idea, and then marrying that up with the affordability/do-ability of it. For example, I thought it would be great to give each guest a miniature bottle of champagne to open themselves for the toasts. A little bit of Googling and a couple of taps on a calculator soon had me dismissing that idea!
3. Something will go wrong
I have heard that in every wedding something will go wrong, and that is probably something in the planning stage and something on the day. Our planning stage mishap has been envelopes. And it has been more than one mishap. I must have bought at least 200 envelopes that have been discarded for one reason or another – lack of availability, wrong colour, wrong size, wrong colour lining, wrong thickness, or the pièce de résistance is when I ordered some and they came flatpack. Who knew that even existed?! Why would I want to glue together 100 envelopes? Who has time for that shit?! But I won’t let the envelopes beat me. They will be right! (refer to point 1 – clear demonstration over becoming obsessed with the smallest, most inconsequential things).
So something has gone wrong already. I won’t go into the time that our wedding spreadsheet with EVERY little detail on it disappeared for my computer without a trace.
And don’t even think of asking me about the time when we had just finished recreating it when it happened again.
It is still too raw.
Surely, everything else will be plain sailing now?
4. Pinterest is (the best…and) the devil
As pretty much every other bride to be, once I started wedding planning I headed straight to Pinterest and set up a load of boards. I have gathered heaps of inspiration that has helped and guided me through the wedding planning process. It helped me decide my colour theme, given me inspiration on how my tables should look and what I wanted my flowers to be like. BUT… it also makes it so difficult. Firstly, what you see on Pinterest is not often very easy to recreate! Those beautiful, simple images that you think to yourself, ‘I could totally do that’ often costs a fortune or will take days or weeks of prep. The other reason is that there is just so much choice out there. I was given a brilliant piece of advice from a wedding planner friend Jessie Thomson and that was once you come up with a theme, stick to it. And good advice it is, but those pins keep popping up into my Pinterest feed and threaten to derail my vision.
Maybe I should have opted for the blush pink colour palette. Or the two piece dress. Or an outdoor wedding. Gaaaaaaaaaahhhh!
On the flip side, Instagram has been an absolute dream for me and has been the key to me finding a number of my suppliers including my fabulous florist who you might have read about in my interview with her here.
5. It takes up all of the time
Before I understood and accepted that point 1 would, and did, happen to me I thought I would breeze through this wedding planning malarky, making quick decisions, keeping things easy and quite simply, boshing it. Oh, how little did I know that the wedding would take up all of the time I have, and plenty of time I don’t have too! From researching bands which quite literally took us weeks, to drafting and redrafting the invites. Hours of work has been put in. Every last detail has been thought about. Rethought about. Discussed. Compromised. Pinned. Unpinned. Repinned.
Yes, I am crazy. Refer to point 1.
6. I now get it
And finally, I now get it. I get why point 1 happens in the first place. I get why people think that women who are normally quite sane turn into that very horrible term that is given to them that I can’t even say out loud (hint, it starts with b and ends in zilla).
Wedding planning is hard. It is fun, but most of all it is big.
Everyone wants to be involved. Sometimes that is a good thing, and sometimes it isn’t.
It costs a lot. SO much money spent on one day that you are told will be the best day of your life. Talk about pressure.
It takes up so much time. And so much brain power. And so much negotiation.
And most of all, brides care. We care what colour the envelopes are, that our guests have enough Prosecco to drink, that uncle Jimmy doesn’t upset aunt Edith. We care what we will look like on the day, we care that it runs smoothly, and that everyone has a good time. And we really care, that the day we vow to love someone else for the rest of our lives, will be a really, really good day.
So knowing what I know now, I wish I could go back and relive my attendance at the weddings I have been to previously. I have always appreciated what other couples have done for their guests and I like to think i’ve been a good wedding guest, but I would take extra note of all the details and appreciate the time and thought that had gone in to them. And the time and thought that had gone in to the things I couldn’t see. I would give the brides-to-be more support and understanding about the challenges they were facing during the planning, and more understanding of what it must feel like once the day is done. I know how totally unacceptable it is to not turn up to a wedding or to cancel last minute, or to pressure a couple planning a wedding into doing or not doing something.
I have learned a lot…but my guess is the next three months will bring some even bigger lessons!