It finally happened. The long awaited day finally came and went. I’ve been a very happily married woman for a whole 11 days. I personally think my husband and I have perfected this marriage thing already. I don’t know why people say being married is so hard…. **pause for smirk and exaggerated eye roll**
Obviously, I’m kidding. Honestly, being married doesn’t feel a ton different. Granted, my husband and I already lived together. We’ve been together for 3 and a half years and this didn’t change much of our every day life together. It feels a little different, a little heavier in a good way. He isn’t my boyfriend, or my fiance, but he is my husband and I am his wife. That is still a very exciting thing. And I have started the name-change process, so seeing a new last name on my driver’s license is super fun and weird.
But now that the wedding planning is over and the wedding day has come and gone, I figured I would maybe have some advice for people who are just starting the process. But I don’t want to give you the same advice you could find on an overly-googled cutesy list, so bare with me while I try to mix it up and dig a little deeper.
#1 – My Mantra for the Wedding Planning
“If it won’t matter five months after the wedding, don’t let yourself be upset for more than five minutes now.”
This one saved my but more than a few times. If something doesn’t go right, isn’t how you would have liked, or someone in your family, future family-in-law, or bridal party is driving you crazy, let yourself be upset but only for a few minutes. If you hold your emotions in, they will just explode out at a much worse time. If you dwell on them, you forget the important parts and let it drive you mad. So feel it, vent about it to your fiance or whomever isn’t driving you crazy, and then let it go.
I promise, it won’t matter if your processional music isn’t just right. You’re so in the moment, you don’t hear it anyway!
#2 – If you want to, it is okay to make your planning (and your Pinterest Board) PRIVATE.
This is a good idea for multiple reasons. For one, everybody has an opinion. Your mom, your sister, your friends, your future in laws, your fiance’s friends, your pastor or other officiant, and the list goes on and on. And some of these opinions you will want. Some you will ask for. And some you will politely nod and let it go in one ear and out the other. The only thing that matters is what you and your fiance want, and don’t let anyone tell you you shouldn’t or can’t do something you want. If you can afford it on your own (don’t ask someone to pay for lobster when you are on their chicken and fish dime, that’s just rude), then do what you want no matter what. Even if it isn’t “what’s done”. Don’t want to toss garter or bouquet, don’t! Want to go dress shopping by yourself, do it! Want to ride in on camel back, I don’t recommend it depending on your dress or venue, but who am I to tell you no!
Another example of a reason to make your board private, you probably know someone who is getting married around the same time as you. If you don’t want them to take your ideas, especially if they are getting married before you, then keep the shit on lock down. It’s okay to be private about what you want. You don’t own anyone answers or explanations.
#3- Don’t compare
Literally, anything. Don’t compare anything. Don’t compare your day to someone else’s. Budgets, tastes, etc. are all different. Don’t compare your dress to someone else’s. Especially if you bought it 12 months before your wedding like I did. You have a lot of time to sit and think about if it is really the one, but trust your gut. You didn’t do that with your fiance, don’t do it with your dress. Don’t compare your body to all the brides you see in the magazines and on the internet. Your fiance loves you exactly the way you are. Your family and friends love you. And guess what, they already know what your body looks like. They don’t look at you on your wedding day having completely forgot what you ever looked like before. They don’t look at you in that moment and think, “Wow, I didn’t realize she was _______ (fat, flabby, too thin, pale, etc.)”
No one thinks that. They think you look beautiful and happy and in love. That’s it! So relax! Enjoy your day and let it be the most perfect YOUR wedding day.
#4 – You may be surprised by the emotional things you have to work through on the way to your wedding day.
There will be the obvious emotions. Wedding planning is fun, stressful, and exciting. You’ll be happy, you’ll be overwhelmed, you’ll be all sorts of emotions. But, if you are anything like me, you may find that you will experience emotions you weren’t prepared for. For me, it was complicated family dynamics that caused unexpected emotions. Dealing with your grandparents getting divorced a few months before your wedding and losing the only grandpa who was still living because he decided to leave the family and not care if he ever sees you again. Trying to balance being excited for the father/daughter dance while also feeling conflicted about playing some overly emotional and sappy song that just felt like a lie when your relationship has been rocky over your childhood. The feeling of begging your mother to be more interested and present in the planning while watching her eyes glaze over when you start to talk about it. Then top that crap sundae with some whipped cream conversations the day before the wedding about how she is just a guest at the wedding because you were too “independent” to let her help.
These things suck, and they surprise you because you didn’t think what you thought were (mostly) resolved issues would bring up emotions. But they do. And that’s okay, you’ll get through it. I mention this as advice not because it will keep this from happening, but maybe it will keep you from being so surprised if it does.
And lastly, and most importantly
#5 – Remember what the day is truly about, but more importantly, remember it is only one day.
The day will be a wonderful party of all your friends and family. It is a great time! But it isn’t about the party. It’s about marrying the person across from you during your vows. It isn’t about the ending of the dating period or the wedding planning, it is about the start of your life together. And that is what you should be most excited for. Be excited about the wedding day, but be MORE excited about seeing the look on your partner’s face the first time they see you on your wedding day. Be MOST excited about waking up the next morning married to the person you love. Be MOSTEST excited about the life you are going to build together. Because that is what the day is really about.
So enjoy your planning. Enjoy your wedding day. And then enjoy it being over! I surely am!