Wedding Wisdom

Being married myself, I too have gone through all the wedding planning mayhem. There were times when I felt overwhelmed and it seemed as though, the more things I tried to get done, more details would pop up that I would have to deal with. Much as I loved my fiancé, who is now my husband, I couldn’t help but want to scream, with frustration, at all the things that needed to get done. Maybe you’re feeling stressed too and that’s why you pressed our panic button.

First of all, you need to STOP! Just stop and listen to me for a minute and maybe this will help a little bit. Although I ultimately don’t know exactly how you feel or why, I would imagine that you do have a lot on your plate and you’re thinking about all the things that need to get done because you want your wedding day to be absolutely perfect.

Since my own personal wedding experience, I have made these discoveries. There are basically 3 types of stressors. Once you can identify which stressor is bothering you, you can tackle it and get rid of it.

  1. Internal Stressors
  2. External Stressors
  3. Stressors you cannot control

Internal Stressors
Sometimes, we are our own worst demons. When I was planning my wedding, I had personal issues that I had to deal with. I tend to worry quite a fair bit, so it didn’t surprise me that I would worry that I wouldn’t fit into the gown or find the right shoes or that my hair would look like a mess or that I wouldn’t be able to sleep the night before the wedding and end up with huge bags under my eyes. I finally realized that I was driving myself crazy worrying about all these things that I could prevent ahead of time, just by preparing myself and taking it one step at a time.

So, I started to eat healthier, but I never starved myself because I love food too much and I needed the energy for all the wedding planning. I ate more veggies and fruits and skipped the occasional bag of chips. But, if I wanted those cookies, I had them and I enjoyed them. I ordered the gown in my actual size, rather than assuming I would lose enough weight to fit into a smaller size. You can always take in a gown but having to make it bigger would be difficult. I also found myself a makeup artist who stayed the entire wedding day for an additional fee.

I also had friends who at times, wondered if they were doing the right thing, not because they didn’t love their fiancés, but because they were worried about how getting married would change who they were as individuals and whether they’d be able to fulfill the commitments and responsibilities of being married. So, I’ll tell you exactly what I said to them.

You are completely entitled to have your own feelings and doubts and you have to embrace them no matter what they may be because if you try to suppress how you feel, it will only make it worse. At the same time, you have to keep things in perspective. Yes, you are going to get married, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be changed into a totally different person overnight. You’ll still be the same person you’ve always been: quirky, funny, whatever. Experiences over time will add more layers to who you are and that includes, experiences you will have with your future husband.

And, as for responsibilities, all humans have responsibilities, whether or not they’re married. Getting married means taking on a new role which comes with new responsibilities and expectations, not just from your fiancé, but from yourself too. So, you’ve had responsibilities and expectations before and you know you can handle them. Your fiancé loves you for who you are and you don’t have to worry about meeting his expectations or your own. You will both be working at this marriage together and you’ll both try to reason and talk things over and if you ever get weighed down, you can always turn to him for support.

My suggestion to you: Recognize when internal stressors are bothering you, acknowledge them and tackle each one individually while keeping things in perspective. Remember, you can be your own worst enemy so stop it before it gets out of hand.

External Stressors
External stressors for me, means anything outside the realm of you and your personal thoughts. External stressors could come from family, your fiancé, people you hired, your co-workers, or whatever else it may be. The most stress, for me, came from family members who all wanted different versions of what they thought would be my best wedding. Since it was my wedding, I was actually thinking that maybe I knew what I wanted best? So, I did a lot of tongue biting while smiling and thanking them for their ideas no matter how much I didn’t want to listen anymore. At the end of it all, I realized they gave suggestions because they really cared enough about us to speak out.

Maybe you’re worried about budget. That’s external too. For our wedding, we were initially anticipating 90 people on our guest list which quickly ballooned into 200. We knew this would put us into a financial crunch, but at the same time, they were all close friends and family. So, we agreed to keep it at 200 and we were really careful about our spending. Eventually, I realized, it’s not about how much money you spend, but about how much thought you put into the wedding. That’s what people notice most. So, we spent more on what was important for us and we cut back on areas that were of less concern. We also paid expenses off gradually throughout the wedding process so that we were never left with huge bills to pay.

Then, there were all the little external details that took a lot of juggling and mediation. We ended up changing our wedding date 3 times, our time of the wedding changed from 2:00pm to 10:00am, and we were very limited in what we could do for cultural reasons. Would you believe it, at the end of all that, we had a great wedding and everyone enjoyed themselves!

My suggestion to you: Be patient. Delegate and give away whatever responsibilities that are not a priority for you. I didn’t even choose my bridesmaids’ gown or the colour. I only asked that they not choose a morbid colour, or our families would freak, and that they both wear the same colour. The rest was up to them. They chose beautiful gowns, just like I knew they would!

Stressors You Cannot Control
There are just some things that are beyond our control. You can’t control the weather or what other people do. You can’t control the plumbing at the reception hall or the clumsy hands of “Uncle Bob” who’s just spilt wine everywhere. And, by nature, you really shouldn’t even bother worrying about these things since they are beyond reach.

That didn’t stop me though and so, I worried about the rain or someone dropping the cake or whether all the guests would get lost and not find the reception hall, and my husband and I would be the only two there. You know, these are all things that your mind does such a good job of distorting.

Even if the cake was dropped, the day would still be beautiful because there are two loving people getting married and what could be better than that? For my wedding, my bouquet almost never made to the ceremony and our “Just Married” sign flew off on the highway and some guests showed up late for the reception. But, my now husband and I just took it all in stride. We thanked the florist for making it in time since she had gotten lost, we laughed about the sign, and we embraced late guests for being able to make it when they could.

My suggestion to you: realize these are incredible fears that your brain plays out on you. Know that no matter how much you worry about them, you cannot control the uncontrollable. So, let it be and just plan for those you can prevent. In the end, it’s about you and your fiancé. And that’s all there is to it.

I hope our little chat has helped you in some way, to feel a little calmer about the whole thing. I know there’s a lot going on and I know you’re probably feeling the weight of it all. But, you know what? You will get through it and you’ll be amazed at how quickly it’ll all go by and how much fun you’ll have even if a few things fall off the wayside. It doesn’t change the fact that you love your fiancé, does it? Believe me, if I did it even after planning everything for 3 separate dates and times and I’m still around to laugh and talk about it, you’ll be just fine.

When you have a moment, read our “Getting Mentally Prepared” section. It contains relevant information for you as you plan your wedding day.