When I announced my engagement, I was amazed at the number of people whose first response wasn’t ‘congratulations,’ or ‘you must be so happy,’ but rather ‘you must be so stressed out,’ or ‘take my advice; go to Vegas now or the stress will kill you.’ To this day, I still don’t understand that response one bit. I had a great time planning my wedding, and the one thing that caused me the most annoyance in the entire process was the fact that Mr. Twistie couldn’t be convinced to care about the details so long as the result was what we were married, while I honestly wanted his personality reflected in the day at least as much as mine was. Somehow, though, we both survived and even had a great time at our own party.
Now I come from a very mellow family, had simple tastes to match my tiny budget, and was marrying a guy whose mother (his only living relative at the time) thought I hung the moon. All of that helped no end. I wasn’t juggling twenty peoples’ very different expectations, trying to have a champagne wedding on a Kool-Aid budget, or battling for top billing in my guy’s life. It also helped that I’d already helped plan two weddings and attended dozens more, and that I’d read up a lot on the subject. I knew what was expected of me, what I wanted, and how to make it happen.
A lot of brides don’t have it nearly as easy as I did, but I’m still amazed at the expectation that stress and misery are the primary emotions involved in wedding planning. Surely I’m not the only person whose family is sane about these things? I can’t have been the only bride to feel that if I wasn’t enjoying the process, I must be doing it wrong and needed to alter my approach? If ‘every woman has dreamed of her wedding day since she was a little girl,’ is it really possible that none of the others ever thought to do any research on how it’s actually done? Is losing one’s mind absolutely de rigueur?
I still don’t think it is necessary to go insane to plan a wedding. Luckily I’ve found a couple people recently who seem to agree with me.
Leslie Stratton Hughes writes the bridal blog Getting Married From the Inside Out. Her entire blog is on just this subject. In a recent article she wrote:
Lets push aside this idea that wedding planning must be a nightmare turning the majority of brides into emotional wrecks unable to remember huge chunks of their day as the wedding nerves grip and take over completely. Why do people settle for that?
If you’re feeling the need of someone to tell you it’s okay not to stress over your wedding or a bit of advice on how to have the wedding you’d like without losing your mind in the process, go and read a couple of her articles on having an ‘authentic’ wedding.
And for those of a slightly more cynical turn of mind, this extremely saltily-phrased article may also be of interest. The gentleman in question is very hard on those who choose extravagance, even if they can afford it, and some of the language could easily have been toned down a tidge. Still, he has a good point at bottom: too much of wedding stress is self-imposed. If you refuse to lose your mind over shades of ribbon or whether Uncle LeRoy wears a tux or an ordinary suit, then you can relax and enjoy the day a lot more.
Yes, there are those dealing with serious family disapproval, warring divorced parents, time schedules made insanely short because a family member in the military is about to be deployed somewhere dangerous, and other actual stressors…but maybe it’s time for the rest of us to find the fun in wedding planning again.