June 11, 2016

Wedding Planning: What No One Tells You

When I started the process of wedding planning exactly a year ago, I was over the moon with possibilities and ideas for the things that I could make in order to maximize the DIY aspects of our wedding. I was going to make my veil and bridal sash by hand, I was going to decorate only with paper flowers, I was going to make the centerpieces and dazzle my guests with the details; I planned to self-DJ, I wasn't going to include a bridal party, and I had all aspects under control and tons of time to get things done. AND I was going to blog about it.

Except I didn't. 

In fact, I didn't end up doing any of the things I said I would. What started as a whole year to finish everything eventually turned into six months; into 3 months; into two weeks - which all of you are rolling your eyes over and saying things in your head like "duh, that's how time works" - but it happened so much faster than I anticipated. We had a budget in mind, and places where I expected to cut costs became a battle of "my time or my money" and in most cases, my time won out and we forked over the cash. Life got in the way of planning and things that should not have stressed me out, really, really stressed me out. 

By the time we got around to the last few weeks before the wedding, I wanted nothing more than to get it over with. It was hard to enjoy the process because it was causing so much dread. I kept telling myself, and everyone else, that no one would remember the small details but me, but even that didn't help. I spent 40 hours - the equivalent of an entire work week - choosing bridesmaid earrings. BRIDESMAID EARRINGS. Earrings that I fully expected they were only likely to wear once. I searched every website and every store that I could think of trying to find something suitable. I wasted so much time on something so small that it became the bane of my existence. And for what?  

To make matters worse, even though the 10-day forecast had promised me that it would be sunny, warm and beautiful on our wedding day, mother nature clearly had a different plan. In the four days leading up to our vows, the forecast changed to include Tropical Storm Bonnie. The expectation was 40 mph winds, heavy rain and lightning. Great.

If we're being totally honest here, I lost my cool a little bit. I cried and mourned the loss of my sunny, ceremony-on-the-lawn wedding. I cried because I had spent the last year planning a perfect day, stressing over it, obsessing over it, losing sleep and generally just being miserable through parts of the preparation. I'd love to say I picked myself off the floor after my 10 minutes of hate, but I definitely didn't. I should have known that rain would have no bearing on the outcome of the day, but it didn't stop me from wallowing in self-pity for the remaining 48 hours leading up to The Final Moment. 

Photo cred to my cousin Keri, author of the blog Pour Me Another Novel
and her debut novel, My Song (available on Amazon!)
But you know what? Sunday was beautiful, rain and all. The weather wasn't nearly as bad as they reported it would be. Our day-of coordinator is a masterminded, decorating genius. The photographers worked with the weather. The DJ got everyone on the dance floor. We snuck a few lawn games in between rain showers with a handful of committed individuals continuing their game in a torrential downpour. My officiant was a rockstar, inadvertently hilarious, and was one of the highlights of the day. Our bartender made sure to never let us be without a drink in hand. The food was great, the venue staff professional and helpful, and at the end of the night, I hopped in the limo (one of those time vs. money battles) with my husband and we rode home, having just had the best night ever and being married (which is what it was all about to begin with).

What I learned after our experience is that the process of wedding planning is just that - a process. It's not easy or perfect and you will make a hundred thousand tiny decisions and mistakes that won't even register at the end of the day. You will probably lose your cool a few times (e.g. screaming something along the lines of... "I WILL MURDER YOU BOTH IF YOU TOUCH THAT [other bride's] CAKE!" at your six and four year-old nieces during your rehearsal), and that doesn't make you a bridezilla (or groomzilla, whatever). 

See? They still come near me despite my crazy freakout. Photo cred to my sister, Shannon.
On top of that, it wasn't necessarily unrealistic for me to do all the CastleDIY-friendly things that I wanted to complete, but in trying to impress everyone with my craftiness, I got overwhelmed and lost my motivation. You absolutely can DIY your wedding, but you shouldn't feel bad if you don't (even when you have a DIY blog). 

No one tells you that you're going to run out of time, or that you're going to forget something on the day of, or that your officiant is going to forget to tell people that "they may be seated", leaving all of your guests standing for nearly half the ceremony (which was my favorite part). 

What people fail to tell you is that it absolutely doesn't matter, because you will have an incredible time no matter what happens (or how many people steal dessert off the table before you've cut your cake), and at the end of it, you'll say "I do" and be married to your person and that you'll have enjoyed the pleasure of company of all (or at least most) of your guests. 

I am so very lucky and even more so, incredibly grateful. 

I am eagerly and impatiently awaiting my photos back from my photographers and I look forward to recapping our day with you - so keep a look out in the next few weeks. Also, now that wedding planning is over, I can do all the other things! It's just about time for my Summer To Do List and I've got a lot of projects in mind for our little castle.

XOXO

1 comment:

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