While not everyone's experience as a bride-to-be is the same, I bet many can relate to the feelings and observations I had leading up to the wedding. Planning your big day isn't the most difficult thing you'll face in life, but it definitely is unique in the many moving parts that you'll be dealing with coming from all directions. You're joining two people, two families, two sets of friends, all while planning a major event. So don't worry if you feel just a little crazy!
-You will obsess over superficial things.
Some may argue that
all of this wedding stuff, other than the marriage, is superficial. In a
lot of ways, I agree with that. But I'm talking about the mostly
superficial aspects. For example, nail
polish color. I have a master's degree and I spent weeks, maybe months,
trying to decide what color of nail polish to wear on my wedding day.
Granted, I probably have an honorary master's in indecisiveness, but
still! It's really not that important, and I KNEW that, yet I still
made it a concern. The way I finally decided was to narrow it down to a
few choices, then each time I got a manicure in the weeks leading up to
the wedding, I would get one of those colors. I chose the one I liked
best, which just in case you're curious, was GelColor by OPI Funny Bunny
with a transparent shimmer on top. (The ring below is the
BEAUTIFUL "right hand ring" my mom got me as a wedding gift. She chose
the green amethyst (prasiolite) stone because it was one of our wedding colors.)
-Not everything goes as you had imagined in your wedding fantasy land.
back several years and imagine how you pictured your engagement. You're
probably in a constant state of bliss, working out every day, getting
super skinny, spending all your time reading wedding magazines while you
sip champagne, you're getting facials every few weeks, your hair and
nails look absolutely perfect, your arms are really toned and your skin
is beautifully bronzed and blemish-free. Cue reality. You have a job,
your life does not revolve completely around wedding planning, you don't
have nearly as much time to exercise as you thought you would, you're
having breakouts, and you haven't exactly stuck to your wedding diet. Or
maybe that's just me. But the point is, you will not have an endless
amount of time (or even motivation) to become Wedding Barbie. And you
don't need to!
I kept saying I was going to go on a wedding diet. I never did. I do have to admit I trained for and ran a
half marathon a month before the wedding. And every time I train for a
race, I lose a little weight, so I guess that was my "wedding diet". But I
didn't have nearly as much time to run/work out in that final month as I
thought I would. I did my beloved Pure Barre
up until two days before the wedding, and that was for my sanity as
much as it was for my body. But logging a bunch of additional workouts?
That just didn't happen. Do what you need to to feel healthy and fit,
but don't drive yourself crazy.
Pure Barre Bride-to-Be
On the beauty/skin care
front, I promised myself I would be religious about using my face
cleansing brush (knockoff Clarisonic), start my teeth whitening trays a
week or two before the wedding, and get few facials. Seems simple,
right? In reality, I just didn't happen exactly as planned. I did my
best. But what I did do was upgrade my skin care
products a few months before the wedding. Most importantly I got a
stronger retinol that I would highly recommend whether or not you are
getting married: Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment
. I got it while Paula's Choice
was having a retinol sale and got a boatload of free samples as well.
I'm really liking this line lately; the prices are much more affordable
than many other skin care lines and I have loved everything I've tried.
line: Step up your beauty and fitness routine a little but don't
obsess. Plus, it's amazing what anxiety can do for your waistline and
airbrush makeup for your complexion ;)
spend several hours on a wedding website and pack it with information
and people will still ask you where to stay, where the venue is, etc.
not all that crazy about wedding websites, but I thought it was a good
idea for our wedding because we had so many out-of-town guests. I wanted
to not only share the details of the wedding weekend, but also travel
information and some recommendations for local spots. I'm
technologically-challenged, but I spent a lot of time putting our
website together. Apparently many people didn't use it, because I got
tons of questions which would have been answered by a quick click on the
-Little things will drive you crazy.
You will inevitably have family drama and fights. Some people may mistakenly think your wedding is somehow more about them than you.
Others will share their unsolicited opinions and advice. This issue was
more challenging for Max and I because our station decided to have us do
stories about our engagement and wedding. That meant the whole town of
Sarasota wanted to know all the details. If I had a dollar for every
time we got asked, "When are you getting married?" I would have paid off
the entire wedding! People mean well and it was very sweet that they
cared, but it can get overwhelming. Also, you will probably have stupid fights with your fiance, speaking of...
will do a lot more work on your wedding than your fiance. This will
annoy you. He will ask what he can do to help. You will be apprehensive
about leaving a task in his hands and realize it's probably easier for
you to just do it yourself.
But...there are guy-friendly
assignments! For example, we had to put together an Excel sheet of our
our guest addresses for our invitation place. I don't do Excel well on a
good day much less a stressed-out one, so I assigned this task to Max.
He wasn't too thrilled, but he did it.
-Weird things will happen right before your wedding.
I haven't been sick in YEARS (knock on wood), but
the Monday before my wedding, I woke up with a minor cold. Really?
Luckily it wasn't much more than a stuffy nose and itchy throat, and I
could tell it wasn't going to turn into anything serious...but still. My
skin started breaking out, we had last-minute scheduling issues with our rehearsal, my phone fell in the toilet at my bridesmaids' luncheon,
heavy snowstorms hit just about everywhere we had guests coming in from,
including Texas! A freaking plane slid off the runway at LaGuardia two
days before the wedding causing a ripple effect of cancellations across the country, including one of my bridesmaid's flights.
She and her family (her kids were the flower girl and ring bearer)
got stuck in Charlotte, had to re-route their travel plans, and were
left without luggage for two days. We had friends and family experience medical emergencies. And the list goes on. Just expect the unexpected!
-It is difficult to balance enjoying your wedding reception and greeting guests.
have absolutely no advice for you on how to do this successfully. I had
heard from friends they regretted spending their entire reception
talking to guests instead of having fun. Yet I felt like I didn't have a
enough time to spend with our guests. You'll be very busy, it goes by
quickly and there simply is not enough time to do it all!
-You CAN actually eat at your reception.
and I mean everyone, told me, "You won't eat at your wedding." I told
them I surely would eat at my wedding because you really don't want to
see me with a low blood sugar. They tried to convince me you either
won't have time or your stomach will be in knots. Wrong. We had a
sit-down dinner, so well, we sat down and ate. All of my nerves were
pretty much gone at that point. What was there left to be nervous or
anxious about? It was much harder to choke down food at the rehearsal
dinner because I still had a nervous stomach at that point. What I
didn't get to eat were the desserts. Everyone snatched them up in a
matter of minutes! And then by the time they served us our slices of
cake, we were dancing and taking some photos with our photographer. I
saw my piece from afar sitting on the table, and I still regret not going over
there and at least grabbing a bite.
-You won't notice much of what happens during your wedding.
And this is coming from a very observant person! People mentioned all these things that happened during both the ceremony
and the reception that I had no idea about. I think I
had tunnel vision about what was happening right around me, and I just
couldn't process anything else. I just have to laugh when people want to
ban guests from using phones or cameras. People could have been doing flip flops behind me during the ceremony and I would have never noticed!
-You will still have a to-do list after the wedding and your house might be a disaster.
will be many thank you cards to write, gifts to put away, suitcases to
unpack and boxes of wedding decorations to go through. Depending on your situation, you may also be combining households and bank accounts and changing your name.
I had family staying at my house for the wedding, so I scheduled to
have it cleaned both before and after the wedding. Anything you can do
to save your time and sanity, is a good idea. (Another tip: Start writing thank you cards immediately for gifts that come in before the wedding.)
-Planning your honeymoon may present its own challenges.
is expensive, so if you're planning a honeymoon, you have to take that
into account alongside your wedding budget. When you hear "honeymoon,"
you probably think of a trip to an all-inclusive resort in the
Caribbean. But if you don't have the funds, don't like the beach or are
getting married during hurricane season, you should probably look
elsewhere. It's always been easy for Max and I to plan trips, so I did
not anticipate how difficult it would be to choose a honeymoon
destination. We literally looked at places from Canada to South
Downtown Santa Barbara
Speaking of the Caribbean, we got married in
March, which is the high (read: expensive) season there, so we didn't
exactly feel like spending thousands of dollars in airfare alone just to
go do most of the things we can do here in Florida. So we started to
look just about everywhere and strongly considered places where we could
fly for free on air miles. At one point we had thrown out Napa as an
idea, so I started looking at resorts there and found a chain that had
properties all across California. One was in Santa Barbara. Suddenly a
light bulb went off! I had always heard people rave about Santa Barbara.
We could do wine AND the beach. We could escape the Gulf Coast for the
West Coast and explore Southern California. We could fly to LAX for free. Done.
still have people dumbfounded and asking me, "WHY did you go to Santa
Barbara, California on your honeymoon??" I don't know how to answer
that. Because we wanted to? I guess it's not your typical honeymoon
destination, but it was absolutely perfect. Still dreaming about the
, the vineyards, the beautiful weather and the breathtaking
views. The company wasn't so bad either :)