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22 May 2019

The Highs And Lows Of Planning A Wedding

The Highs And Lows Of Planning A Wedding
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

9 days until we get married. How? 

Like a true cliché, the past 17 months have felt like a really long time and yet like no time at all. I think I’m ready to not be planning a wedding now and yet also can’t quite believe it’s already over.

The biggest piece of advice I would give to anyone planning a wedding, now I’ve done it myself, is that it’s okay to have moments of stress. Getting married is supposed to be a happy occasion so I’ve often found myself making stressful situations even more stressful by questioning why I’m feeling stressed rather than enjoying myself (an insight into how my mind works).

There is no point pretending that organising an event for 100+ people isn’t without stresses. And that’s before you throw in the fact that you’re actually getting married which is sorta a once-in-a-lifetime thing and comes with so much emotion. And not just for you; all anyone does for months on end is ask you about it and get excited about it. By the end, it feels virtually impossible to still maintain the ‘just essentially organising a party’ vibe you started out with. BUT – and this is a big but – there has been so much joy. And oh my, the joys are worth the stresses a hundred times over. And I say that even before the actual day. Whilst I wouldn’t want to plan another wedding any time soon, I’m thrilled we are so close to the day and can’t tell you how excited I am for the month of June.

It has felt like a bit of an emotional rollercoaster at times so here are just some of the highs and lows:

High: January 2018 – just after we got engaged – where we basically spent all our time in the pub fleshing out ideas, booking things and generally revelling in the excitement of the fact we’d found a human we wanted to stick with f o r e v e r. I mean, how can that not be exciting? 

Low: The sheer amount of things that can cause anxiety. The money, the opinions, the weird concept of everyone you know being in one room, the ‘what if such-and-such goes wrong’ scenarios, the assumed expectations that some will insist on pressing upon you (people are far more traditional than I ever knew), the pressures thrown on women who are getting married to be thin/glowing…. Sigh. Whether you like it or not, this shit is going to come your way and it’s enough to make even the most level-headed person feel anxious. You have to be very good at letting it wash over you which is something of an art.

High: Finding my wedding dress. I was so ready for it to be hard, to not enjoy the experience, to think it would take forever. And it wasn’t any of those things. It was an absolute joy (I wrote a whole blog post about it here).

Low: Navigating opinions. My least favourite thing out of the whole process. Naively, I hugely underestimated the amount of investment – emotional, financial, logistical – that would go into planning a wedding. I didn’t consider how every single detail of the day would require conversations, fleshing out ideas, back-and-forths, planning, logistics…. Every single detail. The flowers in jars on the tables? A conversation has happened to start that train of thought, then discussed with a venue, then agreed, then discussed some more to decide on colours, then the jars have been saved and washed over a period of several months, then carried over to the venue… blah de blah. And I didn’t realise how protective this would make me feel. There is no aspect that you haven’t given thought and effort to. And then someone suggests you do it a different way or implies that’s not how it should be at a wedding… My biggest suggestion when talking to a couple planning a wedding – tell em it all sounds great. Think before offering up your opinion on something that doesn’t affect you. Do not try and explain to them why the football final scheduled for the same day as their wedding is a Big Deal unless you want to be castrated.

High: My lovely, lovely hen do. Genuinely one of the best weekends of my life. I had SUCH a ball. I’d plan a wedding again just to re-live the hen do. An absolute corker. Again, I wrote about it in detail here.

Low: That constant feeling of ‘I should be doing something’. That little bugger does plague you rather a lot. It likes to slide up to you when you’re watching TV like ‘er, have you seen the size of your to-do list? How can you possibly think you have time to watch Line of Duty?!’ FYI – there is always time to watch Line of Duty.

High: The opportunities to spend time with people you love and the love these people want to show you. By far one of my favourite parts about the whole process. Days out with my mum, a whole weekend with my best of friends, random occasions where you can use the whole thing as an excuse to celebrate… even if it’s just a Wednesday afternoon. And people do some of the cutest things for you – little gifts, little gestures – simply because you are getting married. It’s all bloody lovely.

Low: WHY IS IT SO FUCKING EXPENSIVE? Nuff said.

High: IT’S EXCITING. And fun. And, yes, sometimes a little weird. At the end of the day, I get to throw a massive party, go on an epic holiday and marry the person I love. And that's just grand.

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