So, you're engaged. You've broken the news, popped the bubbly and beamed at the kind wishes from your friends and family. You take a moment to just breathe and enjoy what the magazines have gotten you to believe is the happiest time of your life.
Well, break time's over, sister. Now, you've got a shitload of work ahead of you. Saddle up, and get ready for the whirlwind that is wedding planning.
These five realizations will come along with it:
1. People assume you've been planning for years just because you have a vagina.
There are so many types of brides out there. There are those who've had their big days planned since Zack and Kelly swayed outside the school dance, but there are also those who have never given their future nuptials so much as a second thought.
Then, there are those of us who fall somewhere in the middle. We pretty much only banked on maybe getting married someday. The “when”, “where” and “how” were never serious considerations.
About a month into my own engagement, wedding chatter seemed to be stalking me:
Big wedding or small wedding? Local or destination? Are you going to honeymoon right after? Have you picked colors yet? What about your centerpieces? Band or DJ? What's your song going to be? Plated dinner or stations? What kind of dress? How will you wear your hair?
So many questions. Don't get me wrong; it all comes from a good place. People are truly excited for you.
Maybe you're not at all overwhelmed by this rapid-fire questioning, and can deliver polished answers with poise. Or maybe you'd rather jump into a lake of fire than think about all the planning you have ahead of you. To each her own.
Just know (in my best Jon Snow voice), "Planning is coming."
2. The stories are true: Weddings are expensive AF.
The time has come to dive in. You create a wedding Pinterest board and invite your besties to peek at it. You reach out to some venues and schedule a few tours.
You take a look at the dresses, the fancy updos and all the mind-boggling things you can do with mason jars.
Then, you go on the tours. You check out the menus. You try on a few dresses. As you scan the price tags, you begin to understand why your mom initially suggested that you elope. You quickly find our that wedding shopping is a humbling experience, and that a Vegas drive-thru ceremony may not be such a bad idea after all.
If you're fortunate enough to not have to worry about the (excessive) costs associated with your big shindig, that's great. More power to you, girlfriend.
Maybe your family is helping you out in whichever way they can. Maybe they're not helping you at all. Whatever your deal is, start prioritizing. This shit adds up, so be sure to think about what you want this day to be before you unload your life savings on a few hours.
3. Everyone has an idea you just have to hear.
The opinions are coming in hot. Get ready to hear every piece of advice you never asked for:
You should just elope. You definitely want a band to play at your wedding. You want a DJ: Bands don't get the songs right. Nobody has an open bar. Are you kidding me? Just offer beer and wine. That's what we did. What about the bouquet toss? Destination weddings are rude. You're wearing a gown? Wow, this is getting fancier than I expected. You know what? You should have a dress made out of denim. That'd be really unique. No really, I bet there aren't any brides out there with a denim wedding dress. I told you: You should've just eloped.
No, dad. I'm not wearing a denim dress. No, you can't wear a denim tux.
No, you can't even wear khaki-colored jeans, even if they really do look like khakis. Now, leave me alone so I can go cry into a pizza, OK?
4. Just when you think you have it all covered, you don't.
You have the date, the venue, the dress, the DJ and the photographer. You're feeling pretty good. You've checked off some major items, and you're giving yourself a well-deserved breather.
Then, you're in the middle of a meeting one day, when panic strikes. You haven't even thought about a cake. You don't have a wedding bands. You have no idea what flowers you want because you have no idea what these flowers are called.
Also, how have you not dropped two dress sizes yet? You were supposed to break up with pizza and drop two dress sizes by now. WTF?
OK, so maybe you're a tad bit behind on some of the details. But it's all good. Believe it or not, you're surrounded by wedding-obsessed beings who are just dying to help. Whether it's your co-worker or mom, know there are folks out there who are ready to help you figure it all out.
5. None of it actually matters.
Wedding planning is loaded with distracting shenanigans. It's true when they say: You forget what the day is actually all about.
It's not about the music, the food, the seating charts or the centerpieces. It's not about the cake, the invitations or how many tea lights you can cram into the joint.
It's about making the ultimate commitment to your person. Believe me: I too once gagged at this corny cliche until I experienced it in real life. Between looking up flower names – how are there so many – and nailing down the guest list, I was hit hard with an “a-ha” moment: None of this actually matters.
We could be getting married in a ditch or by that lake of fire for all I care. It just really doesn't matter. You are about to embark on a crazy journey with your person, and it's one you can't predict nor plan.
How you get there isn't important. It's just the preface to what is bound to be an incredible story.
So go ahead, dad: Rock that denim tux.