Whether you're already married, immersed in planning or preparing to attend a wedding as a guest, I have a few truisms to share with you about the process that brides (and some grooms) go through.
Whether you're planning a 300-person wedding in a local venue packed with every family member and friend you have, or jetting off to another part of the world for an intimate 20-person ceremony, you've probably experienced some or all of these feelings. Weddings reopen feelings and bring people together, but can also make you feel like you're under a microscope.
1. Everyone is a critic.
Whether you rank high on the petty scale or not, it's undeniable that we all have opinions about others life decisions, and their weddings are prime targets for judgement. However, when you're on the planning end of a wedding, it can be overwhelming to have every decision you make met with judgement by someone else.
Considering the amount of time we spend on social media now, that judgement can permeate from both online and in person, which is draining, to say the least. Apps like Wedding Wire offer forums for brides to ask questions and discuss ideas, but it can often turn into a game of judgement. Personally, I recommend stepping away from that overexposure and limiting the amount of details you're sharing about the day. The people who matter will be there to see it, and the rest can stalk your Facebook for pictures.
2. Accommodations, accommodations, accommodations.
The traditional thought with weddings is that it's all about what the bride and groom want. Which in theory, it is, but that only reaches so far. When you have multiple families, split up financial contributions and heightened feelings, it does become necessary to make some accommodations for the day.
While I don't suggest compromising on the big decisions, i.e. the venue, the outfits or the motif, I would recommend giving some openness for smaller ones. Ultimately, what goes down on the wedding day is the bride and groom's decision, but you also don't want to alienate all your family relationships before your marriage even begins.
Tread with care, and even when it gets frustrating, sometimes the best way to meet requests for accommodations is with compassion. Other times, it's best met with a glass of merlot and an evaluation of your standards. And by all means, if someone is pushing you past the limit with requests, shut it down. You do not have to agree with every idea brought to you, but it's worth considering some.
3. Communication takes a vacation.
Weddings are the time for increased communication to keep everyone involved on the same page. However, since the average planning timeline for a wedding is 12 to 16 months, that communication can go by the wayside. As frustrating as it can be when your bridal party, family or planners are not communicating effectively, sometimes you have to reevaluate what is going on.
Ultimately, it's never a bad thing to get everyone back on track when there's been a lack of discussion, but pick your timing wisely. For your own sanity, avoiding a total blow up will make the communication a little easier, even when it's not fair. Yet again, weddings come with higher tensions, which can be precarious when two families are being joined. Not everyone is going to get along, but amicable relations are advised.
4. Is it time to elope yet?
There is a time almost every bride comes to when she's ready to consider eloping, if she hasn't already. Whether planning is not your forte, or there's too much family drama for your taste, it's a pretty natural feeling. Before you make any rash decisions, stop and think about why you started planning this wedding in the first place and what it will mean to you after. If you still decide to cut and run afterwards, godspeed.
5. Is this too much or too little?
Since the majority of people do not work as event planners professionally, it's pretty natural to self-doubt a few times throughout the process if you're wedding is over the top or barely skimming the surface. The one thing to remember is that your wedding is exactly what you want it to be, and while everyone will have some type of opinion on your choices, it's ultimately about you. These will be your photos, your memories and your experience. Log off Pinterest, stop comparing your day to photos of friends on Facebook and stand by your decisions.