Post # 1
Are there any other bees who are mortified with the idea of planning a wedding? I mean, it seems so selfish, to make everyone you know come to a place to watch YOU.
This wedding planning process has really brought back my anxiety and depression. To top it off, I have always disliked weddings. I dread them. Sure, I like to support my friends and try to help them celebrate, but to me, weddings are always just an annoying thing I have to do. I hate the fact that they’re so choreographed–they’re all the same, they’re all a money pit, and they’re all blah. Boo.
So now that I’m planning one for myself, I’m turning into everything I hate. I’ve spent a lot of time on sites like the $2,000 wedding and offbeat bride, and they make me happy, but at the end of the day, doing all of that stuff is hard. Renting a banquet space with things like "a skirted guest book table is included" (shudder) is easy. Expensive and going to suck away all our money or my folk’s money, but easy.
We’ve talked about eloping, but that just doesn’t feel right, and I’d have to face the wrath of my mother for the rest of our lives.
Someone has to be able to relate, right? Please help!
Post # 3
Just remember that a wedding is as much about your guests and their comfort as it is about you. Look at your wedding from a guest-centered perspective and focus on things like good food and drink, good music, catching up with old friends and family you haven’t seen in a while — this is what makes a wedding fun, not the 1 hour photo montage of the happy couple. Feel free to cut out all of the pomp and anything that makes you the center of attention that isn’t meaningful to you or to someone you really care about (special dances, tossing bouquets, cutting cakes, etc.). Think of your wedding as a rare time in your life when everyone you and your fiance really care about can all get together and celebrate. The only other time where a good chunk of these people may get together is at one of your funerals. .. (And also, ironically, the more time and effort you put into your wedding being unique and different the more about "you" it will be.)
I started out planning our wedding with a similar mindset, but then I just got excited about seeing everyone and saw that this day meant a lot to a lot of people other than me, so I started planning with them in mind.
Post # 4
To tell you the truth, I really had no interest in planning my wedding. I actually really wanted to elope or just have a simple destination wedding. My husband really wanted the whole big wedding, though, so I pushed myself through it for him. Although I still hated having to spend so much, It was nice to see everyone and to get so many compliments. :).
And I am also one of those people who does not really get excited when I get a wedding invitiation in the mail. I like to go support my friends and family, but sometimes, it does feel kind of forced and uncomfortable. I have started to enjoy them a bit more now that I’ve had my own, though.
I NEVER felt that it was selfish to have a wedding though; a lot of people really do love weddings, and I was surprised at how many people were genuinely excited to attend mine. There had not been a wedding in my family since the early 90’s, so they were all STOKED! My entire family came…every single member, so don’t let that thought deter you from having a wedding.
If you are really annoyed at having to plan the wedding, but still would like to have one, have you thought about having someone do it all for you? I know that if I had let them, my MIL and SIL would have done EVERYTHING for me. If I had just said "I’ll show up when you tell me," they would have taken over and I wouldn’t have had to do anything. Some people really love this stuff, and I’m sure if you have some of those people around you, they would totally take over. Just give them a budget and let them go crazy. It’s just an idea!
Post # 5
I disagree with bluegreenjean. A wedding isn’t about your guests, its about YOU and your FI. Do what makes you comfortable. Maybe eloping isn’t for you, so consider what is. A small backyard BBQ, a party at a cocktail lounge with passed hors d’eorves, brunch?
No one says you have to invite many people, although a wedding is a great time to get all your loved ones in one place. If I were you, I would make a list of everyone you want there. This list could be as small as you, you FI and a couple of witnesses to your whole families to your entire social circle. From there you can begin playing with ideas.
The best weddings are the ones that are personal, not cookie cutter, not choreographed. Celebrate in a way that will make you happy!
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
My feelings about wedding planning very much mimic what you are feeling, midwestelle. And I agree with what bluegreenjean said. I do feel that a wedding is very much about the guests, not you – in SOME CASES. If you have been dreaming of a wedding your whole life, or are super excited for it, then it is definitely your day. But if you’re like me and mr. mary jane, or like bree72 above, and didn’t have any interest in a wedding, then that is very much a day you’re planning for everyone else. Every couple who’s planning a big wedding because a mom/aunts/future inlaws/whoever said they HAD TO HAVE A WEDDING, that wedding is not really about that woman or that couple.(IMHO)
Mr. Mary Jane and I decided early on that if our families were going to pitch a stink about it, we would gladly have a wedding. We’d plan it well, have a good time, and enjoy having our family and friends together in one place. But that was not about us; it was about them. When we expressed these feelings to our moms and grandmas, they were supportive of us doing something that is for US. They also thought it was responsible of us to spend our hard-earned money on more long term, substantial things than venue rentals and catering. Have you talked to your mom about this at all? She might be surprisingly understanding of your fears. I would hope that no reasonable mother wants her daughter to have a terrible time at her own wedding.
And if you must have a wedding, it seems like you’re on the right track. As GaBGal said, you can make your wedding anything. It can be nice and casual, and much more comfortable than something formal and cookie-cutter. The sites you mentioned visiting are great resources for the budget-minded and the less-stressy wedding ideas. Have you seen A Practical Wedding?
Post # 8
Ooh! I second A Practical Wedding — it’s my favorite (other than weddingbee, of course!).
I also suggest reading "Miss Manners on (Painfully Proper) Weddings". It’s a hilarious read full of down to earth advice. She’s really against the show that current day weddings have become, so you should really appreciate her mindset. I wish it had been the first book on weddings I’d read.
Good luck! And, again, I thought all this wedding planning would be a pain, but I’ve gotten to really like it. I’m still not looking forward to being the center of attention for a day, but trying to be my normal self and a good hostess and not ‘the bride’ really helps me feel better about the whole deal!
Post # 9
I can definitely relate 🙂 You’re not alone! I want to second MJ’s suggestion of A Practical Wedding – I love that blog.
Everybody’s different — but I agree with bluegreenjean. Our wedding is about our families, not really us. I don’t care about having one and have the same feelings (a money pit! don’t want the attention!). But our relatives would all come after us with pitchforks if we don’t have one.
One thing that has helped me out in planning a low key casual not-center-of-attention wedding is, like other posters have mentioned, think of how it’s more of a family reunion. My FI and I don’t particularly need this day and this party to mark our love, but our family does. You don’t have to do the choreographed or traditional stuff, just give people some food and some alcohol and everybody will have a blast. Personally, as a guest, I VASTLY prefer laid back weddings to the really fussy and traditional ones.
I just have sort of turned off the part of my brain that cares about what people will think of all the Typical Wedding Things we’re tossing out and keep reminding myself that we’re just planning a big old party, the only party that all of our families and friends will ever be guaranteed to attend.
Post # 10
I would have been embarassed to have a big wedding with a lot of people there who don’t know me well, or haven’t been in touch since I’ve been with my FI. My preference was to have a small wedding with only our parents and siblings and have a really nice dinner afterward. It was important to my fiance to have more guests present and put together a really nice time for our family and friends.
We’re keeping it small — we expect 28 guests — and it will have a "family reunion" feel. I am enjoying some DIY projects to make it feel like something we’ve put together. I keep asking my FI if he’s okay that we don’t do certain things, like have a wedding party, or if I wear a short dress, or if there is no "first dance", if my dad doesn’t walk me down the aisle, if we get ready together that morning, and if the officiant doesn’t do or say certain things in the ceremony. And on, and on, and on… I want to make sure it feels like us, but special.
Make sure you’re comfortable with everything you’re doing. I don’t like hearing you’re turning into everything you hate!! I catch myself getting carried away with some of the gorgeous details I see on blogs and websites, but then I bring myself back to my reality of what I want. I hope you can do the same. You deserve to be the center of attention, but also focus on being a good hostess and make sure everyone has a good time.
Post # 11
i feel your pain! i haven’t been dreaming of my wedding all my life. i hate being the center of attention. and i’m a huge people pleaser. only a few days into our engagement, my FI and I realized that this wedding thing really wasn’t about us at all. we chose a date that didn’t really work for us just because his mom didn’t want to take off work. what?! but slowly, i’ve realized i CAN have what i want. even if i hate wedding planning, and wedding magazines, and don’t really LOVE wedding dresses or bm dresses…all of that. as i’ve started to incorporate what i actually DO like and want…the whole planning thing has gotten tons more fun! i don’t like traditional. we’re not doing traditional. FI and I don’t like fancy, so we’re going casual. even if no one else likes it…we do! so just go with what you want. really. if you want a simple, civil ceremony with family, do that! if you want a larger wedding, but still simple and low key, do that! i’m learning that you only get as overwhelmed as you let yourself get! good luck girl! i hope you start enjoying it soon. but at the end of the day, you’re going to marry your sweetheart. that’s what really matters, right?!
Post # 12
midwestelle: I totally understand where you’re coming from, but…well, let’s just say that one’s perspective can change somewhat when one is among the last of one’s friends to get married. 🙂 As someone who is fullbore into planning A Wedding (notice the capital letters) right now, I have even more admiration than before for people such as Miss Maryjane who just opt out of the craziness altogether. If you and your fiance really, truly don’t want a wedding, then you have plenty of options to get married without one.
That having been said…as a very frequent wedding guest, I can assure you that the people who love you *want* to celebrate with you. I promise. No, they don’t want to get an invitation with 10 different registry cards in it, or to have you demand that they dress to match your wedding colors, or to hear "IT’S MY DAAAAAY!" whenever someone questions you…but they want to participate in your happiness. Seriously. Humans tend to like rituals. Weddings are an important ritual. You and your husband come from your own families, your own histories, your own communities. Your marriage joins all of those into a new family, a new history(-to-be), a new community. The people involved generally like to mark that occasion along with you. Plus – it’s a party! Unless you have no reception, people will spend the majority of their time at your wedding eating food, drinking beverages and partaking in entertainment that you will have provided. There’s even cake. How can you not like cake? 🙂
If you decide to go ahead and have a wedding, here’s my advice: Have the ceremony be just what you want, but don’t have it be *too* long. Then, think of the reception as a party. A really cool party. At which you get a tasty cake (or cupcakes). Think about what you would like, and then think about how to translate that into a reception that others will greatly enjoy. You like good parties attended by those you love, correct? That’s what you’re throwing here. It will be more choreographed than the typical party, because 1) it’s a ritual and 2) your guests want to see you cut the cake and leave amid a shower of…something (sparklers, birdseed, rose petals, whatever) within a reasonable time frame, but it will still at heart be a party. It can be a small party, or as large as your budget can allow.
I second the recommendation of _Miss Manners on Painfully Proper Weddings_. It’s hilarious, bracing and interesting. I think you might feel a bit more relaxed about the whole wedding thing after reading a bit about the origins of certain major traditions. This is not to say you will suddenly want to have A Wedding – the book may convince you that you definitely want to elope. But I think you’ll enjoy the book either way.
Post # 13
Here is my situation: I hate bridal showers. It’s so sad, since there are Bees who are really unhappy about not getting one. But it is really important to my mother, so I let her plan one. There are 80 people invited to a luncheon at the country club (I also really despise the country club). One way to analyze this is that it is a complete and utter waste of my mother’s money to have the bridal shower. But it will make her really happy. She would much rather spend her money having a nice bridal shower than do anything else with it. So I let her plan the bridal shower of her dreams, and I will be really happy if she has a nice time at the bridal shower.
I actually have had friends who have done this with their weddings – they were in med school, residency or Ph.D programs and had no time to plan their wedding, so they said to their mothers, "Do whatever you want. I’m just showing up on the day of the wedding." It really worked for them – they didn’t get exactly what they would have chosen if they had planned the wedding themselves – but they were completely relaxed and unstressed at the wedding and their families were happy. So it all worked out quite well, and might be something for you to consider if it would work for you. You might have a mom, a mother in law or an aunt who didn’t get to have the wedding of her dreams who would love to have another shot at creating their version of the perfect wedding.
Post # 14
Thank you so much for your comments and sweet words!
I was having a LOT of problems with my family and the wedding planning and it got to the point where I just wanted the whole thing to disappear. It got really bad. Thankfully, my mom has apologized for being so hurtful, and she’s accepted the fact that I want to plan the wedding where I live, and not have her plan the whole thing where she lives (300 miles away.) And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It got really bad, but hopefully things will be good from here on. This isn’t the first time we’ve had problems, but this isn’t something we can sweep under the rug.
Thanks, ladies! I’m getting excited about wedding planning again–although it certainly won’t be a cookie cutter celebration.
Post # 15
Im having anxiety and i dont really like when people stare at me . It makes me so nervious. So it will def be a interesting day. Do what makes you happy. Have maybe a small intimate wedding just with close family.
Post # 16
yep – totally agree… took my then FI and i only a few weeks of wedding planning to decide to elope and we were much happier once we made that decision. dont get me wrong… i LOVE weddings… just other peoples weddings