Isn't this supposed to be fun?
December 19, 2012 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Help me enjoy my wedding.

Let me start off by saying that I love my fiancé and I have no doubts/anxieties about the marriage itself.

The problem is that I'm really not excited about the wedding. I think part of it is that I've been super busy with actual work this year while trying to plan a huge event for 300+ people. I am not crafty, creative, or detail oriented and this process has been an unpleasant burden from start to finish. I have not imagined my wedding since I was 5 (in fact, I never imagined my wedding). Husband-to-be is not the plan ahead type, so while he has been happy to do tasks that I've delegated, most of the responsibility has fallen on my shoulders.

Now that the wedding is on the horizon (six weeks), people are gushing and oohing and aahing, asking questions about all the details (dress! Centerpieces! Cake!). I am trying to emote excitement in response but I don't really think it's working. I feel bad for my fiancé and inlaws because they are just bursting with joy and I'm not sharing in the moment with them. But for me, it's like a pain-in-the-ass project I've been working on and I can't wait until it's all over.

My mom has picked up on my lack of enthusiasm and is concerned. She wants me to fully enjoy the day. I've tried to explain to her that it's different from her generation-- in those days (at least in my traditional family)-- the bride's family did all the planning and the bride and groom just showed up for the party. Of course, that isn't really what I wanted but now I can see the benefit. How are you supposed to enjoy yourself when you are also the one making sure the event runs smoothly? It just doesn't make sense.

My mom says I'm too worried about everything being "perfect." This couldn't be further from the truth. I don't have any cutesy details or choreographed dances or whatever. My expectations are super low: I just want vendors/guests/bridal party to show up at the right time/place.

On top of all that, I'm really cringing at the thought of being the center of attention. Fiancé eats that stuff up. Weddings are so painfully showy and sentimental-- two things I most definitely am not. I enjoy being a guest at weddings, but I'm not sure how to be both myself and the bride. The idea of this event is making me want to crawl out of my skin.

I know that this is a (hopefully) once in a lifetime event and I want to look back on it with no regrets. I don't want to remember that I was bitter and anxious. I want to appreciate this time. I owe it myself and to my fiancé. Please help.

(Please don't say I should have eloped or had a smaller wedding. That's water under the bridge. And while a wedding planner or day of coordinator would has been an excellent investment, that's out of the budget now. Thanks.)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (54 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
....Radical idea - can you turn over a lot of the planning to your fiance? Or prevail upon your maid of honor to handle all of this?

Also - for the record, you sound exactly like my best friend. She was calling me twice a week in the months leading up to the wedding because the planning was making her freakin' nuts - at some point when my then-boyfriend answered the phone for me (my hands were full), at some point she told him to marry me "so I can have fun planning a wedding for someone else instead". She also hated being the center of attention, and was a total nervous wreck right before we walked in for the processional.

But after all that, once we were all safely in "yay reception party" mode, she was already feeling much better. Planning things just sucks, even if it's something you're looking forward to - there are a zillion stupid details you didn't anticipate, people are always giving you advice when you're not asking for it, and you still have it looming ahead of you so you have the uncertainty of not knowing whether it worked out. But once it's all in the past, or part of the present, you have the relief of knowing that either it worked and was awesome, or that whatever didn't work was minor and no one cared, and it's kind of a relief and you can relax a little and you find yourself starting to enjoy it anyway.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:13 AM on December 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

As someone who also hates to be the center of attention, I feel for you. If this is at all helpful -- my brother got married a few months back to a woman who LOVES to be the center of attention (he's very shy and my mind was blown when I found out they were having a big traditional wedding). She danced around with her friends all night long. Meanwhile, my brother wandered around the reception hall by himself chatting with old coworkers and relatives he hasn't seen in years. He really seemed to be having a nice time. And I don't think anyone thought he was weird for doing that. I certainly would have found it weirder if he was whooping it up on the dance floor! So let your fiancé dance and have fun with his friends, and spend as much time as you need sitting next to grandma and reminiscing about her wedding. Congratulations. It'll be over before you know it.
posted by jabes at 9:13 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Delegate. Delegate delegate delegate. Not just to your fiance, but to your mom and your bridesmaids and groomsmen and anyone else. Give everyone a job. They want to help, they're happy to do one specific job, so just give it to them. Even something small -- "Denise, you are in charge of making sure the dress is in the right place at the right time until I'm wearing it. Please bring a tide pen just in case." "Mom, you are in charge with talking to the caterers day of." "John, please make sure all of the ushers have the right things in their hands and know where to take people." Don't be crazy and bridezilla about it, obviously, but if everyone has something to get done, then they will do it which has the joint effects of getting them out of your hair and getting that 1 project off your list.
posted by brainmouse at 9:13 AM on December 19, 2012 [7 favorites]

Can you delegate more things, either to your fiance or a trusted friend, even at this late date? In particular, is there anyone you can prevail upon to essentially be a day-of coordinator? Ideally, this person (or people) would have vendors' contact information and any scheduling information, so any problems go through this person and not you. It is helpful, I think, to have one person other than you and your fiance that you trust enough to make decisions on your behalf, without you even hearing that there is a problem.
posted by mchorn at 9:14 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can you delegate to your mom, MOH, or someone else (not your husband to be) to manage the "day of" details? Now, I think, is the perfect time to start shifting stuff away so that you can focus on the big day. Other than that, I think you can just keep faking the enthusiasm until the reception. It's completely normal to feel both under and overwhelmed by such a large event when you're both planning it and partaking in it.
posted by sm1tten at 9:14 AM on December 19, 2012

You have a caterer? They usually? often? step into the "event planner" role on the day of.

You sound very like me, although I "only" had a wedding of 100 people or so. My husband and I just wrote up a list of everything that needed to be worried about on the week up to and the day of and delegated that shit out. Tips? Father of the groom. Organising gift table/gifts into cars at the end of the wedding? Best friends. etc. etc. etc.

We didn't end up doing anything (after all delegation) other than enjoying our day.
posted by gaspode at 9:15 AM on December 19, 2012

Definitely delegate MOH to be wedding coordinator, or another friend who would be super excited to do it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:15 AM on December 19, 2012

1, beg a friend, your maid-of-honor, your mother, or whoever you trust to take over "day of" logistics-- making sure the catering company is there on time, that the band knows where to set up, or whatever. (Some of your friends will regard this as an imposition but do it anyway because they love you; others might even enjoy it.)

2, throughout the planning process and the wedding itself, just keep repeating to yourself: "the best thing about my wedding is that afterwards I get to be married to my fiance."
posted by willbaude at 9:17 AM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

At this point, it sounds like most of the actual planning is done. Delegate as many of the remaining tasks as possible to lighten your workload.

As for the actual day itself: you don't have a lot to do. You smile. You eat food. You pose for lots of pictures. You drink.

The day itself will be a blur and you'll barely remember it, but you will probably enjoy it since by the time you get there everything is done and you just get to party (although, unfortunately, you do have to be the centre of attention; there's no getting around that).
posted by asnider at 9:17 AM on December 19, 2012

I work in the wedding business, and I think it's great that you seem to have reasonable expectations of your vendors, wedding party and guests. Letting go of an obsession with perfection will go along way toward relaxing you on the day itself.

My thought is that, in your final meetings with your vendors, you should explain how you feel, specifically when it comes to not being the center of attention and not wanting a big dog-and-pony show. Let the photographer know you prefer him/her to be as unobtrusive as possible, capturing things candidly and with minimal fuss. Let the DJ or bandleader know that you don't want extravagant announcements, that you may prefer for formal dances to be faded out a little early, etc. (Assuming these kinds of directives reflect how you feel, of course.).

Then try to remember that there's really nothing you *have* to do at your wedding - in fact, many of the cliched "have-tos" are boring for guests and take away from what everyone wants to do, which is hang out with you and your fiancé and have a good time. You can skip a lot of the formalities (parent dances, bouquet/garter, receiving line, cake cutting, grand exit) if you want to. You can dance as much or as little as you want. And by letting go of the pressure to be "on," you'll most likely have a much better time.

Feel free to MeMail me if you need help or support, and best wishes to you and your fiancé.
posted by justonegirl at 9:17 AM on December 19, 2012 [8 favorites]

I got married over the summer. Both my wife (who bore the brunt of the planning) and I are detail oriented checklist kind of people, but we had no particular desire to plan a wedding. Being "planners" ourselves meant dealing with vendors stressful; we were considerably more together than they were. And, true enough, the vendors were annoying on the day of.

But but but! Once you actually get to the venue and are marrying your sweetie, it feels very different. Moreover, once you get to the day of, there's really nothing else that can be done--certainly not by you, and maybe not by anyone. So the wedding is what it is at that point and it's all a whirlwind of good times, hooray!

You're not a bad person. Not everyone is a Disney princess, and that's a good thing.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:18 AM on December 19, 2012

You could focus on the fact that there will possibly never again be a moment in your life where all of your favorite people, your family and friends (from your side, your groom's side, and your life together) all in one place and one time. Its a pretty great feeling to be surrounded by so many people who love you and your groom.

Don't worry too much about pleasing everyone. They are all coming to support you, your groom and your commitment, not be entertained by choreographed dances. Do your own thing; you can spend some of the time being a guest at your own wedding. Sit down and enjoy your dinner. Take time to dance, talk to your groom, have a drink at the bar, whatever makes you happy. The guests will pick up on the fact that you are having a good time, and that's all they should care about anyways.
posted by halseyaa at 9:18 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

First off, ask people for help. If you don't like being the center of attention, this can be hard, but it's better than weeks/months of stress.

Try to stop looking at it as a big to-do, and more as a celebration with all the people you love.

Find yourself someone that is not family or bridal party that you can trust. Have that person be all vendors' point of contact starting 24 hours before the wedding. No vendor should ask you _anything_ in that time period.

Morning of, by chance, I got a quiet breakfast out with my best friend before getting dressed for the wedding. One of the best decisions I made, highly recommended.

Eat your dinner quickly at the head table, and immediately start going around to your tables while they eat. Your goal should be to have a private moment with each guest early in the night so you can just start relaxing. Some guests are going to be pushy, thinking they're owed some of your time. This method keeps people from being left out.

Anything you need to do -- dances, toasts, whatever -- do it early. And then just get your good friends around you and enjoy.

And really, it's going to be a whirlwind regardless of what you do. Make sure you take a few moments to just be mindful during the day and enjoy a few seconds watching your own wedding as an observer.
posted by bfranklin at 9:19 AM on December 19, 2012

Hello ME!

My mom was in Japan when I was planning my wedding and I took the path of least resistance on pretty much...everything.

Mom: Should we get a limosine?
Me: Why? It would be a waste of money. I can drive.

Mom: What bakery are you getting the cake from?
Me: The supermarket
Mom: WHAT? But aren't you getting special cake decorated in special way?
Me: It's just fucking cake.

My florist came from our church and she could not get over how lackadaisical I was about the whole thing. She started doing organizing that frankly added nothing to the event. She was nice to try though.

Don't view this as my one and only chance to have a special day. View it as a really good party.

To that end, see if your bartenders can make Dulce de Leche Pina Coladas. They were the BOMB-DIGGITY!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:22 AM on December 19, 2012 [14 favorites]

I am recently married so I feel somewhat qualified to give advice, although we had a much smaller wedding.

First, as everyone else has mentioned - delegate everything you can. Every time someone asks if there is something they can do to help, give them something to do. If people don't ask what they can do to help, give them something to do anyway.

Second, if there is anything that you can reasonably pay someone to do, pay them to do it. We realized that a little late in the process, but it made things so much easier when we did.

Third, take time to relax and enjoy yourselves on the day of the wedding. If that means everyone is waiting around for you at the reception because you decided to spend a few minutes alone after the ceremony, so be it. If you get tired of smiling for pictures and need a break, tell the photographer you need to rest for a few minutes. It's your day, not their day.

Finally, weddings are actually really cool because most or all of your friends and family are gathered in one place. I didn't realize that before, but there aren't many times that happens.
posted by unix at 9:33 AM on December 19, 2012

Honestly? I totally understand your attitude. I think the pressure for everything to be perfect--and for you to care that it's perfect--is a recipe for disaster. Because, really, it won't be. But that's okay. In imperfections, you'll find a unique story in retrospect.

So I say, if your husband-to-be is the more social, just follow his lead. I mean, tell him you're doing that, of course, but let him take the reigns with socializing and coordinating and focus instead on: laughing, drinking, kissing, hugging people, making jokes, being happy, enjoying everyone's company.

I mean, hell, while my husband schmoozed with relatives, I took a drunken walk with my best friend during my reception (she cried and told me how beautiful I looked). Contrary to most wedding pressures, no one noticed I was gone. I was very glad to have a few minutes alone to decompress and enjoy my friend and the day.

Enjoying yourself is what really matters. Not the fucking centerpieces.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:38 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would second the recommendations to delegate as many tasks as possible. You do not need to do them all.

I would also suggest: simplify. There are certain things which you, your fiance and/or your families really would like at your wedding. For me, this was dinner (I like food). But there were lots of things that I (and my fiance) didn't care about: flowers other than a bouquet, fancy invitations (ours were just a 1/2 sheet with no personalization), a professional photographer. Look at your TO DO list and check - "do we really want this"? Bonus: if there is something that your fiance or either family wants, but you don't care about, then you can just dump it in their laps. If they want it to happen, they can do it. If you don't have time to make centre pieces and they aren't especially important to you, then don't have centre pieces.

finally, I can't tell from a short Ask metafilter post, but if you haven't already done so, learn to really not care if things are perfect. At my wedding, the recessional music was too quiet to hear, the bubble blowers didn't work, my SO was too excited to eat dinner, the dance started really late and when I tossed my bouquet, it landed in a light fixture (seriously - we have pictures of the maintenance guy getting it out). At the time, all we could do was laugh and go on to have fun.
posted by jb at 9:38 AM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

I agree with the recommendations to delegate day-of duties to trusted friends (or to people who have an excess of OH MY GOD IT'S YOUR SPECIAL DAAAAY energy to burn).

My husband and I didn't have a huge wedding, but we did have three wedding-related events that I agonized over. I didn't want to be the center of attention (neither did he), so it was incredibly stressful in the lead-up to all of these parties that were supposed to be fun. What I realized (after the fact, unfortunately) is that even though there was always someone who wanted to look at us, talk to us, congratulate us, ask us how we met, etc., there were very few points at which everyone was looking, talking, asking, etc. We didn't dance, I didn't toss my bouquet, we didn't smash cake in our faces--and in the end, I was just the lady in the fanciest dress, strolling through a hybrid family reunion/college reunion/party with an open bar, wondering why the caterers hadn't put out napkins. (Seriously, ask someone else to worry about the napkins.)

I wish that I had figured that out in the weeks leading up to the wedding, though. Because damn, I was freaking out all the time. My final suggestion, related to that, is to designate certain days/evenings/weekends as No-Wedding Zones. Spend time with your partner, watch a favorite movie, play Scrabble, fool around, discuss things that aren't the wedding. Talk about how happy you are to be getting married, but don't talk about the wedding.
posted by 2or3things at 9:53 AM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

I didn't enjoy my wedding and it certainly was not the best day of my life, so just give yourself a break. I look back on our wedding as a party we threw for our friends but mostly for our families, and as a public declaration of {stuff}. I am very glad we did the big wedding, but I didn't enjoy it. However, I have super enjoyed being married, so there is that.

One thing I did do was designate someone entirely of my own choosing, explained to her how much I did not care, and made the answer to EVERY QUESTION "I don't know, ask Heather." At that point, whatever Heather decided was what the answer was.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:54 AM on December 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

Totally agreed with DarlingBri. Your wedding doesn't need to be a big deal. There will almost definitely be something that goes horribly wrong. It won't matter. In my case, the big thing that went wrong was that in lieu of a DJ (I was never a big fan of DJs at weddings anyway), I opted to just make an mp3 playlist and set up a laptop, except I idiotically didn't tell anyone to use the playlist, so they just added all the songs and they played in ABC order, and the first song that played was an uber-cutesy anime jpop song. So that was the first song everyone heard after my husband and I had gotten married and walked back down the aisle. It's entirely likely nobody remembers this except me, but I wish I hadn't even put that stupid song on there (hooray for not being incredibly mature at the time) and every time I think about it I want to just go hide.

In the grand scheme of things, that's NOTHING. We got married, we're still married six years later, people had fun, the food was great, our ceremony/vows were the way we wanted them. Assign your mom or maid of honor or someone else to handle the coordination, and relax as much as you can. Think about the fact that you're getting married, not the fact that you're throwing an event.
posted by agress at 10:03 AM on December 19, 2012

I love you.

Avoiding all of this is pretty much why we eloped and got married at my studio/office last Festivus.

Delegate. That's definitely the key. Get a Heather, as DarlingBri has recommended. (Best friend, sibling, whoever. Someone who is willing to Be The Heather and keep this stuff off your shoulders).

If all else fails, eat a lot of really strong rumballs. That made my after-wedding celebrations a lot cheerier. Best of luck!
posted by at 10:04 AM on December 19, 2012

I'm a guy, but I got married under similar circumstances. I have also organized conferences and events. I am good at it, but it is not a passion.

I would recommend you hire someone quickly. A professional can work within your budget to deliver the best wedding possible, while still remaining true to what you really want.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:11 AM on December 19, 2012

If you have six weeks to go you have time to fix this.

I assume you didn't hire a wedding coordinator for the planning because it seemed like an additional expense that wasn't worth it? Some of them have tiers of service they offer, and the most basic tier would be what you want here -- "be briefed on what vendors have been hired already and what they're supposed to do; show up on day of wedding and make sure they do that; also herd the guests along, etc." This service will cost something but less than the full service of planning and vendor coordination that they usually do.

As a data point, I also hated wedding planning, and wound up having a great time at my wedding. It was just so fabulous to have my friends there and be marrying my guy and be so happy... even though the tablecloths were too short and I think I ran out of red wine. (Make sure you don't run out of wine!!)

I think you will find that the actual day is exciting and fun, especially if you have delegated someone else to supervise the caterers (your mom, if you can't hire someone.) 300 people! Super party!
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:13 AM on December 19, 2012

I don't like to be the center of attention either. What my husband told me, just before we got married, was that it didn't matter whether everyone was looking at us, all I had to do was look at him. And if you think about it, the one time that you are standing up in front of everyone, you are either looking at each other or at the officiant. At the reception, you don't need to do anything in front of everyone, and you can wander around and spend as much time with different people as you like. So just look at your groom and don't worry about anyone else. Good luck!
posted by Margalo Epps at 10:14 AM on December 19, 2012

Oh! Yes! You can hire a wedding coordinator just for the day. You give her the plan for the day, and she executes it. Awesome.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:14 AM on December 19, 2012

Ruthless Bunny nailed it. I felt pretty much the same way. We had an awesome time, friends and family had an awesome time, stress was kept to a minimum, no cops were called, win win win win win.

Just put money/effort into things that'll make the party more awesome. Damn the rest.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:14 AM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Good friends of ours got married about a year ago. I was the designated point person for everything about T-48 hours in to 4+ hours after the end of the ceremony. I basically asked the bride & groom what they wanted, got the contact info for all the vendors, and handled all of the "I don't know, ask RogueTech" questions. The bride had a quiet morning with her family/bridesmaids, and the groom similarly with his family/groomsmen.

I have a background in project management and am the oldest sibling. I think these things helped. I'm sure you have a friend who is good at organizing and detail stuff. Make him or her the point person a few days before. Give him/her all the vendor info, invite him/her to the rehearsal so they know the plan, then let them handle the "OMG, where do the desserts go?" and "WTH, the DJ brought no batteries for the mikes?" issues.

It's ok to feel the way you feel. Planning a wedding is tiring. I didn't care about my cake and flowers (some showed up the day of our celebration, courtesy of my generous MIL who took it upon herself to make sure there was cake and flowers). I was still glad that it was over when it was over.
posted by RogueTech at 10:15 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Additional data point: I had another friend who burst into tears at the altar, well before the heavy commitment "I do" portion. She confided later that it was because she realized at that moment that for better or worse, the planning was finished, and she was just so relieved to be done with it that she started crying.

It really is ok to feel whatever you're feeling right now.
posted by RogueTech at 10:17 AM on December 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

Delegate management responsibilities to your most anal-retentive relative or friend who is not IN the wedding (a day-of coordinator, however, would be an excellent investment). Someone OTHER than you needs to be worrying about whether the flowers are where and when they're supposed to be.

But the final lead-up to a wedding is super-stressful. Even people who look forward to their weddings, even people who planned them for 20 years, even people who have wedding coordinators handling everything -- just about EVERYONE gets stressed in the final lead-up. There are a lot of brides out there, even ones who adore everything about weddings, who completely agree with you that the best part of the wedding is when it's OVER. (I thought the best part was two days after it was over, because I was so keyed up the night after that I didn't sleep so I was cranky the whole next day. Two days later, though, phew. I was rested and everything was done with!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:17 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I remember feeling stressed and self-conscious in the weeks leading up to my wedding, and I was sure I'd have to grit my teeth and survive it (in addition to all the stress, I'm really just not a party person). I ended up having the time of my life.

Nthing delegating as much as you can. If at all possible, arrange things so you aren't responsible for anything on your wedding day other than getting prettified and showing up in the right place (and have someone drive you around to take care of that, too).

The best thing about the wedding day is that, provided everything and everyone is approximately on time and mostly in the right-ish place, it all just kind of rolls along, and you're too busy getting married and eating cake to dwell on the glitches. Nobody's asking questions about centerpieces or offering unsolicited advice because everything's in place and they can see it for themselves. And if you're stressed anyway? You're the bride and people will give you a wide berth. If you need to sneak into the bathroom and decompress for a few minutes, people will just think you're visiting with other guests or taking pictures or something.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:34 AM on December 19, 2012

There's no getting around the fact that getting married with a wedding is a lot of work. So: accept that. Too late to change it. You don't have to be over the moon about the wedding, because weddings are really done for the family as much as for the bride and groom. So, think of the wedding as for them, and the honeymoon/marriage as for you.

Your mom is worried maybe because she's afraid you're having second thoughts? So reassure her that's not it.

Get through the scheduling/planning/event having as best you can. You will be exhausted the few days after it, and'll hopefully never have to do it again.

Over time, as you look at pictures/remember the event, you'll forget most of the pain in the ass part and it will become just another nice/fun/hilarious memory.

I felt like you did, but I did look gorgeous in my (heavy-ass) dress, and it's nice to have that memory.
posted by emjaybee at 10:34 AM on December 19, 2012

Are you sure that a day-of coordinator is out of the budget? We though we couldn't afford a wedding planner, but ours is less expensive than we expected, and (thus far, still nine months away from our wedding) completely worth it. She's doing all the heavy lifting, and we are just saying "Sure, sounds good to us" to basically everything. I would at least look into the actual cost before ruling it out, if you haven't yet.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:45 AM on December 19, 2012

This isn't a concrete thing to do, this is more of a way of reassuring yourself. Have you ever read A Practical Wedding? It's a blog with a lot of brides like you, brides that don't want to go crazy on planning, or didn't enjoy a lot of the process, or were afraid about being the center of attention. If you look through some of their old "dilemmas" posts and "graduate" posts, you'll see that you're Very not alone in feeling the way that you do.

A lot of people there also talk about how when it comes to the actual day, the love of all the friends and family that they've assembled melts all those bad things into a joyful, love-filled day.
posted by ldthomps at 10:52 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm also not someone who would typically be excited about his own wedding. But I really cherished that day, and it had nothing to do with clothes, flowers, gifts, music, or food. What made that day so special was that everything was happy and positive. Everyone smiled, everyone had fun, everyone was nice, everyone felt good. How many days in your adult life can you say are 100% perfect days as far as people being uniformly positive, kind, thoughtful, caring, generous, etc.? Probably not that many. Think about that being what what you have ahead of you. That is what makes it worth looking forward to. Don't worry about all those other material details, they are not what you will remember most in the future, nor are they what will make your wedding a joyful day. Your wedding day is going to be a special day where when you wake up you'll push a "positive" button to launch the day and the whole day will magically conform to that command. Don't you wish you could do that every day? (If you have any friends or relatives who you think might ruin that plan, time to disinvite them.)
posted by Dansaman at 10:55 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

But for me, it's like a pain-in-the-ass project I've been working on and I can't wait until it's all over.

This was me before my wedding. I went from being laid-back about it to actively hating the whole thing, and being made tired and stressed and ill by the nightmare that is wedding planning, and (at one point) seriously considering eloping then and there, two weeks before the wedding, just so it would be done and nobody would be hassling me about napkins any more. I didn't want to be the centre of attention, I didn't want to be The Bride - I know how you feel, is what I'm saying.

But the wedding itself surprised me immensely by being an absolutely lovely day. I really enjoyed it, much much more than I was expecting to. So I really recommend not putting additional stress on yourself at this stage by assuming that how you feel about the planning and the anticipation is how you'll feel when you're actually getting married, and worrying that you'll look back and be disappointed in that feeling.

Other things I'd recommend:

- Putting people who aren't you in charge of stuff, as suggested by others upthread. I didn't have much luck with this in the planning stage (because the people I delegated stuff to were the ones who loved weddings and therefore wanted to phone me up and talk about all the details they'd arranged), but it was a great help on the day itself to know that bridesmaids and best men were in charge of generally dealing with stuff so I didn't have to know about it.

- Accept that wedding planning is work, frustrating and stressful work, and it's totally okay to feel like it's just a sequence of chores and feel frustrated and stressed about it. That's not the wrong way to feel (and personally, one of the things that I found most stressful about the whole experience was the cultural expectation that there was a right/wrong way to feel about all this stuff, anyway).

- If you're still dealing with well-meaning loved ones hassling you about why you're not doing X or having Y or changing Z, you can cut down on some of it by presenting things as a done deal when asked about them. So, "How are you getting to the ceremony?" "I don't know, probably a taxi or something" leads to trouble - "I'm going by taxi, it's already booked and paid for" goes better.

- Make some time for you and your spouse just to be alone with each other for a while on the day of.

- Stuff will go wrong, and it won't matter. My wedding included guests changing their minds at the last minute, the minister flubbing a line in the ceremony, the band turning up late, the heels on my shoes breaking off, and on the way home we got stopped by the police and then locked out of our house in the pouring rain so my husband had to climb over a twelve-foot gate in his kilt, and so on and so on - and it was still great, for the guests as well as for us, because none of it really mattered and anyway I was too happy to care.

Stay strong. You'll be fine.
posted by Catseye at 10:59 AM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm like that too! But I think what helped me was that my husband (then fiance) felt the same way, and supported me. I hope yours is on board with how you're feeling and will help you too!

Try to breathe. If anyone asks you what color flowers you want or whatever, make THEM pick. Hire a wedding coordinator if you can.

You don't have to fake excitement -- people actually responded really well when I would say stuff like, "I see the wedding as an obstacle we have to overcome to be married. I just want it to be over!" They would laugh and some people would say they felt the same way.

The day of, I suggest taking a few minutes here and there to be by yourself or have private time with your fiance. Is there a small room at the reception hall that you could reserve as the bridal suite, or a relatively private outdoor area? Or, when there are moments when everyone is staring at something, see if you can slip away. Tell your fiance and coordinator, if you have one, so they know and will protect these times for you.

I hope you can relax and have fun! Wedding planning sucks, but that day you get there and all the people you love are there because they love you and want to celebrate with you.
posted by chickenmagazine at 11:07 AM on December 19, 2012

You sound like me. I got married 2 months ago.

A whole lot of this wedding circus you're rolling around in is part of the smile and be a nice girl bullshit.

People impose upon your emotional responses to things, expecting you to be constantly made of sunshine and rainbows. You're not. You're a real human being, not the living barbie doll they think of brides being.

It is 100% OK to express your real emotions to people all the time. I found it convenient to prepare a bland answer to "how's the wedding planning going?" to co-workers, acquaintances and the like. Something along the lines of: It's going ok, I'm mostly looking forward to/ seeing all my distant friends/ having this whole show over/ going honeymooning/ having more free time, etc.

A whole lot of people don't enjoy their wedding day. I had moments I really loved. I had moments where I was stressed-the-fuck-out. What matters is what you pick and choose to remember. My brain is a bastard, and can more easily recall the stressed moments.

I think one piece of advice I would have given myself 6 weeks before the wedding would be to have asked my Aunt to deal with coordinating things on the day of the wedding. Instead, I asked 3 or 4 people in my wedding party to do a few smaller tasks that couldn't be done in advance. (pick up basket of programs, grab ipod from apartment, etc) I thought it wouldn't be such an imposition on any one person, and after all I wanted everyone to be a "guest".

Most of those people forgot to do their smaller tasks in the heat of the moment. It meant a bit more scrambling around, and me having to tell people what to do. Ultimately, it was fine. I was not worried about being perfect. I was worried about being stressed out, and thats what I got.

I wasn't in an gauzy blissful haze all wedding day. And you know what? I love my husband. We have a real official marriage license. Our guests were fed, boozed, and danced. We had an awesome honeymoon, and we're (woot woot) preparing to file joint taxes. Life goes on. It's ok.
posted by fontophilic at 11:44 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Your wedding is an event where you and your beloved publicly state your commitment to one another in front of, and with the love and support of your family and friends. Then you have a big party. Focus on the 1st part. The party is more fun if you don't get overburdened with making it perfect and take the time to visit with people who have traveled to be there, as well as enjoying your best friends. When people comment, you can just say "The dress/ cake/ flowers are not nearly as important as having everyone together; I'm looking forward to seeing you there." and if they offer help, accept, if there's something they can do.
posted by theora55 at 11:50 AM on December 19, 2012

I got married about 18 months ago. I did not wear a long white dress. I did not wear makeup. I wore a little blue dress that felt like "me" and I spent no time obsessing about shoes or accessories. My husband was also uninterested in having a Big Fancy Wedding. We did not worry about whether the napkins matched the overall decor, we did not worry about which kinds of glasses to have. We did not have bridesmaids or groomsmen; there was no wedding party. There was no dramatic first dance. There was no glass-clinking. I did not want to be treated like a fancy cupcake there to be admired, and I wasn't. We did not make any "entrances" except for walking down the aisle together. You don't have to do this stuff if you don't want to!!!! I also never dreamed about being a bride or getting married. Some of us just aren't looking forward to being the center of attention, and you do not have to play that game.

You might think that with all that stuff removed, the wedding was boring or soulless. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It was a lovely day; there ceremony was lovely, the food was great, the company and conversations were terrific. Very memorable. Lots of people told me later it was a beautiful wedding and they truly enjoyed themselves. I'm sure people say this about all weddings, but they were sincere, and I know a lot of people had a great time.

Still, even relaxed and simple weddings are VERY stressful to plan. Oh my god, SO much to do, and thousands of little details to attend to. I know it's overwhelming, and it's hard to see coming - who would have thought it could take days to fold invitations, or an entire day to find suitable individually wrapped packets of mosquito repellent? TIME. CONSUMING.

I didn't have a day coordinator or anything, and I didn't delegate as much as I could have. My husband was absolutely willing to do actual planning rather than just delegated tasks, but as a man, he basically hadn't been steeped in the culture of knowing how to plan and host large parties, or any of the details of weddings. It was pretty surprising to me the number of things he just didn't think of or know about. This may be the case with your husband, and if so, you should encourage him to look up articles and lists about how to plan a wedding (there are thousands, he will have no trouble finding them) and become educated about how to be an equal partner in this.

Don't worry about the details, though. Make sure you'll have tasty food, places to sit, bathrooms available, something to drink, and maybe some music and people will enjoy themselves. Certainly don't worry about making yourself perfect. That's the worst and most insidious pressure on brides: you do not have to be perfect for your guests, and you don't have to be on a pedestal.
posted by Cygnet at 11:53 AM on December 19, 2012

I would sit down and write everything you love about your fiancé, everything this commitment means to you, everything that hope you years together will bring. Write a set of vows too if you want (they can be silly or solemn).
Good. There you go. That's what the day is about. It's not about cake or flowers or dancing. It's about what you wrote. I personally think that ceremonies where the bride and groom are write their own vows are the best. Try not to worry about anything else because the rest of it doesn't matter.
posted by bananafish at 11:59 AM on December 19, 2012

It's mostly about the people.

I would take the to-do list that you have and go over it. Cross of 30% of it. You don't need everything that people make you think you need. Projects that you haven't even started yet? Ask yourself if it is important enough to bring down your quality of life. No? Cross it off. At this point cover your basics and let the rest go.
posted by Vaike at 12:07 PM on December 19, 2012

To de-fray your day-of nerves, hire a day-of coordinator. Brief them on everything before hand and then just let go. Do not ask a guest or part of your bridal party to do this. Hire a professional. I was the day-of coordinator and MOH for my sister's 150 guest wedding and I was running around like a nut from early morning (many hours before the ceremony) and was the very last person to leave after midnight. I was happy to do it for personal reasons, but this is non-ideal. I did not get to be a guest at all. Don't do this to someone who you have invited. Delegate to one person who is a professional. It will be money well-spent and you'll be able to enjoy the actual day and be far more relaxed.
posted by quince at 12:12 PM on December 19, 2012

Nth'ing DarlingBri - and potentially others - you really want to hire a coordinator for the day of the wedding. We had something similar where we did 90% of the organization ourselves beforehand, but then hired a coordinator for the day. Met with her a couple times the month before, where she was able to help us figure out that last 10% of stuff outstanding as well as give her a full rundown on what we wanted our day to go like, as well as providing her with all the details on vendors, etc. so we wouldn't have to worry about it on the day. Try to find budget for this - really. You've spent so much time and money on planning your wedding already, you owe it to yourself to enjoy it. If you really can't afford it in the budget - are there close relatives still wondering what to get you as a wedding gift? My concern with delegating with to friends/bridal party/relatives on your wedding day is two-fold. You want your closest guests to enjoy the day with you, and also if something does go wrong, a professional wedding planner will be experienced in resolving efficiently ... or having a contingency plan.

Separate piece of advice for enjoying your wedding day. Someone gave us this and it was the single best piece of advice we were given before our wedding. Hold hands with your spouse the entire night, never letting go. If you're holding hands, you're together and you'll have the same experiences and the same memories that you'll get to have for the rest of your life. With 300 people there it's too easy to end up at opposite sides of the room...and you don't want at the end of it all asking your spouse "so, how was your night?"
posted by dismitree at 12:15 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am the queen of stressing on and after the wedding. See here!

I think you need to give yourself permission to not care. I had a ton of crazy ideas -- for example, using my fiance's late mother's favorite armchairs. As the day got closer, I cared less and less. First it was "Okay, I have to repair them." Then it was "Forget the repairs; just clean them." Then it was "Get someone else to clean them." Finally it was "Nope; sorry. Cute idea, though."

The act of deciding to give up some of that stuff during the preparation process was actually really freeing. It helped me focus on what really mattered: the two of us, right there.

Get someone to deal with your mom or anyone else who is continually asking you questions. My mom kept coming up to me and asking, "Your friend... Jeff, is it? Is he on drugs?" At that time, I did not possess the presence of mind to sit her down and explain that Jeff is just kind of Like That, though he may be a little tipsy, and not to worry. Never mind the fact that a question like that is not the kind of thing that helps YOU feel much better about the way things are going. No, no, no.

Wedding coordinators are great, but that's money and a lot of contracts and stuff. If you can handle that, fine. If not, find a friend-of-a-friend or friend's sister who can do this for you. Your best friend's OTHER best friend or sister, whom you've met at a party but probably wouldn't invite as a wedding guest, could be perfect. They will care about you and about getting this stuff done, but they won't know the people at your wedding well enough to get wrapped up in drama. Treat them like professional ushers; thank them with some gift cards and stuff.

As you'll see from my post, being IN THAT MOMENT was the most important thing to me. Do anything you can to make that happen. Don't worry about being thought of as a bridezilla or whatever; it's kind of a cliche for a reason :) You get more or less a free pass on anything that goes on related to the wedding day. Be nice and all, but if you have to order a couple people around because they're being jerkwads -- even if that happens to include your mother herself -- DO IT.

Remember that it is normal to be scared and nervous and happy and sad and all jumbled up inside. Anything important is worth being worried about -- within reason. Just remember that it will all be over soon, and you'll be on to the next phase of your life: living and building a married life with the man you love. (Also, having people ask you continually how married life is going for you. GREAT!)

And if you want any support, feel free to MeMail me any time :)
posted by Madamina at 12:35 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Congratulations! I have a few comments/suggestions that (somewhat) replicate what people said above:

1. Make one person close to you your "Bridal Advocate". She/He can run interference in the week before and day of the wedding to keep people and problems off your back. I had a bridesmaid that shut people down when they wanted to do things that I did not want on the day of the wedding (like change my lunch order or have the bridesmaids wear their dresses differently).

2. Don't stress too much about being the center of attention at the reception. Yes, you'll have to talk to a million people, but once people start drinking/dancing, it's pretty much just a really fun party and nothing is expected from you.

3. Don't do the bouquet toss, cake cutting, first dance, etc. unless YOU want to. There are no rules. It is up to you.

4. If you can, try to plan ahead to have a quiet space at your reception to take a break if you need it. Mine had an upstairs bathroom that no one from the party used, so I ran off to that with a few of my bridesmaids when I needed a breather.

Good luck! Don't let other people pressure you into how you should be feeling. Planning a big party is stressful, but at the end you'll be married, and (hopefully) off on a really fun trip with your new husband!
posted by elvissa at 1:55 PM on December 19, 2012

I felt a lot like you, and will stress, like everyone else: delegate. For a lot of reasons (far-flung family, no siblings, no wedding party, etc.) I had to make a ton of decisions and do a lot of work the day of the wedding. Even with all that, I'm still super glad I did it, but if you can remove that burden, I think you're almost guaranteed to have a good time. And at this stage, the more you can delegate to others, the more you might be able to relax and focus on the positives.

The center of attention thing can be weird, no doubt about it, but if you don't have a lot of Queen Bride ceremonial touches, and tell your friends and family to chill out about it, they'll follow your lead.

For us, it ended up being a wonderful chance for both sides of our family to meet, which might not have ever happened otherwise, and I treasure the day for that reason. Yes, you'll have people taking a lot of pictures of you which is weird, but Fiancee's Uncle Dave will get to hear your Grandma's favorite story about when you dunked the family dog in the pool, and that's pretty awesome.

On preview: Don't do the bouquet toss, cake cutting, first dance, etc. unless YOU want to. There are no rules. It is up to you.

Exactly. Some of those ceremonial things that might make you feel weird because it's all Bride Bride Bride? Take them or leave them, it's totally up to you.
posted by lillygog at 1:59 PM on December 19, 2012

How are you supposed to enjoy yourself when you are also the one making sure the event runs smoothly? It just doesn't make sense.

You are absolutely correct! For any event involving over 300 people, you cannot be the person making sure the event runs smoothly AND be the person who's the center of attention/celebrated guest.

There are a variety of ways around this, as people have mentioned. I cannot recommend a day-of wedding coordinator highly enough, to the extent where I would happily PayPal you money to hire one. It is worth it! That way, during your wedding and reception, you can turn off the part of your brain that's running a list of issues, all, "Why aren't there pitchers of water where is the food why hasn't the cake been cut does the microphone need to be adjusted can someone dim the lights where did grandma go?" That is not your problem. That is the coordinator's problem! The day-of coordinator is also likely to hand you drinks at appropriate times and squirrel away food for you and your husband, which is worth all the money.

If you're really not down with a coordinator, get two or three of your most high-energy and low-tendency-for-grudge-holding friends (siblings? aunts?) together and let them take over your responsibilities. People are generally happy to assist their loved ones in times of need, and giant weddings certainly qualify. Sit down with them and figure out:

1) What things are non-negotiable. Are you set on a certain song being played at a certain time? A particular cocktail? A photo with specific people? Hammer out the things that need to adhere to your vision, and assure your delegates that they can make decisions on your behalf for everything else.

2) Assign one person to talk to the vendors, and make sure this person is exceptionally good at speaking up/advocating for you. Every friend group has one of these people, and if yours doesn't I'll volunteer mine.

3) Designate specific times to deal with the wedding/check in with your delegates. 2or3things mentioned this earlier, but a good way to feel less like the wedding is eating your life is to try to devote some time to not letting it do so.

I'm not sure how to be both myself and the bride

The bride is the lady getting married; she is recognizable because she's standing in front of people and her name was on the invitation. That is like the sum total of what's required of you, seriously! People bring a boatload of expectations with them to weddings about what things will look like/how things will go down/what order stuff will happen in. Happily, guests are also (mostly) able to adjust their expectations to accept the wedding they're given. Booze and food and the happiness of the couple are all most people want out of a wedding, and these things go a long way to ease any "Well I NEVER! She wasn't wearing white!" or "What's a wedding without ___?" that you might be pre-reacting to.

Also: congratulations! If it helps, I know intellectually that I was a bit of an anxious mess in the month or so leading up to my wedding, but my specific memory suggests a haze of pleasant feelings surrounding the whole thing. People speak of the event fondly, I ended up having a lovely time, and now I'm married to my very excellent husband, which helps immensely.
posted by ausdemfenster at 2:19 PM on December 19, 2012

About one week before my wedding (just when for me it was becoming less fun and more anxiety driven) someone gave me the advice that "your guests will have as much fun as you are at your wedding."

For whatever reason, that hit home. I decided that I was going to focus the remainder of my energies leading up to the wedding and for the day of on the things that I enjoy and would have fun with (music for dancing and cocktail hour, seating arrangements that I wanted, occasions where I knew my husband and I would be able to be alone or share something together, spending time with people you haven't seen in a long time). I knew there were somethings that were always going to be more for other people than myself at the wedding, and decided that it was fine for these things to exist, but that I didn't need to think about them any more. Not sure if you were using vendors, but that's when I decided "that's what vendors are for".

So my advice to you is to think about a) what you've enjoyed at other weddings and b) what you'd have fun doing, no matter what the occasion, and make sure you create opportunities for these things to occur. It's even ok to tell your friends/spouse/family something like "I really want to be able to enjoy _______ at the wedding" (whatever that is) and let them help make sure you don't pulled in too many directions that prohibit you from doing so.

Congratulations! And remember, it's the relationship, not the day.
posted by seppyk at 2:20 PM on December 19, 2012

There is life after the reception. To save your sanity after the wedding, make sure that your ±300 gifts are properly RECORDED. Would your mom take on the recording job? Then you and your husband can write the thank you notes as painlessly as possible. Won't it be cool to have someone to share your life and social duties like thank you notes?
posted by Cranberry at 2:41 PM on December 19, 2012

I was you just a few weeks ago (except with the added wrinkle that both of us hate being the centre of attention and generally didn't care too much about wedding details). About 4 weeks out from the date, I became very unhappy. Stressed out not about the details themselves, but at the fact that I was the only person who was supposed to be in charge of those details. I knew the wedding would be totally fine, but the fishbowl-esque pressure of having to play the role of the "bride," when really I just wanted to be the woman who happened to be getting married, really got to me.

So here's what I did:
-I spent one evening writing out the most absurdly detailed itinerary possible - every detail about the wedding went down on the page. I then sent this to the venue, to the parents and to the bridal party. And then I promptly put it all out of my mind. (This was truly the best thing I ever did - once it was all written down in one place it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Everything seemed manageable and just totally fine after that.)
-This was also the time to cut the fat. Do away with distracting superfluities - focus on what you want and follow through. And when some great Aunt hands you a tacky garter she really wants you to wear, you just say: "Thanks, Auntie Bea, but I don't think I'll be wearing a garter." Now is not the time for accommodations. Proceed with brutal (but polite) efficiency.
-To deal with family and friends, I was honest without being a sad-sack. In conversations I reiterated how happy I was to be getting married, and generally brushed aside any specific discussion of the wedding spectacle itself.
-Whenever I found myself dreading the wedding (which was often), I also reminded myself that the end goal was a marriage, and I was totally excited about that. In the same way that the end goal of writing your final exams is to graduate with your degree, you just have to put up with some ugly to get to the pretty.
-Have faith in the bridal bubble - that is the best thing ever. Because while right now it seems like 4,000 people are constantly asking for your opinion on things, or presenting you with problems to solve, on the day of the wedding, all but the most socially obtuse recognize the fact that the Bride Does Not Solve Problems on Her Wedding Day. You wake up, drink some mimosas and get ready. The morning of my wedding was one of the most oddly calm mornings of my life. Everyone else was running around crazily, but I was eating croissants and watching How It's Made.
-Finally, know that the day itself will surprise you. Your wedding day will seem like it lasts about 30 minutes. I am still shocked at how fast everything went. And I was so genuinely happy to be getting married, that I just forgot about the anxiety and about my own shyness and just ran with it. And it was lovely. And I am very glad that I went through with the whole "wedding" thing. You probably won't believe this is true now, but I assure you it will be true.

Good luck!
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 5:25 PM on December 19, 2012 [4 favorites]

Your wedding can be anything you want it to be. Of course, it gets complicated because other people have to be involved (like your husband-to-be, and to some extent, family and friends). But as long as you and your groom agree on the details, the rest of the world can sod off.

Of course, people have their own ideas, but you can cut those discussions short by saying "that's an interesting idea, but groom and I are pretty happy with our decisions." If they keep pushing, you can pull the "it's my special day" card. Feelings might get hurt, but if you and the groom are having fun, that should be obvious to your friends and family.

Anecdotes from my own wedding, some years ago: My wife and I agreed we would wear fancy formal clothes, but fun/comfortable shoes. She's a head shorter than me, so she ended up wearing something with heels for the ceremony, then went barefoot to dance, because her feet hurt from the new shoes. Our officiant was a relative who brought fancy shoes, but when we learned that he brought his ancient Batman converse, we insisted he wear those. I wore bright red cons.

My mother snuck Ecclesiastes 3 in (For every thing there is a time and season...), which we did not appreciate, but I unintentionally countered it with a little something supposedly by Dr. Seuss ("... [we] fall in mutual weirdness and call it love").

We had nice flowers and a good photographer. The food was just so-so, but the cake was delicious. Well, we had two cakes: one was a volcano with lava and steam, and the other was a graveyard, with custom bride and groom zombie toppers. The graveyard was enthusiastically supported by our parents, after the cake designer suggested a brain, when she learned that my wife and I like zombies. And our first dance was the Monster Mash. We still have friends and relatives who talk about our wedding.

In short: focus on getting enough food, cake and drink for everyone, yourselves included (and make time for you and the husband-to-be to eat!). Flowers are nice, but not critical. Pay money for a good photographer, and have fun. Keep only the traditions and standards you and your guy want to keep, chuck the rest of them. You'll remember something of the day, and you'll have the photographs to remember more. Hopefully other people will enjoy the day, too.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:42 AM on December 20, 2012

I don't think it has to be the best day of your life... but man, my day was magical, even in the midst of the inevitable stress. I think here's why

1) We did a lot of intention setting in the days before (what we wanted to feel, experience, and why were were doing this) Did this both with my fiance and with close friends. On day of, did a ritual with my bridemaids that really helped ground the space.

2) Good/best friend took over the planning that weekend. I still was "on" but she dealt with the details.

3) At the rehearsal dinner, good friend told people to come to HER with any questions and that people were to create a circle of love and protection around me and my fiance. People followed suit, it was awesome.

4) Allowed myself to experience my emotions. Crying, laughter, exhaustion, exhilaration...

5) Danced and danced.
posted by Rocket26 at 8:36 AM on December 20, 2012

I also dreaded my wedding because, like you, I HATE being the center of attention. I was crying to my fiance for weeks before the wedding because the thought of everyone looking at me, THE BRIDE, was giving me panic attacks.

You know what I'm going to say, right? :-) It was fine! I actually had a good time. Once it all got started, I realized that it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared. In fact, it really wasn't bad at all. This was 20 years ago, but I still remember a few close friends who knew of my fears asking me at the wedding if I was doing OK and I said, "It's actually OK!"

Try not to worry too much (I know, I know!). The "before" of the wedding is so horribly stressful, once you're actually there and taking part in the ceremony, you'll start having a good time.
posted by shelayna at 9:42 AM on December 20, 2012

I felt the same way about my wedding (six months ago). I also hadn't been dreaming about my wedding since I was five. I didn't have visions of what I wanted and I wasn't convinced that it was going to be the Best Day Ever or anything like that. I hated planning my wedding. I hated everything about it. It was a miserable experience. We had to have three different wedding receptions to appease the in-laws and I found myself angry and annoyed about those. I hated everything in the weeks leading up to my wedding and first reception.

Looking back now, I actually don't remember a lot about the wedding ceremony itself. It all happened so fast that I didn't even have time to think about what was happening.

The first two wedding receptions (filled mostly with my husband's family) were just chores that I had to get through and I got through them by drinking and focusing my attention on the few people I knew. The last reception though was in my hometown (and my husband's adopted hometown) so it was full of our friends and my family. It was a blast because it was full of the people I loved, with food I loved, and a band I loved.

That would be my advice to you: Fill the wedding reception with things you love -- people, music, food, whatever your passions may be -- and forget the rest.

I will tell you one thing that surprised me after the final wedding event: I felt lost. I spent over a year planning my wedding and all those damn receptions and once they were all over, I didn't know what to do with myself. The lost feeling didn't last long, but it hit me hard.

So do your best to enjoy your wedding. It will be all over soon and life will go back to normal. Just hang in there.
posted by whatideserve at 9:58 PM on December 21, 2012

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