Help me get excited about my wedding again!
July 18, 2013 4:07 AM   Subscribe

I'm getting married in a couple of months. When we got engaged, I was so excited--I planned most of the basic details of the wedding in a haze of extreme happiness. Now that it's getting closer, I'm no longer excited. I'm actually mildly dreading it and I'll do anything to avoid getting out of wedding prep stuff.

I have a lot of theories of what might have caused the drop in excitement. I don't really like parties or planning them, so this is essentially just not my wheelhouse. I'm nervous that people won't have fun or that we'll forget something important or that there'll be a giant storm during our beach wedding. I don't like the idea of everyone looking at me while I dance or say my vows.
I've also gotten really frustrated with the accommodation of everyone else's wants for the wedding. My relatives have been making constant demands about who will be invited, what kind of parties we will have, who will be officiating, and I feel like my opinion no longer matters at all. I feel like a good portion of the wedding festivities will be planned by and for people who are not me or my fiance (and who are not paying for anything that we actually did ask for). I know that's pretty how do other people deal with it?
I'm also just nervous about getting married, period (see previous ask). I think my fiance and I will be happy together, but I really want to go to premarital counseling and we won't be able to afford it for another couple of weeks. We've been under a huge amount of stress lately (wedding planning, moving, changing jobs), so it's hard to keep an eye on the good stuff.
How can I get those happy feelings back? Or at the very least make myself buckle down and help my fiance finish preparing for our wedding?
posted by chaiminda to Human Relations (19 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
My relatives have been making constant demands about who will be invited, what kind of parties we will have, who will be officiating, and I feel like my opinion no longer matters at all.

Don't let people bully you. It's your wedding.
posted by empath at 4:13 AM on July 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Hi. I'm you. My wedding is in two months. I too did all the planning in the "OMG ENGAGED" excitement. It has waned for me too. My family also has been very difficult (my sisters are all anti-wedding, everything my fiance and I want from the wedding is getting overridden by people, etc). I also have ridiculous other stress loads (getting transferred to a different department against my will, some major health concerns, etc).

Seriously. I'm you.

What has helped for me has been to have more couple time. We are going out on more dates, we are purposefully being extra snuggly and affectionate, we're putting extra effort in to our relationship. What was happening was that all the wedding planning and family stress and normal every day stress was taking all our time to be A COUPLE. We had/have so many things that have to be done, and we had/have so many claims on our time that we weren't making as much time as we should have for US. The less time we had for US, the less apparent why going through all this family nonsense and work was necessary.

The biggest help was 3 weeks ago. My fiance and I took a weekend (plus one day, to make it a three day weekend) to just be together. It was a weekend where we had no kids in the house, no social engagements, no requires tasks... It was just us, on our own. It was just a weekend where we we focused on being with each other, being happy with each other, having fun together, having good talks together, and just bringing this all back to why we decided to do this in the first place - Because we love each other and we want to spend our lives together. It isn't that we forgot that, exactly. We never forgot that we loved each other and that we want to spend our lives together. It was more that we forgot how AWESOME it is going to be. The weekend reminded us of how well we get along, how much fun we have together, and how much we care for each other. That weekend really really helped. It marked the return of wedding excitement, and things are getting done again without a herculean effort.

Take some time off with you and your fiance. Check out from everything else going on and just take a weekend to just be a couple in love.

Regarding people bullying you in to things for your wedding that you don't want, Personally I've found it easiest to let most of it go. So so little of it matters. What I keep telling myself is that all that really matters is that I be married to him by the end of the day. That is the goal. The rest is just gravy.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 4:19 AM on July 18, 2013 [11 favorites]

"It's all taken care of but thanks for your input." Don't twist yourself into a pretzel trying to accommodate everyone, even if you wanted to, it's just not possible. I had my sister attempt to blackmail me into choosing my wedding date on her schedule (Her reason was, she was turning 39 around that time and her husband might, MIGHT want to take her out that weekend, so if we were planning on having it then, she wouldn't be coming. I informed her that venues and churches book out a year in advance and if that weekend was all they had, we'd be taking it. And she'd miss out on a great day but oh well, enjoy your non significant birthday. She shut up quick.)

My point being, if you let people think they have a say, they'll keep trying. Present your decisions as a fait accomplit, and make it clear there's no room for discussion. The other thing we did in the last few months was hire a wedding planner. Having a pro on board meant we could say that the wedding planner had everything locked down (somewhat passing the buck) and it was too late to change. She also removed so, so much stress and was worth every cent. Basically she gets paid to stress for you.

So far as people trying to shoehorn their own guests on your lists, I'd be tempted (but probably wouldn't!) to say something like, "I'm sorry, the budget doesn't stretch to accommodating your friends, we already can't afford to invite all of ours! But if you'd like to pay for your own party, we'd be delighted to meet them there." Wow, people are rude.
posted by Jubey at 4:32 AM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

I really want to go to premarital counseling and we won't be able to afford it for another couple weeks.... I think [we]will be happy.

Observation: Usually these questions include a paragraph about how the fiancé is the most wonderful person ever and he/she isn't the problem. Your question doesn't.

Observation: Pre-marital counseling is probably more important than anything else wedding related you're buying. You could probably get 3-5 sessions for $500 depending on where you live. Please do it ASAP. Any chance you're both attracted to it and resisting it because it might lead to you upsetting the apple cart?

Take care.
posted by carmicha at 4:32 AM on July 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding carmicha's comment about the premarital counseling. It is the single best thing we have spent money on in this entire process. If nothing else, get one of those "questions couples should ask" books from the library and go through some of it together. Focusing on each other and your relationship is an important part of deciding to/planning to get married, and I suspect that when you burrow under all the party planning ennui, you'll get to the rather normal anxiety about getting married, and talking about that will help. Be kind to each other.

Also, hi! I am you too. Getting married in about a month, had a huge burst of enthusiastic planning at the beginning followed by a wretched year, don't care anymore, just want it to be over. I try to remind myself about the parts I AM looking forward to - spending the day before with my girlfriends, the fabulous dinner I plan to eat, finally getting a break from work for the honeymoon. Hopefully there is a part of yours that makes you happy, even if it's not the bulk of the thing, and you can focus on that part that you care about. Everything else, delegate the hell out of. Some things aren't worth caring about.

Good luck! It's a frustrating process, and I hope you two can find some time and space to focus on each other. The end is near! We all can do it!
posted by bowtiesarecool at 4:54 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am divorced, but I can honestly say that the worst time of my entire relationship with my ex (who I absolutely respect and still appreciate) was the two months right before the wedding. It wasn't our fault either. The amount of outside pressure about the types of things you brought up was enormous.

We did two things to combat it after we adopted an "us against the world" attitude. One, during our together time, we agreed to only complain about it for the first half an hour then we went back to trying to have a normal relationship and our everyday lives. Two, I agreed to respond to all the requestsdemandsintrusions. Her mom who was helping with the planning supported this. My basic response said in varying ways depending on the person or the request or the tone of the request was, "We really hope you attend. It would mean a lot to us. However, if you don't like the the way the event is being planned, only come if you can keep your big friggin mouth shut about it. Otherwise, do not trouble yourself to attend an event that you think is so flawed. As for your request to bring your cousin, your babysitter who is 'like family' or your pooch, NO. Sorry, that just won't work. Thank you for feeling comfortable enough to express your opinion about an event in which you were being thought of as a guest."

IN short, just say NO and do whatever you have to in order to spend quality time with your partner. Within a day or two of the wedding, all the hulabaloo will die down.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 4:56 AM on July 18, 2013

I agree with the others; it's your wedding, and the only opinions that matter are yours and your fiancée's.

For what it's worth I'll share something that helped when my lovely bride-to-be and I were planning our own wedding: We agreed that if things got too stressful, we'd hop a flight to Vegas and get married there. Then the Big Event would be done, and the rest would just be planning a party to celebrate.

It also reminded us that the celebration we were planning was the one we were choosing, and if I do say so myself it turned out pretty cool.
posted by Gelatin at 4:59 AM on July 18, 2013

This happens. A lot.

My wedding was one like yours that began as something I had control over and eventually became something I had only about 50% control over.

First, remember that this day is not the be all and end all of your marriage. Some people have AMAZING wedding days. Many people have wedding days that aren't exactly as they wished. It helps to plan some fun stuff for you and your future husband to do alone as a couple after the wedding. I know my honeymoon helped me relax a ton after my partially anxiety ridden wedding weekend.

The other good thing is that since it has now been quite a while since my wedding day, it has gotten easier for me to look back on it and say that while it was really not completely relaxing and fun at the time, there were parts that were enjoyable including: hanging out with my friends, finally getting married after a long planning process, and looking awesome in my dress. So while it may seem really crummy right now, it does get better in time.

Finally, I also had pre-wedding jitters. It sounds like the family you grew up in is pretty anxiety inducing and since this is a huge change, it's normal to be worried about this.
If you can't afford premarital counseling, take a weekend with your fiance and sit down in a relaxing area to figure out:

-How you want to handle money as a couple
-How you want to handle household chores as a couple
-What, if any, religion you want to raise any potential future children
-What priorities do you have around holidays and birthdays
-How do you communicate when you're angry or upset
-What are your goals for the future
-What you want done with your body when you die

The answers to these questions are of course fluid and can change with time. What's important is that you are both willing to tackle the hard topics as a couple and that you realize that it's possible to compromise when you may have wildly different opinions.

Also, on your wedding day, no matter how you feel or what else is going on, make a point of eating something.
posted by donut_princess at 5:33 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Husbunny and I will be celebrating our 11th anniversary at the end of the month.

Our whole wedding was an accomodation of our families quirks and weirdness. His family wouldn't fly, my family refused to have a wedding in Appalachia, my family is Jewish so we needed a rabbi, his family is Christian so we had to cajole our UU minister to do a traditional wedding, even though SHE had her agenda and was pretty aggressive in pushing it.

But here's where you can't lose the plot, a wedding is not just the joining of two people, it's the joining of two families. So while most brides have heard their whole life, it's your special day, in reality it's a merging of families. So when you're caving into some weirdness, put it in perspective, his Mom may have missed having daisy center pieces at her wedding and it will make her happy to have them at yours. Do you really care that much?

Premarital counceling is pretty great, and I'd call around to various religious organizations to see if they have a "pre-cana" class or something similar. Making sure that you're on the same page as your fiance regarding family, money, religion, etc. If you have differences, you'll be given tools for dealing respectfully with one another to come up with a compromise you can live with.

As for insuring that everyone will have a good time, you have no control over it. Release that now. We had our reception in a Cuban restaurant. We took over the bar area and to keep the party going Husbunny and I pretty much danced the whole night. If we had fun, our friends and family had fun. People still say how much fun our wedding was. I don't really remember it that way, but I didn't get to have one of the Dulce de Leche Pina Coladas either.

In fact the day is going to go by in a blur. At the end of it though, you'll be married and THAT'S the important thing.

Also, shit will go wrong. Something won't come off as planned. So don't stress about it. If the orchids you envisioned are completely different than what is delivered, or your pretty all white cake has neon yellow frosting on it, or if the champagne the restaurant provides is sweeter than Kool-aid, who cares? You're no less married and you can joke about it for the rest of your life. I'm still getting shit about how ugly my cake was and I shrug and say, "It was just fucking cake. Who cares?"
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:39 AM on July 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

Hey! I'm getting weddinged in two months, and dealing with everyone's fussing and demands has dampened my excitement, too. I've found Offbeat Bride's copy-n-paste conflict resolution posts to be very helpful. Even if I won't necessarily be sending one of these, it helps me a lot to feel like I'm not the only one out there feeling less than 100% jazzed about my wedding.
posted by Pwoink at 6:18 AM on July 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

After my phone ate my long response, basically Pwoink has it. OB was extremely helpful/hopeful to look at, regardless of how traditional a wedding you want.
posted by eralclare at 6:34 AM on July 18, 2013

I don't like the idea of everyone looking at me while I dance or say my vows.

Can't help you on the vows part (nor can anyone), but I totally get not liking being the centre of attention while dancing. I dealt with this by refusing to have a "first dance." I made very clear to my best man that when the music started playing, he was to corall my friends and join us on the dance floor. Made things much easier.

I've also gotten really frustrated with the accommodation of everyone else's wants for the wedding. My relatives have been making constant demands about who will be invited, what kind of parties we will have, who will be officiating, and I feel like my opinion no longer matters at all.

Weddings are delicate balances of accomodating people so they don't feel offended and asserting your own desires, because it is your wedding, and this is a great starting point to signal to pushy relatives that they don't get to dictate the terms on which you're going to live the rest of your life. Without knowing specifics, it's hard to offer advice, but I feel like, for instance, the choice of who is officiating is ENTIRELY a choice for you and your fiance to make. It's central to the whole wedding. It's a very good point at which to push back against family if the two of you are agreed on what you want or don't want. When you're feeling like your opinion doesn't matter, you've compromised too much. It's not too late to assert yourself.
posted by Dasein at 6:50 AM on July 18, 2013

If it helps:

I also really didn't like the idea of being all public about vowing and dancing and having my father walk me down the aisle (which I really did NOT want, but was pressured into doing). I prefer to be private about displays of affection with my partner and was self-conscious about being sentimental in front of people. On the day of, it 100% did not matter. It was far, far worse envisioning it in the weeks and months leading up to it than it was actually doing it. Actually doing it was a breeze and I did not give a flying fuck that my coworkers were listening to me saying things about welcoming children from God.

Also, about 4 weeks before the wedding, I wanted to punch anyone who asked if I was excited about the wedding because HOLY CRAP I WAS NOT I WANTED IT OVER WITH AND TO NEVER READ ANOTHER WEDDING BLOG OR MAGAZINE AGAIN. So I'm with you on the "ugh, just be over already" dread feeling. That said, I was always able to say "I am so excited to marry and be married to [partner], I'm just sick of the wedding stuff and want it over with yesterday." So if you can't say that, then yeah, I'd do your counseling ASAP.
posted by olinerd at 7:13 AM on July 18, 2013

I don't like the idea of everyone looking at me while I dance or say my vows.

The single best thing my husband and I did was get married before our wedding.

Nobody knew. For insurance reasons, he and I took a day off work, bought some flowers, went to city hall, were married by a very sweet lady in the city clerk's office who fussed over me (I was 6 months pregnant at the time), then we got hot dogs from the cart in the park and had a nice afternoon together doing assorted kinds of nothing. It was a beautiful, stress free day. To this day, none of our parents know and only a few of our friends.

6 months later, after the baby was born and it was time for our wedding, everything was much less stressful, because, you see, we'd already done the important part, in private, for ourselves ... because, as much as I get what is being said above about the joining of two families, your actual wedding is really more about the two of you than anything else.

So, that's my advice. Find a way to budget for the counseling if you think you need it, then, if you still want to, just go get married.
posted by anastasiav at 7:32 AM on July 18, 2013 [4 favorites]

having my father walk me down the aisle (which I really did NOT want, but was pressured into doing)

We solved this problem by each of us having BOTH parents walk us down the aisle.

So Husbunny and his Mom and Dad, Me and my Mom and Dad.

Sweet and no biggie.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:49 AM on July 18, 2013

I don't agree with the "merging of families" view of marriages, but that's possibly because I got married older, and our families are remote and not totally entangled in our lives, etc. (I mean: I met some of my spouse's siblings for the first time AT the wedding.) I *DO* pretty much believe that the day is FOR YOU, and so I feel a need to deal with family accordingly.

So we dealt with this VERY FIRMLY, by basically telling people to fuck right off. It was completely worth it. After some people started raising a ruckus, we sat them down and told them exactly when they should be where and in what outfits and what we had provided for them. ("Here is your hotel, this is where dinner is, a car will pick you up in the morning at X hour, you must be on time and prepared for that." This wasn't true for everyone, btw: lots of people and family were supportive and enthusiastic and self-sufficient.)

That all sounds a LITTLE unpleasant, I realize? And yes we had to do a good deal of work to get that stuff done in advance. But it worked out phenomenally, and we (largely!) had the wedding WE wanted, and that we think about fondly. And that way any of the chaos just works out as it will. Oh someone crashed the dinner? FINE, WHATEVER, GET AN EXTRA CHAIR. Oh someone was late? So what, then this part of the wedding will be late.

The misery of having family or even friends hijack your wedding is pretty intense. "You will be informed about the wedding plans when they are finalized, thank you" is a good start. And you can get firmer from there. Push back and push back hard. I would have canceled the whole thing and eloped if things had gotten any worse.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:50 AM on July 18, 2013

This is exactly the point at which couples elope. If you don't have too much paid down already, consider it! The dual pressures of Getting Married and Throwing a Huge Party can be too much, so why not get one out of the way early?
posted by theraflu at 7:55 AM on July 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You might want to read my wedding thread, posted from the day of.

I had so many dreams, you know? It was my second wedding -- the first wedding had been beautiful but had some niggling moments that I hadn't planned for. (Like my mother getting flowers from the cemetery. THE CEMETERY.) It wasn't that my wedding had to be perfect, but that some of those times reinforced some sad thoughts for me at a time that I needed the most support.

That was the biggest thing for me. I felt very unsupported. I had nobody near me except my husband-to-be, and he didn't really have much to do with the wedding except agreeing. (He did the honeymoon, etc., and the Iowa reception the next week.)

The closer I got to this wedding, things started falling off of my Must List -- and that was okay. Case in point: we had these two chairs that his mom (who died a few months before we met) loved. So we were going to put them up front as a special remembrance of her... but then we had to clean them, and that fell off the To-Do list. And then something fell off of one of them, and I was all "fuck it; we'll leave the chairs at home, put a photo of her up on the altar and it'll be nice."

Just get in the zone and float with it. You don't need any excuses to do whatever the hell you want right now; just say, "I'm a bride" and go get a pedicure in the middle of the day, or take off of work, or -- and this is important -- cancel the whole damn thing the day before and get married in your pajamas. I hereby give you permission.

We spent the night together in the hotel before we got married. I needed it so badly. He was wonderful. Don't worry about bucking tradition: do what you have to do.

It WILL be hard. It IS hard. Remember that. Remember that there will be blissful, wonderful moments, but they may be overshadowed.

That may sound very doom and gloom, but it's actually very freeing sometimes. You're supposed to be nervous and scared... so be nervous and scared! Don't try to hide it. Be yourself, and feel what you need to feel.

I love my husband more today than I ever have. The wedding crap was terrifying, but I held his hands and rubbed my thumb over his fingers SO HARD because I wanted to feel and be present... and REMEMBER. And during all of those moments, he was there, and he held me, and I'll remember that the most.
posted by Madamina at 8:03 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I always say there's only two important things that need to happen at a wedding:

1. You both show up.

2. You both say yes.

The rest is details.

So don't stress the small stuff, in 10 years you won't remember whether you had the duck with confit or the chicken with sauce. Also when things go wrong, it is GREAT entertainment for everyone, gives em something to talk about in 10 years!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:39 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

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