My wedding planning experience started out like any other new bride-to-be, with a proposal. Once the elation and phone calls calmed down, I dove right into planning a wedding. Whew, what an undertaking that was! Wedding planning isn't easy, there's so much out there! Everything from the check lists to the blogs and magazines, it's overwhelming. What isn't out there is a glut of real honest information that isn't tailored towards pushing you to buy something, pin something or teach you etiquette. I wanted to read real stories of real people having problems, of breaking down crying because their emotions were just so blown out from the overwhelming responsibility of planning this one special day... and it just wasn't out there.
After my wedding, which was fantastic by the way, I kept seeing brides (and grooms) post in online wedding planning forums about their need to vent and looking for support and asking the questions about whether anyone else had ever gone through what they were going through. I reflected on the things I wish I'd known about or been told about before the wedding. The taboo things, the uncomfortable bits, the parts that you just don't talk about or maybe even the advice I was told but didn't believe. Hopefully they'll help another bride (or groom) to be. Here are my 10 things:
1. During the ceremony you might not be able to get the ring on your spouse's finger. Stress, heat, nervousness and etc. all culminate into swollen fingers. That ring that fit just fine last week totally won't fit without some serious shoving after saying those vows.
2. You really won't care about the little stuff, no really. It's not because you didn't care about it enough before, it's because when you're in the moment there's no longer anything you can do to change it, so it no longer matters. I was surprised at how little I cared about things when they didn't work out on my wedding day.
3. You will still care about the big stuff. And something will go wrong to ruin at least one big thing, and it will bother you for quite a while after your wedding. Mine was we didn't get a first dance because of a surprise limo showing up to whisk us away.... so we rushed through the cake and totally skipped the first dance. I am still pissed I didn't get a first dance to this day.
4. Everyone will lie to you, through their teeth, on the day of your wedding. Seriously. I'm surprised at how many people just flat out lied about one thing or another whether in an attempt to ensure I won't worry about it or they just flat out didn't know so they told me what they thought I wanted to hear.
5. You might not be able to SLEEP on your wedding night. Let's put aside the post-nuptial nookie that's hotly debated on the wedding night. My new husband and I couldn't calm down, despite being exhausted, to fall asleep. We were just so keyed up and talking about what an awesome time we had, no amount of relaxing, hot showers, Benadryl or whatever would get us to pass out. We had to be up super early too for our honeymoon flight, so meandering onto a cruise ship with 2 hours of sleep totally sucked.
6. Depending on how much time Wedding Planning took up prior to the wedding, you might find a lack of things to do for a couple weeks afterwards. It takes some serious adjustment to realize that after however long focusing on this one thing for this one day... it's over, and you no longer have to worry about those spreadsheets or DIY projects, it's totally over. You now have loads of free time.
7. Things you think would be a no brainer, are not no brainers. Write down who you want in pictures and then tell those people so they know too. You'd be surprised how many guests just assume they're going to be in pictures and stick around, and how many guests who are close family that just take off.
8. You will be surprised at who gives you gifts and who doesn't. This is a touchy one since everyone says, "Oh you should never expect a gift." Well I didn't expect gifts, having each and every person there on my wedding day was gift enough... but it didn't mean I wasn't surprised that one guest who without fail sends us a card for every holiday, including the most arbitrary ones (labor day, really?!), didn't even get us a Congratulations card. It stuck out because it was very unlike them. Expectation? Maybe. Odd? Certainly.
9. The buck doesn't stop there. You think since the wedding is over the money is done leaving your account? HA! Wedding dress cleaning can range from $80 - $300 depending on what you need done and how you want it "preserved." Not to mention postage for the Thank You cards and getting pictures printed that your family and friends took, or maybe even from your photographer depending on the package you purchased. Oh and the honeymoon, one tends to spend a lot of money on a honeymoon, even if it was pre-paid and "all inclusive."
10. Finally, the proclivity for one, or both, of you to get sick as soon as you get home. Apparently, according to my doctor, it's ridiculously common for one to get home from their honeymoon and immediately fall ill with a cold, flu or something because of the stress, hugging all those people, travelling and even sex (UTI, yeast infection or just general irritation). Even if you did the deed before your wedding day your immune system could be compromised from all of the above and affect sex too.