The original version of this article appeared in The Broke-Ass Bride.
Two weeks before Thanksgiving, I found out that the current number of Mrs. Coopersmiths would soon be increased by one -- my husband's little brother got engaged. Yay! But then I looked at the calendar again and frowned. Two weeks before Thanksgiving. Seven weeks before New Years.
Here we go.
The best part of the holiday season is the number of chances you'll have to spend time with your family and friends. And if you ever lacked attention from any of them, you are definitely going to get it now that you're engaged:
"Oh my God, congratulations! When are you getting married?"
"You got engaged last Saturday? Did you find a dress, yet?"
"How many guests are you having?"
"My wedding was so stressful. If I had to do it all over again, I'd elope."
"What are your colors? Do you have a Pinterest board?"
"Where are you getting married? All the good places book up fast, so you need to start looking now."
Don't get me wrong, everyone is really happy and excited for you, and you need to remember that once you start contemplating murder. But, all of a sudden, they're heavily invested in your wedding day, offering a stream of unsolicited advice, unsolicited opinions and a ton of questions that you don't have any response to right now. You're still startled every time your new shiny new ring slides into your peripheral vision, now you're feeling insecure about how you're going to pull this all off, anyway, especially since all the questions make it obvious that you don't know what you're doing, right? Weddings cost how much? And how do you start looking for a wedding venue that's not even going to be available when you find it?
Get it done and why haven't you found it and what are you waiting for and NOW. And there's that pressure even if you've been planning for a while, too. That one question that will be asked over and over -- "How's the wedding going?" -- can be a killer. "Well, how is it going?" you ask yourself, thinking about the open checklist boxes, the invitations you're still trying to choose, the bridesmaid dresses that came in the wrong color, the DJ you haven't booked... yet. Not so great, you're thinking as you reply while smiling bravely, "We're working on it."
Another deep breath. The season of peace, love and joy starts with you, so give yourself a break, first of all! You don't have to know all the answers right now, you don't have to accomplish all the things before your Mom's annual Yuletide bash. What you do need to do is give yourself credit for everything you've already done, even if that's just finding the person you wanna hang out with for the rest of your life. Enjoy it. Bask, even. When you're asked about the wheres and the whens and the whys? Shake your head, smile and repeat after me, "We haven't decided any of that; we're going to talk about it next month." Full stop.
And if you're not so new and a wedding check-up is requested, list everything you've already finished (because you are a rock star), and the one (choose ONE) thing you want to check off before the end of the year. If they ask about anything else, shrug and repeat after me, "Yeah, we'll get that done after the holidays." You got this far, so of course you will!