10 Things No One Tells You About Planning A WeddingAnnie Baria

CONGRATULATIONS! You’re engaged! Bask in the happiness of knowing you get to marry the person of your dreams, and the adrenaline rush of getting 665 Likes on the status update of your big news! Seriously. Enjoy every minute of this carefree and joyous time, because once you’ve recovered from all the celebratory champagne and are ready to dive into that sea of tulle and cake tastings, these are the straight-up truths of planning your wedding:

  1. It is not YOUR day. It is your fiance’s, who wants to rappel down a rope to your ceremony “Indiana Jones”-style, and have a Wang Chung cover band perform at the reception. It is your mom’s, who wants you to consider the new “smokin’ hot trend” of newlyweds going on their honeymoon with their parents. It is your dad’s, who thinks it would be really romantic (and cost-effective) to elope. It is your grandmother’s, who wants to sew your wedding dress. It is your girlfriend’s, who announces you can’t have a “nude/champagne/ivory” color scheme, because she was planning to do that one day. It is your relative’s, who says “You won’t really be married, unless you get married in a church.” Unless you are eloping, “your day” isn’t just yours; it also belongs to everyone who loves you, wants to be a part of this momentous occasion in your life, and means well when they suggest you get a spray tan for your wedding “so you’re not the same color as your dress.”
  2. Your big day will cost more than a car. And those “perfect,” fantasy weddings you read about in magazines? Some of those cost more than a house. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $28,400. I KNOW. Go pour a bucket of ice water on your head, scream into a pillow, then call your grandma and see what design she had in mind for that wedding dress… (BOOM! You just saved a few grand, and get a couture-bespoke-one-of-a-kind-Pin-worthy gown!)
  3. It’s time to hit the ground running. Totally enjoy that newly-engaged glow! But also know that (while it is totally, completely, 100% possible to plan a wedding in just a few months without having a nervous breakdown), the most desirable venues and photographers often book up a year out, wedding dresses take 6-8 months to make, and you are not the only bride getting married that day. If one aspect of the wedding is extremely important to you, plan far enough in advance that the venue/vendor will still be available. (This will be a relief to your fiancé, who has declared he “needs at least 9 months to plan the bachelor party.”)
  4. The DIY touches you pick to save money will be the most memorable. Your fiance’s mother and her best friends cooking and “waitressing” your rehearsal dinner will be one of the best meals of your life, and as fun a party as the wedding itself. Making hot fudge with your dad to put in tiny jars as wedding favors will be a day you never forget (and will look so chic, with your neutral palette color scheme!) And you will feel like a genius for making a fake “traditional wedding cake” for photos by stacking a tier of hat boxes, frosting and decorating them, and then actually serving the sheet cake you bought at the grocery store for a tenth of the price of an actual wedding cake. Added bonus to saving yourself loads of hot cash? Your wedding will be unlike any bride’s before you, and totally unique to you.
  5. The guest list will be more complicated thank a Rubik’s Cube. The day after you get engaged, your mom will send you her list of her 125 “best friends,” including the Chongs from Canada whom she met on a cruise (and whom you’ve never met). Your sister will tell you how excited she is to bring that guy she’s been talking to on Tinder as her +1. Your cousin will tell you her 6-year-old loves filet mignon, so don’t worry about offering a “kid’s menu!” Your dad will see how much it costs per person, and bring up that eloping idea again (which is actually sounding pretty great right now). Your mom will also tell you she doesn’t want to sit with your dad or her family at the wedding, she wants to sit at “the celebrity table.” Don’t forget to invite celebrities to your wedding, for your mom to hang with!
  6. You will get addicted to Pinterest. You used to laugh at those crazy bridezillas on “Bridezillas.” Now, you find yourself going down the rabbit hole (pin one picture, and it leads you to a whole new board of another 815 photos of “inspiration” to sift through), and all of a sudden, it’s 2am on a Tuesday and you’re scrolling feverishly through photo booth backdrop ideas, muttering “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.”
  7. Dress shopping is, essentially, a sporting event. You need to carb-o-load the night before, get a good night’s sleep, and drink lots of water, because you will have a stranger (otherwise known as a salesperson), wrestling you into sample size dresses made for girls this size http://hellogiggles.com/culture-shock-catwalk?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=HGFB&utm_campaign=post, you’ll be giving the dress a test run in the store’s clear plastic stripper heels (which are a total workout to attempt to walk in), and you’ll need to be mentally prepared for your mom’s happy tears of seeing her baby in a wedding gown. Or her tears of laughter at the sight of you looking like “The Bride of Frankenstein” in the dress she wanted you to try on in the first place.
  8. Everyone will want to know when you are having a baby. Wait! You just set a wedding date! You still want to hash out the pros and cons of fondant vs. cream cheese frosting! Why are we skipping “then comes marriage” and going straight to “the baby in the baby carriage?” Survival tip: Watch this http://hellogiggles.com/cuteness-break-baby-sloths-squeaking, and find solace in the fact that babies are basically just the human version of that. (And besides, you need something in the world to look forward to once your wedding is over, right?!)
  9. Your sense of rationality will go out the window. It was just a few months ago when you first got that rock on your finger, and you were nauseous at the average cost of a wedding… Ahhh, such simple, naive times! Now, you’re in the trenches. You will consider turning your closet into a grow house, not for illegal purposes, but to grow and supply the flowers for your wedding. (What do you MEAN, anemones aren’t in season in August?!?!) The discussion with your mother, of whether or not to rent “luxury Porta Potties” so there will be enough bathrooms for all the guests at your outdoor wedding by a lake, will end with one of you in tears. And you will think it is totally reasonable to want a Save-the-Date like this.
  10. None of this will matter at your wedding. At the end of the day, you’ll be marrying your best friend/love of your life, surrounded by the people who mean most to you in the world! That, right there, is a guaranteed #bestday, no matter what happens. Do what’s right for you, don’t go into debt over it, and be open to your loved ones’ advice and ideas. (To a certain point… Sorry, Mom, but you’re not coming on the honeymoon.) Happy planning!
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  1. I’m so glad I’m not a girly girl who needs this sort of crap. My fiance and I are just fine with low key. I wouldn’t have a wedding (just not my cup of tea) at all if it weren’t for my family and because I love them. the only thing I care about is where we’re going for the honeymoon!

  2. I love it!! Every item on this list is completely true. :) plus, being married to your best friend is the most awesome thing you could ever do. My parents managed to only dump 1,000.00 into my wedding. I was really proud of them for managing that when one of my dad’s friends just paid 3,000.00 for his daughters wedding.

  3. Everyone told me this stuff when I was planning my wedding. Thankfully most if it isn’t actually true. My wedding was exactly right, beautiful and a fraction of the price people were estimating. Etsy is your best friend when planning a wedding. Congrats to you all who are in the planning stages. It will be your perfect day no matter what.

  4. I planned my wedding on our beautiful, Charleston , SC, beach for no more than a thousand dollars, in less than 4 months, and no stress at all.

    • Danielle, I need ALL your hot tips!!! I love Charleston, your wedding must have been gorgeous.

    • Very impressive! That’s exactly how I hope mine will happen when the time comes.

      • SO impressive!! Totally agree. Do you want a beach wedding, too? I love outdoor weddings — we’re hoping to have ours in Lake Tahoe, on the lawn of a family friend’s house by the water. I’m so excited!

  5. “And besides, you need something in the world to look forward to once your wedding is over, right?!”

    Sarcasm, I hope!

    • 110% sarcasm :) Could you even imagine?! (Although I have heard brides say even crazier things and completely mean them…)