On October 2nd, 2012, my beau and I got engaged. It was sweet, beautiful and simple. I decided then that I wanted our wedding to reflect that same sentiment. I’m a complete control freak and borderline OCD (undiagnosed), so I knew I could not have a wedding planner because I would want to do it all myself, anyway. Not to mention my fiancé and I did not want to spend a fortune on our special day and not having a planner instantly saves you $3-25k (depending on how much of a baller you are). So the decision was made: I would plan our big day.
The second you announce your engagement, you are inundated with questions and advice about your wedding. “When’s the date?”; “Where are you having it?”; “How many bridesmaids?”; “You should just elope” “Spend the most money on your photographer or you’ll regret it”; “Florists will rip you off” and so on and so on. Then you get the recently married folks telling you, “You won’t remember a thing”; “It’s over so fast”; “It truly is the happiest day of your life.” Umm, okay.
Bridal blogs, magazines and books are full of beautiful photos and ideas that make planning your wedding completely overwhelming. It’s easy to see how any sane woman can instantly become a Bridezilla. There are literally thousands of options and for every decision you make, you quickly find a “better option” the next time you look. Every decision feels like the most important decision ever! “What will these invitations say to our guest about us and our wedding versus these invitations?” “Will our wedding suck if we pick the wrong invitations?!”
Speaking of invitations, by far the most anxiety-ridden part of planning a wedding is the guest list. Seriously, it sucks a$$. (I used money signs for a reason.) According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in the US is $28,427 with catering being $63/per person. This does not include booze and we all know a wedding without booze is not a wedding at all. So, let’s just say $75/person with booze…that means you, your future hubby and/or your parents are paying $75/person for everyone who attends… even the annoying boyfriend of cousin Cindy who no one really likes (don’t worry, I don’t have a cousin Cindy). When I thought about our guest list, the number 100 came to mind, We wanted to keep it intimate and the friends and family that popped into our heads didn’t possibly exceed that number… well it did my friend, it did. We did not take into account how many of our friends and family were married, engaged or living with a significant other. That number of 100 quickly became 180! AHHHH!!! Okay sure, not everyone will come to your wedding, but about 60-70% will, and that’s about 25 more people (and $1875 more dollars) than we thought of. Are you starting to see why people lose their minds when planning a wedding?
Then there’s the millions of other things you need to worry about: bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl(s), ring bearer, DJ, photographer, wedding favors, invitations, flowers, specialty cocktails (that’s a thing now), rehearsal dinner, location, officiant, hotels for guests, wedding party gifts, activities for guests, wedding rings, shoes, hair, makeup and most importantly in my book…the dress!
Finding my dress was one of the first things I did and I loved every minute of it. Putting on “the one” is just as emotional as it is in every RomCom movie you’ve every seen. There are so many beautiful designs to go with and what you think you want is rarely what you end up with. There is really that magical moment when you put on “the dress” and everything seems right in the world. You tear up and see yourself walking down the aisle to marry your best friend. It’s perfect. It’s by far the best part of planning a wedding…
But then there’s cake! It’s a very close second to finding your dress and just as special because it’s one of the few decisions your fiance will probably be super happy to be involved with. The first tasting we went on was the only tasting because the good people at Susie Cakes nailed it. Damien (my beau) and I were given a glorious tray of of cupcakes and frosting in every flavor variety of cake that they offer.
Damien’s first words were “This is free?! Why wouldn’t people just do this all the time?” Good question! Want to spend a day stuffing your face with cake? Just make cake tasting appointments around town! (This is totally dishonest and you would probably get caught so I don’t really advise it.) In the end we went with a rather small “wedding cake” in vanilla and chocolate but then also ordered 3 other cakes in carrot, red velvet and coconut! YAY CAKE!
So the moral of this story is…planning a wedding does kind of sucks and someone should really tell you that (so I am). BUT, I’m 100% confident that it will all be worth it in the end. I mean, it’s the only wedding I’ll ever have (because God forbid I remarry, I’ll definitely elope!) and I should enjoy every minute of it…even the sucky parts. And to all you ladies who are engaged or about to be, I give you this piece of advice…no matter what, remember it’s YOUR wedding. Do what you and your fiance want, what matters to you, what feels right. It’s not about your friends or even your family, it’s YOUR special day to share with the ones you love. Another tip…think about the last 3 weddings you attending – what did you remember most about them? That will help you decipher what YOU care about in the sea of choices and decisions. Good luck and know it’ll all end with CAKE! Oh, and a husband of course 🙂