Caroline Gerdes
January 04, 2016 11:02 am

When you watch movies and TV shows about weddings, there are common tropes that you can’t believe happen in real life. After serving some serious bridesmaid duty and planning my own wedding, I can tell you that some of these stereotypes are nonsense, but some…well, they’re more true than you’d like. Planning  a wedding can really be that complicated, but it’s also completely wonderful. Here are all the ways that weddings IRL are just like the ones on movies and television.

Everyone will have an opinion.

As soon as you announce your engagement, the advice will start rolling in. From table decor to cake to dress to location, everyone has an opinion on the best way to do it and why. And that is totally OK, and to be expected. The important thing here is to seek out advice from people you trust and block out most of the other noise. (A polite, “How interesting!” goes a long way.)

People will have all kinds of ideas about how you should prepare. 

People will assume you are dieting, getting spray tanned, having your teeth whitened, and other things you may or may not be doing for your big day. That’s perfectly fine. Everyone does their wedding their way. but don’t feel like just because people are asking about your green tea cleanse like you really have to participate in that. It’s up to you, and it’s not mandatory. You’re going to be beautiful no matter what.

Yes, you may get cold feet.

At some point, the idea of marriage is going to feel insane to you or the idea of having a wedding is going to feel crazy. If these thoughts aren’t fleeting, and you feel really uncomfortable, it may not be cold feet. But everyone does get anxious surrounding big choices and events.

Your bridesmaids may not like their dresses.

It so depends on what it is, but it’s possible that you have bridesmaids that don’t love their wedding wear. That’s OK. If it’s a huge problem, you two can work it out.

Not everyone will RSVP

But enough will that your guest list will work out in the end. Take a deep breath, and know that it’s OK to ask people if they are coming.

Your family will have their own ideas about the ceremony. 

While it’s important for parents and grandparents to feel comfortable, you need to feel comfortable at your own wedding. The most important thing is that you and your fiancé agree on the tone of the ceremony, which means something different for every couple.

It can be SO expensive

It really can. Once again, you just have to make a budget and plan a wedding that feels right for you and/or the parties paying for it. And it’s really no one’s business what that budget is, whether it’s $300 or $30,000.

You really don’t have time to do everything yourself, and that’s OK

You don’t have to do it all yourself! I know we all want to do all the things. But there will come a point where you are cutting twine and assembling 150 boxes of favors and wonder, “How did I get here?” Take a deep breath and remember it’s ok to delegate.

Yes, it can get complicated

Even if you invite 25 people and serve a cake from Costco, it will be a little complicated. You’ll still have to jump through legality/red tape, and someone has to remember to pick up the Costco cake. So, once again, it’s ok to ask for help!

But it really is one of the best days you’ll have

If you find someone you love and can have a celebration of that love, you should count yourself fortunate. It’s easy to get consumed in wedding stress. But remember the end goal: to bring everyone together, announce a big step and celebrate love.

[Image via IFC Films]

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