It seems that every bridal publication and wedding-related social media account under the sun is willing to tell you-the bride- that your Wedding Day is "Your Day." That it's "all about you." You should have what you want. "Don't compromise."
But babe, I'm gonna be frank with you because someone has to be...
...if you take the advice of the masses, and treat your Wedding Day like it's the official, sponsored party for the second coming of Jesus, you're well on your way to being known by your family, friends (and vendors!) as a first-rate B*tchy Bride.
Despite all of the hype, your Wedding Day is not about you and you alone. Sure, a wedding is absolutely an opportunity to embrace your personal style, show off your party planning skills, and stick it to your frenemy from high school (hey, I said we don't want to be the b*tch, but we're still just human!) But beyond all of that, wedding planning is, at its core, just about building and strengthening relationships.
It's an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your partner. There are generalizations and jokes galore surrounding men's disinterest and disengagement with the wedding planning process. But can you blame them? From girlhood, it is instilled in women that our wedding will be the "Most Important Day of Our Life." The pressure is unreal! It's no wonder, then, when we wander into slightly unhinged territory once the planning has started. But if we can separate ourselves from those deeply rooted, unattainable (and untrue!) expectations, then we can begin to focus on the real opportunity in front of us- the opportunity to learn to better navigate stress, compromise, and financial decision-making with the very individual we're committing to spending a lifetime with navigating life's stressors, compromises, and decision-making. Practice makes perfect, folks!
It's an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with family and friends. Wedding planning is a team sport. Whether it's determining who's paying for what, deciding on a guest list, or nailing down the plans for the bachelorette party, none of these decisions are made by you alone, in a vacuum. Like it or not, you have an obligation to take other people's feelings, perspectives, and bank accounts, into consideration. I've seen relationships between brides and bridesmaids fall apart at the seams over disagreements that, 10 years down the road, will sadly seem SO trivial. Please don't ever lose sight of the fact that the neckline of the bridesmaids' dresses is so not worth alienating yourself from the very people who care for you the most.
3. It's an opportunity to acknowledge your own shortcomings. Yep, I went there. The inevitable reality of trying to plan a once-in-a-lifetime, dream experience is that at some point along the line, you're going to have to compromise. Not a single day on Planet Earth has ever been completely perfect, without blemish, and so the harsh reality is that your Wedding Day will be no different. How do you want to be remembered in that moment? Because I can promise you that I will never forget childish antics of a former bride who alienated her bridesmaids, pissed off her stepmom, and was clearly dismissed by her appalled in-laws. When things go slightly left and sideways? That's when a person's reaction is remembered forever.
You have a choice in terms of how you'll spend these months planning your wedding. I hope you choose the path of love, grace, compromise, and as simple as it sounds, happiness. Don't lose sight of the "why." It's not really about the neckline of the bridesmaids' dresses or the color of the napkins. It's about connecting with your partner, celebrating with the people who love you most, and learning and growing into the person you're meant to be...
Wedding planning is a master class in growing up. Pay attention.