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Two Months Out


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

I haven’t talked for a while about the effing hard parts of planning a wedding, the parts that make me cry, the parts that make me wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. I get freaked out, I get anxious, and I hope I’m not the only one who does. Please share your wedding anxiety in the comments so we/I can feel less alone! Because I think honesty is the best way to shed a little light in the darkness, this is how I’m feeling these days:

Sometimes planning our wedding I get so lost in what other people want for me that I can’t see my way out, I can’t see what I want. I get scared that I’ll show up at our wedding, and it won’t be the wedding that we need, that it won’t celebrate who we really are. I wake up in the middle of the night scared that I’ll show up on our wedding day and everyone will have misunderstood us and that there will be a garter toss, some ritual cake smashing, piles of formal pictures, that people will insist that I throw my bouquet to the next to wed, and none of it will reflect who we are. And on those days, I go back and revisit some of my favorite weddings… I try to breathe in brides who were able to celebrate fully who they are on their wedding day, who were able to revel in the joy of finding a partner to spend the rest of their lives in.

What I want is to feel like I’m not alone in all this. I ask my married friends if getting married ever made them anxious, and most of them tell me that everything will work out in the end, which I know. But what I want to hear the most is – I was scared too. Because it’s not just the wedding that I’m freaked about, I’m scared that I’ll get married and I will wake up the next morning with a one way ticket to a house in the suburbs, a minivan, and taking care of kids all day while I make sure the house is tidy when my husband comes home from work. I’m scared of losing ourselves. I’m scared of loosing our passion for life. I’m scared of having a passionless wedding and having a passionless marriage.

Two months out and I’m anxious. This process of planning our wedding has been a process of finding myself, of finding ourselves. It’s given us the power to say, “No, that’s not right for us,” and “Yes, this is how we want to live our lives.” But now, as the invitations go out, and the wedding becomes not just our thing anymore, I’m scared that the power of ‘how things are done’ will overcome ‘how we are doing things.’

And I think maybe, just maybe, that this is ok. I think that trying to live truthfully is hard, and it takes bravery. My Grandfather, who was a Colonel in the Marine Corps, used to say that being brave didn’t mean not being scared – that not being scared was stupid. He always said that being brave was being scared but doing it anyway. So here we go… here we go.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • Anonymous

    just relax. Unless you’re not used to spending the majority of your time together (you don’t live together or something) then the day after your wedding is just going to be like every other day (perhaps with a slight hangover). I still hate doing the dishes and he still farts. There is no way in hell you could get us out to suburbs and kids are no where in the near future. Marriage does not equal white picket fence/mini van. Try not to lose sight of the fact that what your really doing by getting married is making a promise and declaration that you and your husband/wife are committed to spending the rest of your life together, and in the long run one day out of that entire relationship isn’t that big a deal.

    to answer your question, no I was not scared. I knew with out a doubt that this was the right thing to do and it was just a day like any other day except I was wearing a nice dress and more people then usual where paying attention to me.

    Try not to lose sight of the real reason we get married. Not to have the wedding but to have the years after.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04176047442059929187 Callie

    PW – this wedding does not define you. you are so much bigger, so much cooler, so much more unique (if that is possible) than any one day’s events could summarize. Like Anon above said, this is about you and your beloved. The rest is details.

    We love you and will support you these last two months!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04454278674225963467 AnnC

    Yes, I was scared sometimes… about the wedding day, and about “after”. But our dreams about our future are still the same, I still don’t want kids right now, and I don’t think marriage changed really something ;-)…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10648725099262152263 AmyJean {Relentless Bride}

    I love this post… its so dead on!
    RelentlessBride

  • camyl

    i think it’s okay for a bride-to-be to be scared. and it’s not really a fear of not getting what you want for the wedding, but of the whole marriage thing. it’s a lifetime commitment. it’s a totally different direction from the life you’ve been living up til now.

    i am not a graduate. like you, i get these thoughts that increase my anxiety. when my fiance says something he wants about the wedding that is totally in contrast with what i want, i often get this thought, “do i really want to get married to this guy?” compatibility becomes totally questionable, because now we’re working on an actual, tangible thing/event together, something that, to many anxious brides, will leave an indelible first mark on our married lives.

    it’s not that i don’t think my fiance and i are not right for each other. we made a choice to love each other, and we’re standing by that choice. but all i’m saying is that there will be moments when we doubt, when we feel anxious, when we feel afraid that what we’re doing is wrong. though while it’s perfectly normal to feel those things, it would be good for us to fortify ourselves with what anonymous said: “I knew with out a doubt that this was the right thing to do.” when i get these anxiety attacks, i just think happy thoughts, and *poof* they’re gone.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16294864366284434807 Rosalie

    I’ve been scared and I think more anxiety/fear is to come. I’ve had a month or so of being relaxed at the moment but it’s now 3 months for me, I can feel anxiety building again. I know exactly how you feel, you’re not alone, particularly about other’s expectations (waiting for my bouquet toss or our first dance which doesn’t exist!) we’ve tried to convey how informal and untraditional our wedding will be to our guests in our wedding website/invitation details, to make them and me less anxious!).

    In terms of marriage, I’m not so anxious, because I’ve been looking at it this way: the same as I look at our relationship now, you’ve worked through hard parts already, you’ve worked at your relationship not being passionless, marriage is more of the same with a declaration of commitment and acknowledment in front of others to keep working at it.

  • http://peachesbyplums.wordpress.com/ peachesbyplums

    I’m scared too x

  • Anonymous

    As usual, your timing is spot on. I just had a moment yesterday when after all the invitations have been sent out and, because I DIY’ed them there are absolutely none left over, his parents magically remembered some friends that over the past 15 months of planning we have never ever discussed – even for a B or C list. I really don’t even mind adding a couple of people to the list, but for me it was the final pull back in the battle of “Whose wedding is this?”. They are absolutely wonderful people and I am so happy and lucky to have such future in-laws – and yet just in the past week was a feeling at peace since we had finally decided on a caterer (such a huge piece of the budget – thus a huge piece that had as of yet been undetermined!). When my fiance broke me the news, I was in shock and suddenly I lost control of myself because I had lost the control and sense of peace I had about the wedding. Anyhow, this is getting long, but I have been scared at times during this process – at the person that sometimes comes out and with other people’s expectations. Finally, regarding the future, since we have gotten engaged, I keep running across co-workers that are getting divorced in mid-life, or even just 2 years later. I very much trust that we will be together forever and that we are in love and will not wander, however it is still hard to be reminded of other marriages that are failing when I am in the midst of planning mine. It somehow makes me feel as if I am so naive for believing that it can actually work – but I really DO believe it. Once again, a constant battle going on in my head that I hope is just a side effect of the wedding planning craziness. I am also just over 2 months out and I am ever so excited for the day to come. Continue your wonderful words of support and inspiration for practical brides everywhere.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13061035220548972874 anna and the ring

    I’m only just starting out on the path to marriagehood and I already feel anxiety.

    Deep down I know I will marry the man I love whatever happens but I just can not visualise how I will make it through the jungle of wedding expectations.

    Everyone says we can just do it “our way” but in their next breath they say why don’t you want this or that.

    Whilst I know in the end the wedding will hopefully reflect us I don’t want it to define us. I want us to be defined by how we overcome obstacles as family. I want to be defined by my whole life and not just one day.

    However we chose to marry it will undoubtedly reflect our own style because of who we invite and the way in which we present our special day.

    Hmm, I’m never sure if I make any sense?!

  • http://accordionsandlace.wordpress.com/ accordionsandlace

    Ok my whole blog is basically about anxiety, so I’m right there with you. (And I believe it’s really important for us to find ways to vocalize all of this together–it does everyone a lot of good).

    I think that the good thing about the anxiety is that it forces us and our partners to work through things. Me and the mister have had a lot of “one way ticket to the suburbs” conversations this year. We’ve talked about the pressure to buy a house right away, how we are “failures” in my family’s eyes for being in no position to do so, especially because we insist on staying in the city. We have had a lot of talks about not letting ourselves get sucked into rigid notions of what a family/marriage looks like, and how we have to consciously work to redefine those words for ourselves.

    Oh I’ve been a scaredy cat my whole life. But again, I really believe that vocalizing and working through our fears, and sometimes doing them in public spaces like this, where we can connect with like-minded people and be validated by the knowledge that we’re not alone, is such a valuable part of the process. We will all be stronger for it.

  • http://accordionsandlace.wordpress.com/ accordionsandlace

    And if I can butt it again–on the wedding anxiety front, I have definitely had similar nightmares, but I really feel that we all put too much pressure on ourselves to make our weddings feel like “reflections” of ourselves. I loved this post yesterday at Wedding Planning in Exile, which sort of called out that pressure to be unique, to make everything meaningful, and to give ourselves aneurysms in the process: http://brideinexile.blogspot.com/2009/05/this-post-is-totally-unique-and-so-us.html

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14875846226565988171 turtlebird

    i love this post – i totally identify with you… i’m not really scared that marriage will turn me into a stepford, i am confident in our ability to be ourselves, and make our marriage OUR marriage, if you know what i mean, BUT i am so there with the getting caught up in other people’s expectations for the wedding, and sometimes letting it get to me so much that i can’t sleep for worrying. its easy for me to lose my confidence and question if we’re doing the right thing by being more non-traditional. but talking to my hubby-to-be about my anxieties really helps me keep myself in check. i just have to take my reality temperature frequently, and not forget the whole point of the day. when i am able to ground myself in that, i find the anxiety goes away.
    don’t worry! you can only plan so much, and then you just have to let go and enjoy the day – it is only one day after all :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11784946794675621661 Kaki

    Up until last night, I was scared. I was scared that people would be pissed that there wasn’t an open bar, scared that the wedding wouldn’t be “us”, scared that we had done the wrong thing in deciding to have a wedding and scared that we would piss people off for a variety of reasons. I’m planning a wedding as an expat (Canadian) in the country I’m currently living in (Scotland) and it’s been stressful on many, many accounts.

    But then two things happened – I went to a lovely wedding on Saturday that was no where near over the top (simple, chic and classic) and everyone had an amazing time, and I confronted my mother on how stressed she was making me (by inviting randoms and insisting that one of the said randoms stay at my future-in-laws!). Anyway, I put my foot down in the nicest way possible and told myself that I’m 6 weeks out and I’m going to have as much fun as I possibly can have in doing all the little things that I need to do. This morning, I actually woke up and said “6 more weeks! yay!”

    So I’m not ashamed – I was scared, I cried, I doubted, I obsessed and you’re completely normal for feeling this way. Don’t take the old of advice of “just relax!”, and “don’t worry, you’ll end up having a beautiful day!” Just go through the emotions, soak it in, then make a decision: either let them overrule how fabulous you are and how sane you are in every other facet of your life, or say “screw you hyper-emotional self! I’m done with this sh*t!” and look at this experience as something you won’t have to go through again so you best soak it up in a positive way. And that’s my 2 pence.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07727291511829658991 penn

    you know the great thing about getting married? It’s just a day. Say that worst case scenario you really DO end up at some crazy WIC wedding. Who cares? The next day, you can wake up again, reinvent yourself, and be your sane self. Your wedding is just ONE day. If it doesn’t perfectly reflect who you are, it will not be the end of the day. I really like that about weddings — it’s a fun party, but if it didn’t end up just the way you wanted, you still have a lifetime to make the marriage how you want. I imagine what works for you will change over time anyway.

  • Roxanne

    I’m a little less than two monthes out too, and I’ve felt the same way 100 times. Sometimes I couldnt sleep, or I was freaking out. Now its two mothes away and…I dont even care. I care about the ceremony. As for the reception..well if my DIY candleholders and random decorations dont work out, oh well. The important part will happen no matter what.
    Unfortunatley, I have no idea what brought me to this point of not caring. And it’s probably not such a good thing, because there is so much to get done! But I don’t feel as stressed. :)
    I love your blog. Thank you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00174894872050076618 Marie-Ève

    I’ve now been married all of 8 days, and gosh, you are so not alone.
    About ten days before, I became a nervous wreck all of a sudden, stressing over things I just knew didn’t matter in the end, but I couldn’t help myself. It was a bit humbling for me, actually, because all through the past year I had been sorta making fun of demanding and irrational brides, and there I was becoming one in spite of myself!
    I wish I had been cooler in the last week, because I found that what people say is true, it is all OK in the end. My great support online community of practical brides helped so much, and at one point I was able to take a deep breath and surrender to these feelings. After all when I plan a birthday party, when I prepare a presentation at work, I am nervous and stressed, and do want to make things right, and it’s normal. But at one point I realized it was up to me to face it with either stress or bliss, to be a tense bride or one with utter joy painted in her face just like the ones you posted in your inspiration board. You’re getting married to the love of your life, and you’ve spent a great amount of time pondering over making this celebration unique and creative and like yourself. You’ve been a great, totally sane inspiration to me in my planning, and now when I look at the few pictures I’ve seen so far I want to cry with joy because it looks so much like us! I’ve made it, I’ve made a wedding that was completely different and personal, and you will too. How could you not to?

  • travertine6

    I totally feel you on the fear of moving to the suburbs, buying a mcmansion, and a minivan! People keep asking me where we’re going to move after we get married, and if we’ll stay in the city, as if I will automatically lose all sense of self and become a Stepford wife after the wedding. WTF? I’m still going to be me.

    On the topic of anxiety, I have been worried not about how people would feel about going to a wedding that is not WIC, or about being married, but I’ve been worried that I’ll forget something big. I’ve never planned anything like this before, and I am planning a wedding in NJ from SF. It’s all very in my head and I hope it comes together. I will be very happy when all the planning is over and I walk down the aisle.

    I really appreciate reading your blog, and knowing that there are others out there like me alleviates a lot of would be anxiety.

  • Sarah

    Absolutely everyone freaks out! How can you not? It’s a huge life decision not to mention the biggest party you’ll ever plan. It’s just that when the day comes, you’re so happy you forget about all that. Because you’re getting married and having the most fun at the coolest party which you planned! And really, being married is no different from planning to get married or just living together–it’s other people’s perceptions that change more than anything. Your lives will, for the most part, probably be very much the same. And you’re still in control!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17176077218956650653 Jess

    A girl after my own heart. 4 months out, the anxiety hasn’t fully submerged me, it’s been trickling in in little spurts. “Someone will say something I don’t like during our Quaker ceremony,” “the groom will get drunk and embarrass us,” “the maids will get into fights with their boyfreinds,” etc. etc.

    I think the thing here is just to put it back into perspective: it’s just another day. It’s not even the most important day of your relationship. And when it’s all said and done, you’ll be married to your best friend. So what if the cake gets smashed during an all-out drunken brawl? Okay, phew, that would be bad.

  • Adrienne

    Thanks for this post– I was actually going to write you last week to ask you to write some about anxiety and panic! I’m getting married in less than three months and get struck with second thoughts and pervasive anxiety every now and then… it does help to hear that you’re not the only one. I also met with our pre-marital counselor on my own to get some objective feedback, and was relieved to hear from her, as well, that it’s “normal” to get freaked out.
    Plus, I think it’s important to know that some people are going to say that they were always 100% certain, and other people are going to say that they were anxious about the wedding but not about the future husband, etc. etc. I forced myself to realize this after reading through the “second thoughts” thread on indiebride and being terrified by all the posters saying “you must listen to your gut! Your gut is telling you to run!!!”
    It’s okay to go through different emotions, and it doesn’t mean that your marriage is doomed.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00991638626164427455 Jessica

    Dear Meg,

    “Don’t worry!” Who can follow that advice, eh? I couldn’t. At times I wanted to beat my honey about the head for saying it to me, in his reassuring voice, as I lay there at 3 a.m. wondering if people would need signs telling them where to park. A lot of the stress, I believe, is about event planning, which is really about hosting, and for me, the anxiety was about….that I didn’t really DESERVE all these people coming from far away, showering me with love. And because why? Cause we were in love? Psshaw. If THAT was the only reason, then by god, I better give them a great party! A point of view-reflecting party! An incredible event! Involving lots of quality time with us, that way they could justify the expensive plane ticket! But our wedding was not everything to all people. How could it be? And of course we don’t “deserve” all that love, yet we got it anyway – people are dying to bestow love on you, however they can. (Sometimes, the only way they can involves them just being invested – and opinionated – about your choices). Our wedding did not perfectly reflect me in every way. But it was ours, and therefore honorable and just right, simply by virtue of all the people who were there — including us.

    I’m not going to tell you not to worry about your relationship or where you’re headed in life or whatever else you normally worry about. I am myself a worrier and can’t turn it off for the life of me. But the wedding? Do the best you can, or a good-enough amount (a 90% effort) and the rest is not important. You will be there. People you love will be there. All of you could be in a food lion for three days and you’d have a good time. The rest is not important.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03450581887718082271 k_darling

    Oh, thank you for this. I’m getting married on Friday,(Friday!?!!!) and sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat at 4:30 in the morning thinking about chuppah poles, or what will happen if everyone shows up late, or my hair doesn’t look right. I worry that my fiance’s friends will get him drunk before the ceremony or that my pictures won’t come out.

    But in the end, I have to hold on to what everyone tells you, that it will all be fine. Because, really, after all, it was the marriage that I wanted – to spend my life with the kindest, sweetest man I’ve ever known. Even if plans change, if there are a few bumps in the road, I just remember who both of us are, and know that we’ll figure it out.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06511137593846022849 Amy I.

    Oh, you’re SO not alone. I got some narcotics from my doc to help me sleep the last 2 months before the wedding…I was having cold-sweat/wake-up-in-a-terror nightmares a few times a night before that. Not condoning it, but my stress level went waaaay down when I started sleeping well again :) Sending you a big hug today. xoxoxo

    p.s. Who am I kidding? of course I’m condoning it!

  • http://ameliacarolyn.wordpress.com/ ameliacarolyn

    Thanks Meg.

    It’s a relief to hear we’re not alone in our feelings of aloneness or anxiety. Even as we have a sense they’ll pass and they’re a natural part of the cycle of process, it’s nice to know we’re in good company. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07272458316916900053 Laura

    Hey everyone. How nice that we can all share these feelings and not be alone!

    I have had my moments of anxiety too – Meg, like you I am 2 months out. I have had a few tense moments worrying that my wedding won’t be everything that we have hoped for (simple, garden party, not caught up in expectation). I worry that I will get forced into doing things that are not us.

    This is nothing new – we have already had moments like this regarding what people think would be nice, etc… However, in the end I have been able to realize which things are really important to us and which are not and allowing some lea way on the things that are not important.

    Important: making rings out of recycled gold so as to not support new mining, having the ceremony and reception in my parents garden for the right relaxed atmosphere that we want, having friends and family around to all share in the love with eachother.

    I have stressed at times about style, ceremony, and tradition and in the end what I have realized is that all I care about is that I am there, he is there, and the officiant is there (which should all be easy to accomplish) … everything else (outfits, decorations, food, rings, nice weather) is just icing on the cake. If something happens at the wedding that doesn’t fit into my idea of what I wanted, I will just let it go. The more we stress about things conforming to “our vision” (no matter how unconventional that vision may be) the more WIC it becomes.

    Like everything else, it will only seem like it is not your vision if you decide that it is not. If you decide to just roll with the punches and take what comes, that will also say alot about your relationship and marriage.

    My word verification is “chest” – I think it is rather apt considering we are all getting stuff off of ours.

    All the best!!xo

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04229456115818198176 A Fortunate Bride

    Meg! I’m scared too! I thought I was the only one. I really did. I am 200 days out so it’s not a daily, wake-up-in-the-night fear right now, but I’m scared. We’re house shopping and the pressure to buy the perfect little condo in the perfect suburb is just making this worse. (That’s not what we want and yesterday we horrified everyone by refusing to make an offer on exactly that.)

    I have a terrible confession. Two nights ago, I cried and cried and told B I have cold feet. Cold feet!! I told him that I know I love him and never want to be apart but I’m scared. I don’t think he’s scared in the same way, but somehow he gets it. He held me and told me it’s going to be OK. I believe him and, even if it was just for a few hours, I wasn’t scared anymore.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09082307620967164684 Mollie D

    Do you want to know how neurotic I am? I am having anxiety about the anxiety I’m going to have. I’m a little over 4 months out and all I see on these sites is how crazy the last 2 months are and I’m terrified!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00613198035060080351 jcranfill

    Thank you for this posting today. I’m a daily reader of your blog–it’s the only “wedding planning” resource i actually rely on. I’m a month and a half out from my wedding and this posting, as well as the comments, are such a help right now. I’m feeling the exact same way…as usual thank you for making me feel like i’m not in the minority, or a bad bride!

    Now, can you write my vows for me? Because that thought is making me want to barf out of anxiety.

  • http://surprisewedding.wordpress.com Michele

    Meg, I’m not at all surprised that very few former brides admit to having been scared and anxious during the planning of their own weddings. I think having a wedding is a bit like giving birth in the regard that you forget all about the worst parts of it immediately after it’s over and instead are just left with the glowy parts that make you feel like it was all worth it.

    When we were planning our original wedding, I was really stressed out – so much more so than I realized at the time. Whenever I talked about my frustrations and the fact that we were tempted to pull the plug and elope, people said “oh, I felt that way at least 20 times! But it’s all worth it in the end.”

    Then, we DID pull the plug (and told our friends and family we’re eloping, even though in truth we’re having a surprise wedding next month). And you know what our friends said when we told them? They said “you’re so smart. I wish we would have done that.”

    THE EXACT SAME PEOPLE who previously told us it was all worth it in the end!

  • Rachel

    well it’s hard to beat what everyone else has said, but I’ll add my voice anyway. I’m 10 months out, just 3 months IN to wedding planning, and I’m not quite at the wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night place, but I’m sure I will be. So far we’ve picked the date and the venue and the caterer and the photographer and the cake (my sister’s making it I’m so excited) and I’m already having moments of “man instead of a spring wedding inside should we have had a summer wedding outside? that seems more like US.” and “are people going to like the food ok?” and “are people going to be cool about my maid of honor in a tux or are they going to make it awk?” and “I should have tried harder to find a venue closer to the city.” blah blah blah. I’m not scared about the marriage part yet, but I imagine it’ll hit me off and on over the next several months. I know down to my bones that my fiance is my soul mate, but yeah for me it’s terrifying to wonder if we’ll grow together or apart over rest of our lives, and how we’ll weather the rough patches, etc. My parents divorced when I was 2, do I have it in me to make a marriage work? What if I gain 50 pounds after having kids?? blah blah blah.

    We’ve learned a lot about problem solving and working through disagreements and compromise and all that just in the year and a half of living together and the 3 months of planning our wedding, and I’m feeling better every day about our chances of making our marriage work.

    it’s been said so many times but it does seem so important to remember that the wedding is just a day, as long as you remember that this is all about making a commitment to the person you know you want to be with forever, everything will be fine (as a non-graduate I can’t say much about the marriage part yet but I’m gonna go with – it’ll be awesome).

    Yes it’s possible that your wedding will not go as planned, and if that happens you should not feel like it defines you or your wedding. But I have to say, from reading your blog, just being who You are and how creative and awesome you are, I think it’s incredibly unlikely that it will turn out anything but an expression of who you and your fiance are and what’s important to you, and you’re gonna have a ton of fun and everyone’s going to love it.

    aaaand this was really long sorry! but you did ask for it. ;)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09848635891891212822 Pandora

    Hey Meg,
    This past weekend I was over at my FH’s aunt and uncles house. They have been married for about 30 years now and are one of the most fun and crazy couples that we know.
    Nothing is conventional with them they just are who they are and everyone can see that.

    When I was telling them about our frustrations with planning a wedding and our fear that it won’t be our own, my FH’s aunt said “Our wedding had nothing to do with the rest of our marriage!” And after seeing their wedding pictures and hearing about the planned portraits and the traditional ceremony, it is so true that it absolutely had nothing to do with the rest of their marriage!

    My fiance and I don’t have a lot of money to spend on our wedding and have been offered the generous services of many family and friends who are very talented. While their style and views may not reflect our style and views, ultimately it is our marriage that defines us NOT our wedding. So we are going to accept all generous offers and remember to just “go with it” and have a blast even if the food isn’t our favourite cuisine and the venue is his Aunt Norma’s backyard!

    We have the rest of our lives to define who we are and what we are all about–and that’s pretty exciting, even if the wedding is not all that!

    Our wedding won’t be the talk of the town, but I know our marriage will because there is no way that we will ever end up being a boring conventional couple!

  • http://practicallymarried.wordpress.com Leika

    Yes! I completely feel you — I’m 24 days out from our wedding, and am at the point of swinging between elated that we’re getting married, and that people will get to see that yes, you can have a lovely wedding without all of the WIC trappings, and terrified that people won’t get it, and will think it’s weird and tacky. I had someone tell me a week or two ago that they kind of wished I were doing a bouquet toss because they wanted to catch it, and I actually had a couple of hours of panic imagining a mob of angry single women demanding the bouquet.

    Then I realized how ridiculous my vision was, and got over that worry, but there have been plenty of others. What struck me as I was reading your post is that I know every single person coming to the wedding. Which means they know my personality, and still choose to be friends with me and come to my wedding. So they probably won’t be surprised that things aren’t totally WIC. And if they are, they’ll say “well, that’s Leika!” And that will be ok.

    Yes, I have moments of terror that everyone will hate the wedding. I have nightmares pretty much every night. But then I remember my mother telling me that what kept me up at night were “growing pains,” and I think that’s what all of us anxious brides to be are going through now. Growing pains. Yes, it “hurts” (and stresses!!) right now, but it will get better, and we’ll have grown in our relationships. I think we’ll be able to look back on our wedding and say “We bucked the system. Maybe not as much as we wanted to, but we stood together for “how we’re doing it,” rather than “how it’s done,” and that will give us a sense of satisfaction and pride in the accomplishment. At least that’s the hope I’m clinging to for the next month until it’s all over!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06529652450620062626 K

    No one knows what you were planning but you and David. So, if something goes terribly wrong in your eyes, take a step back and see it as a guest. They don’t know that there wasn’t supposed to be a bridal bouquet toss. Or, if there’s a BM that does, you dispatch her to go squash it while you grab a drink and head to the bathroom, with or without David. :)

    And in the grand scheme of things, what does it matter if something goes off plan? Something WILL not be *just* the way you imagined it. LIFE is not *just* the way you imagined it. You’re a practical girl, and you’ll still be a practical girl on your wedding day. It’s still you, and it’s just like any other day. It will be a good one, but it will still just be another day of many.

    As for the scared-ness, I didn’t have it leading up to the wedding, but I sure as hell rocked it for the first 6 months after. :) You have someone who means more to you than anyone else ever has. You’re about to become a partnership, when you’re used to fending for yourself. It’s scary…but it’s also fun. Once you work out the kinks (and there may or may not be any), you’ve got The Prize you’ve been working for with all this planning. Because, at the end of the day, you get to be Married.

    Where’s the Keep Your Eye on the Prize post when you need it?! ♼

  • Beck

    Hi Meg

    I’ve got 10 days to go, and at present the stress has (thankfully) subsided, although I’m not sure I’m out of the woods yet! I think it is entirely normal. But it won’t last. Is it useful to separate out the different types of anxiety?

    1) Anxiety about not fulfilling the diverse expectations of the guests. At the end of the day everyone expects something different, and you can’t please them all. The people who really care about you won’t be disappointed by the lack of a garter toss etc, and those who are disappointed, well, do you really want to get all stressed about what they think?

    2) Anxiety about the number of things that can go wrong. Well, I’ve kind of accepted that something (or several things) will go wrong. The blogging community finally helped me to realise that disasters usually become something to laugh about later. They certainly won’t stop you getting married.

    3) Anxiety about the gravity of what you’re about to do, and whether you have made the right decision. I think this one’s particularly salient if you are from a community/family that has been touched by divorce. I don’t believe in soul mates. I believe in wonderful people who can work really hard together to make two better than one. There will be hard times. There will be temptation. But a few months (or years) ago, when you didn’t have bride-head on, you made a rational decision to build a future together, so you should have faith in your judgement unless you’ve since discovered something horrific about yourself, or your intended. Marriage is a big leap of faith, but I look to the positive married role models in my community to reassure me that we can do it too.

    4) Anxiety about the wedding not sending the right message about you as a couple. I feel it. The non-WIC weddings are almost worse because you feel like you’re carving your own path and every decision you make is much more personal (and thus a reflection of your values/tastes). People are less likely to judge a WIC wedding as, well, that’s what everybody else does, so it’s not weird, or cheap, or informal. But remember, the people who know you and care about you will love the wedding regardless of how it turns out precisely because they will see how much it means to you and what you have put into it. And the others? Well, if they don’t understand you now, a wedding isn’t going to help them understand you any better. Life is to short to worry about them!

    5) Anxiety about becoming a Stepford. In this modern world where I can be a doctor, have a passion for home baking, only do my share of the chores, keep my name if I want to, not promise to ‘obey’ my husband to be, and pay half the mortgage, I like to think I can rewrite some of the rules. We make decisions about our future as a couple, based on the individual situation. I’m lucky that for my contemporaries, there isn’t much pressure to conform (apart from the name-changing, which has caused some heated debate with some otherwise very modern women!) But as previous commenters have said, you will still be Meg, you will still love each other. The rest is up to you! Look to others around you for inspiration.

    In short: this will pass, and you will wonder what it was all about once you are safely married. Keep reassuring yourself and ride it out. You are doing a wonderful thing, that couples have been doing for millenia, and the most crucial part of it is that brief ceremony – the rest is gravy! Sort of.

    xxx

    PS: I reckon there’s a PhD in here somewhere if someone is mad enough to take it on. Something weird happens to intelligent, rational women in the run up to a wedding, and it’s all a little strange…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06529652450620062626 K

    And I totally agree with Rachel. Planning a wedding is a little introductory lesson/preview to of what’s to come in terms of compromise and really learning about each other and what you want together.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13054635938685681935 Karen

    Talk about anxious…we are 4 months away only to find out that our venue won’t work out for us and we are forced to replan our very carefully envisioned wedding for a new date, a new city, a new vision.
    It’s been very hard to let go of the “dream wedding” that we had worked so hard to construct in order to perfectly reflect us. But once I moved past that, I realized that it might be a blessing in disguise for many reasons and that it only goes to show that no matter where/when it is, the essence of who we are will shine through and the joy that we will feel when we are saying our vows and dancing with our family and friends will make it all worthwhile. No matter what happens.
    Am I upset? of course. Will it be beautiful and memorable anyway? Absolutely. So I say, yes, something’s inevitable going to be not exactly how you visioned it but as long as you are prepared for that, it will still be wonderful.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00737705946633875864 Cheap Wife

    Oh…how I TOTALLY can relate to this. I see that you have 37 comments …so hopefully you see that you are not alone! haha I feel the same way.
    our wedding is in a little over 2 months..I am FREAKING OUT! I feel so overwhellmed about caught up. I am caught up in all the planning.
    But I am also freaked out about getting married. It is really scary. Scary to make a choice that will last forever. Scary to be making a transition into becoming a full fledged adult. I am totally feelins this transtions..I am totally having growing pains. My FI never used to fight but the tension is growing in our house. This timie is just so stressful. I lay awakw at night and feel my heart race.
    YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!! :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04137547398982007429 Mellyelle

    I’m six months out, and so far, no breakdowns…perhaps I’m adding to an echo chamber, but I think the key here is selective apathy, as well as a humbling, but helpful, realization: no one cares nearly as much about your wedding as you do. Don’t get me wrong — those who love you greatly and care about you will be there and SOOOO happy to share in your happiness! BUT to them, it’s a wedding they’re attending. They’re not going to be judging every bit of it to determine “is this authentic? Does it show the proper amount of care? Does this fit MY aesthetic?” Basically, all they’ll be worried about is if they can find parking and if you actually end up getting married. And frankly, if people are getting all judgy about elements, you’ll probably never know, and it doesn’t even matter. Like many other wise people have said, the wedding doesn’t have to be a reflection of you as a couple. That’s what the marriage is for!

    Ultimately, the idea that you have control is an illusion, and I think it’s one that comes crashing down once you get closer and realize that “the outside” is getting involved. People’s perceptions can’t be controlled at all — for all you know, something that you see as totally authentic to you may be seen as another as some kind of sellout, and there’s no way to deal with that except to not care about the perceptions of others. And I do think that’s the nasty flip-side of indie/DIY in that if something ISN’T some kind of handcrafted/authentic detail, it’s WIC! WIC! And really, sometimes it’s just something you don’t care too much about or don’t have the money/time to handle. Er, perhaps I’m projecting a bit…

    You and your fiance are the ones in control of your destiny. You don’t have to move to the suburbs. And if you DO end up doing that, it’ll be what’s right for you at that time, YOU’LL make that choice, and there’s no shame in it (speaking as one who now lives in the ‘burbs due to her fiance and his homeowning/child-owning status…it’s life)! You’ll go through good times and bad…it’s what the vows are for! :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09918163523860394766 Kosicle

    I’ve got four days. FOUR DAYS!
    what is making me anxious and stressed out is trying to make sure everyone else is happy. Stupid- yes. But between my future mother in law (who I don’t want to help with any decorating because she’s stuck in the 80s!) wanting to come help, my mom having too much on her plate but still wanting to make the cake, and my friends who I trust and want to take care of it- I’m feeling torn. I’m feeling lost.
    Since I’m the type of person that wants to make everyone happy I’m finding that everyone is going to be disappointed.
    I’m not anxious over the wedding- whatever happens happens- I’m not nervous to be married, that’s the part I’m looking forward to- but I hate this aspect of the wedding.

    I’m so grateful I have a friend who says, ‘what can I do to help you’ and then I can tell her. If I say nothing she won’t be disappointed. My mother in law is not like that and my heart is breaking. I hate knowing that I’ve hurt her feelings.

    this sucks. This is the first time I’ve not enjoyed this wedding process.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06272654565469914998 sam

    Meg, thank you for this post.

    We are four months out and just learned this past week that our minister will not be available the week of our wedding. And it’s not like I have a whole list of ministers I know who I want to be such a huge part of such a special event. And I had a totally mental panic.

    We weren’t going to be able to get married… we would be married but by some total stranger… the ceremony would mean nothing… it would be all wrong by someone who doesn’t share our sense of faith… it would just be a generic mantra and not at all “us”… our marriage would be a total failure because we wouldn’t have a proper beginning… and so it continued…

    We still don’t have someone to marry us, but I’m okay now. Our marriage will be fine, amazing even. Because we are marrying each other. And even though I have no idea what we’re doing for a ceremony… in the end we will be united in front of our family and friends.

    Thanks for sharing that I’m not the only one who freaks out, who occasionally worries that I’ll somehow lose myself by becoming a wife, or that the “us” we love so much will change.

  • Anonymous

    Mellyyelle pretty much said what I wanted to say.

    It’s true. No one will ever care as much about your wedding and it’s details as you do. Not even the people with opinions and suggestions to spare.

    People only give opinions that reflect what they themselves want. It doesn’t mean they really worry about your wedding; it’s a statement about their own wedding or their fantasies about their future wedding.

    I really think most guests feel happy for the couple, but the actual wedding has no impact on their lives, unless the bride and groom make unreasonable demands that cause some sort of discomfort.

    All this should quiet your nerves.

    As far as the future goes, if the two of you have been honest about the lives you want, then ending up in a life you never wanted should not be much of a concern.

    I was terrified before my wedding, and I ran out and got a book on brides having cold feet to help me get through the stone cold fear.

    But I should have gone deeper. We had major problems and I was afraid they’d never go away. And they didn’t, so I ended up divorced four years later.

    Being afraid of getting married because of real problems in the relationship is a good reason to cancel.

    If the only thing you’re afraid of is the wedding day itself, then that’s okay.

    So, there are two kinds of “cold feet”. One is a serious warning, the other is just nerves.

  • Anonymous

    For those who are afraid of losing the great relationship they have, that only proves how great it really is and what a good decision you’re making.

    If it wasn’t great, you would not be afraid of losing it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05750659066802561501 Erika

    Your grandfather is right. Anything that’s worth having in this world is going to be a little scary. Making a lifelong commitment to another person? Um, yeah, scary. Bravery is looking it dead on and reaching for it. From what I’ve read here, there’s no doubt in my mind that you and David will have a life filled with passions.

  • TNM

    I agree with Beck – in that there are all sorts of anxiety – and I am experiencing some degree of all sorts now 4 months out.

    Funnily enough, its the anxiety about the logistical side of things that I am most scared about. I feel woefully unorganized (and believe me, this is not false modesty, you guys sound all waaaay ahead of the game planning-wise). I have to just reassure myself that part of the reason that I am woefully unorganized is that I'm just not that into wedding planning, and I really just want to see my friends & fam on the big day & to be married already. And even if that attitude leads to some haphazard event coordination… well, in a way that IS me (and us).

    Also, as to the fear of a wedding that doesn't reflect you/ the judgment of others… yes, this is a little scary. But I think one just has to accept, with a rueful giggle, that OF COURSE people will judge. Double-guessing people's taste and style is half the fun of attending a wedding. And to be fair, I certainly know that I've had serious doubts about the style elements of some weddings I've attended… ahem, starting with the bridesmaid's dresses I was assigned to wear. But. The thing is that people will judge, and snark, but it just really doesn't matter. Not only does it not change how you and your partner feel about each other, but it doesn't even reflect how your guests feel about you. They're still gonna luv you. I think we just have to accept that our guests will think the centerpieces are wacky & the dress too poufy & the chicken dry, and STILL love us nonetheless.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11758347549985207417 amber and joe get hitched

    i am freaked out about the wedding, about us being true to ourselves, about spending money, about everything, pretty much everyday.

    whenever we get particularly overwhelmed, we just say to each other, “holy crap, i get to marry you.” that helps.

    have courage!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06316851849300125923 Miranda

    Okay, so I am actually a person who DOES remember all the details after a wedding – the centerpieces, the dress, the b-maids, the food – all of it. I have a photographic wedding memory. One of my friends got married a few years ago and…let’s just say it wasn’t my taste (no I have not told her this and never will). She tried to have a platinum wedding on a redneck wedding budget. But to each his (or her) own, and you know what? She still talks about how much fun she had that day, how she wouldn’t change a thing and most importantly, is so excited to be married. So let’s think of this as a worst case scenario – your wedding isn’t exactly how you pictured it. Dollars to donuts you’ll still have a blast. You’ll wake up the next day and be married and how great is that?!
    And as for the kids and the suburbs, just remember that there are no rules. There won’t be an unmarked white van outside your apartment waiting to kidnap you and bring you to the nearest Chevy dealership as soon as you get back from your honeymoon. And if you decide along the way that you might just like a bigger house outside the city, well then that’s your choice to make, and you won’t be just following the Responsible Adult’s Handbook.
    There are plenty of cool married couples out there, and there are plenty of boring married couples who are just as blissfully happy.

  • Peonies and Polaroids

    So my first thought when I read this was ‘crap, our wedding was so long ago and I can’t remember what I was so scared about so I can’t offer Meg any advice or reassurance’ and then I realised that maybe that was reassurance in itself.

    Meg, I was terrified at times before the wedding. Terrified about the wedding and about what it meant and what if it was wrong. And now, 9 months later I can’t remember what any of it was about, I really can’t. In a few months you won’t remember why you were so scared. Promise.

    Getting married is scary. It’s not all flowers and wine and pretty dresses and that’s ok. You and David will come through it all the stronger. Promise. Again.

    (and the word verification thingy is one letter off saying ‘craphand’ today. Which I think is appropriate don’t you?)

  • Rachel

    thank you TNM! I loved this: "I think we just have to accept that our guests will think the centerpieces are wacky & the dress too poufy & the chicken dry, and STILL love us nonetheless."

    makes me feel a lot better to remember that.

    also, just a tiny stupid note: I meant to say that any mishaps on your wedding day will not define you or your Marriage. not "you or your wedding." haha just had to correct that.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08842191847941847564 Bride in Exile

    I’m so glad I read this post right now, because I’m 2 months out as well, and man do I need it. Not so much about the wedding, but today I’ve been having severe anxiety over whether I’m doing enough to avoid falling into the “wife/mommy” trap in our relationship. My fiance has been super-busy lately and I’ve tried really hard to do all of the chores, all of the shopping, all of the cooking, etc. so he can concentrate. But this morning I had a complete freak-out that I was falling into the “little woman” role and putting his work ahead of my own and how could I let this happen and am I going to end up doing this for the rest of my life?! Aack!!

    This post and the comments helped, so, so much. (And thanks for the shout-out, accordionsandlace! :-) )

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17810780255739083958 Kat

    I think being scared that you will not live your authentic life is a good sign that you are owning your life and living it consciously. If you have not even a little inkling of fear that life won’t work out the way you want, then you are probably just going through the motions rather than creating your own place in the world. Stepping out of bounds is scary, and that’s OK. Sometimes I get caught up in the day to day, and its like I blink and a whole month goes by without me having done anything with conscious choice. That is what scares me, that I have filled my life so full of to do lists and making lifestyle selections from the normative menu that I forget to step back and truly create my own adventure. I am so grateful for my fiance because he brings balance and peace to my life and helps remind me to slow down and question these things.

    Thanks for your blog, it has been a huge breath of fresh air for me in my planning.

  • http://jessandyblog.blogspot.com Jess

    Our wedding was just three weeks ago and I remember those feelings all too well, in fact I still have some of them related to waking in the suburbs and realizing where I am but for now let’s focus on the wedding.

    Our wedding didn’t throw tradition completely out the window but was definitely unusual for many of our guests…and you know, we are still having people call and write saying that it was such a meaningful ceremony because it reflected us and that they had a blast. Considering how terrified I was that our guests would be ridiculing us for years on end this meant so much but when I stopped to think about it, it shouldn’t have been surprising – these are the people that love us and have supported us and traveled from all over to share in our joy for a day. In hindsight I’m proud we stuck to what we wanted, what we believed in but I can honestly say there were some worried moments prior.

    The concerns that somehow people will misunderstand and you’ll end up with garter tosses and endless formal photos – my dear, I had those fears too. But you don’t strike me as the type that has made decisions that are not clear and I know you will be surrounded with people (vendors, friends, family) that understand your vision and will do all they can to make it a reality. I also promise it will seem easier the day of, though I know it’s not very helpful now.

    I am so glad to see this discussion happening here – I think a lot of times we are afraid to admit our fears due to a deeper fear that we will seem irrational. I have yet to find a woman on this blog that I find irrational, instead it’s an amazing nurturing community so a big thank you to you all!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    All of you are so SWEET!
    More later, but silly gooses, there are no cold FEET. Pleeaassseeee.

    PS
    The few of you who claim to have not been freaked out at all by your wedding… really?? Really really? Because that seems a little like forgetting the pain of labor to me (who said that? You were smart, whoever said that!) Weddings are a bit like labor, no? Life changing, slightly painful, joyus in the end? And no matter how much you want that baby A) it hurts and B) If you’re not scared about bringing a new life into the world, you’re CRAZY (or just much more zen then I will ever be.)

    xoxoxo,
    and smooches,
    Meg

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07726393358991600200 Katee Grace

    I love what you said “I try to breathe in brides who were able to celebrate fully who they are on their wedding day, who were able to revel in the joy of finding a partner to spend the rest of their lives in.”
    LOVE IT!!! :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06871451102521214705 Rachel

    when i start to feel anxious about it all (4 months out now), i try to remind myself that most of the anxiety stems from WIC-inspired stuff (or, occasionally, from wanting the best diy-indie-nontraditional wedding ever). I’m so lucky that my parents very much subscribe to the pre-WIC version of weddings.

    the anxieties about the “being married” part of weddings is harder. even though my heart tells me without a doubt that we’re right for eachother, it’s still kinda scary to make it “official”.

    Maybe they’re right, and if you’re not scared (at least a little!) then you’re not paying attention!

    And I believe the word to describe what your grandfather was teaching you is MOXIE.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16290402258318654939 Kate

    Thank you so much for writing this, Meg. I’m getting married in about two months too, and during the last few weeks I’ve begun feeling anxious. I’ve been pretty relaxed about all things wedding related since our engagement last summer, but suddenly I’ve had moments where I’m afraid that I’m procrastinating too much on certain decisions and details, and it will make our wedding seem thrown together at the end. I have visions of it feeling like a play act that won’t be taken seriously. I worry that people will come expecting a big party and will be disappointed in our small, intimate gathering.
    I have moments when I wonder if I am old enough to get married. Little arguments suddenly make me think, “Is this the rest of my life?”

    I was so happy to read your post today because I felt like I wasn’t alone, and that I’m really okay. Only days ago I was thinking about the wedding blogs I love to read, and about how smooth, happy, and confident those women’s journeys seem to be. I felt guilty for ever feeling sad or scared. This perception of mine made me feel very alone at times.

    I know in my heart that I’m okay. In two months I’m going to marry the man that I love in a wedding we’ve tried so hard to make personal and meaningful. I think about all the love we have for each other and our families and the commitment we’ve made to each other, and I relax. It feels right and good.

    Thank you for your honesty and for making me feel less alone.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07577275563094994982 Daphne

    What is it about the invitations? I had by scared moment after we sent them out last week (also about 2 months from the wedding). It was like our secret had been let out, as if the save-the-dates and parties and registries and etc haven’t done that many times over. And my anxiety was (it’s better now) exactly as you put it – will this wedding, this marriage, be what we want? who we are?

    It’s in the hands of others now, but that’s why we wanted a wedding in the first place – to share this moment with those we love. And that one way our marriage will remain strong – with those we love supporting us through whatever (including suburbs and minivans if fate drags us that way).

    I’m sending you the peaceful vibes I found when my fiance also confessed he was scared. Like me, hopefully you find comfort from knowing I and other ladies (and men) got scared, got through it, and will have very us, very practical weddings, marriages, lives.

    All the best.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01368924576964912226 Marty J. Christopher

    I’ve posted about this same fear. Heck, my whole blog was built around this fear/idea. I think it’s unfortunately one of those things women don’t talk about. We don’t want to ruin the fairy tale. You shouldn’t freak out, though. From what you’ve described, you sound way ahead of the curve. : O )

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14248393661986969689 Jessica

    oh girl!!! i have felt so guilty bc i really am not enjoying planning my wedding. I hate feeling this way but I just want it to be over! I do think that my wedding day will be the most important day of my life, but…its just one day to me. i have zero doubts about my husband to be, but i am so anxious about the whole wedding day. i am already stressed about how i think i will not be able to eat that day, my stomach will be upset from nerves and i will probably cry and ruin my makeup. does anyone already stress that much about minor things so far in the future?? i tell myself all the time to calm down and enjoy it, but it is hard!! i just want the wedding to be over so i can live with my husband and be married!

  • April

    Meg, thank you for your candid post today. Brave, indeed to share your heart.

    We’re all a little nervous with the rituals and planning that surround the nuptials… rightfully so!

    I think that you worrying about these things is perfectly fine and normal. And I think worrying about the possibility of a passionless wedding / marriage means that you WON’T let that happen.

    You and your beloved have already committed yourselves to each other, and no doubt have like goals, desires and dreams for your union. That’s amazing! That means you’ll both strive to keep it wonderful, and never ever ever buy that ticket to suburbia. From your writings you seem a very passionate person in life. You’ll apply that zest for beauty, wit and love in every aspect of your existence — I have no doubt.

    So, thank the tiny fear inside. It’s helping you define what is important; both for the wedding and for your marriage with your intended. Give the scared practical bride inside a little hug.

    Then tell her to get the eff out. You’ve got a smashingly practical, unique, passion-filled party and life to get on with. Hugs, babe!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15452082852708707013 Peacock Feathers and Diamond Rings

    Great post Meg. I’m not scared about the being married but the thought that I might have forgotten some vital aspect of the day scares me.

    Other than that, I haven’t really got time to be scared/stressed. I lost my job and am in the process of going for interviews to try and secure something before the wedding/honeymoon which will be unpaid ‘leave’. Just trying to fit everything in has left no time to think about anything else!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15080583721005285729 the un-bride

    I’m definitely freaked out. Sometimes just a little, sometimes a whole lot. But I’m also excited.

    Hang in there, girl. There’s no cure for normal.

  • saraa

    Ahhh,it is actually helpful to me to read yours and the other brides’ comments to not feel so alone. In my own experience, this past week I haven’ been able to fall asleep until 3 am with my mind full of wedding stuff. Also, this past month I’ve been feeling a little pressure from some family to incorporate a flower girl and ring bearer because we have some children in our family that are of the perfect age. I didn’t want this, because I just didn’t see it necessary for our wedding and it’s one more thing I have to worry about. There have been (of course) the suggested addition to the guest list. I’ve been experiencing the anxiety that I’m going to take a moment at the reception to look around and realize that this is excessive and NOT what I wanted.
    But there are things like the following that override the rest: Yesterday, my fiance told me that at a wedding we attended 6 years ago, a friend of his (whom I had just met that day) said, “Wow, I hope I’m at your wedding. Sara is great.” That almost brought me to tears. So, I remind myself that it’s the ones that really love us that will carry the day and override any judgements from the people with expectations.
    And I continually come back to how my fiance is going to declare his love and promise to me in front of all our people. How righteous is that!!!

  • Willa

    I actually think “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” has something to teach us here. I always remember that on the day of the wedding, the bride gets totally hijacked by her female relatives (gigantic dress, gigantic hair, over-the-top make-up) and the family goes all out with the decorations, etc. But instead of freaking out that her wedding is not completely HER or completely offbeat or feminist, she just laughs about it, wipes off the make-up after the ceremony and remains confident that she loves that guy who played Aidan on Sex in the City and she has her whole life to stand up for herself and her beliefs.

    Obviously, when you put a lot of effort into something you want it to turn out well. You’ve invested a lot of yourself in the wedding so it’s a reflection on you. BUT, I always find it helpful to remember that you are not defined by what you do. If there is a mass demand for a bouquet toss, don’t sweat it. Everyone will survive and you’ll still be a feminist.

  • amy

    Hello. Here. Married for 4.5 days. It was a fun week, good day, beautiful ceremony, great party, etc. but I'm left with an "ugh" feeling. Or maybe "hmm." I wished I had *this post* before…I honestly didn't get what would scare me, cause me so much anxiety until the day before. It IS scary. It IS a big decision (I didn't – wouldn't – realize or admit this before). It IS different, where do we go next? Will it change us? What will end up happening? What are people thinking? What about our families? Whose unhappy?
    There were hurt feelings, things that went wrong, got left out, didn't represent "us" & made me feel I missed out on something. I'm not trying to be negative just honest about my experience. I think we need to have these conversations because all of the "it's your day!" "it's going to be the best day!" "enjoy it, it's your special day!" make you feel like it's effortless. And then, it's not.
    One of TTO's goals was to "be present." I wished I would've focused more on that so I can remember half the ppl I saw & conversations I had, relished the awesome food & experienced the pure joy of being with my dear family and close friends.

    You know what I need? Post-wedding venting, analyzing, decompressing…where do I go for that?

    Thanks for putting this post up,not just for myself but for brides-to-be and maybe pertinent to life, in general.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    Hey Amy-
    First I think you need to take the requisite 2 week “honeymoon time” to decompress, honeymooning or no. That’s why it’s there. Then, wanna come back and write a wedding graduate post? We can talk it through via email if you want. You’ve got mine :)

    Meg

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01739533284860045738 Nicole

    I’m sure that you’ve heard this among all of these comments, but I’m terrified about our wedding. I have the same fears and concerns that you do, and more that you didn’t voice. I think (hope, pray, wish) that everyone has them, we just don’t discuss them because they aren’t pretty.

    I hope you found some comfort from your wonderful readers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05557524279832095106 Al

    Thank you for sharing so honestly. I still have 17 months to go before the wedding and I am anxious and I freak out about stuff. I admittedly let people get to me; my fiance and I still don’t live in the same state, and people surrounding me (mostly coworkers!) have no qualms about telling me that it probably won’t work out, my fiance is never going to move, the wedding is something they’ll “believe when they see it” (we’ve been engaged for about a year and a half already). Should I listen to them? No. Should I freak out? No. But I do and I do. It’s human nature. Most days I shrug it off, but every once in a while, I do, and I think it’s normal! Luckily I’m not too worried about the important part, the marriage/building a life together. It’s surviving the interim!! Luckily I feel so much less alone after reading these comments. Anyways. There’s my two cents! Hang in there!

  • Sara

    I don’t quite understand your feeling that now the invites are in the mail that the wedding is in “other’s hands now”. How on earth is that true? It is your wedding! You are getting married with or without other folks there, how do your guests define your wedding all of the sudden? I had no problems sending out the invites to ours and not sure what the fuss is about that particular task.

    Sure I was anxious about things like money, timing, hurricanes hitting my home and the wedding area right before the wedding, but truly. I tried to only worry about things like food allergies (ones that land people in hospitals, not vegan preferences) and people booking hotel rooms ontime to get the best rate, not about what they will think when me and girls get up and bellydance!

    Deep breath. it will be great!

  • Cate Subrosa

    I’m so glad you posted this, happy for all the brides who got to have a *proper* thank-God-I’m-not-alone moment, and over more than the little stresses (which are big stresses, I know, together, but something different).

    What you’re doing is taking it seriously. If you never really worried about where this might be taking you, would you really have truly considered what you were getting yourself in for? I doubt it.

    Been meaning to write about why being married is “just like before but better” for ages. I feel it cementing. And I think I might owe it to you, as a post. Soon, ok? *mwa*

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    Eh, Sara, we each stress about our own things. Hotel rooms? Food allergies? Not on my list of stressers. Money? I’m sort of over that now. What people think of me at the wedding? No biggie. Wondering if people are going to make things happen at the wedding that I don’t want? A big deal. How people respond to invites? A big deal.

    I think brides often don’t understand (and sometimes even dismiss) fears that they didn’t have as something to just get over, and that’s not really valid. I’m not stressed about divorce, but that doesn’t make the worry others have about divorce any less real.

    My point? My stressers are not your stressers, but they are not just going to go away by happy thinking.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07055592849925134013 meilan

    i’m glad i read this today because a few hours ago I had my first meltdown. I must admit that I am pregnant and that makes the hormones that much more powerful, but it is the wedding, coming in just 5 weeks that brought me to tears. I don’t feel scared of losing myself, but scared of losing myself to this wedding. I worry about having a wedding that becomes a labor for my loved ones, and not a labor of love. I worry that I am forgetting something huge, I am tired of the little details, and I am anxious that the day will not go the way we imagined. I find myself entering Michael’s and thinking “We need that” or “maybe we should have seating assignments after all” and I am scared this wedding won’t reflect who we are. I am having a hard time writing my vows, because the words seem inadequate. How do I capture this love in words? I’m worried they’re not enough. But to be honest, it is the arch, last minute rsvps, my mother’s endless suggestions and frickin’ unity sand that almost sent me over the edge.

    I will say that in my small moment of crisis, David hugged me, helped me pick dried flower petals, and basically talked to me and reminded me why we are doing this. I think that is the thing to remember-this person is the person I want to continue to wake up next to every single day of my life, as his wife. Hopefully we will have a beautiful day and fun party to kick it all off.

  • Anonymous

    OMG, thank you for this blog! I just hopped on google to see if my anxiousness is normal. We got engaged June, 2008. We've (maybe a little more "I") been planning this wedding since then. I am a big planner. The wedding is in two months and I sometimes have these nightmares about things going totally wrong…as if we hadn't planned anything. In one of my nightmares, we forgot about rehearsal so everything was totally chaotic and the only people in the wedding are me and my fiance, so there's not a lot of rehearsal that needs to happen. My most recent nightmare, the music before the ceremony kept messing up and we were 4 1/2 hours late starting and we totally forgot the programs and about how we have to go to our honeymoon and was storming really bad. All of my nightmares seem to be about our wedding becoming completely chaotic. I don't feel that it has anything to do with my fears of marriage, because I don't feel I have any. I have no second thoughts about this man, at all. And we've been living together for a while, so I don't imagine it being much different. I'm just freaking out about the ceremony, really. What's up with that? I'm so glad I'm not alone.