This wedding undergraduate rant popped up in my email last week, and it made me grin in recognition. First, how do chairs become this horrible sticking point during wedding planning, for almost everyone? (Oddly, the were not for me. Our venue had those white wood folding chairs, which I thought was a score… and the park rangers weren’t exactly up-selling us) But ANYWAY, I think it’s a perfect symbol for what happens during planning. During the planning, wedding chairs are their own multi bazillion dollar industry, designed to stress the h*ll out of us. But seriously? People sit in the chairs, not look at the chairs. And on your wedding day? You’re not thinking about chairs, for damn sure. Let me show you the perspective you will have on chairs on your wedding day:
Exactly. So now I’m going to let Amber (of Newly Domesticated) take it:
I am that girl who has been planning her wedding since she was three years old. My mother has scrapbooks full of my childhood drawings, almost always of brides. I’m a girly girl and I own it.
I’m also the girl who judged people’s weddings. I’d be the one saying, “I can’t believe she didn’t do assigned seating.” “I can’t believe they’re having it on a Friday.” “I can’t believe the ceremony was 9 minutes.” “I can’t believe the ceremony was 30 minutes.”
But now that I’m actually going through it, I am so full of remorse. I can’t believe I judged people, and I can’t believe how entitled people feel to judge me. People have questioned every step of my planning process. Every. Single. Step. And I seriously almost lost it earlier this week, when I had a meeting with an event rental coordinator.
I was explaining to her where I felt we could cut if we had to; my venue offers white folding chairs that feature the logo of the museum where we’re getting married. They’re not gorgeous, but they are free.
She immediately made a sourpuss face and later, when she was explaining that she’s a “big picture” person when it comes to weddings, I said “I am, too.” She made a doubtful face and I said, “You don’t believe me?” She said, “I just think the chairs are so important.” Meaning, if I’m the kind of person who wouldn’t pay $160 extra for chairs, how much taste could I have?
She then proceeded to whip out a photo album of events, showing white chairs, white tents, white tableclothes and said, “What stands out?” I said, “That’s a lot of white.” Clearly, wrong answer. She wanted me to say, “Oh, those are some gorgeous chairs.”
She bullied me and bullied me until by the end, I found myself saying, “Listen, I would love for everything to be the prettiest it can be, but that’s where I’m willing to cut if we need to.” And when I got home, I felt bad for not standing up for myself more.
Because in this wedding planning process, that’s the part that’s stressful. It’s that constant look of skepticism on everyone else’s face. I approached wedding planning the way I approach decorating: I don’t worry so much about what matches because I figure, if I like it, it will work. Because it’s me, and that’s what I want to express.
It’s very, very hard to remember to be excited about the actual wedding part when people are constantly telling you the whole memory will be ruined if you see the ugly chairs in the pictures. Well you know what? My photographer is talented enough that I bet he can avoid any pictures of the freaking chairs.
In the end, I think two really, really good things will come out of this constant cycle of self-doubt, self-assurance, self-doubt. One, I will be a much more assured person on the other side, with no qualms about expressing what I want. And two, I will never, ever judge another bride again.