I Loved My Wedding (But Hated Planning It)

A (sometimes) necessary evil

It's Okay To Hate Wedding Planning | A Practical Wedding (1)

I loved my wedding. ADORED it. It was a golden-hued love fest set to Polka music and I wouldn’t change a thing about it—which is saying something, because (looks around and lowers voice to a whisper) the truth is that my wedding came to feel more like a duty than a dream day. I wanted it over just as badly as I wanted it at all, because planning the damn thing was so hard for me. It’s something that I feel almost ashamed to talk about—which is why I’m writing this piece. This is a high-five in solidarity to anyone out there who may be feeling like I did: a lost soul wondering why they just can’t fall in love with this whole wedding thing.

My story is this: I went into wedding planning optimistically and naively. I had never been much of a wedding person, as in buying the magazines or keeping the Pinterest boards, but I figured I’d get into the swing of things. After all, I’m a graphic designer who creates prettiness for a living. A wedding would be fun, right? I glossed over the fact that some of my personality traits (introvert, scatterbrained, doesn’t like being fussed over) didn’t really seem to jive with what a modern wedding inherently is (social whirlwind, detail-driven, the bride’s special day) but somehow I figured this would all be OK. Cultural expectation and internet research had planted the (rather invasive) seed that this would be a joyful time for me—that I’d love creating the beautiful day that was to be an expression of B’s and my love and style.

This turned out to be a gift-wrapped box of crap.

First of all, as many of you know, a lot of the wedding planning process is just plain hard. Wrangling unruly family members, figuring out finances, evaluating friendships, taking on massive DIY projects, communicating about sensitive issues… doing any ONE of these can be a challenge on a normal day. But wedding planning throws all of this stuff together at once onto a foot-long shit sandwich that you find yourself eating at every meal—for like a year. I was totally unprepared for all of the work and all of the feelings that kept coming up. I felt like an alien for struggling with a process that the rest of the planet apparently found fun, and then I felt guilty for feeling bad at all, since many people have far bigger problems to deal with. I quickly became emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed.

Adding to my personal shit sandwich was the icky realization that those personality traits I mentioned before (the non-wedding-friendly ones) actually mattered—like, a lot. They had a bad habit of announcing themselves unfeelingly and inflexibly at nearly every turn of the planning process: my Type B brain couldn’t keep up with all of the wedding details and I had post-it notes about sweets tables and dress fittings stuck to every surface of my life; the people-pleaser in me had a hard time determining where to draw the line on the intervention of loved ones; that “please don’t go to any trouble!” part of myself was embarrassed by the wedding-related attention and felt bad anytime someone went out of their way for me. I turned into the poster child for the anti-APW saying: “My wedding IS an imposition and I’m so, so sorry about that!”

And to top it off, I felt conflicted about the wedding details themselves. Although alt-wedding blogs were helping me keep my sanity, I also felt like they were advocating a certain type of wedding… an event that was hyper-personalized, self-interest driven and filled with DIY crafts and transcendent moments. I sorta got the feeling that if my wedding didn’t look like that, I wasn’t being true to myself. But, as I came to realize, being true to myself meant compromising on my vision in order to accommodate family wishes and budgets. My large and loud family in Chicago wanted a large and loud wedding in Chicago. I love my family and in many ways I wanted the same thing, so I honored that request, even though my partner and I may have come up with a different plan if left purely to our own devices. The choice we made left me with dissonant feelings of gratification mixed with obligation—like the wedding wasn’t quite mine and never really could have been, given that every choice has trade-offs. But I puzzled over where that left me in terms of authenticity and I wondered if I was the only bride out there planning an event that they sometimes felt ambivalent about.

I thought about eloping… well, let’s be frank: no I didn’t. I felt I couldn’t. I read about other people eloping or having small weddings in lovely articles that seemed to be called “Set Your Boundaries and Assert Your Autonomy by Calling an End to the Wedding Madness!” They featured stirring photos of couples whose eyes shone with independent spirit as they shared a moment of divine peace at their nine-person yurt wedding. But I didn’t want to disappoint my family and yurts are hard to find in Chicago, so a small wedding was off the table. I couldn’t change those facts, nor could I change my personality (try as I might). And so, the wedding morphed its way from a dream day to something of a necessary evil. Something that would (hopefully) be worth it in the end, but wasn’t a whole lot of fun to get to. Like, you know, studying for the GRE or doing P90X.

Not surprisingly, no one knew how to respond to the fact that I was comparing my wedding planning process to sweating through a heinous DVD workout, so I stepped around the issue or just lied through my teeth when asked how excited I was, lest I come off as a whiny ingrate. I began to see how thoroughly I’d bought into the cultural expectation that “all girlz love ze weddingz!” and I really wanted to roundhouse kick that expectation in the nuts. Why did I think that I would find magical wedding zen when I’d never cared about weddings before? Why did I think that I’d be able to change myself and my partner from laid-back people-pleasers to energetic party planners? APW has often repeated the very wise phrase “People will not stop being who they are for your wedding,” but I’d like to posit the reminder that YOU also don’t change into someone else for your wedding.

In the weeks before the big day, when stress was at its worst and I was singlehandedly supporting Neutrogena’s line of acne products, I wondered if my planning process would have been easier if I’d made different choices in the beginning. Like if I’d hit on the right personal formula for venue and guest list (Clue-style: 25 people, IN the ballroom WITH punch & cake!), everything leading up to the wedding would have been more fun. But now, with the benefit of hindsight, I can say that I don’t think that’s true. I don’t believe changing the details would have made a difference. I think wedding planning just wasn’t my bag, baby.

And it may not be yours either.

The fact is that because of compromises, budgets, families or personalities, your wedding may just be a royal pain-in-the-ass to coordinate. The event itself may not be redolent of your personal style and aesthetic. It may be in a hall when you would have preferred a mountaintop. It may involve 30 people when you had envisioned 300. And that’s all right. It’s all right if the process gives you both pain and pleasure. It’s all right if you’re not able to come to terms with the compromises you had to make. It’s all right if you don’t fall in love with the details and the visions—it doesn’t mean your wedding won’t be wonderful, nor does it mean you’ve failed at life. It all just reinforces the fact that a wedding IS life, in all its messy and conflicting glory.

As my beautiful wedding photos come trickling in, I’m working on owning this roller coaster of a wedding year. How do I unpack an experience that was supposed to be amazing, but was mostly shitty with a happy-ending exclamation point? I’m starting by focusing on the moments of joy and gratitude that did happen along the way. And by reflecting on the fact that I’m now married to a splendid person and we’re blessed in a million starry ways. I am thankful—thankful that the wedding was loverly and especially thankful that it’s time to slide the day into frames and albums and memories… and move on to the rest of our lives.

Photo of Erin’s Wedding by Heidi Zeiger

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  • Polygon

    I could have written this post yesterday! There’s so many aspects of my wedding that I just. don’t. care about. And yet, everyone around me seems to be waiting on baited breath to see if I will approve the invitation honorifics, and devising increasingly complicated transportation schemes when why can’t everyone just drive in a car, especially since they are staying overnight at the venue. Recruiting my fiance has helped a million fold, but good luck getting vendors and family onboard with him having equal say.

  • Stephanie B.

    I really REALLY disliked wedding planning. The closer and closer the day came, the more I referred to the planning as a death march (which then made people wonder if I had cold feet, which I didn’t; I just HATED the planning part). Our wedding was in September, and now that it’s 4 months behind us, I *still* have moments where something (a pretty decoration idea, a song to add to the playlist, etc.) will make me automatically think, “We should do that for the wedding,” and then I remember it’s over and I don’t have to do any more planning, EVER, and the rush of relief is so intense I almost cry. TRUTH.

    • APracticalLaura

      THIS! Why is it that a dislike of wedding planning* (*As a woman) automatically gets equated with doubts or “cold feet”??? Men can be disengaged with the process and there are no doubts there, but if you are the kind of woman who could care less about the way napkins are folded, the color of your table linens, or what your entrance song will be? Must be doubt.

      (Also I have the exact same “moments” when those thoughts go through my head… ooh this would be a nice venue, etc. etc. followed by a huge rush of relief!)

    • BD

      Oh wow. I thought I was weird for still having those “planning” thoughts even months after the wedding was over. It was like a bad habit. And yes, the relief I felt when I remembered that it was all over was definitely great.

  • Emma Klues

    “yurts are hard to find in Chicago”

    :) Great post!

  • Alyssa M

    Man, I’m only two weeks in and I already feel like a frightened rabbit. There’s a quite a lot of time when i feel like hyperventilating, puking, or adopting the “if i stand really still maybe they won’t see me” pose. The sad thing is that I’m a type-A person whose had a secret wedding pinterest board since they invented secret boards. I just hate the idea of doing all of this for ME. I’ll plan the shit out of my brother’s wedding, and I’m practically begging to be asked to be their day of coordinator… but the idea of picking the venue i love even though it costs a thousand dollars more than the one that’s meh, just because i love it is petrifying! Also, wedding expo’s are insane. Who the hell thinks every “bride” needs to be introduced on a red carpet? And i guess they only cater to lesbian weddings… Because grooms are non existent… aaaaaaaaahhhhhh… i have no idea how I’m gonna survive this!

    • Amy

      Wedding expos are the scariest things ever. I went to one, mostly for “the experience” but I was still looking for a reception venue at that point, and lord, I am so thankful I never have to go back.

    • MC

      “And I guess they only cater to lesbian weddings… Because grooms are non existent”

      Ha! My fiance and I went to a wedding expo back in August and he was indeed one of five non-vendor males there. And it was very scary and overwhelming. But it was good to see all the things we DIDN’T want and to learn how to say no to it all.

      • Aine

        oh god, the Expos. Don’t you just love loathe how every. single. thing is “The most important part of the wedding!”

        Do not miss, not at all.

    • meeliebee

      Yes! I spent hours looking through wedding photographer websites yesterday and immediately left the photography studio’s site that said “Every bride is different and so should her images…Which bride are you?” First of all, what? And second of all, what about the other half of the wedding couple?

      And then I contacted almost every photographer in my area on the APW vendor list because I just can’t with that stuff.

      • Karen

        I hear you. This is the major reason we went with an APW vendor (Amanda Summerlin). We did not feel the need spend time explaining ourselves to locals who may not “get” us. We wanted someone who we knew would start with the assumption that we are in this together and would not be hung up on traditional wedding things. My friends are shocked we went with someone out of state but to us it’s worth it. And she doesn’t charge for travel. Win!

      • Alyssa M

        It makes me sad that there are literally NO APW vendors in my area. The only things even in my state are two venues several hours away… I think I’ll need to recommend APW to any vendors I find exceptional.

      • We met a Day of Coordinator in person. Her emails all sounded fine, but she was visibly confused when my fiance showed up with me at the initial consultation. She decided to deal with it by completely ignoring him for the rest of the appointment, and made great speeches about her “brides,” how important they are, and how she makes it her “bride’s special day.” I really wish that I had stepped in and asked about her grooms, but we ended up running away after 10 minutes anyways when she revealed that she wasn’t going to be with us at the wedding, and “no, you may not meet the person who will be. Why would you want to do that?”

        Sorry for the rant. This one has been bothering me.

        • CallistaS

          My fiance went with me to pick out the venue! and meet with the coordinator. I really don’t think that’s weird at all, and honestly, you should run away from someone who basically tells you they are a figurehead for their business! That lady sounds awful.

        • Julianna

          Honestly, if the coordinator is not willing to involve your fiance in the whole process, then that’s not the person you want to be there with you. It’s total BS to ignore the groom, especially when he has made time to be there with you.

    • jess

      if there’s a lovesick expo in your town or if you’re in nyc and can make it to one of the wedding crashers events, do it! especially the wedding crashers. all the vendors i met at both were lovely, lots of food and booze and djs playing music. on a scale of 1 to what the f did i get myself in to, they’re about a 6. lots of info, a bit crowded, but super fun with vendors who really love what they’re doing.

      • Alyssa M

        While I’m pretty fortunate to live in a “destination” wedding location, the downside is I live in what a NYC resident would call the middle of nowhere. No lovesick expo, no wedding crashers events. Just a regional expo in the embassy suites ballroom. Lol.

    • CallistaS

      Trust me, pick the one you love. as terrible as it sounds, 1k really isn’t THAT much in the big scheme of things.
      I hate picking things out for myself, but just remember, it’s actually not just all for you, it’s for your fiance too! So pick the better stuff after talking with them about it!

  • Rosie

    I love the idea of describing your wedding as a Cluedo guess: 120 people, in the village hall, with BBQ! Great way to sum it up :)

  • Lisa

    What an incredible post. And I totally feel you. We aren’t even “publicly engaged” yet and I have anxiety about the planning and the guests and the whole event, really… which always brings be back to eloping or something of that sort. But of course that hosts its own set of problems!

  • LC

    Fantastic post! I completely agree about how easy it is to start believing your wedding is an imposition, no matter how much you try not to. We couldn’t find a city where less than 2/3 of our guests wouldn’t have to travel, so we also chose Chicago, where we live. It’s been so tough not to feel like when we send out invitations we also have to send a card saying, “We completely understand that airfare is expensive, no worries if you can’t make it! Also we picked this hotel but if you can find somewhere else you like better for less money, go for it!” It’s been a relief recently as my extended family has started making travel plans and have been telling me how excited they are.

    • LB

      LC, you took the words right out of my mouth. We’re planning our wedding in New York, where we live, as whatever location we choose would require a bunch of people to travel and it is much easier to plan an event in our local area. New York is obviously expensive, and we’ve been trying to block off accommodations that are reasonable in value, neighborhood, and convenience, which also letting them know of other options nearby. And hope that those who find it too expensive do not feel pressured to come–especially those with their own families. But it’s also been SO heartening to hear how excited many are to use it as an excuse to come visit the city. :-)

    • Lisa

      This sounds just like me. Most of our guests are out-of-town, and we figured that it would be easiest for people to fly into Chicago, since it’s a major city with great public transit.

      Also we booked the church on their one remaining date in October… only to find out from a potential reception site that it’s the weekend of the Marathon!! We’re just going to encourage guests to find a hotel near the reception or ceremony venue that they feel fits their price points since I was having difficulty finding anywhere less than $200/night that would block out a big chunk of rooms for us that weekend. I’ve already told some of my family and friends to start looking for hotels and booking in the area before the Marathon participants are confirmed.

  • GyozaSauce

    This is the post I would write too :) Planning was emotionally and physically draining for me, even though w had no big drama. I couldn’t wait for it all to be over. Not enjoying it also gave me such guilt (before and after). I sincerely enjoyed the wedding, not at all how I imagined I would. I was exhausted. My enjoyment was more a combo of relief and awe. Hang in there ladies who are planning! You too will get through it!

  • Jessica Nelson

    “Clue-style: 25 people, IN the ballroom WITH punch & cake!” Great line – made me laugh out loud! :) Right now I’m battling the timeline (my parents think a gap between ceremony & reception is rude, I want to do pictures after AND I don’t want to be rushed during pictures) and I keep thinking there’s going to be some magical time combination that lets all of our plans work. (“If the ceremony ends at 3:15 and it takes people 15 minutes to actually pack up and leave and 25 minutes to drive to the reception site, how long can the cocktail hour go on without us?”)

    • Stella

      So, we had this debate with our parents (at length). We actually ended up OK, but we (a) had an early afternoon wedding, and (b) took 2 hours for cocktail-hour. It actually didn’t make much difference in price, and it meant that combined with the fact that we left first and took a shorter route to the venue than our guests, we still got to enjoy cocktail hour and get a ton of pictures done after church (I know loads of people do them before, but… I wasn’t really feeling it for some reason). Our parents all thought 2 hours was way too long but it was actually fine given that it was the afternoon (so people weren’t starving) and we didn’t have hard liquor at cocktail hour, just champers beer and wine (so people didn’t get too drunk). Anyways, just a thought…

      • Jessica Nelson

        Yay thank you! Could you give me more details on how exactly your timeline worked (ceremony time, cocktail hour time, meal served [if you had one], party end time?) Oh and did you let guests know how long cocktail hour would be? I read on another timeline post that “nobody needs to know what time you’ve scheduled dinner to be served except you and the caterer” (I suppose to allow for last-minute flexibility), but as a guest, I think I’d like to have a general idea of when the sit-down part of the evening will start, so that I know if I, say, have time to stop by Target to buy some cheap flats after realizing my shoes hurt way too much (not that this has ever happened to me…) or have a snack, rather than rushing to a two-hour cocktail hour.

        • Stella

          we did a church wedding at 2.30pm, then cocktail hour (with canapes) from 4.30-6.30, people sat down to eat by around 6.45, then speeches, so dinner probably started around 7 or a bit after…. That was the plan anyway, I didn’t have a watch on the day but I think it broadly worked out like that. I think the evening part with dancing and such started around 9pm.

          Our church was around 35 minutes normal drive from the venue (although slower because we had this old bus that drove at like 5 miles an hour the whole way — another story) but with the slow bus and people milling around after the service it took longer.

          We didn’t tell people on the invitations or anything when dinner was starting but some people asked in advance and we let them know (esp. people with kids).

    • APracticalLaura

      As APW reminds us, your guests are adults and can fend for themselves. It’s your day – do what will make YOU the happiest!!

  • Rachael

    I did not enjoy the wedding planning process at all. We took care of the “when” and “where” within a week of our engagement and then I avoided doing almost all of the other planning until about 6 months before the wedding. I was so disengaged that our friends and families were pretty nervous. I just found wedding planning to be boring, tedious, and so incredibly time consuming, even for our low-key wedding, that I resented having to do it (heck, I had wanted a quick City Hall exchange of vows). The whole thing had me so angry and stressed that we almost called off the wedding part a couple months from the date.

    Did I enjoy our wedding? Absolutely, it was wonderful. Were there things that could have been better had I put more time and effort into finding the right caterer or DJ? Definitely. Do I care? Nope, it’s over and the relief that we no longer had to plan a wedding was immediate and satisfying.

    • EF

      I’m really glad to see comments (and articles) like this. I was worried about finding a venue that didn’t suck, and we figured out a date that worked with close friends, and did that pretty quickly. But we’re also a year from the wedding and everyone else has all these questions for me, or lists of things to be doing, and I just.don’t.care. I have other things to stress about right now, like my master’s dissertation.

      I hope that I enjoy the day, but I don’t buy the ‘happiest day of your life!!!’ pressure. Really, that’s supposed to be the happiest? What am I going to look forward to for the rest of my 60+ years on the planet?

      • Rachael

        Some advice my dad gave me when I was first engaged and stressed about the pressures of wedding planning really resonated with me throughout the process. More or less it was, “You can spend as much or as little time as you want on it.” And that is totally true. You could spend all of your free time in the next year planning a wedding. Or you could get the big things taken care of, figure out what elements are important to you, ditch or downplay the rest, and spend a reasonable amount of time planning when the date gets closer. There are so many things that are considered “musts” for a wedding that you really just don’t have to do. There is nothing I look back on and say, “I wish I had spent more time on that.” But there are plenty of things I say the opposite about.

        And when I did get asked, “How’s the wedding planning going?” I would mostly just shrug and say I hadn’t started. And my reply to the inevitable “really??”? “I’m busy,” and another shrug. You have things on your plate that are more important to you than wedding planning, and that should be a totally valid response for anyone who asks.

        And yeah, it was a really happy, fun day. But the idea that that will be the day to rule all days for the rest of your life? Lame. Why limit yourself?

        • Violet

          Rachel, I like your *shrug* idea. My friend/family member who owns a salon (and therefore works with a LOT of brides) said she advises her clients to answer, “We haven’t decided yet,” to every question they don’t feel like answering. We started laughing imagining answering that to everything, including, “Who’s the guy/gal?” “We haven’t decided yet.” lol

          • Rachael

            Ha! I like that!

            The best was always when my answer was just, “Oh, we’re not doing that,” about any typical wedding elements that I wasn’t bothering with. My now sister-in-law was astonished when that was my reply to, “What are your colors?” I also loved when people would give me the old, “But you HAVE to do that!” Oh, no, see, I looked it up and it turns out that you absolutely do not HAVE to do that to get married.

  • emilyg25

    As a sort of Type A person who actually had been thinking about my wedding for a long time, I found some aspects of planning to be fun. But if you have even the smallest tendency toward people-pleasing, planning a wedding can be absolute misery. I had 100 guests with different needs and wants and for a while, I really tried hard to satisfy them all. Add in the unpredictability of planning an all-outdoor event and it was extremely stressful. “Your wedding is not an imposition” became my mantra and I read and re-read that post several times. One good outcome (aside from a beautiful wedding) is that I’ve carried that lesson on with me and learned to rely less on external validation.

  • cg

    Ah wow. I’m feeling this, mixed up with a whole lot of divorced parents/step parents drama a la last week’s one post. Our original plan (tiny outdoors ceremony, nice lunch, big open-house bring-and-share type after party, which would have neatly side-stepped a whole bunch of family stuff and other issues) was immediately veto’d by our families. So now I’m clueless about what I’m doing, what I actually want, and what will work or result in people exploding at each other on the day (or before, even). My FH and I are second-guessing Everything, and now, while there are moments of excitement, especially at the anticipation of being married to my best friend and an awesome guy, getting there is turning out to be mostly a lot of pain.

  • Stella

    LOVE this post! I actually thought my head was going to explode when I was wedding planning… but… in a weird way, that really made me extra happy and zen on the actual day “NO MORE WEDDING PLANNING”! Every cloud… ;)

    • Rachael

      Yes! I thought that so many times during my wedding. And especially the day / week after.

  • Laura C

    Thank you. So, so much in here that resonated. I actually didn’t expect to magically fall in love with weddings or wedding planning, and I haven’t. I may not even be hating it as much as I expected. But “some of my personality traits (introvert, scatterbrained, doesn’t like being fussed over) didn’t really seem to jive with what a modern wedding inherently is (social whirlwind, detail-driven, the bride’s special day)” = SO much yes. Right now I’m working hard to get A back involved in wedding planning — he was totally there in the first months we were planning, but last semester he was incredibly overcommitted and got out of the habit and maybe also has a little bit of a sense that we should be done? When clearly we’re not even close. So anyway, now it’s time for him to step up, because while he may be a lot less detail-oriented than me, he’s a lot more extroverted and ok with being fussed over, and two out of three ain’t bad.

  • There were many points during our planning process where I hated planning, to the point that I can’t think about those moments without getting sick to my stomach. I ended up loving our wedding, so none of that “stuff” affected the day, but leading up to it? I definitely had moments of “is this going to go off without a hitch, or will I end up wtih cake on my shoes?”

  • BD

    This is pretty much my experience of wedding planning. It was a huge pain in the ass, and did NOT jive at all with my personality. I was so, so excited for it to be done and to move on with our lives. I also day dreamed about an elopement, but it was never more than a dream – there was just no way to pull that off without hurting a bunch of people close to me… including my husband.

    And as for all that DIY crafty stuff you’re supposed to do? Yeah, I planned a lot of that crap, but guess how much of it actually got done for the wedding? Pretty much nada. We all lived.

    • APracticalLaura

      I second that! All of that!!

  • Ariel

    “And so, the wedding morphed its way from a dream day to something of a necessary evil. Something that would (hopefully) be worth it in the end, but wasn’t a whole lot of fun to get to. Like, you know, studying for the GRE or doingP90X.” THIS. I really hope this damn wedding is worth it in the end. I’m so excited to be married to my love, but this whole getting-to-that-point-part sucks ass. People generally aren’t super thrilled when I tell them I’m more excited about my honeymoon, haha. Hanging out on a beach with a tropical beach with my new husband sounds a hell of a lot better than stress and ALL EYES ON ME. (I wish I could say “all eyes on me”, without it sounding like Tupac in my head)

    • jashshea

      upvoting couldn’t quite cover how happy I was to see the tupac reference. Since that’s exactly where my head went.

  • GA

    I loved my wedding. I hated planning it. HATED. I was super busy with school and work and anytime someone asked me about how “the wedding planning is going!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????” I just wanted to lose it. I think that was the hardest part for me, that the only people I could talk to about how hard it was were my best friend and my fiance. If I told anyone else they would laugh like I was joking. Because clearly, as a woman, this has to be my bread and butter, right?

    Ugh. It’s so deeply unfair, all of the cultural expectations over weddings. It makes it all so much more difficult. It made me hate the parts of the process that I would have liked, under other circumstances. (I love planning things! And making things! But dealing with vendors and obnoxious family made it all suck.)

    • malkavian

      Dude, I hear ya. I’m in a PhD program and I had the oral portion of my qualifying exam the day before I hopped on a plane to go back up to the Northeast, where we’re from and our families still live, to get married. Also, it didn’t help that I’m more of a planner than husband is. I don’t think I had any time for hobbies that entire spring and summer…

      • CallistaS

        Oh my gosh, you poor thing. I mean, awesome that you got your PhD stuff done and planned everything! But that just sounds so brutal and exhausting. I’m working full time, and planning this wedding has been my life for the past 8 months now. I am soooooooooooooooo tired of looking at wedding stuff, planning wedding stuff. The best advice I have gotten so far was from a lady at work who told me to just take a day off, and go by myself to the beach for an hour, or somewhere alone, and just sit and relax and don’t think about any of it. I am tempted to do that this weekend.

  • Moe

    What No One Will Tell You About Wedding Planning – this could have been an alternate title to your post. Thank you for so simply expressing what is hard put into words: “wedding planning throws all of this stuff together at once onto a foot-long shit sandwich that you find yourself eating at every meal—for like a year.”
    My friend and I had weddings about 10 months apart from one another and we joke that when someone announces an engagement we really want to send a sympathy card because they are about to go through hell. A really pretty watercolored, floral, vintage lacy hell.
    I loved my wedding too. It was not perfect. My family did crappy things (my sister was a no-show, we still have not spoken). But it was mine.
    My wedding planning metaphor is that its similar to running a marathon. You can prepare and train but nothing will prepare you for mile 22 when you hit the wall. Your mind and body fails you and all you really want is to get the damn thing over with. But oh! That victory at the finish line!!

    • Amy

      You’re like, the third person I’ve seen over the past couple of weeks to suggest sending a sort-of sympathy card on the announcement of an engagement. Now I’m really considering designing something and adding it to my Etsy shop.

      • Moe

        When my friend began planning her wedding after mine I listened and smiled as she laid out her hopeful vision for what she would like to have. Meanwhile I was calculating in my head that she was describing a $30k wedding when her budget was closer to $10k. I didn’t want to tell her, I knew she’d figure it out.

        Towards the final stretch of planning she asked something like “why didn’t you tell me then how unrealistic I was?” I told her she wouldn’t have been ready to hear it.

        If you could come up with a witty, snarky sympathy card I’d like to see it!

        • Laura C

          That could be one of the cards. Something like “Congratulations and sympathy! Let me know when you’re ready to hear the sympathy part…”

          • Amy

            Can I just go ahead and invite you ladies to my creative meetings? I’ll bring the wine, you bring the wit and snark.

          • Moe

            I’m even funnier with wine. ;)

          • Amy

            You’re hired!

    • Laura K

      “A really pretty watercolored, floral, vintage lacy hell.”

      ^ This made me laugh so hard!

  • Katelyn

    I thought I would *love* wedding planning – with my Type A personality, love of spreadsheets, and years of “practice” watching wedding TV as my guilty pleasure – and at first it was tons of fun, so many options!

    But every decision comes with disappointment from someone, and it really weighs on me. I can see all the different options we’ve forgone – and the problems they would solve, but additional problems they would create. There is NO right answer, but even though logically I know that, emotionally it is so draining.

    • Julianna

      I am the exact same way. I’m afraid to make decisions on my own because of this very fact that I will be disappointing someone. It’s exhausting. But honestly, what has kept me sane is reading blogs like this and Offbeat Bride that have published some down-to-earth, practical, “it’s ok to feel this way” articles that make me feel SO much better about myself and my decisions.

      Just know that it will be ok and that someone will be disappointed, but it’s you and your partner’s day. In the end, you know you just want to have fun.

  • Kat

    This is me. Introverted people-pleaser with the tendency to feel guilty about absolutely everything, especially my family. Wedding planning is absolutely awful. I had no problem with the logistics, but the emotional part was just too much to bear. I read APW over and over, “my wedding is not an impostion”, but I still couldn’t get over it.

    Everyone keeps asking about the theme, the colors, the flowers, etc. I just don’t care. My MIL told me I needed more drama. Every girl deserves her moment. Moment? I just want to be married. I don’t need people to fuss over me. The idea of being the center of attention – not my thing.

    Last week, we threw in the towel. We are cancelling our wedding reception and spending a weekend in Chicago with close friends/immediate family and getting married. I have never felt better. It feels like 2 tons were just lifted off my shoulders.

    I am sure I would have loved our reception. It would have been absolutely beautiful, guests would have enjoyed themselves, and I would have come out on the other side happy and married. But it just didn’t feel like me or us. I couldn’t continue to associate these feelings of guilt and worry with such a special moment.

    Even though I am a people-pleaser – changing this decision for me and our new “baby family” has given us new found confidence to make our own decision and decided what is best for us.

    • Sarah E

      I really hope you write about this! Sounds like a really tough decision and the right one for you. Best wishes on your wedding weekend :-)

    • Melissa

      Kat- I don’t consider myself introverted, but I am definitely a people-pleaser and identify with nearly all of what you have written here. I especially love the bit about gaining confidence by asserting what is best for your new baby family- we made a similar decision and I too feel a burst of confidence. Cheers to having the guts to change course!

  • Sarah E

    So, I really thought that my APW readership gave me the magic “Handle Wedding Planning with No Sweat” badge. Of course, the Saturday after Christmas on our very first planning excursion ever, I cried at my mom. Yes, AT her. We were just having breakfast at the market, talking through options, and I guess she just needed to say what was on her mind, but when she started talking FOR my partner “He just wants you to be happy!” “He’s going to say okay to whatever you want!” I lost it.

    I’m now happily 1100 miles away, where my partner and I can work through decisions without interruption, and the mom squad can be useful going to visit venues and sending pictures. I’m sure if we were living locally while planning, all the logistics would be easier, and all the emotional crap would be ten times harder.

  • “Although alt-wedding blogs were helping me keep my sanity, I also felt like they were advocating a certain type of wedding… an event that was hyper-personalized, self-interest driven and filled with DIY crafts and transcendent moments. I sorta got the feeling that if my wedding didn’t look like that, I wasn’t being true to myself. ”

    ^This this this! Struggling with this right now.

    • ko

      I couldn’t agree more! I’m so excited to be marrying my partner and have a big old fun time with our people, but I truly don’t care that much about the details. I feel like the dominant WIC wedding pressure has been replaced by crafty, DIY, “personal details” pressure.

    • Lucy

      Oh my goodness that part of the post hit the nail on the head!! It feels like the wedding industry says that there are two tracks: 1) the princess/all about the bride/fairy-tale over the top track and the 2) DIY, hyper personalized, crafty, “all about us as a couple” track. I could not agree more!

    • Julianna

      You have no idea how tired I am about “shabby chic” weddings. UGH! LET’S JUST GET OVER IT ALREADY!

    • Kat

      This really resonated with me. Just two weeks ago I was telling my mom that I wish it was still the 1950s so that I could get married, have a reception at a country club/local hall, drive off in a car with cans, and that’s it. The pressure of one day having to be emblematic of your entire relationship (complete with crafts!) is maddening! And this coming from someone who has an Etsy shop.

  • Jess

    Wow, what a relief for someone to write exactly how I am feeling about my wedding. I’m just at the point where, as bad as it sounds, I just want it to be over! Difficult family members, not enough funds and my ambivalence toward planning/decision making have just made this experience less than I had hoped. I find that it is really hard for me to not view my wedding as an inconvenience to other people (of course my mother’s attitude and need to put on a show for everyone isn’t helping). Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting into words what has been banging around in my head the past couple of months.

  • Ella

    I felt similarly. I did not enjoy the planning one bit. The last couple of days leading up to my wedding were pure hell, including me staying up very late the night before finishing my bridesmaid thank-yous.

    BUT BUT I did enjoy the day. Once the day of the wedding arrived and everything was finished (or as finished as it was going to be), I felt complete zen. At that point, I just had to show and have things happen to me that I’d set up in advance. That’s just me, but for those of us who HATE wedding planning, I hope you’re able to enjoy the day-of at the very least. :)

  • Class of 1980

    Honestly, even though I like weddings … if I ever get married again, I think a lot of the planning would be a giant pain in the ass. Would probably love the day itself and wish the planning could be skipped. I think that’s fairly normal. There’s just a lot of moving parts to a wedding.

  • Elisabeth S.

    Loved. This. Post. K and I used to say to each other when we were in the thick of it that “A Person’s a Person.” Meaning, our personalities were already pretty fully formed by the time we met, and K was never going to want to have a dance party and I was never going to get it together to craft favors, and we weren’t going to magically turn into other people just because we decided to have a wedding party.

  • Kara

    Even 4 years after our wedding, I still cringe thinking about all the planning. I hated it. I’m a highly introverted individual with a very slight type-A personality (I don’t care about perfection, but damn, I want a plan in place). My husband was great and helpful throughout the process, but most things still needed my input. I didn’t DIY because I’m not crafty, and we didn’t spend much on anything that could potentially be DIY’d. I let my mom pick out flowers (which were very limited) and the linens because I DID NOT CARE. :)

    One of the things that stuck out the most during the planning, was other people’s opinions and how strong they were, especially when they weren’t contributing anything to the wedding (not time, effort, support, $$, etc.). I remember a friend’s husband asking why the hell we were taking so long (they were engaged for 6 months; we were engaged for nearly 2 years), and in an accusatory tone, he asked “well, don’t you want to be married?” I was livid, he didn’t know our reasons why–we had to decide who was moving since we were 5 hours apart, the moving person had to find a job (since that’s a very logical and important thing to do), find a place to live, and plan a wedding. Oh, that man made me feel all “stabby”.

    It’s much better to be on the other side. Sure things didn’t go perfectly, but damn, we had a great time, got married, and can look back on the day while smiling.

  • Ali

    omg, thank you so much for writing this.
    We got engaged this past weekend, and people are already asking me really detailed questions. Dude. We just got engaged. On Saturday. This is Monday. Wha?

    • Stephanie B.

      When we got engaged, we called our families shortly afterward to tell them (that same night, I mean). So we had been engaged for maybe half an hour, and my husband’s father wanted to know if we set a date. Same thing at work the next day. I had been engaged for 12 hours and people wanted to know if we had set a date, and when the answer was no, why not. It was VERY hard to not snap at them. (I settled for saying “We thought we’d enjoy being engaged for at least 24 hours before we start any of the planning!” [fake laugh] [walk away, eyes rolling])

    • We refused to tell anyone about any wedding plans for a month after we got engaged. We just told people that we were taking some time to enjoy this stage of our lives together. I mean, we had some conversations (OMG, this cake is DELICIOUS! We should see if they do weddings!) but didn’t actually sit down to do “wedding planning.”

      The possible downside is that after a month, most people will be over your engagement- so they won’t ask as many questions. This was kind of frustrating for me- especially since most of my friends live at least a state away. I felt like I was planning a lot of things alone. But now that we’re 2.5 months away, people are starting to get excited again!

      Congrats on your engagement. Try to stay sane, and remember that they are just trying to show interest :)

    • Julianna

      Just soak it all and breathe, for just a moment.

      I didn’t really understand why people kept asking those details literally days after engagement. It’s like they assume all women have been crazy planning up until the moment they get engaged and then all the details come spilling out of them! NOT ALL OF US ARE CRAZY! Anyway, just politely say that you are enjoying your time and that planning will start to happen soon. And even if you have already started planning, remember that you don’t need to share every single detail with everyone (vagueness is allowed and absolutely fantastic for those prying for details).

  • Anon

    What I’m struggling with is this: while weddings are a lovely way to honor those most important to you, you can also end up having to define your relationships in a way you would rather not do. You have to put a stamp on who is important enough to you to be a bridesmaid, to be invited, etc. I just spent the weekend with some close friends who mean the world to me who I did not ask to be bridesmaids. I kept wondering if I should bring it up because I had a hunch they might have been expecting me to ask or wondering what the deal was. I’m having a very small number of bridesmaids because I’m an introvert and I knew it would be less stressful to have a smaller group. But now I feel almost as if I owe my friends an explanation or something. No idea how to navigate this!

    • cakes

      short answer, just explain it to them, they will appreciate hearing it from you. I found out I was not going to be a bridesmaid in a very close friend’s wedding when the other very close friends who were bridesmaids were talking about ordering dresses in front of me. I would have much preferred to have heard it from the bride that I was not going to be a bridesmaid. We are all still very close. I just wish she had said something before hand, the way it worked out I felt excluded, when that didn’t have to be the case.

  • Apples

    Fantastic. This is exactly what I’m going through, and it was great to have a post that describes it so perfectly. Thanks!

  • cdog

    I love you for this post. I find myself in the predicament of while planning my own wedding, slowly realizing that I kind of hate everything people think a wedding is supposed to be. I am basically rebelling, and refusing to do a bunch of stuff people usually expect, but at the same time trying to be a people-pleaser and find ways to make everyone happy. (LOL!)

    Our budget began thimble-sized, and is now more, I guess, teacup-sized. We’re trying to limit spending as much as we can, which makes it harder in a fairly expensive city. But whatever we spend, we’ll have to pay off ourselves, which is one of the least-fun things I can picture doing. The one thing that makes this most stressful to me is how much more we’re spending than I wanted. But then, I wanted to elope – and apparently no one else was on board with that plan (courthouse was also nixed). So, I just have to make peace with gaining some debt to pay for something that seems kind of silly to me, but I’m sure will be very nice. But it wasn’t me that wanted even a medium wedding, I just wanted to run away together!

    • Rachael

      Yes! I also wanted to either elope or have a courthouse wedding, but had a low-key “real” wedding instead. I either hated or was completely apathetic about so much of the expected wedding elements and I refused to do them. It was amazing when people could not grasp the concept of not having a “color” or not having seating arrangements. I was shamed on more than one occasion about our plans (or lack thereof). But it made me more resolved to show them all that hey, you can get married without all of that other crap.

      We basically had a big party. And 7 months later our friends and family are still telling us it was the best wedding they ever attended. Poo poo the nay-sayers.

      • cdog

        This! I’ve actually been married before, so I know all too well how little some of these details matter in the grand scheme of things – and how much some of them just seem to exist to annoy people. So, no seating chart, everybody just mingle! No dinner, it’s between meals – everybody just snack! No dance floor, everyone just pretend it’s a regular party! And no ‘giving away’ or ‘bouquet toss’ etc. because that’s just not how I roll, and you all know it.

        • Rachael

          Yes! “That’s just not how I roll, and you all know it.”

        • clairekfromtheuk

          me too me too! I have to say, doing it 2nd time round (whilst not a terribly practical solution) definitely lends some perspective!

          I’m a planner and I just wasn’t into it, not because I didn’t want to get married, precisely the opposite, I just wanted to BE married (and be on my honeymoon, sweet sweet relaxation). Luckily (for me), I’m kind of a bitch so I ended up being plain rude to some people who tried to make me feel bad for that.

  • Heather

    Thank you for this post. This is exactly how I have been feeling. I get sick of people asking me about wedding planning. If I wanted to talk about it, I would. Last night I almost had an anxiety attack, booking our flights to visit venues (we are planning a small intimate beach wedding out of state). My fiance had to rub my back and talk me off the ledge. I love planning and I love all things pretty: flowers, dresses, shoes, good food, and cake but combine them under the title of wedding and apparently it is not quite my cup of tea. I am looking forward to marrying my partner of the last 7 years. As long as that happens I will be content. Thanks again for your honesty and eloquence.

  • Hannah

    What a fantastic post! Just made my Monday morning! I’m getting married in about 4 weeks, and find it so comforting that others feel the same way that I do. My fiancé and I have worked so hard to make this wedding “ours” and yet it still feels like there are wedding-industry-must-haves that have slipped in. I’m getting more excited for the day as it creeps closer, but more so for the entire process to just end and for my future with my partner to begin. I will also gladly assist in the roundhouse-kicking of the ridiculous expectation that women should love wedding planning!! ;)

  • Sonora Webster

    I ended my first engagement, and aside from being heartbroken and kind of embarrassed, I was so relieved not to have to plan anymore! I’m having a lot more fun planning this time around, since I’m actually excited to get married, but oof, if only I could have convinced him how great it would be just to go to Hawaii and come back married!
    Also, I think it was in like my second vendor meeting, the guy said, “Oh, you’re one of those people who wants to make everyone happy. You’re going to have to let go of that.” He nailed me so easily! It was good advice I was not yet ready to hear, but have thought back to many times since then!

    • KC

      If it were only as easy to let go of that as it is to, say, drop a tin can in the recycling…

  • Sarah

    I really appreciate this post! So much “exactly!” happening in my head while reading it. Nice to know that others out there feel like it’s more of a grueling-thing-you-have-to-do-to-get-to-the-other-side than a dream come true. Having my fiance really involved (we’ve got a pretty solid good cop/bad cop routine down now with vendors and family) has helped a lot, but there are still days where I just want life to be wedding-planning free.

  • Natalie

    I can totally relate to this right now. Me and my guy are literally being pulled in two opposite directions over wedding planning – neither of which we like. We aren’t officially engaged yet – we’ve been semi-planning since october, but waiting on his parents to (hopefully) get on board. They still aren’t. Whereas my parents live in Africa (yup. Africa.) and visit the states twice a year in June and December. We cannot do a December wedding, there are wayy too many birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays in that month to make it feasible. Which means it’s June 2014, or June 2015. We don’t want to wait another year and a half – we want to be married. But the demands of our two sets of parents are kind of driving me crazy.

    • Short engagements are great. In my opinion. :)

      • clairekfromtheuk

        short engagements are brilliant! The fun of being engaged doesn’t have time to wear off but you’re limited on time so you can ‘legitimately’ ditch the stuff that doesn’t matter to you

  • Meigh McPants

    Rock on for embracing your complicated wedding feels. I think the P90X comparison is really valid in a lot of ways. (And this is coming from someone who now plans other people’s weddings for a living.) When it’s your own wedding, it’s so easy to get wrapped around the axle about what you’re “supposed” to feel or be or do that it’s easy to just want to grit your teeth and get through it. In hindsight, I think that time of being engaged, of planning this big event together, does a lot of useful work. It helps prepare you for working together as a team with your partner, it delineates the space between “not married” and “married”, and it teaches you stuff about yourself (even if that stuff is “omgIwillneverevereverplananeventagain”.) This post was a really excellent way to encapsulate that, well done.
    tl;dr: Wedding planning = hard, also good.

    • Karen

      Amen! As my partner and I have been planning our wedding, I’ve been remembering some of what Meg and others have said about how this is the first big project most couples have together. Figuring out how to work through differences, dividing tasks, prioritizing, etc are all good “life skills” for couples to have. Although it’s not always a pleasant experience while you’re in it, I think it can make couples stronger and improve communication skills.

  • jashshea


    I knew planning wasn’t going to be my thing and when I hired my (wonderful, talented) planner, I had to explain to my husband why that didn’t mean she did all the things. I/we still had to tell her what flowers we liked and how many we needed and where they needed to be and when. We still had to have “a vision.” Trouble for us is that our vision – a booze-soaked dancefest – didn’t have many workable details for someone to bring to life.
    When I sat down with my planner I told her that I was good at blocking and tackling, but fine details weren’t my thing (which, incidentally is exactly how I am professionally). Headcounts, billing, and spreadsheets were where I could excel* and that I needed her for the other side. Everything was truly lovely, but how do I remember the wedding? Well, as a booze-soaked dancefest.

    *HIlarious pun. I used excel, MS project, Access, and google docs.

    • clairekfromtheuk

      MS excel pun – bahahahahaha

  • Stephanie

    Everyone pretty much said what I wanted to say so I’ll just add that hot dam does it feel good when it’s over. My wedding was pretty and nice and meaningful but the day after the wedding I just couldn’t stop smiling. Not only was I married, I never had to plan a wedding AGAIN! Best feeling in the world!

  • Crayfish Kate

    This…this is why we’re going on 2.5 years of being engaged. I cannot make up my damn mind. Some days, I just want to do the courthouse thing, and then meet everyone at the brewery down the street afterwards. Other days, I think of how nice it’d be to see all of our family friends, people I knew growing up, my FH’s friends he hasn’t seen in years, at a reception thrown by us with awesome food, drinks, dancing, and fun. But the planning just sounds like a huge pain in the ass & I’m not interested in it. I’m SO GLAD to see I’m not the only one who feels this way – I’ve been feeling like a wet blanket every time someone asks when we’re getting married.

    It’s kind of funny, I JUST finished my Master’s degree last month, which I’m elated about. And then I think “Isn’t finishing a grad degree enough?! What – wait, you mean I have to, like, plan a party for getting married too?!”

    Oh, the feels.

  • Massiel

    Yes! Thank you SO MUCH for writing this! At this point, I really want to kick wedding planning in the teeth! I felt like some sort of heartless ogre for not wanting to gush over save-the-dates and dress fittings and party favors and playlists all the livelong day, but it makes me so happy to know there are people out there who sympathize. THANK YOU for reminding me there is more to life –and to marriage!– than a wedding.

  • Molly

    This post really resonated with me. I’ve struggled through this wedding planning process. I hate it. Absolutely hate it. My wedding is Memorial Day weekend… My fiance and I are actually going to the courthouse (I guess that’s the silver lining in all of this) with a reception the next day. Most of the big reception stuff is fortunately taken care of and my courthouse wedding dress is getting altered as we speak, so really now it’s just details, I guess. I’m lucky that my grandmother will help me with centerpieces/decorations. Invitations are ordered and we actually didn’t have any part in that. We got to approve the final design and that’s it. I was upset at first but then I realized I don’t care.

    This entire wedding planning experience has just been nuts. Details if anyone cares.

    We still have some other stuff to do (block off hotels, get rentals sorted out, reception playlist, cake) but most of the stuff is done.

    Writing that all out it seems like I’ve done a lot, actually. I’m just glad that since we ditched the ceremony entirely, I don’t have to worry about bridesmaid dresses, or any ceremony details. I worry I seem lazy? I just want to be married, and that’s going to happen on Friday May 23. Then we will have our reception, and it will be lovely, but then we’ll be back to normal… and I can’t wait.

  • Jen

    This was totally me a few months ago. Luckily, I was able to avoid it for the first seven months (or so) of wedding planning but as the day inched closer and the questions started coming in I got more and more nervous about pleasing my family/friends. Really I just did not care enough about the details (not as much as everyone else did anyway) and this just stumped people. It was not until the day of the wedding that I was able to just say “Fuck it!” and stopped listening to the scared/guilty voice in my head. We are missing Polaroids for the reception? Who cares! My train is getting in the dirt? Oh well! My mother-in-law is getting drunk? Just dance it off! Of course this meant that after the wedding I remembered all the things I missed, but I am now trying to silence that voice (hint: it won’t take long). I just am not a wedding planner and it is such a relief to be done with it.

  • SLW

    “Emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed.” YES. During this weekend’s planning marathon with my fiance (four hours of spreadsheet-ing down to the last DIY detail to make sure we’re being realistic about our budget), I started bawling out of the blue. Like one minute we were talking about candle holders and the next I was blubbering uncontrollably because, “but where do the plates go if we’re doing buffet-style?!” My fiance just stared at me, not really knowing what to say. This may have been precipitated by the fact that we’d just finished cataloging housing/vacation-rental options for guests (to be nice…because they’re coming from across the country), which is just exhausting.

    I’m sure it will get better, or at the very least it will be over eventually. Needless to say, gaining some perspective helps a lot, so thanks for this post! (And for reminding me of the “your wedding is not an imposition” mantra. And that marriage is the point, and “I won’t remember how my wedding looked, I’ll remember how it felt.”) It’s just too bad I can’t quit wedding planning the way I quit P90x. ;)

  • Lizzy

    This post is amazing and the comments are so reassuring. After reading wedding blogs for years, I thought I’d enjoy the planning process when I got engaged a few weeks ago. However, I have seen so many beautiful and special weddings at every price point/size/style that I can’t decide what the best option is. I mean, is anybody a “sophisticated evening city soiree” person as opposed to a “casual country brunch” person? This pressure of communicating your identity as a couple in party form is so intimidating! At this point, I don’t even care! HELP!

    • picardie.girl

      What kind of parties do you like to go to? Think about an event you’ve really enjoyed. What was it about it that you enjoyed? This might help you identify what would be fun. Hint: there are no wrong answers. You don’t have to define your relationship by the kind of wedding you choose to have – most people could probably have at least two completely different weddings that were fun and still ‘them’.

    • CallistaS

      I would just say, don’t try to make some big statement with your wedding, or come up with a “theme”. Find a venue you love, and go from there. The best option is the one that makes you feel comfortable and excited. you can pick and choose things from different ones as well!
      Just think about if you were throwing a birthday party, what that party would have. Break it down to the simplest form. Do you like gaudy cakes, or simple cakes? Bright colors or mellow ones? Etc etc.

  • I honestly thought I was the only person feeling this way. I am just overwhelmed and exhausted and stressed out. Our wedding is in May and at this point I just want to elope. We won’t, but ugh. Someone else plan this thing!

  • B

    Thank you! I’ve just gotten started and the process already feels like a hurdle I have to get over in order to get to the good part- the “yup, we’re married!” part, which is what I’m most looking forward to.

  • Abby

    Oh! I have been feeling this way for months–ambivalent at best, guilty and self-centered and emotional at worst. We’ve been planning piece by piece, looking at everything individually (venue, then catering, then cupcakes…) so it’s manageable, but every time I think about the big picture I start to panic. Why would anyone want to come to our wedding? Why would anyone want to watch us get up in front of everyone to say some very private words? We’re both introverts, and the idea of being at the center of attention is so hard. At this point I’m most looking forward to actually being married, and going on our honeymoon to enjoy being married.

    Anyway, you wrote exactly what I’ve been feeling throughout the entire wedding planning process (while all my friends and potential vendors ask me if I’m having fun. “It’s supposed to be fun!” It’s not so fun when you demand that I enjoy myself!). So thank you.

  • Jessica

    Thank you !! 1 thought I was the only one out there that felt th is way. Id elope in a heartbeat , but can’t because my fiance wants to include his family. So here I am planning a wedding that is not exactly what I want. I found your post and it made me instantly feel better that I wasn’t the only one eating the “foot long shit sandwich”

  • Victwa

    I would always, always, always prefer to do P90X to plan for a wedding. I loved my wedding and had a lovely time, but barf and more barf for wedding planning, and it fills me with great joy to know that we are done with the spreadsheets and I don’t need to plan another wedding. I just didn’t care about lots of stuff– stuff that we had to eventually make a decision about, like renting chairs and tables, for example. However, my whole goal of wedding planning was to get it done as fast as possible. And then maybe have some time for P90X or some other active pursuit, because if you are me, those things are much more fun than planning a wedding.

  • Melissa

    I realize I’m late to the party, but Erin, please accept my belated thank you for writing this- it really resonated with me. Like some of the brave commenters here, my fiance and I recently threw in the towel on a big wedding that we were several months into planning. While finances were the driver of our decision, it quickly became clear that there were myriad reasons to change course- not the least of which was that we felt totally disconnected from this day that was supposed to be a grand celebration of our love. We’ve since decided to throw kick-ass but casual soirees in each of our hometowns, and we couldn’t be happier with our decision. Now the focus is on love, laughter, family, friends, food, and wine- the best things in life.

    (Speaking of which… I’d love to see an APW piece about having two celebrations. I see more and more people taking this approach, yet the internet seems void of any thoughtful discussion of the pros and cons.)

  • KA

    AMAZING. This is one of those posts I read going yes… yes… YES… YESYESYES. And then want to print out and highlight, just…because weddings.

  • CallistaS

    omg thank you. I had NO IDEA that wedding planning was as life consuming and insane as it really is. I am also in the same. exact. boat. as far as having a big wedding goes. Our wedding has become a life force of its own.
    At first we laughingly thought we could pull of a winery wedding for 130 people with 10k. Oh my god how awesome that would be if that were possible, but let me tell you that unless you know someone who owns the winery, good luck with that.

    Everything costs so much money. Everything is crazy. The contracts are horrible and confusing, because they’re all in legalize.
    I feel like a failure for not DIYing everything, but the thing is, I don’t want to do that. I love crafting but having to make something actually look nice. For my WEDDING. that’s just way way too much pressure.

    At this point I’m so happy that all this planning is almost over with that I am finally starting to relax.

    I hate planning this thing so much. It’s like a hydra, just when you think all the decisions are made, OH NO! Up crops more of them to replace the list you thought you completely crossed off.

    I’m so tired of picking this or that or this thing or emailing vendors constantly. Finding vendors is like dating. When you connect it’s great, but when you don’t, it’s awful. And then there are some that you think you connect with but really they’re just massive flakes.

    I’ll just be so dang happy when we are finished planning.

  • Jules

    Thank you! I am in the midst of wedding planning, and eerily enough, agreed with everything you wrote. I think you hit the nail on the wedding topper head with this one:

    “Although alt-wedding blogs were helping me keep my sanity, I also felt like they were advocating a certain type of wedding… an event that was hyper-personalized, self-interest driven and filled with DIY crafts and transcendent moments. I sorta got the feeling that if my wedding didn’t look like that, I wasn’t being true to myself.”

    Thank you!

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