Wedding Planning Frustrations, and Entering the Home Stretch

Kelsey: Excitement, anxiety, and a house full of stuff

With only a couple of weeks until our September 6th wedding, we’re feeling the pressure. I wake up in the middle of the night and my chest tightens up while I mentally go over the checks that still have to be written, comparing them to the balance in our wedding savings account. Then I spend some time chiding myself for worrying about things like money instead of fine-tuning our ceremony or reflecting on the very serious commitment we’re about to make. I try to soothe myself by thinking about our honeymoon but then reprimand myself for not staying in the moment. Although, honestly, this moment is so annoying that I can’t imagine why I would willingly stay in it.

We’re not the only ones feeling frustrated. My sweet, gracious, mom who has spent decades encouraging me to, among other things, be the better person, now responds to a question about group photos with: “Don’t be so nice! Just tell them where to be and when to be there. If they’re tired, they need to take a nap beforehand!”

My sister is taking her maid of honor duties very seriously as well, and she included the completion of a perfect huppah square in those duties. She recently bought her first house and asked for an extension on her square so that she could put some thought into it after her move. A few days later, I received a frantic text from her:

“I left my square out on the table so it could dry while I was in the shower and Holden [my seven-year-old nephew and Best Man] re-decorated it with Pokemon! All in black puffy paint!!” This was followed by several emojis denoting anger, death, and despondency. I suggested that maybe that might still make a really heartfelt, sweet huppah square—a collaboration of both of their interests. She let me know that she would be happy to direct some anger, death, and despondency at me if I continued to entertain the thought that her contribution to our future family heirloom would involve puffy painted Pokemon. I sent her two more squares, just in case.

In our own home, Julie and I have divided the remaining names on a spreadsheet between us: the friends and family we still need to hear from about whether they’re coming, and what they’d like to eat when they get there. I think this is funny because people not returning RSVPs is so common, it’s a wedding cliché. How are people still not returning preprinted cards, with a postage-paid envelope? How are people not even following the example of our friend Jason, who simply sat down at our table and said, “I’m not going to return the RSVP. I never do. I’ll have chicken.” That’s really all I need. Are you coming? Do you eat meat? Great.

We’re a little overwhelmed. We expected it, and here it is, no more pleasant for being unsurprising. There is a lot to do, not because it has to be done, or because the crafts and the catering are what make a wedding, but because this is what we decided we wanted at our wedding.

And yet, even with the anxiety, there are flashes of the fantastic things to come. My friend Amy had an unexpected day off last week and she chose to spend the afternoon with me, spray painting more jars and helping sample the Prosecco we plan to serve. A tasting for our rehearsal dinner, planned and hosted by Julie’s brother, was an unexpectedly joyful evening of crème brûlée, wine, and French onion soup. We felt so loved, and so special, and it was delightful to think about a party where we didn’t have to make any of the decisions, but were welcome to weigh in with our preferences. Our house is filled with clutter, but everywhere we look is another treasured love note from a friend or a family member.

There are moments when we feel like we’ll never get everything done, but the finish line is getting closer. While we won’t miss the mess, I do think we will be nostalgic for these moments. And despite what we have left to do, I’m feeling optimistic. If there is this much happiness during a period of such prolonged frustration, then we can only anticipate the joy the day itself will bring.

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  • Marcelita

    I was so happy to wake up and read this, as our own wedding is on September 6, and I, too, have reached the stretch where I wake up in the middle of the night with a knot in my stomach, filled with anxiety about the things still left to do and to pay for. But in the morning, as we spoon for 5 more minutes, before tackling today’s to-do list, I am optimistic and excited and more importantly, that I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my husband-to-be. I will continue to cut out paper crafts, assemble table runners, and bake cookie favors, but I’m finding in the deepest parts of my perfectionist-self that at the end of 9/6, we will be married, and that alone will make our wedding day perfect.

    • Melissa

      Hooray 9/6! I feel the same way. Being a perfectionist is tough when it comes to major life events. But as you say, if you’re married at the end of the day… Success!

    • JessPeebs

      When I was just about 2 weeks out from the wedding. I couldn’t sleep a wink. So, I bought a bottle of sleeping pills. I never took one, but having them in the house made me sleep better. Weird, but true.

    • AlyssaM

      Also getting married September 6th, and I could have written this article myself- exactly what I am feeling. The nightmares of wedding disasters started last night. My fiance is working nights, so I get to see his grumpy face for 20 minutes a day. September 6th can’t come soon enough and at the same time, I was perfectly OK with plenty to time to spare.

  • Heather

    I love that your seven year old nephew is your Best Man. That’s the greatest thing ever!

    • Kelsey

      Wait until you see him in his bow tie- THAT’S the best thing ever!! :)

  • Ella

    This has nothing to do with the article, but it really makes me happy to read that Julie is a “nice Jewish girl from New Jersey.” Go New Jersey! It’s a lovely state, no matter what people say. :)

    • Kelsey

      It is SO lovely! From what I’ve seen so far, I’m an NJ fan!

  • anonpsu

    We hit the 8 week mark yesterday and while we aren’t in the “home stretch” yet, it’s starting to feel like it! For some reason 2 months didn’t make me feel like the wedding was that soon, but when I got an email from Crate & Barrel saying “you’re wedding is 8 weeks away” I went Holy Shit! We’re ok on the to-do list and we’ve avoid almost all crafty things so there’s as little stress as possible, but it’s still freaky to get so close to your wedding. Good luck!

    • macrain

      9 weeks away here. It’s definitely feeling like things are picking up, and I’m feeling really “home stretch” like! Pretty much back and forth between wanting to die and and feeling moony and happy. Mostly the people who are helping me are making me nuts. Such is the nature of accepting help, I spose!

    • MC

      Ha, yeah, someone asked us last weekend when our wedding was, and I said, “7 weeks,” and immediately Fiance and I looked at each other and went, “Holy shit! We’re down to weeks now!” Once we are down to days I think there will be some panic.

  • Allison

    “Although, honestly, this moment is so annoying that I can’t imagine why I would willingly stay in it.”

    I have been feeling this a lot lately, but it’s good to know I’m not alone!

    • macrain

      If there is a silver lining in that, it’s that I think I’m going to feel AWESOME when it’s over, not sad like I thought I would.

      • Ariel

        It does feel awesome when it’s over! I had a wedding nightmare a week or so after getting married this past June and the best feeling was realizing that the wedding was over and I didn’t need to worry about that shit anymore. Also, being married is awesome.

  • Emily

    This last bit is awful! Our wedding is 9/13 and we decided to add a move and a new job to the mix, because we clearly didn’t have enough to stress over this August. I just keep trying to remind myself that no one cares if I didn’t order chair slips, and that less than one month from today I can never care about chair slips again!

    • kcaudad

      We did that, too… good times. It will be a crazy couple of months, but you’ll get through it!

    • Natalie

      Yay for never having to care about chair slips again! :-)

    • Lisa

      We are doing the exact same thing! (Move, fiancé starting a doctorate, me looking for a new job from our old city) Best of luck, and no one will remember the chair covers!

  • Blair

    My wedding is this Saturday (August 23!), and I’m over this hump and into “Holy cow, I feel like there should be more to do!” Everything we have left to do cannot be done until Thursday (wedding cake assembly) or Friday (picking up lunch for Saturday, dropping decorations off at the wedding venue, etc.). It feels a bit like the calm before the storm; I’m trying to savor these quiet days with my fiance, but the waiting has been painful! Best of luck to the other August and September brides brides out there!!!

    • Moe

      Just reading that your wedding is this Saturday made me anxious/excited. Kinda like a physical reaction to how I felt a few days before mine. Good luck & Congratualtions!!

    • macrain

      Good luck! You can do it!!

    • Griff

      Ours is this Saturday too, and I feel the same way. Everyone at work keeps asking me ‘how are you still here? Don’t you need to do things?” umm,…not really? Like you, we can’t do much more until Thursday/Friday prep sessions. Just check the weather and cross our fingers for sun, maybe put together a rehearsal dinner playlist?I feel pretty calm but also SO SO excited. Is this wedding zen? Can’t wait to Saturday. Best wishes for yours as well. :)

      • Blair

        I think this is wedding zen! I definitely have some butterflies (or is it the caffeine!?), but it’s a great feeling!

  • macrain

    It definitely feels like this wedding is taking over my life. We are nine weeks out, and I’m realizing how much actual work it is to accept help from people! (It’s like- would this have just been faster if I did it myself?) I also feel like i’m telling my mom “no” an awful lot, and being the people pleaser I am, it doesn’t feel good. She is helping and has all these ideas about the decor that I just don’t like. BUT- I’ve decided that if it’s not something that I really truly hate, but just sort of feel meh about, I’m just going to give in and let her do it. I think it’ll be sanity saving for me, and it’ll give her a sense that she gets to have some stuff that she likes. That’s not so bad, right?

    • Yep – I’m at this point with the fiancé – if I don’t hate it, then it’s happening. Only things I am violently opposed to a worth the stress. Oh did I mention we’re a year out? Sheesh this wedding planning stuff is full on!

    • Natalie

      I feel that way with my mom, too. She’s paying for the wedding, so I feel bad telling her “no” on things I think are wastes of money that she wants. But I don’t want her spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on things I don’t want at my wedding. I’ve started giving in on things I don’t want just to avoid the argument.

    • macaroni

      We’re about 7 weeks out (October 4th!!) and have reached that point as well. My stepmom has suddenly decided that we need to have an event THURSDAY night, for family getting in town. Because “all of her friends” did it. I tried a few times to change her mind, but eventually I said “You can do what you want. Let me know when we need to be there” and decided she could worry about planning it herself. If I think it’s unnecessary, and I’ve told you so, I’m not helping plan it. But I’ll participate happily!

      • KatherineD

        Woop October 4th bride here too!

        • macaroni

          Hells yeah! October is the best month, especially for weddings. And I love that 10.4.14 is basically a math problem. (I am a nerd.)

  • Kelly

    The best part about the homestretch (for us anyway), is that the to-do list finally keeps getting noticeably shorter. For a while it felt like every decision opened up a whole new can of worms and resulted in endless researching and indecision. In the last couple weeks, it felt great (and kind of surreal) to say, “Oh, yeah, I guess we finally have to make that decision about that thing…well I guess let’s just do x.” And then that’s it. Can of worms closed, even if it’s closed out of sheer frustration and fatigue.

  • B

    September 6th – me too! I completely understand! I’m starting to finally feel like this whole thing is real and I’m just excited for it to get here, which makes focussing on decoupaging table numbers a little harder to do.

  • Emily

    Ack, I just did the math and realized our wedding is less than 8 weeks away. The to-do list seems insurmountable. I feel like I can barely wrap my head around it enough to figure out how to do it myself — how am I supposed to understand things at a level where I can delegate it out to people?
    The things that I have delegated (decor to my mom, who is 700 miles away in my hometown/wedding location, and catering to my fiance, who is indeed helping with other stuff, but this is his big project) sit in the back of my mind stressing me out because I don’t know what’s happening and don’t have control.
    We’ve barely even started planning the ceremony and vows, which feels terrible. I always thought I’d be the type of bride to make that front and center, but here we are, ten months post-proposal and we have yet to dive in on planning the, you know, getting MARRIED part.
    I try to do the same thing — soothe myself by thinking of the honeymoon — but then I remember that we haven’t planned anything beyond booking the flights and AirBnBs. More to plan!! Not soothing.
    It’s mildly comforting to hear from other brides that the can of worms inside cans of worms stage does end, except when the terrified Emily in my brain (like the animated Lizzie McGuire) asks, But will it end for us?!?! Or will there just be worms everywhere at my wedding??

    …totally fine guys. Not freaking out at all.

    • Alyssa M

      ::internet stranger hugs:: I finally came out of my *fingers in ears* “lalala not LISTENING” stage this morning about getting wedding stuff done. (I’m around 6/7 weeks out and the last two weeks I’ve been rebelling) Now I’m right there with you.

      Worms everywhere.

      I will say, if you can sit down and focus/talk out the ceremony it may help your freak out. Cause once that’s planned and cemented, the worms are just decorations. It’s my stabilizer. “The ceremony is what matters, and thats happening regardless, if everything else fails, we’ll still be married.”

      • Emily

        Hahaha, oh man, that totally sounds like something I would do. You’re right though — we need to work on creating the foundation of the ceremony, and then everything else won’t sound so daunting.

        Good luck!!

    • Natalie

      I hear you! I stress out about not knowing what’s going on with the things I’m not in control of, too.

      I found that planning the ceremony has been really fun. We set aside date nights just for that. We cook dinner together, and after a glass of wine talk about what we want for the ceremony. It leads to all sort of lovey feelings and talking about how much we matter to each other. Some of the most romantic date nights we’ve had. Which reminds me, we need to schedule another date night to talk about writing our vows! Maybe that would work for you?

      • Emily

        I love that idea! Thank you, that will make it so much easier to get into the right frame of mind — planning the ceremony/writing vows shouldn’t just be another overwhelming task, it should be a romantic collaboration!

      • dearabbyp

        Ditto. We actually spent most of a very long car ride going over some of the articles from APW on wedding ceremonies so that we both understood the framework and I real aloud a few passages or readings that I had liked. We were both tearing up on I-5! I don’t think I’ll forget it.

        The rest was written over 30 minutes on our porch, drinking iced tea and playing dominos. We have maybe a few tweaks but didn’t start talking about the ceremony seriously until 2 months before. So don’t feel guilty!!

    • macaroni

      Are you getting married on October 4th? (Me too!!) And I totally feel you on this – I constantly feel like I’m behind, like there are a million things I should be doing re: the wedding. If it makes you feel any better, we hadn’t done ANYTHING regarding the ceremony until last night, and it was all thanks to my awesome fiance. We can do it!! Everything will be perfect, and if it isn’t perfect no one will notice. :)

      • Emily

        October 11th actually! So glad there are others out there feeling this… and that I’m not the only one who’s been slacking on ceremony prep! Seriously I feel so much better now. Thank you and good luck to you!!

        • macaroni

          You are so welcome! The APW comment threads have been such a relief for me when I feel like I’m not fulfilling some bridal “duty” that’s coming directly from the WIC.

          So much luck, best wishes, and congratulations to you!! Hope the next several weeks go as smoothly as possible. :) We’ll be there before you know it!

  • SarahG

    Visited our wedding website for the first time in months (after FMIL informed me that the info was all wrong… whoops) and The Knot graciously informed me that we have 40 days until our wedding. I am both glad to be in the home stretch, and completely freaked out. For some reason, my freaked out-ness is taking the form of stressing, hard, about how to make placecards for people. I mean, this can’t be that hard to do, but for some reason I’ve decided it’s going to be epic and I can’t do it and I’d better just go get another soft serve cone and think about it some more, but not actually do anything. (On a side note, if anybody has suggestions for making simple placecards out of regular stuff you have at home, please do… suggest away!).

    • Lawyerette510

      Hi SarahG, are you doing placecards sitting on the table/ in the place people are sitting, or escort cards all together?

      Either way, depending on how much crafting stuff you have at home, you could probably get it done with just a quick trip to a craft store (or some online shopping). We went to Michael’s and bought the very basic cards (we went for the kinda brown/ manilla color) and we stamped the front of the envelope with a stamp where we could write the family/ couple’s name and table number (it was a simpler version of this one
      Because our wedding was so small, we also wrote a note to each guest and placed it in the envelope. Then we put up butcher twine and used clothes pins to hang the notes all in a line between two trees.

      You could skip the envelopes and the notes, and just get some small plain note cards that fold in half and use markers in colors that make you happy to write the names on them and place them at people’s places or pin them onto a line or set them on a table. You can even just get card stock in a smaller size that you could fold in half, then it would stand up (if you cared about that) or cut into squares or rectangles.There are some good packs of colors and then you could just use a black pen/ marker (” x 6.5″)

      Or what about just cutting out squares on manilla folders or card stock and writing names on them like this tutorial?

      Or, getting some favor tags, and writing names on them and tucking them into the napkins or the like at the place setting?

      I found the escort cards to be one of my favorite projects because making the cards and the envelopes was meditative nearly, I could just sit there and stamp and fold and write names to my hearts content while listening to This American Life or Fresh Air.

      Good luck!

      • Katy

        Omg thank you! We are getting married August 30th, and we still need to do placecards. This is helpful! I’d say eff it, but with a small wedding, 3 tables and divorced parents we are assigning seats…

        • Lawyerette510

          Katy, I feel you! We had around 50 people, one group of conservative non-drinkers, then my parents who are divorced and preferred not to sit together, it was well worth the time to eliminate the potential source of in-the-moment stress.

      • SarahG

        OMG, thank you thank you thank you. THANK YOU!

        • Lawyerette510

          My pleasure! I also just had the thought of what about getting just the classic (and relatively cheap) place cards (or plain gift tags) and finding a rubber stamp you liked that you could just stamp beside each name?

          Also, if you’re going to shop at Michael’s go online and download coupons, they nearly always have 40% off coupons and the like.

          • SarahG

            You are a placecard genius. I like the stamp idea a lot — we have to indicate meal choice and table, so having some stamps for that would be awesome. Thanks!

          • Lawyerette510

            More thoughts on stamps: they aren’t the cheapest, so if you were looking to save, one thought would be to do same stamp but different colors to indicate meals, as stamp pads are pretty affordable.

            And, if anyone likes flag pennants, I used this tutorial to make a couple of them (I used a plastic version of the roller that I got on Amazon) and it worked great. I used it to make Thank You notes, to decorate the cards inside the envelopes we used as escort cards, and to decorate thank you gift wrapping.

    • Alyssa M

      I ended up opting out of place cards, but I had a pretty easy idea for it before that.

      These plain cards from michaels come in 40 packs for $10. Theyre already folded, stiff enough to stand up, and come in a multitude of neutrals.
      I like the black, because then you can use a paint pen in white and it would look like a chalkboard… and I love chalkboard. But it would look really classy with a metallic.

      • Natalie

        I bought those to label food items (we have LOTS of vegan or gluten-intolerant people). We’re doing a potluck dessert, so labeling everything clearly will be important. But they would be perfect for easy place cards.

      • Lawyerette510

        Those are the exact ones we used in the natural brown/ manilla color. They worked great.

    • sara g

      We got a package of Avery printable business cards for ~$13 at Office Max. They’re ivory and have nice rounded corners. Then we’re stringing some twine between two wood poles and clipping the place cards to it with teeny clothespins.
      We’re only assigning tables, so that makes it easier too.

    • Ragnhild

      I put washi tape on the programs/menus that lay on each plate, and wrote the persons name on the tape. Super quick if you already have some other paper goods you are using on the table.

      • ART

        We did something similar…actually our seats were numbered (long rect. tables pushed together, so about 20 seats per “table”) and I stamped a number in the corner of each menu, which were made from 1/3 sheets I had printed/cut at FedEx for like $2.50 total, then their escort card had their name and their seat number. It worked wonderfully.

    • neighborhoodmap

      We bought blank folding business cards from Vistaprint for our escort cards and for place cards at the head table (specificially, these: We’ll use the left overs to label the buffet for the special diets.

      They’re pre-cut with a guide line for where to fold them. Bonus, the one I linked to has a nice, subtle, neutral design. I’m handwriting guests’ names on front and stamping table numbers on the inside (all in gold, to go with the little flourish on the cards). Not to mention, you can get 250 of them for $30 (that’s full price — there’s a sale right now for $20!).

    • Ellen

      I bought place cards from PaperSource, did a mail merge with my “people who are coming” spreadsheet (which also, helpfully, included table numbers–these were escort and not place cards), and printed them on a home printer. Used different color star stickers to indicate pre-selected entrees.

      I’ll say that PaperSource’s template didn’t work particularly well for me (which I think was due to mail merge, really), so I built my own, but someone below references using Avery products, and Word should have mail merge templates built in for all of those. You’d need to buy the cards, of course, so not quite “regular stuff you have at home”, but certainly stuff that’s easy to acquire. Also, depending on how many you’ll have to do, printing will save a huge amount of time, and I found that picking a decent font and printing in dark blue (coordinated-ish with other printed materials) made them look nice enough to work for me.

  • BeeAssassin

    9/6 here too. Needed to read this today. There’s stuff on the excel to-do spreadsheet that I have started to willfully ignore. I’m perilously close to the “DGAF” stage. The one thing that I am forcing myself to deal with ASAP is food-related tasks (appetizers for cocktail hour so people don’t get wasted on an empty stomach, cake…which hasn’t even been ordered yet, vegetarian meals…for the 3 vegetarians on our invite list).

    • dearabbyp

      Not sure how your catering works, but we are doing buffet so I just emailed the “people with dietary restrictions” (veg, gluten, pork, etc) the menu and said, I think you’ll be able to find enough food here, if not, let me know. People were thankful for the heads up and then I didn’t have to plan something special unnecessarily.

      • BeeAssassin

        Good point, I have one gluten-free guest (celiac, so actual GF) person, and I’m concerned she won’t have anything to eat because soy sauce might be in almost all the food, so I should email her. The menu (modified Chinese wedding banquet) has enough variety for the pescaterians, the “only eat chicken” people, the “afraid of “ethnic food” people; but unfortunately, the vegetarians will have exactly one dish to eat out of 9 courses. I’m going crazy trying to figure out what to get them that will get them through the banquet at roughly the same pace as the rest of their table.

  • Alicia Landi

    I will never, ever, ever be nostalgic for the wedding planning process. Never. It was bot horrific but it was a lot of work and dedicated hours that I am totally happy to have back. It was, however, worth it because the wedding was amazing. That didn’t stop me from gleefully chucking out all of the accumulated crap that wedding planning for 2+ years resulted in. Fair warning: the wedding will be over but the clutter won’t disappear on its own. We have a closet full of mason jars and wedding gifts we don’t have room for in our tiny apt (but hope to someday whenever we own a house) and our wedding was 6 weeks ago. Give yourself some time to not look at the stuff for a little while, and then just deal with a bit of it every now and again.

    • ART

      Exactly. Our centerpieces are up on craigslist, but still physically in the garage. We’re not quite done washing and folding the tablecloths yet, but those are next. Being married has been a million times more fun than planning the wedding (though the wedding itself was amazing!)

  • sara g

    I’m in the home stretch too… wedding is August 30. I am simultaneously freaking out and totally not caring anymore. I keep having a desire to take on stupid little DIY projects that I totally don’t have time for.

    My god, I wish someone had told me pre-wedding planning that DIY does not equal easier, or cheaper. By the time you buy all the craft supplies, and spend all the time gluing or cutting or hammering or painting, and find somewhere to store all the crap while having to clean up messes and keep two very curious cats out of the hot glue… man. I mean, I love that we can point to aspects of our wedding and say “we made that!” But if I could go back and do it over, I’d be happy to throw money at more vendors instead of trying to do it all myself.

  • amalance

    YES. I am totally feeling this right now – the wedding is less than 8 weeks away and I’m starting to have panic about all of the loose ends that need to be wrapped up (and the frustration from just wanting to do stuff that I can’t actually do until it gets closer, but I have anxiety because I just want to GET IT DONE). I’m trying to remember why I’m doing all of this and keep the end goal in sight: the start of our lives together as a married couple, celebrating with friends and family. Though, to be honest, sometimes I just remind myself about the honeymoon and the thought of a beach vacation is enough to get me through the rough patches…

  • We’re not quite this close, although with a year and a half engagement, getting down to two months (exactly!) is making me feel a little panicky. Finally bought the fiance’s ring, although I still need to decide what I want for mine- I alternate between going with anything sounds good and seems reasonable (ie, willing to go with the first band that we saw a preview show for), and feeling the weight of the world rests upon these decisions, because they’re forever, which has led to me agonizing about the ring as well as over picking the perfect set of pans to put on the registry, etc. And if people actually buy us stuff, wheretf are we going to fit it in our 1 bd apt when we might move cross country within the next year?

    Right now, there’s a couple things bothering me as we move into the home stretch- 1) it can be very challenging sometimes to discuss wedding things with the fiance- we just care differently about different things, and while he’s perfectly willing to discuss the important things or discuss things if I make it easy for him (ie, we can try dancing to potential first dance songs, but I’ll be the one to make the list) but he’s never going to initiate any discussions and when I bring stuff up, its generally faced with I don’t care and just make a decision….which makes me never want to bring stuff up. He’s never going to take lead on getting anything done/making decisions and sometimes it feels really frustrating and isolating. So, we’ve done almost nothing in terms of the ceremony (he views it as basically a formality that people grumpily sit through so they can get to the party, whereas I think it’s pretty important and want it to be a personal “us” thing and I’m the kind of person who’ll get swept up in the emotion of a wedding for someone I barely know and start tearing up). A lot of it is that he just really doesn’t care about the details- he cares about the marriage and our relationship, but the wedding is definitely for me, and right now, I really feeling that. I think he’ll really enjoy the wedding day and is looking forward to it, but he has a much smaller family and is less close to friends- so the idea of the wedding as a celebration with your community is more of a my-centric community than a his-centric community. Almost no one from back home will be coming (he only bothered to send invites to five people outside his parents and best man, some of which he didn’t get the addresses early enough to send stds, so its not surprising, and I don’t think he’s disappointed about any of them not coming outside of his grandma figure who we’re going to skype in). He’s seen my extended family more often over the years we’ve dated than his (and my family is also a plane ride away), but I don’t think he’s at a point where he feels like they’re his people yet.
    2) I thought that I’d have accomplished a lot more by now than I have- this isn’t just with wedding-related stuff (although I thought I’d have more planned by now, like. a place to have the rehearsal dinner at), but also personal things. And it’s kinda getting to me- I thought I’d have cleaned out my closet of various things I shouldn’t have bought and have never worn – recovered from shopping issues and I want to sell that ish on ebay and build up some savings- minimal to no progress. And I’ve got me some body issues going on like woah- I’ve been overweight for years, but it’s really hard to match up what I look like with the feeling of “bride-ness,” and I always thought I’d manage to lose at least some of the weight before the wedding. Instead we’re at two months out, and I’ve managed to gain back a few of the pounds I’ve lost over the past year even though I’m pretty active (bike to work every day, run/dance a few times a week) and eat pretty well (but do love ice cream). I feel like these frustrations underlie a lot of my panicky feelings about not being ready for the wedding, and I’m worried that we’ll have gone through this whole process with all the time and money spent, and I’ll look back on the day and be disappointed. And I miss my mom. I know that it’s hard going through wedding planning with over-involved parents or strained relationships with parents, and that overall I’m extremely blessed- its been a little over four years, but man does the whole wedding planning thing make me miss her.

    • KH_Tas

      Not much in the way of intelligent advice, but solidarity on the ‘stuff on ebay front’. Right there with you. Deep sympathy on the feelings with your mom and fiance

    • JM

      I completely feel you about the fiance!! Obviously, we’re in love and that’s why we’re getting married. But we’ve been living together for 4+ years now, so not a whole lot is going to change. I want a wedding, because well, it’s a rite of passage and I know I’d look back with regret if I didn’t. But the FH doesn’t feel the same way at all. Every time I mention wedding stuff, he refuses to give me an opinion, saying that he thinks I’ll get mad if it’s not the right one. I just want an opinion, dammit! He expects me to rely fully on my BMs, which is hard, since they live out of town. Entirely frustrated with the entire thing. Happy to be entering into a new stage of life with FH, but I’ll be incredibly relieved when this whole process is over. I feel like the wedding planning has been poison to our relationship.

  • neighborhoodmap

    Thank you for this today. Just about a month out and I’m so very ready to just be married and never have to plan an event this large and daunting again.

  • Palumkin

    I could have written this article, I went through every single emotion described – (except my mother was MUCH worse). Married for a month now, and I will say as insanely stressed as I was until I walked into the rehearsal, the comparative calm at knowing it was done and I got to marry my husband and have a big party was a calm unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. But the RSVP thing?? Those people are still dead to me.

  • dearabbyp

    “There is a lot to do, not because it has to be done, or because the crafts and the catering are what make a wedding, but because this is what we decided we wanted at our wedding.”

    9.6 wedding too. Last night we made our lists of “necessary” and “unnecessary but want.” I’ve been pushing back on a “unnecessary and don’t want” pile — now nonexistent with 17 days to go.

    I woke up at 3a this morning with work-related anxiety and how to delegate stuff while I’m out for a blissful 6 days. Wrote my work list, and then FINALLY put in my flower order. One less thing to dither about!

  • Jess

    September 13th here and so ready for the planning to be over! Getting all the RSVP’s back has been a total nightmare but we finally have them all…only 10 days late.

    Question: Does anyone know of a good website to get free or cheap printable signs? I’ve been looking on Etsy for printable signs for the guest book, candy bar, cupcake table, etc and I feel like they look really easy to make and I shouldn’t waste the $5 a sign. Thoughts, advice, just buy the $5 printables and don’t waste my time? Thanks!

    • amunsell

      Try making your own at I am not usually a DIY kind of person and I don’t have an artistic bone in my body (I’m an engineer), and I am using that to make signs.

      • Jess

        Wow, you are my hero for showing me this! Thank you!

  • Kristy Rowe

    You’re amazing and gave me the morning feels. I’ve been looking forward to your wedding all year. No pressure ;)

  • Emily

    Thank you so so much. I’m also getting married September 6th! (must be a lucky date ;)) But I definitely needed this and you totally nailed exactly how I feel: anxious, excited, worried, happy, sad, all the feels all at once. Then I do exactly what you do which is worry and stress more about feeling any kind of negative emotion when I should be nothing but a blushing bride. Seriously thank you, even though I have an amazing fiancee reassuring me he’s scared too and that it’s perfectly fine to be, it makes me feel so much better hearing another bride is going through the same thing. Although I wish you nothing but happy thoughts and well wishes!!

  • Lindsay Rae

    October 4th over here – just feels like the roller coaster is climbing higher and higher away from the ground! Thank you for putting everything into perspective! Good luck in the home stretch and I’ll be thinking of you and Julie on September 6th!

  • Shir Leen

    thanks for the article. it really helps. i’m feeling super frustrated as well!