Planning a wedding isn’t a glamorous affair. Aside from the dress and honeymoon, it mostly consists of managing a bunch of spreadsheets and a bunch more people’s expectations, none of which make for particularly gripping conversation. At my company holiday party, for instance, a coworker asked how my bridal prep was going, and I mistakenly gave an honest answer: “Oh, fine—except I just found out I have to rent porta-potties. I’ll be spending a thousand dollars for my friends to poop! Can you imagine?” Apparently, she could imagine a bit too much and awkwardly pivoted toward the bar.
Another icebreaker sure to elicit uncomfortable silence? How the stress and isolation of wedding planning can be mentally and emotionally draining. But with a date looming in the distance, time for self-care can run scant, and procrastination or outright avoidance aren’t prudent options, either. So how can we keep ourselves sane (and even amused) amid the drudgery of address proofreading, hotel room block research, and ignoring unsolicited ceremony advice?
Granted, I host the women-centric podcast Stuff Mom Never Told You, so I’ve got some skin in this endorsement. But I’m also an off-hours fan who hangs out with my favorite podcast crews to the nerdy detriment of any Drake-unrelated music knowledge. Throughout hours spent hunched over my laptop scouring Pinterest, soliciting quotes, and building my registries, podcast hosts who could care less about my wedding have educated, entertained, and advised me all along. In the process, I’ve kept in closer touch with what’s going on in the world and pop culture that might’ve otherwise missed, as well as gained deeper insights on many of the taken-for-granted elements of weddings and marriage.
If you could use some podcast company as well, here are some of my favorite episode from the Stuff Mom Never Told You library and elsewhere, handpicked especially with fellow A Practical Wedding readers in mind. AKA…
Your ultimate wedding podcast playlist
From the Stuff Mom Never Told You Library
An Unbridled History of Bachelorette Parties (Stuff Mom Never Told You):
In 1904, Ladies Home Journal declared bridal showers a “new ritual,” but not until the swinging ’60s would bachelorette parties begin to take shape. The raucous, penis straw-sipping blowouts we think of today are a millennial invention attributed to women’s growing freedom outside the home. In this episode of Stuff Mom Never Told You, Cristen and Caroline explore the social and sexual symbolism of the rise of the bachelorette party.
The DIY Craft Revival (Stuff Mom Never Told You):
Who do we have to thank for today’s thriving DIY ethos and cottage economies? Riot grrrls. Cristen and Caroline explore how the crafting revival since the 1990s is interwoven with political activism, feminism, and entrepreneurial spirit.
The Basics of Bitch (Stuff Mom Never Told You):
The term “bridezilla” is just another way of dropping the b-word. And while no one enjoys a rude ’tude, weddings are open season on narrowly scrutinizing women’s opinions and attitudes. This Stuff Mom Never Told You history of the meaning and reclamation of “bitch” shines a glaring light on how the word emerged to punish women for stepping outside feminine gender boxes.
Mother-in-Law oR Monster-in-Law? (Stuff Mom Never Told You):
Perhaps the only wedding phrase worse than “bridezilla” is “monster-in-law,” no thanks to Jane Fonda. Cristen and Caroline unpack this familiar trope of the terrible, no good MIL. It turns out she’s realer than we’d like to admit, and evolution may be partially to blame.
The Anthropology of Pie (Stuff Mom Never Told You):
A sweet slice of history to pair with your wedding pie. Simple as that.
Baby Fever (Stuff Mom Never Told You):
There’s only one cure for this fever, and it’s a baby. Cristen and Caroline discover that so-called “baby fever” isn’t just a figment of our hysterical uteruses, and dudes can catch it, too.
Are gay households more egalitarian? (Stuff Mom Never Told You):
Spoiler alert: yes. Straight couples listen up to this Stuff Mom Never Told You chat because amazing things can happen when traditional gender roles fly out the window. And, yes, that includes not having to wash the dishes all the time.
From the Rest of the Podcasting World
What I Wore When I Got Married (What I Wore When):
When you’re a fashion designer like Cynthia Rowley, DIYing your wedding dress is probably a foregone conclusion. This intimate snapshot of Rowley’s wedding and particularly her attire is a refreshing reminder that what often stands out the most when we get married isn’t the fancy fashion or décor, but the fellowship. (Of course it doesn’t hurt to have designer’s budget to host a wedding fête either.)
Life as a Wife (Death, Sex & Money):
Death, Sex & Money host Anna Sale is one of the best podcasters and interviewers in the business, and the entire show is a must-listen as she zeroes in on the topics engaged and newlywed folks often need to talk about more. I regularly think about this episode’s frank discussion of the lingering cultural discomfort with female breadwinners and how the wifely role can feel ill fitting, especially if it’s never one you’ve envisioned for yourself.
Popaganda from Bitch Media is a feminist standby in my podcast queue, dissecting pop-relevant issues each month from intersectional perspectives. In this quickie, host and Stuff Mom Never Told You pal Sarah Mirk explores the unexpected history and politicizing of monogamy. Also a great episode to listen to alongside your partner to see what discussion it sparks.
Intersectionality and Queering Marriage (Intersection with Jamil Smith):
Speaking of intersectionality, this podcast hosted by the New Republic senior editor Jamil Smith offers important conversations every other week on race, gender and sexual orientation. In this episode, Smith and his guests apply that intersectional lens to marriage to discover how our various identities comingle within it, as well as how marriage often is a white privilege.
My Best Friend’s Wedding (Dear Sugar Radio):
Wild author and empathy queen Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond co-host this terrific advice podcast that will give you all the feels. This episode explores one of the most delicate aspects of getting married: when “I do” threatens the happily ever after of close friendships. With the help of author Ann Patchett, Strayed and Almond wisely sort out how jealousy and competition can comingle with friendly concern and how to prompt productive, BFF-enriching conversations instead of confrontations.
5 Show-Stopping Historical Weddings (Stuff You Missed in History Class):
If you think your wedding is a massive undertaking, you’ve still got nothing on Queen Victoria (whom we also have to thank for brides traditionally wearing white). In this classic episode of our sister podcast, Stuff You Missed in History Class, Sarah and Candace dish the opulence and intrigue of some of history’s most outrageous weddings that proved lavish weddings can’t buy blissful marriages.
A Practical Wedding Interview with Meg and WEDDING Q&A (Save The Date Podcast):
Looking for a place where APW and podcasts merge? Try this two-part episode arc from the Save The Date Podcast. Save The Date is a straightforward no-nonsense wedding podcast that’s all about searching for wedding chill. So basically, exactly why you’re here to begin with.
Did we miss one? Tell us your favorite wedding podcast in the comments.