I was never one of those women who dreamed about her wedding day. I never fantasised about going to bridal shops to try on wedding dresses or having a colour-coded organiser that I could fill with appointments like venue viewings and cake tastings.
So when I found myself neck-deep in wedding planning a bit over a year ago, it didn’t come as much of a surprise that I disliked it.
That’s right, I hated planning my wedding.
I found the whole process time-consuming, expensive and difficult.
Don’t get me wrong, the wedding day itself came together nicely and we had fun. And I was fortunate that my fiancé was incredibly hands-on with helping to plan it all.
But would I again put myself through the miseries that come with the wedding planning process? Absolutely not.
My husband and I recently reached our one-year wedding anniversary and it was around this time that I noticed I was feeling anxious, and I couldn’t understand why. It was the Christmas holidays, I had time off work to take things slower and relax. Yet, I was a ball of nervous energy.
Then it dawned on me that I’d spent the previous festive period frantically running around sorting out last-minute logistics for the wedding, attending appointments almost daily and liaising with more people than I could poke a stick at.
I was getting flashbacks from exactly a year prior, and somehow that nervous energy had become something that I associated with this time of year. It seems the wedding planning process had left me slightly traumatised.
I’m sure you’re thinking I’m being overly pessimistic and that with a more positive outlook I could reflect on the experience with delight.
But the truth is, I simply didn’t enjoy wedding planning. And I felt incredibly alone. Surely I wasn’t the only bride that felt this way.
That’s why I’ve now decided to share my experience so we can commiserate. Or for those who are yet to get married, perhaps you can learn a thing or two from my experience.
Here’s why I hated planning my wedding:
You realise your wedding is not at all about you
When I first started planning our wedding, I thought of all the things we’d like to incorporate into the day that we liked and enjoyed.
Then the focus shifted to how our guests would enjoy the day and what it would be like for them to experience our wedding.
What followed was a series of decisions that were made in the interest of our guests only, to ensure they would have a good time at our wedding.
Everything from selecting a varied menu, to the flow of the room, to the choice of music, to activities to keep guests entertained, and incorporating kids and dogs if you’re so inclined, were decisions made with our guests in mind.
Of course, I wanted my guests to have a good time, and I’m personally not someone who likes to be the centre of attention, but I did think the focus of our wedding would be more around my and my husband’s enjoyment.
I came to the conclusion that our wedding was not at all about me and my husband-to-be.
People play up
I don’t know why but weddings seem to bring out the crazy in people. At least in my experience this is what happened.
As the organiser of my own event, I made plans and decisions and schedules in the hopes that those around me could easily slot themselves in.
I learned that while I did my best to make plans for people, it didn’t always mean that they would follow those plans.
Anyone who has been a manager will know that people won’t always do what they’re told, and a wedding is no different despite how much you’d like it to be.
Be prepared for people to turn up late or not show up at all, and they won’t always follow instructions.
Spare time doesn’t exist
When I was planning my wedding, I found that my precious little pockets of leisure time quickly become filled with the items on my ever growing to-do list.
There was the drudgery of budgeting, the extensive paperwork, the endless hours spent sourcing suppliers, the time-suck that is chasing RSVPs. All the emails, phone calls, text messages, invoices and admin quickly became my new full time job.
Throughout the wedding planning process, I recall often wanting to have my old life back. I wanted to reclaim my weekends and evenings after work to focus on my creative projects, get back on track with exercising, or simply have a quiet moment to sit on the couch and do nothing.
When the wedding was done and dusted, I felt like I had so much time on my hands. It took me several weeks to get used to the fact that I could enjoy this leisure time, without feeling like I had to fill it with doing something productive.
It was exhausting
My husband and I slept through the first four days of our honeymoon. This is no exaggeration.
Our getaway went something like this: Sleep in until well after midday, wake in an afternoon haze, decide to get up and shower and actually leave the room because we were hungry, eat lunch at some weird hour like 4pm, head back to the room, crash out again at an extremely early bedtime. Rinse and repeat for four days straight.
We were exhausted, in all senses of the word.
I suppose after a year of making big decisions, putting out fires, stressing about spending insane amounts of money on one day of your life, on top of working full time, it would leave anyone feeling exhausted.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Did you enjoy planning your wedding? Or were you happy for it to be over with? How did you overcome any disasters? I’d love to hear your story, so be sure to share it in the comments section below.