Before: Wedding Stress

29 Aug

A bride on the phone a lot? Yep, that sounds like me right now.

Confessions of a Frazzled Bride

Today is one month exactly until my wedding day. And I can’t wait for it to be over.

Don’t get me wrong. I am overjoyed to be marrying the love of my life, my boyfriend of five and a half years, and beginning our life together. I’m looking forward to seeing all of my friends and family, to catching up with everyone, and to introducing all of the different groups to each other. As a bit of a wallflower, I’m also excited to be the belle of the ball and queen for a day! I have loved organizing things, learning about the planning process and building real teamwork skills with my fiancé, and I look forward to unveiling (pun intended) our “couple style” on the wedding day.

However, I’m also looking forward to having some spare time on my hands. I yearn for the time after the wedding when I can come home at the end of the day and just veg out in front of “Glee” rather than try to squeeze in some extra dance practice. I’m looking forward to not spending three evenings a week hitting the gym in a desperate attempt to lose weight before the big day. I want to have that fortnightly catch-up with my girlfriends over drinks, without feeling like it’s getting in the way of my precious wedding planning time. I dream of being able to fully concentrate at work, and not deal with wedding emails or use my lunchbreak to tick off more items on my wedding to-do list. I want to fall asleep without going over all the wedding tasks I need to do the next day.

There has, of course, been stress throughout the entire wedding planning process, and not just the final month. So many simple tasks took longer than anticipated. For example, I planned to borrow a petticoat hoop from a friend for my wedding gown, so the whole thing was sorted. When she was finally able to get the hoop from her parents’ house abroad for me to try on, we realised her hoop was for a mermaid-silhouette dress, and wouldn’t work with my A-line gown. I then visited loads of bridal stores looking for a hoop; most didn’t have them, or had them very expensively. It was six stores later before I found one with a reasonable pricetag.  Yeesh.
Or there was the search for a cake serving set for cutting the wedding cake. This began with our venue saying that they didn’t provide one. I then checked with my parents, grandma, bridesmaids, local friends and finally other friends who had recently married (all one by one while I waited for each to reply). I then searched online for a set; serving sets are also very expensive, so it again took a while to find the right one. In the end, one friend noted that it’s very odd our venue doesn’t provide one. So I asked the reception venue again… and now (under the regime of a new function manager) there suddenly was a cake serving set after all. Four, in fact.
Soooo many things have been like this throughout our wedding preparations. Things that should be easy take a long time and cause a lot of stress. I almost don’t notice the things that do manage to flow smoothly.

And then there is always the drama of politics and keeping people happy. First was my sister shouting at me because “sisters are automatically supposed to be bridesmaids!”, and then my mum kicking up a stink that my wedding gown and menu choice were “not very impressive”. Then the bridesmaids weren’t talking to each other, so I tried to intervene, and that (of course) made things worse. Even this weekend I was left in tears after I asked my parents if they’re attending our farewell breakfast, and my mother snipped “Everything about this wedding depends entirely on our health and whether or not I have a sore back!”, leaving me feeling like they don’t really care much about this wedding.

At least we seem to have got off lightly in terms of wedding politics, compared to some of the horror stories I’ve seen on bridal forums. Our parents never threatened to withdraw their money contribution to the wedding, and we weren’t driven to eloping simply to avoid all of the drama and power struggles.

My fiancé feels the same way about the big-day stress; in fact it was he who first said that he was looking forward to all this wedding business being over. I dismissed it as “typical things grooms say”, but after mulling it over for a few days I realised he is right. I’m looking forward to our relationship consisting of us, and not us-plus-this-massive-event-we-have-to-organize-and-all-the-people-we-have-to-deal-with-for-it. I’m super excited for our special day, but right now I guess you could say that I’m more looking forward to our marriage than to our wedding. Maybe the stress of planning a wedding is all to set you up to enjoy the marriage, and breathe a sigh of relief when that at last begins. And that’s probably the way it’s supposed to be. 🙂

I fly out to my home country (where the wedding will be held) in exactly two weeks, and our plan is to have all of the preparations wrapped up by then. That way, while I’m at home, I can focus on spending time with my family and friends (who I only get home to see every year and a half), and only do the absolutely necessary loose ends of wedding preparation while there. Let’s hope that our stress only lasts the next two weeks, until we get our heads above the proverbial wedding water.

Wish us luck!

How has your wedding planning process been in terms of stress levels? What has caused you the most stress in your preparations? How have you been dealing with it?

The bit I’m looking forward to. 🙂

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