Monday, February 6, 2012

Unsolicited Advice for Brides-to-Be: You Don't Have To Decide What You Want to Do Right Away

Nathan and I got engaged on July 13, 2010, and we got married one year later on July 23, 2011.  We had a wedding with approximately 100 guests, but we did not decide to have that wedding until January 2011 - six months after we got engaged, and six months before I walked down the aisle.

During the first six months of our engagement, our wedding plans changed about a dozen times.  We were going to have a wedding, no wait, we were going to elope.  We were going to have a very small wedding, and then a big reception after the honeymoon.  No, wait, let's just have the wedding.  No, wait, let's elope.  Shit!

Nathan wanted to do whatever I wanted to do.  This is every bride's dream except... I had no idea what I wanted!  Before the proposal, I knew I wanted to spend my life with Nathan, but I had given almost zero thought to the wedding itself.

As a little girl, I never dreamed about my wedding.  I didn't stage weddings for my stuffed animals or draw pictures of brides.  My stuffed animals were usually stranded on a desert island and trying to escape from an evil witch; and in the second grade, I was obsessed with drawing haunted mansions.  

By the time Nathan proposed, I had been to many weddings and I had some idea about what I would want to do if I had a wedding.  But I had not given any thought to whether I wanted a big wedding, no wedding, or something in between.

I needed time to wrap my mind around all the options and decide what option was best for us.  But from the day we got engaged, everyone wanted to know what we were doing.  They were especially interested in the when and the where.  For me, it was overwhelming.  I felt obligated to decide all of the logistics for our wedding just because people wanted to know.  In the rush to make a decision, we came dangerously close to getting married by an Elvis impersonator in Vegas.  (Seriously, for three days in November 2010, that was the plan). 

In retrospect, I realize it was okay to take some time to mull over the decision.  But at the time, I felt bad that I hadn't planned my dream wedding when I was five years old.  Spucky, if you know what you want your wedding to be like from the moment you get engaged, that's awesome.  But if you don't, that is also awesome.  If you want to elope and get married by Elvis, please take lots of photos. But don't get married by Elvis just because you feel pressured to make a decision.

Spucky, I am writing these blog posts to share my wedding advice with you.  But I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize.  When you get engaged, I will be bat shit crazy excited and I will want to know what you are doing, immediately.  I'm sorry!  I will be obnoxiously excited because I love you.  I will want to know all of the wedding details so I can mark my calendar and block out the entire month before your nuptials for errands, pedicures and meltdowns. 

But if you need a few days, weeks, or months to decide how you want to get married, give yourself that time.  It's not like you are buying a pair of shoes.  You are planning your wedding.  You and your groom should not make a decision about your wedding just for the sake of making a decision.     

I got married in July 2011, and now I have lots of opinions about weddings.  My baby sister Katherine (aka Spucky) is ten years younger than me.  Someday, she will get engaged and I will want to go into crazy big sister mode and inundate her with advice.  Instead, I'm writing these blog posts so when she gets engaged, she can read (or not read) my advice at her leisure.