I know, I know, I’m an accomplished woman who has more goals in life than “finding a man,” but getting married and throwing a wedding is really exciting! It may not have been something I’ve planned since I was little, but it’s still an important day for us and for our loved ones.
There are just so. many. decisions. Budget. Guest list. Vendors. Colors. Timeline. Save the Dates. Wedding dress. Tux. Attendant outfits. Accessories. Hair. Makeup. Decorations. Centerpieces. Flowers. Invitations. Ceremony. Food. Dessert. Favors. Music. Entertainment. Photos. Rings. Gifts for the bridal party. Rehearsal Dinner. Honeymoon. That’s not even everything we’ve had to consider. I am detail-oriented, but I get trapped figuring out all the details.
How did people plan weddings before the internet and online shopping? before Microsoft Excel spreadsheets? I swear we have 10 packages coming to us per week and have gone to Hobby Lobby and Michaels for decoration supplies countless times.
It all costs a pretty penny, no big surprise there. But for a girl who has never had her hair or makeup professionally done, there’s the sticker shock that top notch bridal makeup alone costs over $200.
The Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC) exists because people spend a lot of money on weddings. That also means that vendors have all this crap they want to sell you for your perfect, dream wedding. People really buy into that dream. The internet being the internet, everyone has their opinion on what your wedding needs to be like and shares it loudly.
I also get annoyed at the lack of diversity in the type of wedding style the WIC shows on the internet, considering how many choices there really are. Pinterest would have you believe that everyone wants a rustic wedding in a barn filled with wood slab centerpieces, mason jars, chalkboards, cutesy signs, metal pails, and lanterns. Your event won’t be complete without gold foil invitations written in a modern brush script, floral robes for your bridesmaids, and flower crowns. Cool for the couples that want it, but that stuff is expensive and that style is not me.
With all the wedding resources out there with their loud, commercial opinions, I found myself favoring just a couple of websites. I could only take Pinterest and The Knot in small doses with a heavy grain of salt. I really love the articles on A Practical Wedding, as well as the really helpful people in the comments section. Even though I’m mostly traditional, I also like some of the content on Offbeat Bride. For my wedding website, I liked the functionality and template choices on Wedding Wire.
When there is a lot of money at stake, and this is an event that a couple realistically only has one shot at hosting, of course you may question some of your decisions. Maybe we should have just done a small courthouse wedding, or just eloped without telling anyone. Just kidding. But we have second guessed such fundamental aspects as the city and state where we’re holding the wedding and the type of ceremony venue–not to knock the Catholic Church, but ya’ll don’t make wedding planning easy. I’ve second guessed the color of my wedding dress plenty of times. “Ivory looks so much more flattering and elegant than white,” they tell me, even though I have a winter skin tone and look better in pure white, in my opinion.
There’s a chance for future regret, too. Will we be happy with the vendors that we chose after I carefully vetted their online reviews? Let’s hope.
It will be a great wedding. Something will probably go wrong. Hey, it may rain, the officiant will get my name wrong, or maybe a child will throw a tantrum during dinner. I won’t care. The decisions have been made and it will be a fun, busy day, the day we get married. Hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy it and remember it.