Is wedding planning this stressful for all couples?! Short answer: Yes, yes it is. Listen, planning a huge party is a big endeavor. Layered into that, is a LOT of money, a LOT of emotions and some crazy expectations. Family. Emotions. History. It can feel very weighted. It feels overwhelming. Totally normal! In this episode, Michelle and Christy share the experiences of some of our clients - past and present, and discuss the elements of wedding planning that seem to be universally stressful for couples. How can you manage it all? We’re here to help.
Here are the stress commonalities we discovered:
Venue: The is a very big decision when you are planning your wedding. Two main things are in play here - 1) The venue is often the biggest part of the budget. 2) You have to make this decision very early on in the planning process. Those two things are stressful by nature! Making a big decision like this will inform a lot of other decisions you have to make, so it’s a big deal. It feels like a big deal, and you may have to begin to hone your lifelong compromising skills at this point. The venue decision will set you on certain paths...the wedding date, the max amount of guests you can invite, even the style and theme. Our advice is to stay grounded. The best way to do that is to work out your budget ahead of time. Then stick to it and be realistic.
Budget: We all know talking about money is a no-no at dinner parties. Money is one of the main things married couples argue about. Not surprisingly, deciding how to spend your money is a huge stress for a lot of couples planning their wedding. When in doubt, try to make decisions on how you can best represent yourselves as a couple on your wedding day. Let your wedding reflect your couple-ness. Yes, couple-ness. It’s a made-up word and we love it.
Surprise Stress: Often, a ‘normal’, organized, ambitious, reasonable, adult human can turn into a crazed crying lunatic spinning out about a linen color, or a canceled florist appointment. We suggest yoga, taking ‘planning breaks’ and above all, keeping yourself and each other COOL. Stay connected. Keep your eye on the prize. It sounds pep-talky, but it’s legit advice for wedding planning!
Guest list: Compromising on the guest list - both size and specifically who to invite (and not invite) is a conflict that MANY couples find themselves locked in. Listen to our Guest list episode; we go into detail about how to organize and curate your perfect guest list. Spoiler alert - we suggest an A and B list.
Who is steering this ship anyway? The more people involved in planning your wedding, the messier if can be (the planning process, not the wedding itself. We know lots of couples have parents contributing financially to the wedding, and this often means that the parents reserve the right to invite who they want to, and to make decisions about the wedding that they otherwise wouldn’t be involved in.
Family drama happens with every wedding. Trust us. We validate you. You are not crazy. Everyone else is! (Kidding. But not kidding about how family drama being very common. Try to remember that emotions are high and it won’t always feel like this.)
Mini Rant: The decision to invite or not invite children to a wedding is a tough one for couples. Lots of factors go into this decision, and couples feel pressured to cater to their guests. Here’s our take: if you get an invitation that says ‘adult only’ (or the couple has made this clear in another way) - don’t push back. Don’t be an asshole. It’s rude to ask a host if you can bring your kid if kids aren’t invited. Period. The only exception is an infant that is on the boob. As an invited guest, figure out your own stuff for that night and don’t contact the couple about it. You RSVP yes or no - you don’t get to make the rules. Tbh - the same goes for plus-ones. If your boyfriend isn’t invited, don’t call the host/bride and try to bend the rules for yourself.
Links we referenced
Manly Bands! - https://manlybands.com. Remember to use the promo code TBWPP to get a 15% discount on any order!
Our Guest List Episode: http://www.thebigweddingplanningpodcast.com/the-guest-list
“How can we help? We’re here for you, buddy.” - Christy and Michelle, at your service
“Despite having been to many weddings in the last couple of years, he can’t seem to recall details. Like when toasts happen.” - Bride Listener 1, on how details seem to elude her fiance
“It’s the biggest decision, it’s the most expensive decision and it has to be done early on. It’s daunting!” - Christy, on picking a venue
“Shit gets real when they are going to hold your credit card for $9000.” Christy, on your venue budget
“My fiance’s stepmother is wearing white. And I’m like, are you F-ING KIDDING ME?” - Bride Listener 2, on how something becomes a big deal
“Tell your listeners, the moment I got engaged, I got a therapist.” - Bride Listener 3 dropping some GREAT advice
“This is a celebration of her love and she doesn’t want to look at a stranger’s face. She only wants the people that are most important to her!” - Michelle, about a bride dealing with very rude guests!
“It’s so hard to negotiate and compromise with your partner, with your parents, with your budget. The guest list is huge.” - Michelle, on how stressful a guestlist is for couples
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Let us know if you have any questions you need answered on the show or if you want to share your own wedding planning experiences!