Congratulations! You’ve just been hired to do a job you are completely unqualified for… Best of luck! I mean… What if that really was the case? What if you were hired to do a job in which you lacked the appropriate credentials and connections to be successful? Sounds awful, right? And, why the fuck would you accept that kind of responsibility knowingly? Well, for most of you, I just described the minute after you told your friends and family you about your engagement. Yup! Your engagement and plans to betroth has just become your brand new, shiny job; one that has you completely ecstatic, and terrified at the same time. One that looks good on paper, but can totally suck and suck the life out of you at the same time. Bridey, welcome to the most unqualified time in your life (well, unless you’re already a parent!!). Welcome to your engagement!
I know, I know, I’m a bitch for ruining the moment, and I hate to rain on your sparkly, bridal parade, but better you have some warning about the next step as opposed to thinking that this experience is going to be 100% rainbows and unicorns. I meet very few brides who are totally excited and ready for the task at hand. Because planning a wedding is a lot of work and takes a lot of commitment. And, the brides that are totally onboard, are usually an event planner, a spreadsheet whore or a control freak (that doesn’t end so well) who has some serious issues with pretty much every stage of the game. So, where does that leave you? Don’t worry, bridey, you’ll be fine. Just allow me to educate you a bit…
Last year, I wrote a piece called, Why Planning Your Wedding Actually IS a Full Time Job, and one of the primary points highlighted in the article isn’t the actual planning of the wedding, it’s more about the anxiety and feelings of inadequacy when it comes to family dynamics and money. For some you, these are issues you may deal with daily, but when you are planning your wedding, they become intensified and daunting. And kind of like a new job (qualified or not), you’re faced with new situations, tons of decisions and several conversations that feel uncomfortable and borderline risky. Risky? Yes, risky. Because with each decision, your psyche fucks with you, and tells you that you’re risking the budget or that you’re risking the delicate equilibrium that is your immediate family or that you’re risking your friendships… And the thing is, bridey, you can’t quit. You can’t decide not to move forward. (Well, unless you’re me. I eloped, but that came with it’s own set consequences.) But, you can persevere.
How? Here are a few quick suggestions:
1. Cut yourself some some fucking slack! You’ve never done this before (well, most of you haven’t), and there is no need to be so hard on yourself. Take your time, filter out the naysayers and the noise, put your head down and just do it. Oh, and… See #2.
2. Surround yourself with professionals. PERIOD. I’ve said it a million times, bridey! But, if you don’t know what you’re doing, then hire people who do. We don’t hesitate to do this for every other facet of our lives, so why should your wedding planning be any different? Wedding professionals like planners, gifted photographers, etc. will walk you though the tough decisions, and advise you when you’re stuck. So, put some extra dough in the budget and consider it your “piece of mind” fund.
3. Avoid the 3 Ps…. the 3 Ps. Pressure, precedence and perfection. They all suck, and most of the time they are usually self-induced. So let it go…
4. Be honest with your fiancé, yourself and your family. AT THE BEGINNING. Don’t leave room for “risky" behavior to butt in… Even in a job that has you feeling insecure, honesty really is the best policy.
5. Please have fun. I mean, it’s not fun a lot of the time, but this industry and wedding planning have become synonymous with fucking rainbows, unicorns, glitter and cupcakes… So, when you come across one of those things, enjoy it.
So, bridey, are you going to quit this terrible job that your 100% unqualified for? Fuck no you’re not! You’re going to plow through, and own it because if nothing else, it will get you ready for another job you may not be 100% qualified for… Marriage.