Look out for these three engagement downers

Planning Everyone (well, at least mainstream fiction, magazines, television shows and parts of the internet) would have you believe that your wedding was the very highlight of your time here on Planet Earth. It’s 24 hours that totally belong only to YOU, where everyone is focusing all of their attention on you and your beloved as the stars of show, the royalty receiving humble bows from your loyal subjects.

So how could the decision to start planning a wedding (however it came about, through a casual sofa conversation mid-Netflix binge or through a super-romantic proposal) be unpleasant or hard in any way, right?

Yeeeah, like much in life, reality is nothing like how we’re told it will be. But honestly, that’s okay and actually for the best. And we’re betting your engagement and wedding planning will have some truly awesome moments, like any stage of life.

The first thing that we need to acknowledge the heck out of is that most of us are doing this for the first time, and it’s a new world. And even if this isn’t your first rodeo, the world of wedding planning moves fast, so it’s easy to feel bombarded with ‘must’s and ‘should’s, all while on a huge rollercoaster of emotion and decision-making and budget-keeping.

And every time someone asks us how it’s all going, we feel compelled to throw our hands up and whoop manically, as if posing for the mid-ride camera on an actual rollercoaster, when secretly we may be fearing for our sanity and wondering if the wheels are about to come off the whole thing and fling us into the sun.

But bear in mind, new planners, that we’re all in the same boat, or rather log flume carriage, to continue the above theme park analogy.

And we’re all experiencing similar shizz along the way. Here’s our top three.

1. Already over budget
Yikes. It’s how much?! Now, if you had a figure in mind and your venue quotations have already bust right through that, you’re not alone. It’s very hard to mentally tot up all the bits and pieces and then scale it up to cater to all of your loved ones.

Which means that the figure we guess at when we first start wedding planning isn’t necessarily anything like the end result!

But that’s okay. Sometimes a scary figure from our supposedly ‘dream’ venue actually forces us to consider what is actually important to us, and as a result we decide to have a more compact, relaxed, simpler wedding that feels so much more like us, and actually brings us in under our initial budget.

Or… could be the opposite direction financially… but don’t beat yourself up and adjust your lead-up timeline to accommodate your expenses. The time will fly by anyway.

2. Requests
The BEST (read: WORST) example of this is requests from guests who aren’t actually invited! But aside from this, you’ve got the guests who think you have the ability, time, energy and money to cater specifically to their whim. ‘I’ll only sit next to Jimmy!’ they cry, or ‘I only eat fish fingers and curry sauce’.

We’re not suggesting your coeliac niece should suck it up and chow down on hotdog buns, nuh uh. But do ask yourself, upon receiving this request or any pressure to go out of your way to accommodate anyone, will it hurt anyone if you didn’t accommodate them?

Sure, you could extend ‘hurt’ to include severely stressing someone out, if you wish. Or to making someone very uncomfortable. But remember that moving outside our comfort zones is sometimes what makes us grow, and that our guests should be able to adapt to and embrace something a little different.

3. Unsolicited advice
Including divorce stats. Er, thanks guys! As if that kind of data isn’t readily available and well known to all with the internet or a TV. But aside from telling us something we already know, it’s not really in
the spirit of your getting-married news, is it?

And then there’s all the ‘If I were you’s. But you’re not them, are you? ‘I wouldn’t get married in Autumn… too many rain showers’… ‘You can’t just have a buffet – that’s not a proper reception’ (HA!) … ‘You’ve been living together so you can’t wear white’ …

You’ll be surprised about the range and craziness of the ‘helpful’ suggestions, sometimes disguised as assumptions, as if having a wedding without said feature would just be… unthinkable, Cynthia.

You know what rules these pieces of advice? FEAR. People worry your wedding won’t feel ‘proper’ – to you, to them, to bystanders. Eff that, ladies and gents. If your wedding is how you want it, it’s the perfect wedding for you. So nod and thank the person and then do whatever you want anyway.

So how do you combat these engagement downers? In the same way you’d destress from any other stress or general crap, really. But it might help to enlist a free-spirited, likeminded buddy as a friendly ear. Someone who’s already been through it would be ideal – although to be honest, anyone with empathy is a good start!

So, enough from us. How are you beautiful people neutralising your downers so you can still enjoy the many good moments of your engagement / wedding planning?

Tags: advice, guests, engagement, proposal, planning

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