Ah, wedding planning. Never has one process been so laden with expectation, expense and other people's opinions. Maybe it's because I've done it all before but I never wanted to try and achieve a Pinterest-perfect day. I was hoping I could avoid any planning-induced freak outs.* But freak out I did.
After Pete and I got engaged last August we decided to crack on with wedding planning. We knew we wanted to get married in 2016, it had to be in the school holidays, and we already had another close family wedding planned for the summer. So we started planning an Easter wedding (whilst reassuring everyone that, yes it was quick but no, I'm not pregnant). Plus added bonus: we're getting married on my 30th birthday, so only one cringeworthy celebration to plan!
Originally we wanted to have a traditional, 100- people strong guest list. I'd had a really small wedding (10 guests) first time around and I felt like I owed it to my family to do it 'properly' this time. For about a week this was really exciting, then reality started to hit. The freak out came. I didn't like the idea of 100 people looking at me, and the logistics seemed ridiculously complicated. Although I had been repeating the 'keep it simple' mantra to myself, it was all starting to get a bit out of control. I guess I felt like, if people are coming to a big wedding, they're going to expect something wedding-y. And, I'm going to say it, big wedding aren't cheap. Yes, we could have found the money, but it seemed ridiculous (to us anyway) to spend more on one day than we would on our next car. Before I knew it I was dreading the wedding. As in, actually crying about it every night. I think it's a big, unhelpful stereotype that all women dream of their big day, I was actually dreading it.
Eloping wasn't an option (Pete didn't want to- I would have) and I was worried my family and friends would be disappointed if I cut down the guestlist.
So what did we do? Well, we're still getting married! We found a compromise. Immediate family and very close friends only, giving us a total of 35 guests. It did lead to a couple of difficult decisions, and I really hope I haven't upset anyone too much. I hate upsetting people, but ultimately it wasn't worth putting myself under months of stress. There are some people I feel very close to that I just couldn't invite. Yes, weddings are about friends and family, but they are also about the couple and I think most people would agree it's better if the bride makes it to the wedding day alive and (relatively) sane.
As usually happens to me in these situations, everyone was far more understanding than I'd anticipated. This feels much more manageable, and the planning process has, for the most part, been pretty enjoyable. Having such a small, close group has allowed me to not really give a crap about the details. Goodbye, Pinterst! Goodbye, wedding magazines! I'm proud to say that my wedding day will not be very 'matchy', my invitations were brought off the shelf, there will be no favours, and I haven't made a fucking thing (except cake). It's ok to not have a sophisticated wedding, it's ok to not have a unique wedding, and it's ok to not be obsessed with the planning process.
That said, I did freak out again last week about everyone looking at me, so THANK FUCK we'd cut the numbers down! Ah well, it's my (birthday) party and I'll cry if I want to.
But you know what? It's only a wedding. It's one day. Marriage, now that's worth freaking out about....
*I'm not entirely sure why I wasn't expecting to freak out. I always freak out, about everything.