Lesson Number 1:You WILL upset people. Oh yes, you WILL upset people. (I say in my best Wayne's World impression). See, I'm a huge people pleaser. I hate making people sad, mad or hurt. And I have quickly learned that when it comes to wedding planning, you cannot do everything right. Throughout the course of a year of wedding planning, I have upset many people, I am sure. And made many angry. I'd like to say that I haven't always cared how people have felt when I've had to make certain decisions, but that's totally not true. I care a whole lot. I don't want to tick anyone off or hurt anyone. But decisions had to be made. Who is in my bridal party? Will I upset this person if I don't ask them to do something during the ceremony? Will I upset my friends who have kids if I don't invite kids, because, let's be honest...food for weddings equals a lot of money. That was one of the reasons behind my decision not to invite past or current coworkers. Too many people, and I don't want to pick and choose at the risk of hurting others. Decisions had to be made. And I'm not going to lie...many of them have sucked. They just have.
Lesson Number 2:
Sometimes the things you want, you just won't get to have. I'm not going to go into what these things are exactly, but let's just say the little pieces during the ceremony that I thought would mean a lot to me have been vetoed by those who will not be named. Same with the reception. I personally wanted Buffalo Wild Wings to cater the reception with a keg of Guinness and my cake being Duncan Hines yellow moist with chocolate icing...but....that didn't happen.
Lesson Number 3:
Dude. Weddings are expensive. It is one hell of an industry they have. Everything costs money. Everything. Did you know there is a fee to cut the cake? Seriously? Wouldn't one assume that if you buy the cake from somewhere, they'd just cut it for free? No, no, they don't do that. It'll be $75. The dresses, the food, the postage to mail the save the dates, the postage to mail the invitations, the postage to put on the RSVPs that people don't seem to want to return...it all costs money. My parents are actually footing the bill for this ceremony, and I feel so so bad about it. It's a lot of money. I feel like they should just take this out of my inheritance or something because it doesn't seem fair to them. That, and it seriously makes me question my career choice. Possibly I should have considered something in the wedding planning industry. It seems pretty lucrative. Oh wait...that's right...I hate planning events. Scratch that. I'll keep my job.
Lesson Number 4:
Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has been to a wedding for so-and-so's son or cousin, and they think that you should do it this way, or play this song, or you shouldn't have a receiving line or you should have receiving line or you shouldn't have a receiving line. Oh you should have chair covers, or no, you shouldn't. It kind of goes to the same lesson #2 that you don't always get what you want. I wanted to walk down the aisle to the Ave Maria, but I got that one nixed several times by several people because that's not what they played at this person's wedding or so-and-so's wedding. It's quite frustrating.
Lesson Number 5:
The ceremony is about you, but the reception really is about your guests. This one took T a bit of learning...coming up with what we wanted to do at our reception, I kept reminding him that we are throwing this reception as a thank you to our guests for coming to our wedding. It's about them, not us. The ceremony and the honeymoon...those babies are ours and ours alone. Yes, we'll have a blast at our reception, but I really care more about others having fun at the reception and remembering our wedding as a fun and beautiful night. (Do I think they'll remember the chair covers? No, I don't...but that's another story for another blog post)
Lesson Number 6:
I have more I could come up with, but I'll end with this one. It's the most important one. You must never EVER let the wedding planning take away from the whole point of it all. It's about the love you share. You must never lose sight of the fact that you're doing this, you're taking this huge step in front of all you love and care about, because you love each other so much you have decided to say, yes, I will spend the rest of my life with this person. Sure, there have been moments in the midst of this planning where T probably thought I was crazy, and yes, there were probably moments when I said "why doesn't he care what color the ribbons are that go on the chair covers? Why doesn't he care about the font on our invitations?" But through it all, I think T and I have been good at keeping the eye on the prize, which is each other. Every time I'm going nutty, he tells me "think of Dublin" and that calms me down. That will be us...we will just get to spend a week together, no worries, to take a deep breath, step back and revel in the love that we share. I think too many brides lose sight of this and focus only on that day. I want to focus on everything that follows that day - the rest of our lives together. That's why I'm saying yes to this man. And that's what truly matters.