Wedding

There Is a Lot of Pressure When You Get Engaged

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After you say “Yes” to the question “Will you marry me?,” be prepared to answer a lot more questions. And I mean A LOT. The second you tell someone that you’re engaged they will immediately start asking a million questions.

Some are fun to answer: “How did he do it?” “Can I see the ring?” “Were you surprised?”

Some will fill you with immediate dread because holy hell you don’t even know the answer to them. No, I do not know when we’re getting married. No, I do not know where we’re getting married. No, I do not know what color dresses my bridesmaids will wear. I just got engaged Aunt Lucy, take it down a notch.

After the high of getting engaged wears off, it is time to start thinking about what you want to do. And you start to realize that what you want does not always align with everyone else. Many people in your life don’t want to hear that you’re not sure you want to have a wedding. You might as well spit in your mom’s face cause it’s basically just as disrespectful. People expect a wedding even though they are not the ones paying for it.

And even if you thought you didn’t want a wedding, it’s hard not to get caught up in it all. The venues, the dresses, the flowers. It is all very magical. But do you know what else it is? SO. FRIGGEN. EXPENSIVE!

We all know weddings are expensive. But I never realized quite how expensive everything can be until I started looking at venues/vendors. Even when you cut out some of the unnecessary stuff like save the dates (I think save the dates are so ridiculous. I won’t get into it now, we’ll save that rant for another post) and thousands of dollars on flower arrangements, things still add up quickly.

If you decide to have a wedding, there are certain things you can’t cheap out on. Sure guests are not going to notice if your flower arch at the altar doesn’t have the highest quality flowers, but they will notice if you run out of drinks. If I do have a wedding and invite people, the most important thing for me is that they have a good time. Have you ever gone to a cash bar wedding or even worse, a dry wedding? I haven’t because if I did, there would have been several posts on this blog written by me bitching about how horrible the wedding was. I probably would have convinced a few of my friends to guest blog so they could give their input about how horrible of a wedding it was. I want my wedding to be a party for everyone so I wouldn’t want to cheap out on food, alcohol, and music.

And speaking of everyone, deciding who to invite and who not to invite to a wedding is all sorts of stressful. My dad’s side of the family is big. He has three sisters and two brothers, and they all have children. All of those children are older and most of them have significant others. In my opinion, it seems pretty harsh to pick and choose between aunts/uncles and cousins. Either you invite them all or you invite none. You won’t realize how many distant relatives you have until you get engaged. Your parents will insist you have to invite your second cousin’s aunt once removed.

I know a few people in recent years who have opted out of a big wedding altogether and just went down to city hall to get married. And I don’t blame them. I’m starting to think they have the right idea. No fuss, just your closest friends and family there, and the focus is on you and your spouse committing to one another.

No matter where you are in the wedding planning process, just remember to take a step back and breathe. You’re going to get pressure from your friends, family and even yourself. Try not to let it stress you out too much. Focus on what the wedding really means: you marrying the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with.

*And yes this post does mean that yours truly has gotten engaged. It happened about a month ago and I couldn’t wait to share it with all my blogging friends! And whether we decide to go big or small, I’ll be sure to bring you all along with me every step of the way.

I Love You But I Don’t Want to be Your Bridesmaid

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I’m going to stop you right now before you have a chance to even think it: No, this is not one of those “woe is me, always a bridesmaid, never a bride” sort of rants. So far in my life I have only been a bridesmaid once, and I was so ridiculously happy for the bride. It was my older sister. Sharing in her special day and seeing her marry the man of her dreams was one of the happiest moments of my life. I have a few really good friends who I hope one day will be able to marry the man of their dreams.

The only thing that worries me? I know I’ll be asked to be a bridesmaid, which petrifies me and my bank account. Having a wedding party is on a long list of wedding traditions people follow though they are not sure why. The idea of bridesmaids and groomsmen likely dates back to Roman Law when ten witnesses dressed in identical clothing were needed to outsmart evil spirits. I had a handful of duties at my sister’s wedding and not a single one involved performing an exorcism.

I am completely fine with the idea that bridesmaids are there to help the bride and make sure the wedding goes smoothly. When my sister got married, I was there to make sure she was as least stressed out as she could be. I gladly fetched her drinks and food, and made sure her hair and make-up looked perfect. I’ll gladly be there for my friends when they walk down the aisle as well. It’s the add-ons that have been come excruciatingly more expensive and expected that I tend to have a problem with.

Here’s the real truth when someone asks you to be a bridesmaid. The bride will be picking out a dress that you need to wear to her wedding. You will be paying for this dress. Then you really should get your hair and make-up done. Again, this is something that you will need to pay for. The bridal shower? You’ll spend the time and money planning that. And don’t forget the bachelorette party! If your savings aren’t already depleted by then, don’t forget that you will still have to get a gift.

Of course, there is always the option to decline but that is easier said than done. It’s not easy to tell a friend you grew up with “no” when they ask you to be in their wedding party. There are plenty of things about the wedding industry and “traditional” weddings that need to be changed and this is one of the main things. A friendship should not be strained because one friend simply does not know if she has the time or money to be a bridesmaid. That is not what friendship is about and it shouldn’t be measured by how extravagant of a shower you were thrown.

So my friends, if I ever do get married, know that I love you very much. In fact I love you enough to not ask you to be in my wedding party.