Disclaimer: So yea, I’m going to talk about depression and I know that word can mean different things to different people and it can cause lots of very strong opinions, but I just want to recognize that everyone’s journey is unique to them and I only speak for myself. Cool.
Scotland April 2012
Throughout my year of wedding planning I was well aware of and well equipped to handle post wedding depression. I had read about it, heard first hand experiences about it, and had personally experienced the feeling of loss that can overtake one after something exciting ends (in my case, when I show I was performing in closed, it always left me a little sad). I was doing everything right to combat post wedding depression. I kept my friendships active, I planned for events post-wedding, and I reminded myself that there would be many exciting life events to look forward to with Mr. Sword.
Fortunately, I don’t feel any PWD (yay)! I loved our wedding day; I’m grateful it went so well and I’m happy to be married to the love of my life. But it turns out I was preparing for the wrong thing…
We tend to lose a few things during the wedding planning process, but of all the things I’ve lost (free time, spending money, quality sleep, eating whatever I want), I think I miss my self-esteem the most of all.
I’m sorry, but I’m going to talk about body image. I don’t want to, but I need to get this out somewhere and I figure this is the most ideal place.
Last week I picked up my dress for the rehearsal dinner and not only did it not fit, but the shotty zipper broke while they were trying to get me in and then out of it. Talk about depressing. I’ve now had TWO horrible first experiences with ordered dresses and I’m pretty frustrated/annoyed with my body.
This is a 200+ dollar bridesmaid dress from a shop* in downtown Chicago. I wouldn’t normally spend so much on a rehearsal dinner dress but it was a gift from Boss Lady. During the summer of 2012 Boss Lady bid on a gift card to this shop and won! We didn’t have time to go shopping until this past January and we brought Littlest C with us to try on their flower girl dresses as well. I had Littlest C take a few photos of some of the dresses we looked at that evening.
Hive, I’ve been struggling the past few weeks with this wedding planning stuff. As we inch closer and closer to the wedding day (we’re 45 days out now), I’m starting to feel suffocated by all of the wedding-related things we still have to do. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m like the world’s worst procrastinator. That being said, a word to the wise: procrastinating might work well enough in college, but it doesn’t work too well with wedding planning. Fellow procrastinators, please heed my warning.
How bad have I procrastinated, you ask? Well, I just booked our cake baker YESTERDAY. I still haven’t booked a florist. We haven’t ordered table linens or dinnerware yet. We’ve yet to make rehearsal or rehearsal dinner plans. And the unfinished ruby slipper sitting on the bookshelf in my living room is about as fun as having a sty in my eye. We’re supposed to meet with our officiant sometime in February to plan out the ceremony details, but we haven’t even finalized the day we’re meeting yet. I have something like fifteen DIY projects still on my wedding to-do list. And to top it all off, I start a new (full-time!) job on Tuesday, which is the day after my mom gets home from the hospital after having surgery to get a pesky kidney stone removed.
And while we’re at it, Mr. A and I are in the process of setting up house in an apartment, and we’ve been busy buying furniture and planning out all of the lovely things that come with that, like setting up utilities and finding an internet provider, etc. I wish so badly that I’d taken care of more of this wedding planning stuff when I didn’t have so many other things on my plate, especially since we’ve been engaged for almost 18 months. I keep mentally kicking myself for all of those wasted days this past summer when I had an ample amount of free time to do all of the little DIY projects I’ve been planning. Now that we’re down to the wire, I’m seriously feeling like I need to cut out a bunch of the little details I’d planned on doing just for the sake of keeping my sanity.
I know a lot of people hate the term “bridezilla.” I’m not sure I actually like it, so let’s change it to “crazy bride,” shall we?.
What I enjoyed most about the book is that I am sure that if I had read it in any other time of my life, I would have found it ridiculous, hilarious and a bit silly—how on earth did this woman make such a big deal out of flowers? However, since I read it in the last stretch of my wedding planning journey, I felt related to this girl. I felt her pain, understood her struggles and felt compassion for her situation—Why do you care? Let her have the darn flowers she wants!
And then it hit me…how much of a crazy bride I had been. I realized how Mr. Toadstool and my family (especially my mom) let me have my way more than once in order to preserve peace in the universe; how they put up with my crazy ideas and my mood swings (I get very cranky when I am stressed out), in the hope that after the wedding it will all get better.
But why do we become crazy brides? I firmly believe we’re unconsciously pushed into it.
Warning: This is a text-heavy post! Suggested reading times include while sipping your favorite morning beverage, on your lunch break, or at home on the couch.
So last Thursday we hit the big milestone of 100 days until our wedding and it got me thinking about all the things left to do on my list, my relationship with Mr. Sword, my sanity and my future. Does anyone get affected by milestones in this way?
It also made me think about our invitations, but that’s probably because I mailed them out that same day, yay! A bit early yes, but I’m trying to beat the holiday gifts/cards scramble and while some Chicago friends have already received theirs, I know the Scottish folk won’t get theirs for a week or so.
For those of you in the last few months or even weeks (eee!) of wedding planning, here is a mental health check list to assess how things are going. For those of you already married, how did you feel around the 100 day mark?
First up, Logistics:
Do you have all major vendors booked and reserved for the big day?
As a bride-to-be who hates procrastinating and has been told multiple times that I’m way ahead on everything (why is that a bad thing?), yes, I have all my vendors booked. I should probably check in with some of them though!
Do you have time set aside or scheduled to finish up DIY projects and things that can’t be done until the RSVP’s come back?
Yes, I’m spending a week and a half in Minnesota over Christmas and I plan to check a lot of things off my list then! I also plan on tackling our seating chart in mid February.
Are you starting to think about gifts for your bridal party, parents, and other important people?
One element of wedding planning that people always bring up is how stressful it is. It’s what turns sane women into raving lunatics like the ones you see on Bridezillas. For the first 13 months of our engagement, I was happy that I didn’t really experience much wedding stress. Mr. T and I did a good job effectively managing the to-do list and keeping things in perspective.
This last month, I have not been as good at it. I think it’s just the time crunch, but wedding planning has taken over my life. Planning a wedding means dealing with a never-ending to-do list. As soon as I complete a task, another one seems to pop up in its place. I am currently unemployed, which means that I have lots of time to spend on completing wedding tasks, but also means that I’m doing the vast majority of the work. I’ve had the pleasure of tracking down RSVPs and coordinating logistics with guests. I’ve taken countless trips to craft stores. Our apartment has been taken over by things I’ve made or bought. (Lord knows what we’re going to do with everything when we get home from our honeymoon.) Unfortunately, all this has led me to fight with Mr. T about stupid things that don’t matter.
Everyone keeps asking if I’m excited, and I am. I really am looking forward to the wedding, and I don’t regret our decision to have one. But I’m also really looking forward to it all being done.
Does/did anyone else feel this way?
We’re all familiar with the term “bridezilla.” Heck, there’s even a show entirely dedicated to showcasing brides behaving badly.
|Image based off artwork created by Weddingbee; Edited by Mr. Unicorn|
I was determined not to be THAT bride.
When we had to change our venue, I admit I had a bit of a sob-fest. But who wouldn’t??? The farm wedding that I had spent three months planning seemed to be falling to pieces, and even though people kept telling me that “it’s about the marriage, not the wedding,” I couldn’t help but be upset. As time went on, I got over it and threw myself headfirst into re-planning the wedding.
Still, there are times I feel like a Bridezilla.
Wedding nightmares are apparently a pretty common phenomenon with stressed-out brides near the end of their engagement. Night after night, the frazzled bride’s subconscious plays out every possible scenario of things that could go wrong on The Big Day, from the slightly improbable to the completely absurd. For some brides, this serves merely as fodder for a funny story over coffee with a friend, and for others, it convinces them make sure they are prepared for the worst in the off-chance that the dreams are their third eye seeing into the beyond.
Emma Thompson as Professor Trelawney // image via Stellar Path
I have yet to fall victim to these sorts of nightmares. Sure, I’m crazy stressed out about all things wedding right now, but my stress originates mainly from The List and from rational fears, such as the worry that I won’t be able to finish everything on The List. I haven’t quite ventured into the territory of the myriad of other things that could go wrong.
This weekend, Mr. Potion and I made the trip down to Blacksburg for my friend (and bridesmaid) MrsF’s wedding. You may have heard that a slightly interesting series of thunderstorms made its way across the state and the rest of the East Coast on Friday, causing minor problems along the way. The wedding reception was supposed to be held at the Blacksburg Country Club.
A few weeks ago we were talking with friends who got married about a year ago. The topic moved to weddings, and the former groom said, “You won’t have time to be nervous. It all just goes by so quickly.”
“You don’t get it,” I replied. “When I think about the wedding itself I actually start to feel panicky, just sitting here.”
It’s true. I think I have a touch more anxiety than the usual pre-wedding jitters. Mr. Dragon is the same way. Neither of us can really start thinking about what it’s going to be like to walk down the aisle/wait at the front without having to shut it down immediately because we start feeling terror.
I really am excited about our wedding, as is Mr. Dragon. It’s just that as the days tick by, everything is becoming a lot more real instead of that nice, fuzzy abstract image of wedded bliss.
It’s not that we don’t want to get married, it’s just that there are going to be SO MANY PEOPLE staring at me. At least, that’s my problem. Mr. Dragon gets nervous when he’s stuck in a situation he can’t gracefully duck out of, and one can’t really gracefully duck out of a wedding when one is the groom. And now I’m at the point where I’m anxious about what to do if he faints from anxiety and we’re stuck in an anxiety cycle.
I can hardly believe I’m writing this post. Back before I became a blogger bee, I would read these teary farewell posts and, while I was always sad to see these ladies go after following them throughout their planning journeys, I didn’t understand the idea of literally putting off a goodbye post because you didn’t want to leave.
Turns out, I totally get it.
The past few nights, I’ve woken up around 2:30am unbelievably anxious with this immense sensation of being incredibly overwhelmed. I’m already prone to anxiety—it’s been pretty good for the past year and a half or so, but I feel it starting to take over my life again. It’s like a panic attack in the middle of the night, for no reason whatsoever. I mean, sure…my to do list seems to be ever expanding and I also volunteered to organize and plan brideslady M’s bachelorette party coming up in two weeks…but in my waking hours, I feel in control. Once I go to bed, it seems to be a whole different story.
The closer the wedding gets, the more I’ve realized I have to do. It’s all stuff that I just sort of assumed would get done at some point, stuff that had to wait until closer to the wedding (think: programs, rehearsal dinner invites, favors, etc). Now that certain details have been settled on and I can actually get started on these things, I’m getting that overwhelmed sensation and I start panicking, especially at night when I’m in bed and have all these thoughts running through my mind.
Of course, money plays a part in all of this as well. Our original budget was for 110 people, but it looks we’ll be closer to 130. There’s at least a couple hundred. The due date for the remainder due for our photog, DJ, flowers, and cake is coming up in May. There’s a couple thousand. Up until last I week I completely forgot that I’m getting my hair and nails done and paying for part of the girls’ hair, so there’s another couple hundred. I still need things for our favors, the guestbook, reception decor, ceremony decor, etcetera. Omigod I’m panicking.
HellooooOOOOOoooooo, hive! Remember me? It’s hard to believe it’s been almost nine months since I said “I do” to my best friend, Mr. Bunting.
It was never my intention to make you wait so long to hear all about the happiest day of my life, and I must admit part of the delay is selfish procrastination on my part. I’ve been sitting on some finished recap posts for months now, and part of this reason was so I can finish or nearly finish writing all of them before I begin sharing them with you, but the other reason is because I was reluctant to officially begin them.
At this point in my planning, I have a really good sense of the look, theme, and feel of the wedding. All of the vendors have been booked, and I find myself fully focusing on the minor details and attempting to tackle my project list, a list that I am desperately trying to shorten and not expand. With Pinterest, Lover.ly, and the plethora of pretty inspiration blogs out there, I’ve found myself putting on my wedding blinders out of self preservation.
|I can’t see you, Pinterest! Image via Implode-O-Meter|
My first, and hopefully only meltdown.
For the first time this weekend I really regretted deciding to have a destination wedding. I realize that I have somewhat touched on this subject before, but I am writing this to be a completely open book. So far the planning process has been really easy and stress-free, but as the wedding gets closer, the real stuff is kicking in.
My aunt (the one whose veil I am using) has rheumatoid arthritis and has had some complications due to the disease lately. She has gotten numerous tests done, but they can’t figure out exactly what is wrong with her. She is so sad and disappointed that she will miss the wedding and I am so sad and disappointed that she wont be there. I completely understand why she can’t come, as no one likes to travel internationally when they aren’t feeling well. At the same time, I started regretting our decision to have a destination wedding.
On the other end of things, one of my bridesmaids dropped out of the wedding.
Wedding planning isn’t all cupcakes and flowers and smiles all the time. One thing that I’ve been reluctant to blog about is the fact that my grandmother may not come to my wedding. Yup, you read that correctly. My own grandmother may choose to sit my wedding out.
I understand and respect that some people just don’t agree with same sex marriage. And that is fine! Especially when they are 85 years old. My grandmother was raised in a different time. She grew up in a time where racism and homophobia were the norm. I can’t judge her for that. I can’t judge her for not accepting gay marriage. But it still hurts.
Why? Because I’m her granddaughter. I’m the one who she taught how to bake and sew. I’m the one who went to her house every day after elementary and junior high school. I’m the one whose education she bragged about to her friends. I’m the one who she actually dubbed “her favorite grandchild.” I’m the one who taught her how to fill her car with gas when my grandpa passed away. I’m supposed to be loved and accepted by her, so why can’t she come to our wedding?