As someone who spends at least half of her weekends every year at weddings, there are MANY things I could tell to any bride who is in the midst of wedding planning. Advice about the schedule of the day, wearing comfortable shoes, waterproof mascara, décor….You get my drift. There are so many things to think about when planning a wedding. But the advice I have has a lot less to do with the wedding day, and a lot more to do with what comes in the first year after the wedding.
I’m speaking as a bride AND a bridesmaid, here. I have been a bridesmaid 10 times. That means 10 up-dos, 10 bridesmaid dresses, 10 specific color and type of shoe searched for and purchased. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, & being wrapped in toilet paper to resemble a wedding gown more times than I can count.
In the midst of your planning, make sure you take time to just be a friend. Not only a bride.
I don’t mean to sound harsh. I really don’t. I was a bride. I totally understand that in the midst of planning a wedding, your wedding seems like the most important thing. EVER. You are worrying about the guest list, and napkin color, and seating chart, and keeping on track with your budget. You have a million things going on, and sometimes it can get overwhelming. So, I know that the “WEDDING” can be in the forefront of your mind for 6-12 months.
Speaking from personal experience, I have never once been sad when a girlfriend asked me to be a bridesmaid. It was an honor, and I was so glad to be a part of such an important day. Your girlfriends probably feel the same. Which is why they will paint their nails the specific color that you want, wear a dress that they might never otherwise choose, and spend $$ on making sure your bridal showers and bachelorette parties are memorable and fun.
What ends up being the hard part, is when during the planning, the only communication that your friends, family, & fiancé receive is wedding related.
I’m not big on competition. And I don’t like when people rank who’s life is better/harder/more important. I’m a firm believer that everyone is working through their own things. Good times, hard times, changes, transitions, etc. All of us are dealing with our own mountains.
So, here’s my challenge.
While your girls hand address 8 million wedding invitations, make sure you spend time asking them how THEY are doing. Giving them a call to just check in, sending them a text when you know they have a job interview, or a first date, or are sick at home with the flu. While your family is helping you with setting up and tearing down the most giant party you have ever thrown, take time to go shopping with your mom or on a hike with your dad & brother. While your fiancé is listening to you go over every detail of your invitations, make sure he knows how excited you are not only for the wedding, but also for all of the adventures that will come afterwards.
Because there’s going to be a day when you are no longer planning a wedding. I remember feeling a teensy bit sad when my wedding was over because the planning & the excitement of it all was over. But I was so glad to be able to have my friends over for tacos when we got back from our honeymoon to hear about their new jobs, new boyfriends, and old stories. To have my family over for our first Thanksgiving and make brand new traditions. To settle into life with a new last name, but with the same people who had been there for me through it all.
Weddings are so fun.
But you know what’s even better than a wedding?
Because the wedding is just the kick off to a lifetime of dance parties in your kitchen. Or pasta around your dinner table. Or holidays spent with your new family. Movie nights at home. Trips to the grocery store. New traditions, mixed with childhood traditions. Picking out your first Christmas tree. Meeting your best friend’s new boyfriend. Becoming an aunt for the first time.
So take some time to go to coffee with your fiancé and instead of dreaming about your wedding day, dream about your first year of marriage. Or your first 5 years. Write an list of adventures you want to take together. We did that while we were dating, and we still refer back to it when we are looking for a new idea for date night.
Your wedding is going to be beautiful.
But your marriage is going to be forever.
Make sure that you take some time to plan both.
You’ve Got this,