Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"why don't you just...."

I could fund this entire wedding out of my piggy bank if I had a dollar for everytime somebody has said, "why don't you just...."  Like the answer is so simple, and they cannot believe that I haven't thought about it.

When we searched for the venue, we got asked, "why don't you just pick a place?" by a number of well-meaning almost-strangers, some of whom wondered why we were "being so picky".  Well, I'm sorry that I want my handicapped grandmother to come to my wedding!  Why don't I just stop wanting her there?

With the invites, when I obsessed over the wording, and was told, "why don't you just keep it simple?"  I'm sorry, what is simple?  Is simple "parents invite you to watch child marry other person at three thirty in the afternoon?"  Because um, meet my family and my parents and our crazy last names.  Meet the groom's parents are paying for part of the wedding.  There was no simple, so since it was going to be complicated, I only made it a little more complicated by adding more words until we found something we loved.

With the bridesmaids dresses, the "why don't you just"s won't stop coming!*  "Why don't you just have them all wear whatever they want?" Um, because that would cause a lot of stress for them, and then instead of having to pick one dress, I'm helping pick four.  "Why don't you just pick a line and a color and have them pick dresses?" Um, because the line that most of them picked doesn't have a lot of options.  When I was torn on color, "why don't you just alternate?" because I don't know if it'll look good!  Or if I like it!  When I was torn on styles, "why don't you just have them wear different styles?"  Because the line they picked has one dress that looks great, one that is pretty good, and two dresses that would make the skinniest person on earth look HUGE!  When I was told, "why don't you just do what you want?"  Because these are four of the most important people in the world to me, and I will not have them hating me!

When it came to catering, and I worried about people not liking vegetarian food, or not having enough variety, I got a really big "why don't you just."  "Why don't you just serve meat?"  Because, to me, there was no Just Serving Meat.  It wasn't a simple thing. It was a complicated thing, that invoked my personal beliefs about food, about the environment, and about vegetarianism in general.  It wasn't that it hadn't occurred to me to take the easy way out.  It was that every time I thought about it, and I thought about compromising my beliefs on this day which was about so much of what we believe, I felt a little sick.

Yes, we could "just" do things and make our wedding a million times easier.  But "just" doing things would involve steamrolling over people's feelings, making ourselves uncomfortable, and ultimately, we would be disappointed in ourselves.  It's okay to take the easy way out* sometimes, or throw money at problems, but I don't feel the need to act how I wouldn't normally (I'm a people-pleaser) just because it's "my" wedding.  If I want my bridesmaids to be happy, I'm going to stress about it.  Eventually I'll admit defeat and accept the fact that I can't please everyone and as long as I try, and act nice, my people love me and will forgive me for making tough calls.  But there isn't any "just" doing something for most of this stuff, so I'm just going to have to ignore it.  Life is complicated, and I'm not sure why we all expect wedding planning to be simple.  (Yes, we want it to be simple.  But it isn't.)

What are your big "why don't you just..."s?

*I'm not even getting into the "why don't you just go with J.Crew?" because $275 FOR A COTTON DRESS IS NOT A REASONABLY-PRICED OPTION!!!!!
*Can I tell you how well I've been sleeping since hiring a florist :-D?  


  1. About 4 weeks before my wedding, I had someone seriously say "Why don't you just elope?" Not "Why didn't you elope" but seriously suggesting that I should still do that.

    "OH MY GOD YES why didn't I think of that, let me just drop all these wedding plans and cancel all the guests who have already RSVP'd and let us just elope."


  2. i got the why don't you just jcrew it question too... to which i replyed why doesn't jcrew just make dresses larger than a 16? (Esp since in America the average size is a 14 & one-third of all women are over a 16)

    Too many people out there with should-itis that's for sure

  3. Thank you! Finally, another bride who recognizes that - No, J.Crew is not an option. I lurve me some J.Crew but I usually hit up the outlet or sales racks. Most bridesmaid dresses are cheaper than the J.Crew options anyway and don't even get me started on the gowns being "inexpensive" - really? Cuz when I checked, the majority of them that are actually gowns are still around $2k.

    I applaud you for wanting to make your Bridesmaids happy. I think it's important too.

  4. Oh, people can smell indecision and when they do, they pounce with their "why don't you..." suggestions. For me, it's one of those nod and smile moments, why I'm secretly thinking, "lady, you're an idiot."

  5. Me: "I'm wearing yellow shoes for the wedding."

    My bridesmaid's Mom, Aunt and Grandmother: "Why don't you just wear ivory shoes like everyone else? You'll look like a dog peed on you."

    Needless to say, I'm going to rock those yellow shoes with f-ing pride.

  6. Aw man, if I had a dollar for every "why don't you just" the wedding would be paid for! I am pretty good at answering the "why don't you" ones, the comments I'm struggling with are the "I hate xyz." I've had "I hate any cake with lemon or coconut flavors" to "I hate women ministers" (don't even get me started on THAT ONE!)

    I also appreciate your point about JCrew. I've had the "why don't you just pick JCrew dresses for your bridesmaids, they're gorgeous." Um, yes they absolutely are to me, but at least 4 out of 7 bridesmaids have boobs that won't fit into a JCrew dress!

    It's hard to try and make everyone happy, but I too find it difficult to admit defeat in that quest. Hang in there!

  7. Yes!! I hate this too! Yeah, I was a bridesmaid in a wedding a few years ago with J Crew dresses and the dress I had to buy was $250! I realize this is fairly normal for a bridesmaid dress, but for a poor college student that was a lot of hours waitressing!

    And why is it that people think we haven't thought carefully about our wedding decisions, and researched carefully?

    @Sara: I'm wearing brown shoes under my white gown, and it suits me and it will be great :) Go for the yellow!

  8. My favorite is: "Why don't you just wait another year so you can save some more money?" We have the money to spend. We want to get married. Why can't we JUST do the damn thing? It took a lot of moaning and groaning to start dealing with the fact that we have to spend money if we want the wedding we want. So why would I wait another year to save more money to spend more money that I don't want to spend anyway? Sigh, anyways... glad the florist is helping you sleep a bit easier!

  9. Our big "why don't you just" has been food. Our food will be locally sourced (as much as possible) and humanely raised. I do eat meat, but don't eat factory farmed meat. Most people don't get this, but it's something I feel really strongly about and wasn't willing to compromise on on our wedding day (or any day, for that matter).

  10. The "why don't yous" are the nice ones. I'm with jamallison and sara - the worst is when people tell you how awful your choices are. At least with the "why don't yous" (which drive me nutty too. My mom handed me a list of why-dont-you venue options this weekend) are somewhat easily dismissed. It's the cruel "ick I hate that" talk that kills me.

    B*tch, I wouldn't have shown you the picture of the dress I really want if I didn't love it. So don't tell me how ugly it it. Really, just dont.

    And @Sara You're going to rock those yellow shoes.

  11. Why don't you just relax already?


    We haven't had a lot of these 'Why don't you just . . "s, partly because we don't usually tell people about the stuff after it's already been booked/paid for/etc. There is no option! This is what we're doing! And we're happy that a decision has been made!

    P.S. kc, that's exactly my position . . . how much of a pain is it to get into that reasoning with people?!?

  12. yay for getting a florist and sleeping better...i just did the same thing yesterday :)

    I totally get you on the "why-dont-yous"...but the biggest problem we have had are the "you cant"s brand of people.
    Apparently we cant:
    write our own vows
    plan the ceremony how WE want it
    get married outside in summer "it'll be too hot" (HELLO it is in the shade, late arvo, and NZ is NOT hot!)
    self cater
    not have a professionally done wedding cake (i dont like fondant! i like the chocolate cake i make so there)
    ha. obviously i have issues. thanks for the space to let it out lol

  13. Made me want to smack people bridezilla style during our planning!

  14. I read this post a little bit back and it's stuck in my head....b/c it's so dang true! I really think my favorite is: Why don't you just have it in a backyard/your backyard/a friends backyard?? Um. Newsflash. We are city dwellers and up until about a month ago we didn't have a backyard. We have one now that will accommodate a nice dinner party, but not a wedding for 100. And no, we don't have friends with yards lining up to offer us free venue space. They might line up if they had backyards. End rant. Oh or, "Just do it in a park." Um we want to drink and LA parks cost beaucoup bucks. True end rant. Both manners and common sense have a habit of flying out the window when discussing weddings.

  15. Oh the "why don't you just..."s. You know why I haven't figured out the entertainment portion? Because it's freaking expensive and my fiance is superinterested in it and he's a doctor who doesn't have much time for figuring this all out.

    And WORD to J.Crew. So actually my bridesmaids are wearing J.Crew dresses, but for the life of me, I can't figure out why their silk dresses are at least $100 less than the cotton ones. I felt very strongly that I didn't want people to spend $200 on a dress, so I found a dress that was less than that and then ordered them all together, and used my student discount for 15% off, which worked out well.

    But here's another frustrating thing about J.Crew - why are most of the dresses online/catalog only? If I'm spending upwards of $2,000 on a dress, I certainly want to TRY IT ON first!

  16. "Why don't you just set a date?" Um, because I've only looked at 2 venues, and I am not currently living in the state I'm going to get married in.

    Yes, people bother me sometimes.