Thursday, August 19, 2010

Never say never

One thing I've learned in wedding planning is that there are no absolutes.  What you know in the beginning, you don't know in the end.  Don't say, "I'm not going to do X" or "We will totally do Y." It may not happen and you shouldn't set yourself up for failure and more importantly, don't set people up to criticize.

Let me tell you people just starting out a little something about us know-it-alls who are about to get married.  We know more than you do.  I know. You're thinking I'm full of crap and you're well within your rights to walk away.  I have friends look at me like I'm crazy when I advise them to wait at least a few days before calling people to announce their engagement.  One of my friends tried to tell me how hard wedding planning will be for her because of her crazy family, and I tried to tell her that she needs to plan the wedding on her terms. She told me that wouldn't be possible.  But people will surprise you

You should especially listen to your know-it-all siblings when they tell you what problems you will encounter.  They are dealing with the same family.  If your mother made them feel guilty or anxious, they will make you feel guilty or anxious.  If your father's disinterest hurt their feelings (obviously not a problem for me), it will probably hurt yours.  As we say in contracts class, past practice indicates future performance. Learn from their mistakes and successes.  Their triumphs will be yours as well; their problems will be yours as well.  But really, sit down, listen, and respect them. Don't close your mind because you think you know better. You don't. My sister hasn't been wrong yet in this planning process, and I have struggled to take her advice even when a part of me was yelling, "but she's wrong! I won't stress out!"

But people writing blogs like this one are like honest older sisters.  Okay, I'm not an older sister. I have all of the classic symptoms of being a younger sister, from the spoiled-ness to the fear of being overshadowed by my totally perfect older sister. But by this point, I know more about this than those of you just getting engaged. Learn from my mistakes. 

You are reading my blog and you are reading Souris Mariage and you are probably thinking, "well, they just weren't on top of their to-do lists. I'll do it differently." You are wrong. No matter what, your to-do list will drown you. We had a year and a half to plan, we did it slowly, we booked vendors we loved and were picky about everything and I don't regret any of that.  But it's panic time. It's slash and burn time. It's make a damn decision time.  It's hand-address the invites we haven't mailed yet because they need to go out today and I don't have time to run a mail-merge time.  It's "I don't care what it costs, just order it" time.  At the two month mark, there is no overthinking, just doing.

So my point is really just this: never say never.  In the planning process, you will be wrong more than you are right. You will say you don't/won't register, and the next thing you know you are standing in Crate & Barrel with a gun.  You will be psyched for registering, and the next thing you know, you just feel icky and greedy looking at the long list of things you want but don't need.  You will say that you will/can make XYZ yourself, but then you will feel your crafting skills are inadequate and you are letting everybody down by buying it.  You will say, "oh, I would NEVER have roses, I hate them" and then realize they are cheap and pretty and easy.  All saying "never" does is opens you up to knowing glances from people who got married and "I told you sos" when you are wrong.  That will make you feel worse, so don't open yourself up to it.

The other important thing is not to promise anything.  If you promise an open bar and then realize it makes no sense and you should just serve keg beer and cheap wine, you will feel bad because you promised something.  Don't promise anyone an invite until you know for sure that they can come.  Don't say, "we're going to DIY everything!"  Mark encouraged me early on to keep wedding details in the dark, and eventually I realized he's right, not because I want people to be surprised, but because I don't want them to be disappointed.  Realizing that nobody ever expected handmade cookies in their OOT bags makes me feel less guilty about not making them.  (This was never a plan but it is an example.)

Look, the only person to judge you for not having the wedding you originally expected is the person that you used to be.  So let it go, never say never, and you'll be just fine.


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my newly-engaged heart, for this post.

    For realz. And good luck!

  2. This is true. But it isn't BAD, necessarily. I think this is how we manage to stop planning so we can, you know, GET MARRIED.

  3. I am newly engaged, but I've already learned this the hard way! My fiance and I talked all about the wedding we wanted, and we thought we had a really good handle on things....then we got around to telling my parents, and we learned that they are moving, changing jobs, and wouldn't be able to do the date that we wanted, or the place that we wanted!

    We had to completely retool everything and it was a very humbling experience. It was very hard to "un-tell" people about the plans we'd made that were no longer possible... it's always better to double and triple check and actually FINISH a project or BOOK the place before you tell the world!

    I'm sure there will be many many more issues like this with my planning, but at least I know right away, and I'm not totally disillusioned!

  4. This is so true! I had so many ideas and fun projects I wanted to do for the wedding...and in the end I just didn't have the time or energy!

    If no one knew about your plan to make question cards for the bar...then no one will miss them when they aren't there ;)

  5. This is a great post. We are about 6 months away from our wedding and I am slowly starting to realize all of these things..

  6. six weeks and counting and I completely appreciated this post. Thank you!


  7. I have definitely learned my lesson about keeping planning details a secret. Our plans have changed a lot over the past year and I have one friend in particular who seems annoyed and impatient with me when I tell her the new plan. I think the trick is to just say, "it's a surprise" when people ask what you're planning on doing.

  8. oh so very true - especially about the bar part. we were planning on open bar everything, but the venue is being arse-holes and are changing pricing for stuff and we dont have it in the contract to stop them, so it will be beer and wine and signature drink. so sorry to all the folks who thought it was a free for all. oh well take it or leave it!

  9. Wow, truer words could not be spoken. I'm really trying to take everything I read from other lovely blogging ladies and see how their advice applies to me. I'm really trying to not think "oh I'll do it better." But to be honest, sometimes I do think that. I need to cut that out.

    And never say never is a really good idea. Because as soon as you utter it, there will be something that shakes that up. So having an open mind is good.