We make a lot of jokes about how the people we know and love turn into entirely different people when they’re about to get married; like many jokes, though, this one is kind of based in truth. As I have discovered over the past few months, you will have a lot of weird thoughts when you’re planning a wedding — and what makes it all even weirder is the fact that so many of them are thoughts you would never, ever have under any other circumstance. It’s both remarkable and horrifying, and you guys, right now, I just really need to know that I’m not alone here.
To be fair, yes, some of these thoughts will occur to you at other times in life — queries about the weather, for instance. What’s unique about them within the wedding planning context, though, is the vehemence with which they will assert themselves. It’s not just that you will think them; it’s that you will think them strongly. Unreasonably strongly. And the experience is honestly one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever gone through.
Remember when I said that I would really like to know that I’m not alone in these strange and unusual thoughts? I'm actually reasonably sure that it’s not just me; I'm just hoping to confirm that suspicion. I did, for example, take an informal poll of people I know who have gotten married recently, and every single one of them was basically like, “Yeah, I don’t know what happened, but seriously, planning a wedding made me transform into an actual beast.” The best guess I’ve got for this disturbing phenomenon is that our culture puts so much pressure on us for our weddings to be perfect that it just starts to get to us after a while — even if we couldn’t possibly care less about what our silverware looks like on a normal day.
If you have somehow managed to go through your wedding planning process without once thinking one of these extremely weird thoughts, I applaud you (and also request that you teach me your ways). For the rest of us, though, at least we know that we’re pretty much all in this together, right? And besides, at the end of the day, all that will really matter is that we got married to the person we love. Just keep hold of that thought, and everything will be fine.
1. “What Color Should The Napkins Be?”
Even if you have never before cared about napkins in your life, suddenly, choosing the correct color will be of the utmost importance to you. (The answer to the question, by the way, is “Whatever.” Just let them be whatever, because there are no wrong choices here. You do you.)
2. “Should We Pay Extra For These Dumb Flowers?”
On its own, not that unusual. Paired with the following response, however, especially if your partner was the one to ask the question initially…
3. “OF COURSE WE SHOULD YOU JERK DO YOU EVEN WANT TO MARRY ME?”
…It’s very unusual. And generally not a thing that most of us would do if the flowers did not pertain to our wedding.
“Bridezillas” are another one of those wedding tropes we make fun of all the time, but as I mentioned earlier, I think we seriously need to examine the absurd amount of stress our culture places on the idea of your wedding being the most perfect day of your life — because that’s what actually makes bridezillas. Even if you are the most even-tempered person on the planet, you will probably develop bridezilla tendencies while planning your wedding; the struggle to curb them is real.
And just to round out the triptych, the last thought about the flowers you will probably have is this:
4. “WTF Is ‘Purple Stock,’ Anyway?”
For the curious, they are small purple flowers which, when arranged as an element in a bouquet, look kind of like a little cloud of petals instead of big, individual blossoms. Thanks, Google.
5. “What Does This Rustic Lantern Tied With Twine Say About Us? Does It Really Represent Us A Couple?”
It’s a lantern. It can mean whatever you want it to mean, including nothing at all. Also, your décor does not have to be your entire relationship distilled into shabby-chic centerpieces. I promise.
6. “I Need To Lose At Least Five Pounds By October.”
Part of you will know this is nonsense, because losing weight is not a requirement for getting married. All bodies are good bodies; this we know. And yet, no matter how body positive you are, you will still find yourself thinking this thought. And it is bonkers.
You will also, by the way, probably follow it up with this one:
7. “UGH NO YOU DON’T WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.”
As soon as you think the “I need to lose weight” thought, you will get so mad at yourself for thinking it. My best advice is to cut yourself some slack; it’s really hard to undo the years of conditioning our society has primed us with that says women need to be thin to be valuable, and that brides in particular need to be thin or they’re not really brides. Stupid patriarchy.
8. “What If Our Officiant Is Basically The Impressive Clergyman From The Princess Bride?”
No, but seriously. You can make that happen if you want.
9. “This Bridesmaid Dress Is Gorgeous!”
It probably isn’t, actually. It’s more like a cruel and unusual punishment. The sheer number of hideous bridesmaid dresses that exist boggles the mind… but even worse is the fact that for some reason, people getting married cannot see them for what they really are. It’s like beer goggles, only with satin and bad hemlines. Danger, Will Robinson. Danger.
10. “Wait, There Are Rules For How You're Supposed To Address Your Invitations?"
Things I did not know until recently include the fact that “proper” etiquette dictates very specific ways that wedding invitations should be addressed — and, more troublingly, that some people might get really offended if your invitations are not addressed as such. That is mind blowing to me. Honestly, anyone who’s willing to give you that much grief about whether their address has been written a certain way on an envelope is possibly someone you do not actually want at your wedding.
11. “I Wonder If I Know Anyone Who Knows Calligraphy…”
Because apparently, those everything-spelled-out invitation addresses are also supposed to be beautifully calligraphed. (Note: At no other point in your life will you ever require the service of a calligrapher.)
12. “WHAT IF IT RAINS? IT WILL BE A DISASTER!!!!!”
It’s true that you will probably think “What if it rains?” at least a few other times in your life. However, it will never fill you with quite as much dread as it will when you think it in conjunction with your wedding day — especially if your venue is outdoors.
13. “I’m Concerned About Auntie Muriel.”
Even if you were 2 years old the last time you saw Auntie Muriel, if there is a reason to be concerned about her, you will be.
14. “What China Set Really Speaks To Us, Deep In Our Souls?”
This one can be circumvented by having an alternate registry instead of a traditional “things” registry, so… at least there’s that. Or, y'know, not even have a registry at all.
(You will still wonder about it, though. Even if there is no china anywhere on your registry. Even if you don't have a registry. I know. It’s weird.)
15. “I Should Really Make A Pinterest Board.”
This one may only apply if you’re like me in that you have never, ever felt compelled to join Pinterest before… and now suddenly you have a board for your save the date ideas, a board for your invitation ideas, a board for your centerpiece ideas, a board for your hair ideas, a board for your makeup ideas, a board for your photography ideas, a board for… well, you get the picture.
16. “WHAT HAVE I BECOME. I AM A MONSTER.”
This is the thought you will have immediately after creating all those Pinterest boards. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE.