So you said, "YES!" Well, congrats on your upcoming nuptials, first of all. Even though getting married isn't for everyone, those who choose to make this kind of forever and ever commitment will have a magical day to cherish until the world ends. Planning a wedding is a big deal. Promising to spend your entire life with one person isn't what it used to be. I mean, hundreds of years ago, humans were only living until about the age of 40, so even a successful marriage really didn't last all that long. Nowadays, we're on the verge of becoming physically frozen in time with the help of wrinkle cream and Botox, and more of us are hitting triple-digit birthdays than ever before. Forever with the same person is currently a lot closer to forever than it used to be.
While the strength of a marriage vow is undeniably intense, so is the process of planning a wedding. Before you begin your forever, you will need to complete an obstacle course that is both a mental and emotional challenge, and hopefully by the end of it, you still want to say, "I do." Because planning a wedding isn't always as fun as it appears to be in rom-coms. It's stressful. It's expensive. And most of us cannot afford a wedding planner to do everything for us. Even if you do have help, like a day-of planner to handle final details, you still have to make all the big decisions as a couple. It truly is the perfect test to see if you can handle everything that getting married entails. Here are all the ways planning a wedding prepares you for marriage — for better or for worse. Let's start with the negative and end on a positive note, shall we?
1. It teaches you that life is not always fun
You hear "wedding planning" and you think of tasting all the cakes. That's a very small part of it. Doing things like finalizing budgets and seating plans and having awkward conversations with your DJ about the songs you really do not want played are zero percent fun, and it'll bum you out. But that's also marriage — it's not always going to be all romance and sunshine and fun.
2. It forces you to talk about money
It really doesn't matter how few people you have or how budget-friendly each detail is — you will spend more than you want to spend. There will be at least two parts of the wedding that are important to you and require a big ticket purchase. And you will probably be seeing a whole lot of red in your bank account. That kind of stress can take years off your life.
3. It makes you see the flaws in each other before the vow is made
Whether you like it or not, you will see all the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your love's personality. And they will definitely see yours as well. It might make you question if this is the right thing for you as a couple. And it'll freak you the f*** out.
4. Minor details seem like life-altering choices
"But the napkins have to be emerald, NOT EVERGREEN." That's insane, right? But you will be so consumed with getting the details right that these stupid bumps in the road will make a good day turn to sh**.
5. Even with help, it's basically a full-time job
You work full time. Your future hubby or wife does too. You have friends and pets and basic human needs that will suddenly compete with wedding planning on your daily schedule. It seems impossible and for a long time, it will feel that way too. *Sighs in defeat.*
6. No matter how carefully you plan it, something WILL go wrong
Nobody has ever had a perfect wedding day. Most people have had magical, wonderful, amazing days, where the little hiccups don't really matter in the end, but something always goes wrong. No matter what. Just find a way for you both to make your peace with it and move on. Do not give a minor detail the power to ruin your big day, or you will regret it for a very long time.
7. It helps you learn more about your SO
A wedding is essentially a themed party that should reflect the personal interests and tastes of the couple getting married. So in order to nail down the deets, you need to learn each other's favorite colors, old family traditions, preferred method of expressing emotions, etc. — stuff that might not have come up organically before.
8. It's an opportunity for you to discuss finances
If you're going to share your life with this person, then knowing how they handle a budget is extremely important. Money issues can easily tear a happy couple apart, so figure out all the cash quirks now.
9. It's an exercise in how to manage extreme stress
Your parents hate each other and are making specific reception demands. Your Maid of Honor just slept with the Best Man and is refusing to walk down the aisle with him. Your sister hates her bridesmaid dress and is claiming she might just wear her own. Yikes, yikes, and more yikes. But life isn't easy, and this is an opportunity for you and your soon-to-be spouse to problem solve as a team.
10. It's all about setting and accomplishing a common goal
The wedding day is the light at the end of the tunnel. And while this might be the biggest event you will ever plan, it's probably not going to be the only event. By the time this is all over and you are happily married, you'll feel like you two can plan a party for the Queen and put a smile on her face.
11. It brings up a lot of family discussions
Your SO's family is about to become your family and vice versa, so when the family drama inevitably ensues, you'll need to approach it together with the same sensitivity and empathy that you'd have for your own family members. This is a good thing, though. It's important to have these conversations sooner rather than later.
12. It ends in a day that is just about you and your favorite person
Once the wedding begins, all the stress you've been carrying for the last year melts away for both of you, and while there's probably at least 100 other people celebrating with you, nobody else matters but you and your perfect mate.
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