Remembering the Marriage When Wedding Planning

I’ve been debating on whether or not I should post this all day. We’ll get back to Tie the Knot Tuesday next week but today I have to share a little big breakthrough I recently had about wedding planning, marriage planning and how the two intersect. Why? Because I know I can’t possibly be the only engaged woman who has experienced this. Last weekend, I had my first (hopefully only) wedding planning meltdown. It wasn’t one of those crazy Bridezilla-esque ones but more of a “…How the *bleep* did we get here?!” kinda moments. Let me explain.

I’m pretty frugal. I have my weak moments but most people who know me wouldn’t say I’m a wreckless spender. So last weekend when I had to face the harsh reality that there needed to be financial cutbacks made to my wedding, I was confused and disappointed. My fiance and I thought we were already doing a good job of getting the most bang for our bridal buck. However in order to pull off our fall nuptials so that the day is paid in full at the end of the night (we have no intentions of incurring any debt from this day), some tweaks had to be made.

Shucks, wasn’t it enough that some of my loved ones are probably going to be annoyed that they aren’t invited due to limited space at our venue? Wasn’t it enough that I had already sacrificed having peony centerpieces and a smorgasbord of food during our cocktail hour? Apparently not. Oh and let’s not forget that as a bridal blogger, I’m supposed to be able to figure this out effortlessly, right?

To further complicate matters, I suddenly questioned if my fiance and I were becoming one of those couples who puts their wedding before their marriage. Although we’re in constant communication about our finances and how we’re going to combine them, and our short and long term goals, I panicked and began to second guess just about everything regarding our wedding. The two things I didn’t second guess however was that I want to be his wife and he wants to be my husband. We’re still learning what that will mean exactly for us and our household but we both agree that we have a lifetime to figure it out.

After talking to my fiance who I think I made a little nervous with my meltdown, I did what any other mature, self-assured woman would do: I called my mother. She listened, barely saying anything while I vented. When I asked her opinion, she casually said — in a way I think only 60+ year-old Southern women can do — “Baby, I can’t tell you and your future husband what to do. You two have to figure that out together.” But before I could make up an excuse of why I needed to get off the phone to reconvene my pity party, she advised me to make a mental list of all the ways my fiance and I have been blessed thus far in relation to our wedding. “Stop concentrating on what you don’t have and think more about what you do have,” she suggested. And dog-gone-it, in no time I had thought of half a dozen things. For real. My fiance and I have been blessed beyond measure and so much generosity has come from unexpected people and places. One of course being a one-of-a-kind wedding gown. (This is why it is important to keep folks who really know you on speed dial while wedding planning.) Y’all, I’m not sure where I would be without my mother’s wisdom.

So my fiance and I did have to make some cuts and tweaks to our wedding. A couple of them stung too but we quickly got over it. We could have started whipping out credit cards and charging up stuff but that isn’t how we want to begin our marriage. Essentially, what we want is a fun-filled evening shared with our closest loved ones to celebrate our new union. There will be food, dancing and picture taking and videography to document it all however what is most important is creating great memories that will be treasured for years to come; not living beyond our means. I’m learning that there will be disappointments and ups and downs in our marriage, too. Just like this weekend, there will be times when we thought we had given all we had but then we’ll have to dig a little deeper and fight some more. Except instead of peonies, we might be sacrificing for the betterment of our home, our mothers or our future children.

Who knew counting your blessings was an essential part of wedding — and more importantly — marriage planning? Have you experienced something similar? Leave me a comment and share.

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  1. Congratulations for your breakthrough! We’re getting married in September, and are also on a budget. We made the decision very early that we were not going to stress about things that were not going to change. We can spend $xxx, and that’s it. If we started to get antsy or frustrated about something, that thing had to go. In the little over a month that we’ve been engaged we’ve dealt with losing our initial venue after giving a deposit, and tons of folks inviting themselves to our wedding. Through it all, we’ve been able to laugh and work it out. Best wishes to the two of you!!

  2. Avatar Zenobia Hatcher-Wilson says:

    i’m glad you two figured it out for yourselves. Uncle George and I went through a similar process in our wedding/marriage planning 35 years ago. We cut back and haven’t looked back since! Go “mama wisdom.”

  3. Bridgette Bridgette says:

    @Brandi – Thank you! Ditto to everything in your comment. I also feel like planning your wedding like a fairytale can lead to major disappointment in your marriage because compromise and sacrifice are inevitable in a healthy and happy marriage. Best wishes to you and your fiance as well! (Oh and I now feel laughter is essential to wedding planning!)

    @Aunt Zee – Happy Anniversary to you and Uncle George (again)! Look at what you guys have now… Love ya!

  4. The fact that your mother isn’t meddling from the get- go (don’t take that for granted) and isn’t trying 2 plan the wedding she always wanted like so many mother’s of the bride do is a blessing in itself. Trust me. I wish you and your fiance a happy marriage and I hope your wedding day is a fun & memorable START to your new journey!

  5. Bridgette Bridgette says:

    @Trina – Many, many thanks.

  6. B, thank you for sharing…as my prospective guest list swelled near the 300 mark this weekend, I have begun to think more and more about what (and who) I’m willing to give up so that we can have a great day but respect our budget and each other’s boundaries.

  7. Remember I also told you a good attitude will determine your altitude. “Little is much when God is in it” Thank God for what you have. Love you both.

  8. Bridgette Bridgette says:

    @Ronda – Ahem, we clearly are overdue for a catch-up. I’m SO happy for you! Oh em gee! You know I’ll be stalking you for Tie the Knot Tuesday. LOL! Allen love, xo.

    @Mommy – Yes you did. Thank you. For everything.

  9. Great post! It is so easy to get caught up in the wedding planning that we forget that the ultimate focus should be on what happens after the wedding. Kudos to you & your FI for working through and refocusing :)

  10. B…… so so so poignant! I am glad to know that I am not the only one on this road. This was just what I needed to change my pity-party-perspective to recognizing the blessings of an impending marriage to an amazing partner. THANK YOU! Sending big hugs and lots of love.

  11. Bridgette Bridgette says:

    @ Nae – Thank you! And yes; another thing my mother thoughtfully reminds me of is that the wedding is a beginning not an ending.
    @ Z – Thanks for the shout! How crazy is it that you, me and Naz are getting hitched the same year?! Sending you big hugs right back. xo

  12. Excellent post! i am excited for you. I totally agree, creating great memories is what’s important and hiring a wedding planner does truly help. Best of luck to you!

  13. Bridgette Bridgette says:

    Thank you, Lindsay!

  14. That happened for me too…I had to breathe and reboot…LOL….

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