Why I don’t miss wedding planning

Given I devoted all of 2013 to planning, participating in or recovering from my sister’s wedding and my own, I was a little worried I’d find myself totally adrift in the new year. The post-wedding blues, if you will.

I’m not the type of person who likes to sit too long. I think and worry too much — or start over-analyzing, getting anxious. It’s not good. Much of my adult life has been devoted to trying to achieve that elusive sense of “balance,” in fact; I want to be busy without using that go go go spirit as a crutch or an excuse, but still slow down enough to enjoy the simple things in life. (We know they’re really the big things).

A work in progress.

But as our November wedding drew to a close and gave way to a fresh, crisp new year, I don’t find myself waxing philosophical about my spreadsheets or vendor checklists or time wiled away on The Knot. I’ve channeled my creative energy into work and new pursuits, looking for ways to stretch as a writer and a person. Wedding planning proved I could find more hours in the day, and I’ve gotten much better about using my time better for work and play.

And then there’s the whole house-buying thing happening this spring. That’s certainly going to chew up some time.

But for as much as I loved our wedding and (much of) the process leading up to it, I often think back on last year with a feeling of pure relief. We did it, you know? It’s done. It was emotional, stressful, turbulent. I left my childhood home for the first time; I stood at my little sister’s side on her own wedding day; we dealt with illness and death, uncertainty and major upheaval.

For someone who is typically wedged in her tight little shell (very Cancer the crab of me, I’ll note), I sure did some growing.

I don’t miss wedding planning because it was a series of decisions — ones that felt so big and serious and important and really all-consuming at the time, though I realize in hindsight I should have backed down on some issues and simply not worried at all about others. For someone weighed down by the prospect of making the “wrong” choice at any given time (I’m a perfectionist, what can I say?), that was very difficult for me.

And the help! Asking for help was so hard. I don’t miss wedding planning because I usually prefer to just handle things myself . . . out of fear of, you know, inconveniencing anyone. Even my now-husband. Accepting that others wanted to help me with wedding-related tasks was really tough. I just felt like I was bothering them or, worse, was an “overzealous” bride oversharing everything online. The result? I didn’t always invite others into what was really a very happy time.

Mostly, I don’t miss wedding planning because the pressure is now off. The pressure of handling logistics for 150+ people; the pressure of preparing to move; the pressure of knowing these major events were on the horizon and I was supposed to be having the time of my life when, in reality, I did have a great time planning everything with Spence — but it was complicated, too.

When I expressed anxiety over some aspect of the wedding (or just getting married in general), I feared the judgment of my relationship. I worried admitting to being scared of so many changes happening at once was akin to casting doubt on what I have with Spencer, which was the last thing I wanted to do.

So I held back.

Upon reflection, I could have opened up more to the people in my life. Worked on releasing some control. Though Spence more than proved himself to be the stable, compassionate and thoughtful support I really needed, I could have simply relaxed a little more.

But that’s life, I know. Hindsight being 20/20 and all that. How many people are stressed leading up to their weddings? (I’m guessing, um, many.) Nothing is perfect . . . we just do the best we can. And I still had a heck of a lot of fun as an engaged lady!

And the main reason I don’t miss wedding planning? Because I really love being married. Love spending so much time with my husband. I love being a team, deepening our bond, making big decisions together — all that mushy stuff. Our little routines and rituals; our shared TV watching and dinner-making. The little things like sharing (and perhaps squabbling over) chores and grocery shopping are still fun for me, and we’re getting into budgeting and prepping and striding into the murky waters of homeownership together.

The wedding was just the beautiful beginning.

All the great stuff comes after.

Photos by Birds of a Feather Photography


23 thoughts on “Why I don’t miss wedding planning

    • I feel for you, Sophie — but you got this! Planning a wedding with my sister was definitely a bonding activity, but nothing is without its perils. Feel free to email me anytime if you need a shoulder to lean on . . . and yes, it’s absolutely rewarding! Just imagine the relief you’ll feel after the second big day is over. šŸ™‚ But more than that, it’s a time in your life you’ll always remember and look back on . . . fondly, I’m sure!


      • So far I really am enjoying it. You’re right, it’s such a binding activity, trying on dresses together, doing her makeup tryouts, finding her the perfect shoes, etc. Both our weddings will be destination weddings so they’ll be such amazing experiences! šŸ™‚ might take you up on your offer though if things get too stressful šŸ™‚ thanks!


  1. I planned my own wedding in 2012 down to decorating the room myself. I just didn’t feel I could leave my ‘vision’ to the hands of the ‘experts’. I wasn’t actually too stressed up until the week of the wedding and I had a 6 month old baby to manage as well. But the day, for as much as I enjoyed, was stressful. I felt like I couldn’t let go and almost wish i could’ve been a guest to experience it from that point of view. That said, would I changed anything? Probably not!


    • I tried to remember to be a “guest” at my wedding, too, but you’re right: it’s really hard. The day of, I really channeled my inner deep-breather and realized that whatever was going to happen would happen, I’d done all I could to make it a great day, and my only “job” at that point was to get married and have fun. šŸ™‚ And I did. But phew, a 6-month-old added to that mix really would have been interesting. Hats off to you. Mrs. C!


  2. I had a dream last night that I was talking to you right after your wedding…you were still dressed in your duds and everything. Where did that come from? LOL! I’ve always had the theory that wedding planning prepares you for stuff coming up. Just remember this…when you have kids, you will ask for help way more than you are comfortable with. You have to form a community of moms to help as a matter of survival. And that’s OK!


    • Too funny, Sandy! Guess I was getting a little overshare-y with my wedding last year, haha! And you make an excellent point about children and the inevitable asking for help. I’m going to have to get over that fear reallllll quick, I’m sure.


  3. I was one of those girls who looked forward to the wedding for years because we dated for a really long time before getting engaged. After years of looking at all the pretty wedding decor on the internet, I am still surprised by how much my interest in that whole world diminished the minute after I said “I do.” Sounds like you’ve got plenty of interests to keep you occupied as a married lady and a fun-filled future ahead:).


    • Same with me, Jenn — I think about the countless wedding website I once spent hours perusing, and how I haven’t thought about or clicked over to them at all. I do still pop over to A Practical Wedding sometimes because its reach extends into marriage and partnership, not just That One Big Day, but it’s crazy.


  4. All the great stuff comes later – I love that. There are too many people that just focus on the wedding, and I absolutely love your approach. It’s neat to hear from the planner’s side of things šŸ™‚


    • Thank you, Meg — it’s important to realize the wedding is just a beginning! I heard that countless times during our engagement, but it didn’t really resonate with me until I woke up the day after in a haze feeling like a “new person” . . . but the same person, too. Wild.


  5. This is so true- it feels like the weight of the world is on you and when it’s over, you wonder why you stressed so much! My husband and I planned to start our family immediately after our wedding and I remember that everyone knew I was so into the project of the wedding that they asked what I would do when it was over. I said “have a baby!” Haha and 9 months later, I did!!


  6. Yikes. I needed this post right now!! I’m currently in the state of denial that there is a wedding happening =) This gives me hope that there will be an end and that it will all be worth it!!


  7. I love your posts…sorry so gushy!! I was 30 when we married, and I was thrilled to plan my wedding but in many ways I didn’t have everything I wanted. I was swayed by others ideas and my mom was too far away to help me. In the end I love more the being married too. 24 years in May!!


  8. I just got married in June. I completely understand! It was so hectic, but I didn’t want to bug anyone with the details. I also had to plan on moving to Kansas, where he was/is going to college. I’m so glad that part is over!


  9. Girl! One of my favorite feelings of my life was when I stepped off the plane in Hawaii on my honeymoon and thought, “Oh my GOSH! It’s done! We’re married! And we’re in Hawaii!” Definitely don’t miss wedding planning at all. Isn’t it great how it feels like you have so much more time on your hands when you’re not constantly planning details?


  10. I’ll be holding onto this thought, Meg! I’m planning my own wedding at the moment (although it’s not until next September so I’m quite relaxed about things now) and I’m so bad about asking for help. I will try to take the advice and relinquish a little control šŸ™‚


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