This year is going down in Rocque life history as the year of the wedding. Three of our closest friends are jumping the broom. Luckily for us, the weddings are spaced out. But I’m a bridesmaid in one, Mr. Rocque is a groomsman in the other, and each wedding takes place in a different major city. We’re excited about the travel opportunities and experiencing our friends’ joy, but also reminiscent about when we were planning our big day and reflective about what we know now that we wish we’d known then.
In the spirit of support, these are three major takeaways we learned on our big day that would’ve helped us to relax if we’d just learned to stop overthinking.
1. It’s not really “your day” when there’s a ceremony involved.
If you keep your wedding day low-key by going to the justice of the peace and having dinner with family afterward, then that’s when it really is your day because it’s relatively stress-free. But if you’re having a ceremony in front of more than 15 spectators, then it’s your day in theory but not in practice.
Either way it’s going to be fun, but most of your time will be spent catching up with family and friends who you probably haven’t seen in a while. They’re happy for you and they want to congratulate you and chat up a storm. Mr. Rocque and I thought we were keeping it small with 60 guests. Technically, that is small compared to a lot of other ceremonies out there, but even that was exhausting. We got pulled in so many different directions (and that was just for the daytime festivities). We had an afterparty that night so we could catch up with the other 250-plus friends we couldn’t afford to have watch our nuptials, so yeah… We didn’t get to peacefully enjoy being Mr. and Mrs. until the next day, when we had breakfast at the B&B where we were staying for the weekend and lounged around in our pajamas for the rest of the day.
2. Something always goes wrong. Embrace it.
I wasn’t a bridezilla, but I definitely understand how easy it is to become one, and over the dumbest things too. There was a dress snafu during my wedding planning, where my bridesmaid (I only had one) had to get a new dress (not her fault). The dress was in the color family that I wanted, but not the exact color. As a result, I was overcome by so much anxiety that my blood pressure elevated. Not cool.
This happened so last minute that we had to move forward with the replacement dress. It was a nice dress, and everything turned out fine, but all I could do was wonder if anyone would notice. In hindsight, it was ridiculous to wonder if anyone would notice and silly to focus on a slight color variation. It could have been worse, like a complete 180-degree color variation (yellow versus purple, for example). That really would have been a problem.
There’s always a solution in event planning. And even if it’s not an exact replica of the original plan, you have to be flexible and open enough to the possibility of making tweaks due to Murphy’s Law, so that you overcome it without hurting yourself or others. (I wanted to hurt the person who caused the dress snafu, but my own willpower and divine intervention kept that from happening.)
3. The fun starts tomorrow.
I had fun planning and researching for my wedding, despite some of the drama that comes with putting them together. And I loved how much more the thrill intensified as I got closer to the big day. But it’s just one day, and the real adventure starts once the show’s over. Keep that in mind whenever someone makes you want to spaz out during the planning process, because the end result is all that really matters.
Did I leave anything out? What advice do you have for anyone who’s about to tie the knot?
Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, New York-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.