Stressing Over Wedding Plans

Katie Young
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Wednesday - May 23, 2007

So now the wedding plans have started. This is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life, right? My wedding! Me in a pretty white dress and veil, walking down the aisle toward the man of my dreams - a day of food, fun and dancing - and all the people I love there to share in the joy.

This should be a day when every little detail I have imagined in my mind’s eye magically appears in front of me more beautiful than in my dreams. I envision a day free of worry and full of happiness.

I’m still hoping my wedding day will turn out that way, but in the meantime I’ve met with the harsh reality of wedding planning stress - and I mean stress.

“We should have eloped,” I told my fiancé the other day.

“I told you,” he joked.

And it is noted that he did in fact say, as soon as we were engaged, that we should just run away and elope. But me, with my grand ideas, thought not only was that out of the question because our families would kill us, but I still thought we could have an intimate, manageable wedding I could handle planning on my own.

But once my best friend provided me with a list of things I had to do before the big day, the tasks were overwhelming, to say the least. There were so many choices for each and every thing - from the location of the ceremony to the color of the napkins to the paper we’ll pick for the invitations. Who will help at the reception table? Who will make sure the decorations are secure? Who will place the favors and centerpieces on the table? And, for that matter, what are we going to pick for favors and centerpieces?!

My mind was swimming. Generally, I am a very organized person who likes to plan fun events, but I soon realized it is very stressful to plan your own wedding. I think it’s because you know (well, you hope) this is the only wedding you’ll ever have so you’d better make it fantastic! This puts a lot of stress on the bride, who has likely been dreaming of this day since she was a little girl.

So far there have been two big challenges for me regarding my wedding day: the selection of my dress and the selection of my bridesmaids.

The wedding dress: I thought I’d know the second I tried on the dress. But five wedding dress shops and about 40 dresses later, I still could-n’t make up my mind. They were all so different. One had a lot of beading, one had none. One had a lace-up back, one had fabric-covered buttons. They were all so pretty. Some were pretty and too expensive.

But which would be the dress I pick for my one and only wedding day? I had helpers comes with me and take lots of pictures. I studied these pictures very carefully. I agonized over what I might think 20 years later when I looked back on my wedding photos. I didn’t want one that I’d look at and say, “What was I thinking?”

My best friend tried on only three dresses before she found “the one.” And she looked gorgeous in it. I can only hope the dress I did finally end up picking will make me look as good.

But I learned an important lesson in my hunt for the perfect wedding dress: While some women might try on a wedding gown and know immediately that it’s “the one,” others of us are left knowing that we will have to make a choice. And choice “A” is probably just as good as choice “B.” But no matter what, you can always look back and think you could have made a different choice. So just go with what makes you feel the most beautiful and comfortable for your big day.

The bridesmaids: My fiancé and I had discussed not having a wedding party at all. This is when we thought our big day might include 40 people. But now that our guest list has grown to 200, I decided it might be nice to have a wedding party. Of course, this meant more money going out, me trying to find the best deal on bridesmaid dresses, but the most stressful part for me came in selecting which of my girlfriends I would have as my bridesmaids.

I wanted six - bridesmaids, that is. I was limited to three. How do you pick only three of your six closest girlfriends? Girls will be girls, and no matter how careful you are not to hurt someone’s feelings, it’s bound to happen when you have to tell friends that they won’t be standing beside you on the biggest day of your life.

I wracked my brain for days, weeks even, about how I would pick just three. And then one of my “potential” bridesmaids told me something very important. She said, “Katie, we all understand that you have to make a choice, and it is a difficult one to make. We all love you and will understand this is not a ranking of what we mean in your life, but just a decision you have to make. And we will be there to help you in whatever way you need. This is your day. Don’t worry about offending anyone.”

She was right. Your true friends will understand no matter what. They will still be there to help you - whether their job is to stand beside you and hold your bouquet or to tend to the little reception details.

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